My solution to the Christmas Tree Effect


Homebrew and House Rules

101 to 150 of 172 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kolokotroni wrote:
You can if you wish (with specific choices) accomplish essentially that. And it would be simpler. But I dont think its a one size fits all system. The kinds of magic item bonuses different kinds of characters use vary wildly. What good does +x to hit do a controller wizard?

Not much. Which is why there's basically no downside to doing such a simplified method. The wizard isn't going to shine because his staff strikes are at a +3, but he won't have any complaints about the +3 he's also getting to ability scores, saves, etc.

Quote:
Maybe a player isnt as worried about his to hit bonus and instead focuses on defence because his to hit is already high, or he's a gunslinger, and doesn't need it (due to touch ac) or is a wildshaping druid, complicating things further by juggling natural and manufactured weapons.

I merely was pointing out that it was similar in effect, but much simpler. You have one value that applies to different things, as opposed to adding the complications of picking which magic items you won't get but actually want, and then dealing with picking archtype features, which adds a layer of complexity and may or may not actually help with your character concept.

I was just offering another thought to the matter. Feel free to ignore it.


So, a belt of phisical perfection for my fighter is worth 9 levels of boons. If we get on with a +5 sword and a +5 armor, we gat 19 boons. Equivalent of a 22th level char. For something i'm expecting to have around level 16-17. without any kind of saves or deflection or natural or wathever. I think the system is cool, but mechanically flawed. It need some additional tweaking to make it usable.

I'll try to give some ideas to test. What we want to accomplish is

1) Being able to carry that cool unique flaming sword for a lot of time, maybe to the end

2) Making all magic item found cool and usefull since you will most likely not be able to sell it on local market

3) Cover all the basics so that you do not feel hindered to have that ring of jumping instead of something else more powerfull

Since we do not want to be more money-effective to stack all your bonus on a single stat, like rushing to +5 weapon, we need to have a scaling system where going up from 4 to 5 is more expensive than going from 1 to 2. The easyest way I can think of is

1) setting a standard on how much few magic you want in you word. You can have a "magic items are rare" campaign with a 50% set or a "magic items are nearly unheard of" with a 80% set

2) for each given level you give that % you set of the WBL as point to the PCs to spend into Power Ups. Each point is equal to a 1k wealth with the same pricing and stacking rules from items.

Some example of pricing

+2 to your first stat 4 pts
+4 to your first stat 16 pts (substitutes the +2)
+2 to a second stat 6 pts
+1 to hit and damage 2 pts
+5 to hit and dmg 50 pts
+3 all TS 9 pts
1/d sudden extend for a 3 or lower spell 1 pt
1/d quicken for a 9 or lower spell 56 pts

You may want to extend this system to something else than the big 6 in a system that use a bigger % like allowing to buy +5 stealth for 3 pts (boots of elvenkind) or to perception (eagle eyes).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do think there is going to be some breakdown of the heroic distinctions as we get to higher levels, but please keep in mind the archetypes also continue to expand in power in many cases, I honestly expect to make some adjustments as I get my party into higher levels and see how things go.

I may at a certain level allow 2 distinctions per level instead of one, I have to look at it. You are welcome to do as you wish, but I have no interest in a point system. That level of granularity is way too meta for me, I want something that can be described in character, and not exclusively as a game mechanic.


I'm thinking of implementing the first part of this, the heroic distinctions, but still keeping magic items in the game (other than the big 6). I'd be more interested in seeing them buy interesting magic items like folding boats etc.

Kolo, do you think that'd work?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With just the heroic distinctions the party might still need SOME big six items, depending on the characters. It doesnt completely replace them on its own. Martial characters would still likely need one or two big six items as they wont be completely covered by heroice distinctions.

That said if you just wanted to use heroic distinctions, you could easily increase the number they can choose. Because for instance a sword and board fighter, would need armor, shield, weapon, strength, saves, and ac. You cant fill that out with just the heroic distinctions. The intent there was someone like that would take an achetype like the weapon champion or physical exemplar that translate very directly into big sixish bonuses since such a character would likely spend all or most of their wealth on big six items.


After posting that, my players noted a post of yours saying it would probably be necessary. So if we're going ahead with these, we'll be adding the SGG archetypes too.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
After posting that, my players noted a post of yours saying it would probably be necessary. So if we're going ahead with these, we'll be adding the SGG archetypes too.

I hope it goes well for you. I have truly enjoyed it using it in my games. I like the idea of being able to hand out wealth (in for form of money) and not worry about it shifting the balance of the game, or even more importantly, not having to keep as close track of it. I still give out magic items, but I do it when it's appropriate, and each item becomes meaningful (and hopefully interesting).

If you use the archetypes, make sure they look closely as it, as for various concepts some are way better then others. If the players arent sure, the ones I would point the hardest at are the weapon champion, and physical exemplar for martial characters and the Yuxia, for well just about everyone (including spell casters). The tempest and the spell bow are really good choices for any archer as well.


As a player in Kolo's game, Heroic Distinctions coupled with archetypes has been working well in our game. Currently I'm playing a Rogue(scout) + Youxia. It is basically a ninja but even better than the basic class. I'm even able to 'play' front-line tank, though not for long. Some healing, AC boosts, and a smattering of special skill abilities really compliment my rogue, making it a great hit-and-run character.

One of our recent magical items really lit up one player's eyes. He's an archer. He got a quiver.
...
When is the last time a player got excited over a magic quiver?

The problem is at higher levels, where the bonuses should likely be coming more ofter. Two per level around 12-14 and 3 per level at 18 would bring the total to 28-30 choices, instead of 18. It would really bring in the difference in normal wealth vs. Hero Dis.

Edit:
At level 20, a fighter could have:
+5 Weapon (5 points)
+5 Armor (5 points)
+5 Shield (5 points)
+6 Str/Dex/Con (9 points)
+5 Saves (3 points)
+5 Nat. Armor (3 Points)
At 30 choices. This seems like it is in line with the Big 5 out of 6. Not a bad set-up.


Right, the bonuses would need to increase since wealth increases at an exponential rate at high levels.


I have 4 things I would consider here.

1. Are these going to cost the same as equivalent magical bonuses?

2. Magical Bonuses didn't require a level. Why do these?

3. What are you going to do about the fact that most martial characters start needing magic items by about level 5 to beat out the increasing amount of DR/Magic?

4. How much time does the training need in order for you to get the effects? i.e. will you need weeks or months out of adventures in order to gain these abilities? How do you propose to combine this with games where the plot moves forward whether characters do or not?

Edit: on a 5th note, characters are also usually limited by "slots" on what they can or cannot use. With this you are essentially increasing the number of slots that they have. What do you plan to do to compensate should you put more bonuses in here?


1) Not really relevant, I don't think.

2) Magical Bonuses have an implied level requirement, based on the WBL guidelines. And it just happens to align with the level requirements for these in most cases :)

3) ...give them special magic items?

4) When you get them. There's no training time as far as I can tell. You're just working on them during the downtime, or even during combat, much like just about everything else in the game.

5) Be more awesome.


Cheapy wrote:

1) Not really relevant, I don't think.

2) Magical Bonuses have an implied level requirement, based on the WBL guidelines. And it just happens to align with the level requirements for these in most cases :)

3) ...give them special magic items?

4) When you get them. There's no training time as far as I can tell. You're just working on them during the downtime, or even during combat, much like just about everything else in the game.

5) Be more awesome.

1) You don't think preserving balance by the WBL matters?

2) They do not have a level requirement they have a cost requirement which allows you more freedom. Do I want to put some in offense and defense, or go straight offense? This removes that freedom by saying you can only add so much until a certain point.

Edit: Example Perfect Defense (+5 AC equivalent 25000 gold) requires you be 15th level. No one in their right mind would ever say that you need 15th level before you could get a +5 armor if you wanted one

3) are they still special then? At that point I'd claim its not special at all anymore its "ok who requires autoattacking here? Ok guys one for each of you" otherwise you're just straight up nerfing non casting characters even more.

4) Ok I'm fine with that. Old training as I recall took like 2 weeks for a feat so I thought I'd ask

5) Ok though that might cause balance issues late game.

Edit: one more thing to think about is what you want to include as "weapons" for the offensive bonus. Unarmed and natural weapons require amulet of mighty fists which is 5000XBonus squared instead of the regular 2000XBonus squared. While unarmed fighters (monks, etc etc) I would agree need it, you'd also be giving a substantial buff to already powerful classes (synthesist summoner, beast totem barbarian, mutagen focused alchemist, combat druids, etc)


Number 1 isn't relevant because these don't have gold costs. They're like feats.

I can now see where you're coming from for #2. At the same time, it also creates so much more freedom since you aren't a slave to the big 6 anymore. That example could probably use some lower level requirement. Plus, Magic Vestment.

However no one in their right mind would let people have +5 weapons at level 8, which is what could happen if there isn't a level requirement.

Number 3: of course they are :) His example magic item was a named flaming sword. Although I could see that training would count as magic for overcoming DR.

Number 5: Late game balance is wonky already. Plus...there aren't that many magic items other than the big 6 that take those slots. Some, for sure, but nothing of the same magnitude as the big 6.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:

I have 4 things I would consider here.

1. Are these going to cost the same as equivalent magical bonuses?

2. Magical Bonuses didn't require a level. Why do these?

3. What are you going to do about the fact that most martial characters start needing magic items by about level 5 to beat out the increasing amount of DR/Magic?

4. How much time does the training need in order for you to get the effects? i.e. will you need weeks or months out of adventures in order to gain these abilities? How do you propose to combine this with games where the plot moves forward whether characters do or not?

Edit: on a 5th note, characters are also usually limited by "slots" on what they can or cannot use. With this you are essentially increasing the number of slots that they have. What do you plan to do to compensate should you put more bonuses in here?

1 - Not that close, as per Kolo's initial design.

2 - As Cheapy said, magical weapons and armor do have an implied level, while other items have a caster-level, which gives you a basic guideline for about which level it is appropriate. And character wealth should always be a factor.

3 - A easy solution is a bonus similar to a monk's unarmed attack, where a certain bonus overcomes certain DRs.

4 - They become available like feats, spells, and class abilities, at leveling up.

5 - Since the majority of magic items that can take up these free slots are not nearly as powerful as the alternative (look at the 3.5 Healing Belt vs. +6 Strength Belt), you are giving players the opportunity to use the rest of the magic items, not just the Standard Player's Equipment.

Now a player can actually use a Belt of Dwarven Kind, Cloak of the Manta Ray, Bracelet of Friends, and Phylactery of Faithfulness and still have survivability.


As much as I am growing to like PF, this is one of the things that might lure us to the new D&D rules.

If PCs NEED to have these bonuses to function mathematically in the game, then build it into the monsters or the character's development.

3rd and 4E were major fails in this regard.


Cheapy wrote:

Number 1 isn't relevant because these don't have gold costs. They're like feats.

I can now see where you're coming from for #2. At the same time, it also creates so much more freedom since you aren't a slave to the big 6 anymore. That example could probably use some lower level requirement. Plus, Magic Vestment.

However no one in their right mind would let people have +5 weapons at level 8, which is what could happen if there isn't a level requirement.

Number 3: of course they are :) His example magic item was a named flaming sword. Although I could see that training would count as magic for overcoming DR.

Number 5: Late game balance is wonky already. Plus...there aren't that many magic items other than the big 6 that take those slots. Some, for sure, but nothing of the same magnitude as the big 6.

Ok, dont get me wrong I love the fact they're special I remember the first time my troll barbarian grabbed the large size great sword and found out it was a cursed object with an evil mind controlling pit lord inside. I was ecstatic. As long as they can count the training as magic I have no problems with this then.


I'm not convinced players NEED magic items to survive at any level in the game. The trick is, as a DM, to minimize the amount of "Save of Die" things you throw at the group.

For example: In the campaign I'm running, through some extremely clever trickery, I managed to separate the group from all of their wonderful magic items. They were all also in separate jail cells and had to rely on their class abilities and their wits to get out of the cells, and then deal with the guards. While they were dealing with the guards, getting everyone out of their cells, I introduced another antagonist as lesser demons started swarming into the hall.

The players had a blast figuring all this out and fighting a battle on two fronts. Eventually, when they won, they were reunited with their beloved stuff. Never be afraid to take it away from them!!! They will cherish it more when/if they get it back.

Another option to make magic items more special involves, unavoidably, more work for the DM. Don't make magic items random. Give them purpose, names, and backgrounds. That way, that Ring of Protection +2 is instead something like "Liandara's Band" - give it a flowery description and a history that could potentially either come back to haunt the player or even put him in a tough situation. It's possible the player will encounter "Liandara" - and I'll leave it up to your imagination as to the many different things that can happen there.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The math the game is based on assumes magic items.


Cheapy wrote:
The math the game is based on assumes magic items.

That's like saying life is based on math. Sure, when you boil it down you're probably right. However it isn't static. The wonderful thing about D&D is how fluid and flexible it is because it has so much variation. Don't like that your party is defeating the monsters too fast? Add two or even three more antagonists to a fight. Party becoming overwhelmed by encounters designed for their level? Drop to a lower challenge rating but award the same XP. Simple.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fenzl wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
The math the game is based on assumes magic items.
That's like saying life is based on math. Sure, when you boil it down you're probably right. However it isn't static. The wonderful thing about D&D is how fluid and flexible it is because it has so much variation. Don't like that your party is defeating the monsters too fast? Add two or even three more antagonists to a fight. Party becoming overwhelmed by encounters designed for their level? Drop to a lower challenge rating but award the same XP. Simple.

Any attempt to simply remove magic without a similar bonus to compensate means you're going to have to lower the cr of fights they're facing especially the later ones.

And yes life is based on math. Every moment of it can be defined by math and every action predicted by math given enough time.

MATH IS POWER


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fenzl wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
The math the game is based on assumes magic items.
That's like saying life is based on math. Sure, when you boil it down you're probably right. However it isn't static. The wonderful thing about D&D is how fluid and flexible it is because it has so much variation. Don't like that your party is defeating the monsters too fast? Add two or even three more antagonists to a fight. Party becoming overwhelmed by encounters designed for their level? Drop to a lower challenge rating but award the same XP. Simple.

Obviously the dm can compensate for just about anything, and they have to often. No 2 parties are precisely the same in terms of power and capability. So if the DM is willing and able to adjust encounters appropriately, then no they dont NEED magic items. The point of this thread is to explore ideas on how to keep players in the 'normal' realm of power and capability without being loaded down with magic items.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

1) Not really relevant, I don't think.

2) Magical Bonuses have an implied level requirement, based on the WBL guidelines. And it just happens to align with the level requirements for these in most cases :)

3) ...give them special magic items?

4) When you get them. There's no training time as far as I can tell. You're just working on them during the downtime, or even during combat, much like just about everything else in the game.

5) Be more awesome.

1) You don't think preserving balance by the WBL matters?

This system is specifically designed to invalidate wealth by level. I HATE the micromanaging you have to do to maintain wealth balance. This system (and concequently this thread) have 2 purposes. Make it so you can have rare magic items without screwing up game balance, AND divorcing player wealth and player power. In the normal game ofcourse WBL matters. This system however is intentionally designed to make it not matter.

Quote:

2) They do not have a level requirement they have a cost requirement which allows you more freedom. Do I want to put some in offense and defense, or go straight offense? This removes that freedom by saying you can only add so much until a certain point.

There is however an implied level requirement. The game does not assume absolute freedom in magic item choice.

[From the core rules game mastering section]
"Characters should spend no more than half their total wealth on any single item. For a balanced approach, PCs that are built after 1st level should spend no more than 25% of their wealth on weapons, 25% on armor and protective devices, 25% on other magic items, 15% on disposable items like potions, scrolls, and wands, and 10% on ordinary gear and coins. "

Based on this split, there are implied level requirements. If at 6th level I have approximately 16,000 gold in items, then somewhere around 4,000 gp in gold should be spent on offensive items. Obviously like the whole wealth system this is a guideline and not an abolute rule, but it is right there in the rules as written. So the 'freedom' to go straight offense was never really present in the rules as written.

Quote:

Edit: Example Perfect Defense (+5 AC equivalent 25000 gold) requires you be 15th level. No one in their right mind would ever say that you need 15th level before you could get a +5 armor if you wanted one

3) are they still special then? At that point I'd claim its not special at all anymore its "ok who requires autoattacking here? Ok guys one for each of you" otherwise you're just straight up nerfing non casting characters even more.

This system still expects that the players will have some magic items. The fighter will still have a magic sword pretty early in his career, and keep it throughout. Now the +x bonuses overcoming other kinds of damage reduction (silver, cold iron etc) is not something the system addresses, and I'd say it should be addressed in game with special material weapons instead. It does change things a little and i look forward to seeing how much of a difference it would make.

Quote:

4) Ok I'm fine with that. Old training as I recall took like 2 weeks for a feat so I thought I'd ask

None of these should require any specific amount of in game time to get, unless you already play with some sort of training house rule.

Quote:

5) Ok though that might cause balance issues late game.

Slots are really a non-issue. One of the best parts of this system is that it frees up slots for more interesting items. Cloak of the montebank now seems like a much more useful item because you dont HAVE to have a cloak of resistance. I dont think there will be any slot issues in late game, though there are plenty of other issues out there.

Quote:

Edit: one more thing to think about is what you want to include as "weapons" for the offensive bonus. Unarmed and natural weapons require amulet of mighty fists which is 5000XBonus squared instead of the regular 2000XBonus squared. While unarmed fighters (monks, etc etc) I would agree need it, you'd also be giving a substantial buff to already powerful classes (synthesist summoner, beast totem barbarian, mutagen focused alchemist, combat druids, etc)

Unarmed I think is fine, lord knows the monk could use the boost. Druid and barbarians are on their own not a huge problem, as the wording of offensive training is the same as weapon focus. So you can take Offensive Training Claw, but not offensive training natural weapons. Really the only thing that this is an issue with is if a character has more then 2 of the SAME type of natural weapon, like an eidolon with 4 claws. To my knowledge only the summoner can do this, the rest will have groups of 2 or less attacks of the same type, which I am ok with, though of course your milage may vary.


Kolokotroni wrote:
There is however an implied level requirement. The game does not assume absolute freedom in magic item choice.

Problem here being a +5 armor is less than 25% of your gold 3 levels earlier than level 15

Kolokotroni wrote:
Slots are really a non-issue. One of the best parts of this system is that it frees up slots for more interesting items. Cloak of the montebank now seems like a much more useful item because you dont HAVE to have a cloak of resistance. I dont think there will be any slot issues in late game, though there are plenty of other issues out there.

Frankly I do see slots as being a slight issue due to the fact that there are several other very good combat items that these slots filled up. Before you had to trade between the 2, now you can have both of them which I'm just warning will cause power creep.

EX. Cloak of minor/major displacement. 20% miss chance all day or 50% miss chance 10 rounds. Excellent combat bonuses both of them and unfortunately ones you had to do without. Now you can grab them and the saves which is going to make the character stronger

Kolokotroni wrote:
Unarmed I think is fine, lord knows the monk could use the boost. Druid and barbarians are on their own not a huge problem, as the wording of offensive training is the same as weapon focus. So you can take Offensive Training Claw, but not offensive training natural weapons. Really the only thing that this is an issue with is if a character has more then 2 of the SAME type of natural weapon, like an eidolon with 4 claws. To my knowledge only the summoner can do this, the rest will have groups of 2 or less attacks of the same type, which I am ok with, though of course your milage may vary.

Yes which is exactly my point. The class that will benefit most from that boost is the summoner which is already one of if not the most powerful class in the game. You might want to do something about how it interacts with natural weapons because stacking claws on an eidolon is relatively easy.

Personally I find this a very good idea, I just want to work out the kinks before it sees play and unfortunately causing a major system shift usually has a lot of little kinks to work out


Would these apply to animal companions and eidolons? And familiars.

And just a note, the +5 armor is less than 25% of your gold at level 12 if you don't buy any amulets of natural armor, rings of protections, or cloaks of resistances. That "25%" that the balanced method recommends includes all of those items or any other defensive items.


Cheapy wrote:

Would these apply to animal companions and eidolons? And familiars.

And just a note, the +5 armor is less than 25% of your gold at level 12 if you don't buy any amulets of natural armor, rings of protections, or cloaks of resistances. That "25%" that the balanced method recommends includes all of those items or any other defensive items.

I never said it wasn't stupid. I said that you were limiting player choices and frankly that confirms that you are.

I won't say that limiting player capabilities to be stupid is bad. But generally the point of the game is you're free to build as you wish, regardless of how horrible it works in game or how obscenely stupidly the player spends their money. That's half the point of all d&d since all the way back in 1.0

They get to be what you want to make them.

I won't disagree that the 25% limitations that paizo put into place are wrong but if you want to go with this system, I suggest removing level limitations and going with % of points like paizo did so as to allow players more freedom to work within the training system.

Will some players spend their points in horribly idiotic ways? yes. But they did that with money too. the point of this thought exercise I thought was to get rid of player wealth as a major factor.

BTW just realized this could work well with vow of poverty


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Would these apply to animal companions and eidolons? And familiars.

And just a note, the +5 armor is less than 25% of your gold at level 12 if you don't buy any amulets of natural armor, rings of protections, or cloaks of resistances. That "25%" that the balanced method recommends includes all of those items or any other defensive items.

I never said it wasn't stupid. I said that you were limiting player choices and frankly that confirms that you are.

I am not applying any limits the core rules dont already assume are in place. Part of the inspiration for this rule system is the fact that the game itself does not assume players have the freedom to purchase whatever items they want. The magic mart mentality was never part of the core system.

That said, you are making some big assumptions about the system. You are missing a huge chunk of it. Mainly that the heroic distinctions are only a PART of what you would expect to get. A big part of the choice comes out of the super genius archetypes. Someone who wanted to 'blow their magic load' on offensive weapons, should take something like the weapon champion archetype from martial archetypes. By 15th level, you would then have:
-a +5 to attack and damage from heroic distinctions
-+4 to attack and daamge from weapon dominance from the archetype
and say +7 to disarm, sunder and trip attacks made with the weapon.

Quote:

I won't say that limiting player capabilities to be stupid is bad. But generally the point of the game is you're free to build as you wish, regardless of how horrible it works in game or how obscenely stupidly the player spends their money. That's half the point of all d&d since all the way back in 1.0

They get to be what you want to make them.

And in most games, you now have MORE freedom, not less. In the base assumption of the game you are NOT free to get whatever magic item you want. It is entirely dependent on the dm, and the wealth guidelines actually provide rather stringent breakdowns. This gives you more direct choices akin to feats and class abilities, that are not dependent on the world, the magic level, or how much gold you have available.

Quote:

I won't disagree that the 25% limitations that paizo put into place are wrong but if you want to go with this system, I suggest removing level limitations and going with % of points like paizo did so as to allow players more freedom to work within the training system.

Will some players spend their points in horribly idiotic ways? yes. But they did that with money too. the point of this thought exercise I thought was to get rid of player wealth as a major factor.

I am not out to replacate the complexity of the wealth system. I actively dislike the amout of arithmatic required with magic items and managing wealth. I dont intend to put that into my system. By all means use what you want for your game, but I wont be changing THIS system to replacate that kind of complexity.

Quote:

BTW just realized this could work well with vow of poverty

Yes it does, and I have no problem with that. *pats the poor unloved monk on the head*

Quote:


Yes which is exactly my point. The class that will benefit most from that boost is the summoner which is already one of if not the most powerful class in the game. You might want to do something about how it interacts with natural weapons because stacking claws on an eidolon is relatively easy.

Personally I find this a very good idea, I just want to work out the kinks before it sees play and unfortunately causing a major system shift usually has a lot of little kinks to work out

Animal companions and such I really need to look at it again. But specifically the summoner is going to be nearly impossible to fit neatly into the system. The class is too damned flexible. It can be bent around to take advantage no matter what unless there are specific summoner based exceptions put into the rules. I honestly think a dm has to take that into advisement, pay attention to your summoner and make sure he isnt diverting all his resources (evolutions, trainings or sgg archetypes) to any one thing. Because if he is, its a problem, magic items or no magic items.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In terms of animal companions/familiars I would say you would have to divert your distinctions to EITHER yourself or your animal companion, and that goes for eidolons, dragon mounts and other pets as well, anything that comes with your class.

I also think that 1 distinction per level has to be modified as you go up in level. I thin 1 per level from 3-8, 2 per level from 9 to 14 and 3 per level from 15 to 20.


I solved the "Magic Mart" problem in my campaign two ways: By not providing a magic mart for characters to shop for magic items, and by making the PC's terrified beyond reason of any magical-seeming items that they find. I LOVE cursed items, and I love demonically possessed items even more, and sprinkle them liberally throughout the world.

I adjust nothing. Not the CR of the monsters, not their hit points or AC, nothing (unless it's to dial them up). My players thank me for it, because it challenges them to think creatively, and to get very, very nasty with their class abilities.

Then again, as DM, when I spend two whole days working on an encounter, planning the monsters, setting the terrain, and envisioning how the fight will go, only to have my players short-circuit the whole thing and kill the BBEG in two rounds, I am overjoyed. If they caught me slipping, spotted something I missed, then that means I get to learn something, and improve my skills for next time.

I call that a win.


Kolokotroni wrote:

In terms of animal companions/familiars I would say you would have to divert your distinctions to EITHER yourself or your animal companion, and that goes for eidolons, dragon mounts and other pets as well, anything that comes with your class.

I also think that 1 distinction per level has to be modified as you go up in level. I thin 1 per level from 3-8, 2 per level from 9 to 14 and 3 per level from 15 to 20.

36 available choices may make it very easy to max out a little too much. Spell-casters, arcane in particular, may have too much of an edge. Wizards and Sorcerers won't normally be taking Offensive or Defensive training, instead focusing on Magical Training. 5 point difference. They also won't be looking into investing in 3+ stats, more likely 3 on the outside (dex, con, and primary casting). Warrior-types will need Str and/or Dex, Con, and, depending on the build, one or more of the mental.

Some ideas for new option trees:
+1/3/5 for overcoming SR
+5/10/15 or +3/6/9 for skill bonuses


Interesting side effect:

This system looks like it increases the power of buffing spells. Normally, you have to check to see if the buff spell stacks with the magical gear. Often it does not (Magic Weapon spell and magic weapons, Keen Edge and keen weapon, etc)

*It's worth noting that this is a pain, and my impression is that many players and GMs miss these details often*

If all of these are training bonuses, that goes away, and casting spells on your allies is a more powerful option. It's also much simpler.

How does this work in actual play?


rkraus2 wrote:

Interesting side effect:

This system looks like it increases the power of buffing spells. Normally, you have to check to see if the buff spell stacks with the magical gear. Often it does not (Magic Weapon spell and magic weapons, Keen Edge and keen weapon, etc)

*It's worth noting that this is a pain, and my impression is that many players and GMs miss these details often*

If all of these are training bonuses, that goes away, and casting spells on your allies is a more powerful option. It's also much simpler.

How does this work in actual play?

It actually has an unusual effect. Buffers now have to spend more on 'standard spells' like Bull's X and Magic Weapon, and getting fully buffed takes longer. They can allocate more resources to doing this properly, meaning less fireballs available.

On the flip side, a well-prepared character, especially martial PCs, can be amazingly powerful, not game breaking but definite upper-tier characters in terms of numerical advantage. The main reason it is not OP is the curve of training bonuses is slightly behind straight magical-gear usage.

Dark Archive

yeti1069 wrote:


Heck, you could probably just grant the numeric bonuses of the Vow of Poverty as well, though the removes options and does little for dedicated casters.

This seems like the easiest and most obvious option to me.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Diabhol wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:


Heck, you could probably just grant the numeric bonuses of the Vow of Poverty as well, though the removes options and does little for dedicated casters.

This seems like the easiest and most obvious option to me.

Vow of poverty is very specific for a very specific kind of character. It doesn't work for a whole host of character types. This system provides similar bonuses but allows a wide selection of choices for players to pick up depending on their character type.


WarColonel wrote:


They can allocate more resources to doing this properly, meaning less fireballs available.

But couldn't they also just cast more fireballs? What happens in your game to encourage more of the bull's strength, etc...?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I should probably point out the first line of heroic distinctions indicates they do not stack with enhancement bonuses. This is intentional, so the Strong Distinction does not stack with bulls strength, and offensive training does not stack with the magic weapon spell.

Mind you some buff spells are still valuable (magic weapon for instance is useful to help with dr or incorperal creatures). But they dont stack with the training bonuses, or the resistance bonuses the heroic distinctions offer.


Could I modify this for my gun heavy campaign setting? It works well with my flavor for the setting, and patches an issue I have between martial and non-martial characters.


http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5rsz?LowMagic-Pathfinder-for-Dummies


Ok, I've been hearing that term for a while now... what is the "Christmas Tree Effect" ???


JiCi wrote:
Ok, I've been hearing that term for a while now... what is the "Christmas Tree Effect" ???

The idea that when someone targets a player with detect magic, they 'light up' like a Christmas tree due to the amount of magical gear.


I am really intrigued by this idea!
But has it been further refined?
Is it really usable right now or are there still some problems to be fixed?
(Like picking Strong/etc. over Weapon Training...)


One of my groups will be playtesting this.

Kolo, do you not give out wealth? Or do you do it and let them spend it on non-big 6 items?


Cheapy wrote:

One of my groups will be playtesting this.

Kolo, do you not give out wealth? Or do you do it and let them spend it on non-big 6 items?

The Big 6 do not exist except for Ring of Deflection. In our specific game, we get sorta-level appropriate wealth, but the game is specifically designed to cause us to reinvest our wealth in a town.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I give out wealth, but it cant be spent on non-consumable magic items. So only mundane, and alchemical gear, or scrolls/wands/potions. That is if you are using both the distinctions and the super genius archetypes.

If you are just using distinctions, you should probably give 40-70% wealth and allow purchase of non-big six items.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DracoDruid wrote:

I am really intrigued by this idea!

But has it been further refined?
Is it really usable right now or are there still some problems to be fixed?
(Like picking Strong/etc. over Weapon Training...)

It is certainly usable right now, I am using it in my home game. As for picking strong over offensive training, what is the problem there exactly? It is the same as picking a belt of giant strength over a magic sword. Generally an offesnive martial character will want both anyway since the level restrictions prevent you from just taking a stat boost over and over.

The only changes I intend to make, is to tighten up the wording of offensive and defensive training (they should apply to a single kind of weapon or armor/sheild each like longswords, or chainshirts) and restrict how many natural weapons can benefit from offensive training.
I am also going to add a trio of distinctions in the same vein as the natural armor distinctions as a dodge bonus (same structure and level restrictions) to account for rings of protection.

And lastly I am going to update the high level capacity for distinctions, namely that from level 3to8 you get one distinction per level, from level 9 on you get 2 per level.


21 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Updated Heroic Distinctions:

Heroic Distinctions:

Starting at level 3 you may choose 1 heroic distinction you qualify for at each level. At 9th level you may choose 2 heroic distinctions you qualify for at each level. Please note Training Bonuses to not stack with Enhancement Bonuses, except in the cases where these bonuses would normally stack with magical enhancements (IE Magus’ Arcane Pool enhancement to a weapon).

Defensive Training: The character receives a +1 training bonus to the effective armor bonus of any one type of armor or shield worn.

Improved Defensive Training: The character receives a +2 training bonus to the effective armor bonus of any one type of armor or shield worn. A character must be at least 6th level and have the Defensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Greater Defensive Training: The character receives a +3 training bonus to the effective armor bonus of any one type of armor or shield worn.. A character must be at least 9th level and have the Improved Defensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Penultimate Defensive Training: The character receives a +4 training bonus to the effective armor bonus of any one type of armor or shield worn.. A character must be at least 12th level and have the Greater Defensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Perfect Defensive Training: The character receives a +5 training bonus to the effective armor bonus of any one type of armor or shield worn. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Penultimate Defensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Note on Offensive Training: If a natural weapon is selected it can apply to a maximum of 2 of that kind of weapon. You can select this Distinction an additional time to apply to more of the same kind of natural weapon.

Offensive Training: The character receives a +1 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. If a natural weapon is selected it can apply to a maximum of 2 of that kind of weapon. You can select this Distinction an additional time to apply to more of the same kind of natural weapon.

Improved Offensive Training: The character receives a +2 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. A character must be at least 6th level and have the Offensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Greater Offensive Training: The character receives a +3 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. A character must be at least 9th level and have the Offensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Penultimate Offensive Training: The character receives a +4 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. A character must be at least 12th level and have the Greater Offensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Perfect Offensive Training: The character receives a +5 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Penultimate Offensive Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Lucky: The character receives a +1 resistance bonus to their Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower saves.

Blessed: The character receives a +3 resistance bonus to their Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower saves. A character must be at least 7th level and have the Lucky distinction before selecting this distinction.

Exalted: The character receives a +5 resistance bonus to their Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower saves. A character must be at least 13th level and have the Lucky distinction before selecting this distinction.

Nimble: The character gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. A character must be at least 6th level before selecting this distinction.

Artful: The character’s dodge bonus increases to +3. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Nimble distinctions before selecting this distinction.

Deft: The character’s dodge bonus increases to +5. A character must be at least 14th level and have the Artful distinction before selecting this distinction.

Hardened: The character's natural armor bonus improves by +1. A character must be at least 6th level before selecting this distinction.

Grizzled: The character's natural armor bonus increases to +3. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Hardened distinction before selecting this distinction.

Iron Skinned: The character's natural armor bonus increases +5. A character must be at least 14th level and have the Grizzled distinction before selecting this distinction.

Strong: The character receives a +2 training bonus to strength. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Dextrous: The character receives a +2 training bonus to dexterity. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Hearty: The character receives a +2 training bonus to constitution. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Intelligent: The character receives a +2 training bonus to intelligence. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Wise: The character receives a +2 training bonus to wisdom. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Charismatic: The character receives a +2 training bonus to charisma. A character must be at least 5th level before selecting this distinction.

Mighty: +4 Training bonus to strength. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Strong distinction before selecting this distinction.

Adroit: +4 Training bonus to dexterity. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Dextrous distinction before selecting this distinction.

Unyielding: +4 Training bonus to constitution. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Hearty distinction before selecting this distinction.

Inspired: +4 Training bonus to intelligence. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Intelligent distinction before selecting this distinction.

Attuned: +4 Training bonus to wisdom. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Wise distinction before selecting this distinction.

Majestic: +4 Training bonus to charisma. A character must be at least 10th level and have the Charismatic distinction before selecting this distinction.

Herculean: +6 Training bonus to strength. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Mighty distinction before selecting this distinction.

Alacritous: +6 Training bonus to dexterity. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Adroit distinction before selecting this distinction.

Titanic: +6 Training bonus to constitution. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Unyielding distinction before selecting this distinction.

Brilliant: +6 Training bonus to intelligence. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Inspired distinction before selecting this distinction.

Enlightened: +6 Training bonus to wisdom. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Attuned distinction before selecting this distinction.

Awe Inspiring: +6 Training bonus to charisma. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Majestic distinction before selecting this distinction.

Magical Training: The character receives a +1 training bonus to attacks and caster level checks when casting a spell. In addition any spell that does hitpoint damage gains a +1 training bonus to the first damage
die rolled.

Improved Magical Training: The character receives a +2 training bonus to attacks and caster level checks when casting a spell. In addition any spell that does hitpoint damage gains a +2 training bonus to the first damage die rolled. A character must be at least 6th level and have the Magical Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Greater Magical Training: The character receives a +3 training bonus to attacks and caster level checks when casting a spell. In addition any spell that does hitpoint damage gains a +3 training bonus to the first damage die rolled. A character must be at least 9th level and have the
Magical Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Penultimate Magical Training: The character receives a +4 training bonus to attacks and caster level checks when casting a spell. In addition any spell that does hitpoint damage gains a +4 training bonus to the first damage die rolled. A character must be at least 12th level and have the Greater Magical Training distinction before selecting this distinction.

Perfect Magical Training: The character receives a +5 training bonus to attacks and caster level checks when casting a spell. In addition any spell that does hitpoint damage gains a +5 training bonus to the first damage die rolled. A character must be at least 15th level and have the Penultimate Magical Training distinction before selecting this distinction.


My players all surprised the heck out of me when I informed them that Pathfinder is wrought with the Magic-Mart mentality, and it's in-fact built into the game; they all told me they were "old school" and that magic should be random and something special. It almost sparked a tear in my eye. Thanks for your hard work, Kolokotroni. Keep us updated.

I'm going to propose these distinctions to my players as special "Academies" that they'll be given the option to join, with each one representing several months training. Various NPC organizations will offer them the opportunity to train and learn as part of a greater reward for service.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

By all means flavor it however you wish. Just remember if you are only doing heroic distinctions it only covers a portion of the expected player wealth. Glad to be of service and I hope it works well for you.

Sovereign Court

Kolokotroni, when you say:
"Offensive Training: The character receives a +1 training bonus to attacks and damage with a single type of weapon. If a natural weapon is selected it can apply to a maximum of 2 of that kind of weapon. You can select this Distinction an additional time to apply to more of the same kind of natural weapon."

Are we talking single weapons (like a longsword) or weapon groups (like heavy blades)?


Am I correct to assume that training bonuses max and don't stack?
So when taking all 3 DEX-increases I'd have +6 DEX and not +2+4+6 = +12, correct?

And second:

What magic item is "Magical Training" supposed to replace?
Can't see why you added this one.


I just wanted to chime in that I really like this approach, and it nicely addresses my frustrations with D&D. I much prefer the idea that the character is mighty, even totally naked, rather than being totally reliant on their items.

I would probably let the martial characters apply the weapon and armor bonuses to any weapons and any armor, not just a specific type. I don't think the added flexibility really hurts anything, and it encourages things like using whatever you pick up, or what's within reach. I would even let the bonuses apply when not wearing armor or fighting unarmed, as it reflects character awesomeness, and makes characters less freaked out to not wear full armor and weapons to ball, or when sleeping, etc.

101 to 150 of 172 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Homebrew and House Rules / My solution to the Christmas Tree Effect All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.