Most common changes to Rules As Written at the table?


Homebrew and House Rules

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Mage Evolving wrote:
We had played with max hit dice for a while but recently all agreed that it was just too much. Unless you allow all monsters to have max hit dice... but even then it get's crazy.

How so? I find I still can't keep the players alive without pulling punches.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mage Evolving wrote:
We had played with max hit dice for a while but recently all agreed that it was just too much. Unless you allow all monsters to have max hit dice... but even then it get's crazy.
How so? I find I still can't keep the players alive without pulling punches.

I think thats a sign that either your tactics, or your understanding of how to build effective characters are much higher than those of your players. Alternately, maybe your players are under-equipped.

Alot of players don't know how to take advantage of the terrain and such in d20. I've been in many games where the GM and Players all just gloss over the section with terrain, and expect to charge in and kill everything, kick the door in kill the monsters style... which works, so long as the monsters do that too. If the monsters are playing smart with terrain, the players most definitely need to up their strategy to compensate.

I listened to a podcast with a party of 5 well equipped characters, of level 6 or 7. They encountered a layer in a dungeon filled with kobolds. They assumed the kobolds would be no problem. Thing is; the kobolds nearly tpked them, and it wasnt just an overwhelming force of kobolds, nor did they have class levels. The GM studied tactics alot, and had the kobolds using hit and run tactics, and setting off traps. The players couldn't compensate for the tactics, and barely made it to the next level of the dungeon. Luckily the kobolds didn't follow them. They didn't get any of the loot on that level or anything. They ended up fleeing because they couldn't handle a bunch of CR 1/4 monsters, which the numbers would have predicted would be easily exterminated.

I know you've said you're in the military. Perhaps your grasp on group combat tactics is much better than those of your players, and your need for pulling punches is not rules based, but based on you outthinking your players and needing to tone it down for them to keep up; even though according the the CR they should be fine.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I can certainly agree that my player's grasp of tactics is lacking.

Being that I have them on 42 point buy and maxed HD with Kirth's class rewrites.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Mage Evolving wrote:
We had played with max hit dice for a while but recently all agreed that it was just too much. Unless you allow all monsters to have max hit dice... but even then it get's crazy.
How so? I find I still can't keep the players alive without pulling punches.

While I find myself pulling punches every so often I find that most encounters are just blown apart. While the majority of my players are more experienced than myself it's the fact that they excel at working together which makes any little edge they have seem that much greater. They recently tore through an encounter that I thought would end a life or two. But between some serious buffing, well timed healing, and a few choice save or die spells my hill giants folded like set of cheap lawn chairs.

Honestly they are just really good at working as a team and shoring up each others weaknesses. It's infuriating. :)

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:

I can certainly agree that my player's grasp of tactics is lacking.

Being that I have them on 42 point buy and maxed HD with Kirth's class rewrites.

42 point buy? ... o_o Thats... Staggering.

I dont use point buy, generally, (I use my card method above), though I once used 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 as the possible array for that. its 32 points for that array, which is possibly the most expensive possible with this, but they could have also gotten 18 point buy from it (13s across the board) theoretically, since they had 2 of each 4-9 to work from. I also made an array out of it that I found reasonable that they could take if they didn't like what they drew as cards. I find that number was way too high. I cant imagine 42 point buy. I'm considering basing the available attribute points on the elite array for my next campaign.
(Curious about Kirth's class rewrites though..)

That example is both horrifying and hilarious. After the fact did you manage to point out the myriad of solutions they had to solve the problem? (I would have, with the hope that it makes them think about their capabilities more in the future and come up with ways to achieve their goals with what they have.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Darkholme wrote:


That example is both horrifying and hilarious. After the fact did you manage to point out the myriad of solutions they had to solve the problem? (I would have, with the hope that it makes them think about their capabilities more in the future and come up with ways to achieve their goals with what they have.)

I certainly did, although I had to be careful considering how punchy we all were about the encounter. I also had to take a day to replay things and realize all the options they had. At the table I was a little too distracted to think of them all.

You can find all of Kirth's material here. I think you'll like his weapon rules.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Darkholme wrote:


That example is both horrifying and hilarious. After the fact did you manage to point out the myriad of solutions they had to solve the problem? (I would have, with the hope that it makes them think about their capabilities more in the future and come up with ways to achieve their goals with what they have.)

I certainly did, although I had to be careful considering how punchy we all were about the encounter. I also had to take a day to replay things and realize all the options they had. At the table I was a little too distracted to think of them all.

You can find all of Kirth's material here. I think you'll like his weapon rules.

Yeah. I hear you. I've had encounters like that. Particularly one where the players were being rather irritating but didnt want to cut the game short and were in a particularly foul mood. They ignored a large number of plot hooks, and so I eventually just threw the plot and boss fight at their feet to end the session. They had a hard time with the "boss fight" which consisted of a wizard who they at this point had no reason to try to kill instead of talk to, yet thats what they tried for. The wizard was a 12 year old human girl, but of decently high level. She wasnt a villain so much as a sidequest. SHe was avoiding using combat spells on them, and was flying and using defensive spells. almost entirely. I believe she used suggestion or charm or something to make the party barbarian stop attacking her. Eventually they had almost killed her, and she looked scared and teleported away. One of the players started yelling and screaming because he perceived the fight to be unfair; but in my opinion the blame for that rests on his lap. The party was in little to no risk of dying in that encounter, due to the prepared spells. They were also had a very low chance of killing her. I still game with the guy, but its definitely a sour memory, and I'm always careful when GMing around him now, and it was a big learning experience. if I end up with a session that starts going like that where the players are ignoring the plot and just trying to kill things and randomly being irate, I'm going to tell them we're done for the night, and tell everyone to go home and cool off. and I will cite the last time as my explanation. It's really not worth the stress and ruining my night/the session I prepared.


Darkholme wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

I can certainly agree that my player's grasp of tactics is lacking.

Being that I have them on 42 point buy and maxed HD with Kirth's class rewrites.

42 point buy? ... o_o Thats... Staggering.

I dont use point buy, generally, (I use my card method above), though I once used 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 as the possible array for that. its 32 points for that array, which is possibly the most expensive possible with this, but they could have also gotten 18 point buy from it (13s across the board) theoretically, since they had 2 of each 4-9 to work from. I also made an array out of it that I found reasonable that they could take if they didn't like what they drew as cards. I find that number was way too high. I cant imagine 42 point buy. I'm considering basing the available attribute points on the elite array for my next campaign.
(Curious about Kirth's class rewrites though..)

That example is both horrifying and hilarious. After the fact did you manage to point out the myriad of solutions they had to solve the problem? (I would have, with the hope that it makes them think about their capabilities more in the future and come up with ways to achieve their goals with what they have.)

I can't imagine TOZ is talking 42 in PF, are you TOZ? 42 sounds like my 3.5 houserule, the 'Heroic array'; 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17. That's the 'Elite array' with +2 across the board, and it works out to 43 point buy in 3.5.


Power Word Unzip wrote:

I was about to post why I disagreed until I realized that you just meant not to draw cards on every fumble. That's actually a very salient point, and one I will take under advisement in my next PFRPG game. I don't know that I would restrict it to just the first attack, but a limit of one fumble card per full attack does seem reasonable.

(On the other hand, some of the funniest moments in our games have arisen from PCs - and NPCs and monsters - with BABs of 11+ rolling multiple fumbles!)

Limiting it to one fumble per turn still drastically increases the chances of a fumble for characters who make more than one attack on a full attack. Limiting it to just the first attack negates this change. I also allow PCs to abort to a standard attack if they do fumble on the first swing, they may choose to use that remaining move action to deal with the consequences.

This is the rule I use with the fumble deck as well. My party loves chaotic combat. You do need to be careful with fumble rules, though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Can'tFindthePath wrote:


I can't imagine TOZ is talking 42 in PF, are you TOZ?

One should always remember I play 3.x, not PF. So yes, it is using 3.5 point buy scores.


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Limiting it to one fumble per turn still drastically increase the chances of a fumble for characters who make more than one attack on a full attack. Limiting it to just the first attack negates this change. I also allow PCs to abort to a standard attack if they do fumble on the first swing, they may choose to use that remaining move action to deal with the consequences.

This is the rule I use with the fumble deck as well. My party loves chaotic combat. You do need to be careful with fumble rules, though.

But doesn't the possibility of an automatically-confirmed crit on many of those rolls (which is one of my other house rules I posted - and we don't use the crit deck, just the fumble deck) counter-weight the fumble hazard with more chances at a beneficial result? My monsters and NPCs abide by these rules, too, so it isn't like it's just the players getting boned on a nat 1.


Power Word Unzip wrote:
But doesn't the possibility of an automatically-confirmed crit on many of those rolls (which is one of my other house rules I posted - and we don't use the crit deck, just the fumble deck) counter-weight the fumble hazard with more chances at a beneficial result? My monsters and NPCs abide by these rules, too, so it isn't like it's just the players getting boned on a nat 1.

If you're cool with that, you're cool with that. I have a knife-throwing rogue and a monk in my party. TWF + rapid shot, or flurry of blows, there is not really a good reason these PCs should be risking a fumble most turns they full attack. Fumbling is fun and exciting in moderation, but if a character rolls 6 or 7 times a turn, he's never going to reach the end of a full attack run!

It seems unfair to me that certain combat styles would fumble more through no fault of their own. If you want to rectify that, make it so that only the first roll of the turn counts, which gives everyone a level playing field regardless of style or tactics.

It's your game, so if you're happy with the crit tradeoff, that sounds fine, but I wouldn't want it. I can't grok "you're worse because you're better".


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Two more skill points per level for PCs and named NPCs. Pathfinder is better in this regard than 3.5 but that's not saying much; never enough skill points!

While I do not recommend these changes in general--they are meant to support a specific style of play--we kill almost every way a PC could fly except for flying mounts and shapeshifting. No Fly, Gaseous Form, Wind Walk. Also every way a PC could teleport except for fixed gates: no Teleport, Dimension Door, Shadow Walk, etc. I find this makes terrain a lot more interesting and meaningful. My Kingmaker group cares about the state of their road network, which I'm sure they would not if they could Teleport.

Again, not a general recommendation, but we move Raise Dead to 6th and substitute a within-one-minute Cure Deadly at 5th. (Note that it matters what this spell is called: if it is called Cure Deadly you can spontaneous cast it, if it's called Revivify you can't. I prefer the former.) I would rather save PC lives with Fate Points or some such mechanism than with easy Raise Dead, which has far-reaching repercussions for the game world.

No Read Magic. I just don't see the point. Also no Identify; items are either trivial to identify or need analysis. (Most are trivial. I got very tired of Identify several campaigns ago.)

Expensive material components only. (And, frankly, not all of those.)

We treat animal companions as being fairly smart, not limited to just a short list of tricks. (The player is expected to roleplay them, though; they don't just do what the character wants all the time.)

House rule I'd like to see the most: some way to avoid the item-shuffling that sets in at the mid-levels and just gets worse and worse. "Well, we have a +4 Cha headband, can anyone use that? Okay, if Sue trades her helmet to Chris, and her ring to Eric, she can have the headband--no, wait, Eric needs to give his other ring to Sue or he doesn't have enough ring slots, so...where was I anyway? Let's just sell the rotten thing, okay? Using it is too much work." Plus, since each character seems to absolutely need a certain level of stat backers, AC and save backers in order to be viable, all the interesting little mementos that PCs picked up earlier get sold off to free the slots for the boring essential items. I hate this, but I don't see how to fix it short of going back to Iron Heroes. (Which my player would do, but I need proper caster rules to be happy, and it doesn't have them.)

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:


I can't imagine TOZ is talking 42 in PF, are you TOZ?
One should always remember I play 3.x, not PF. So yes, it is using 3.5 point buy scores.

Ah. You learn something new every day. I saw that your examples included 3.5 stuff, but I just assumed you were GMing Pathfinder and allowing your players to ALSO use 3.x stuff, either with a conversion or without. 42 point buy in 3.x is alot more reasonable than 42 point buy in PFRPG. lol.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Resetting my game

An alternate 'build' has been suggested by someone unlikely to be playing: X points to build a starting character with an additional point at every level rather than the Stat bumps every four levels. A level 4 would be a +3 point character. By 8, we're talking +7 points more, etc. The tweek to this is that the cost of Stats from basic build remain.

Thoughts?


Our group usually gets rid of the weight limits so we can carry as much stuff as we want.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My house rules :

Luck wrote:


All characters have a Luck Attribute. LUCK is generated by rolling 3d6. Each +1 of luck or -1 of luck can be used once per game session (+'s by the player, -'s by the GM). A use of either can do any of the following
a) Autoconfirm a possible critical (either player's (+) or enemy's (-)).
b) Negate a confirmed critical (either enemy's (+) or player's (-)).
c) Reroll a failure (either player's (+) or enemy's (-)).
d) Negate a critical failure (either player's (+) or enemy's (-)).
e) Autoconfirm a possible critical failure (either enemy's (+) or player's (-)).
f) Auto-stabilize at negative (either player (+) or enemy (-)). When used by an enemy, the PC's believe he is dead.
Detect Magic wrote:


Detect Magic cannot sense illusion spells until the character interacts with the illusion, until then, the illusion fools the player's senses and prevents the detect magic spell from alerting them to the aura of the illusion. An item that has been enchanted with an illusion spell, but which is not actively using it's abilities, can still be sensed by
detect magic.
Attribute Points wrote:


Attribute points given every 4th level can, at the players choice, be traded in for a feat. However, the player may not do this twice in a row. For example, if he traded in his 4th level attribute for a feat, he would have to take the 8th level stat adjustment, but could trade in his 12th for a feat.
Initiative wrote:


Initiative rolls are on a turn by turn basis. To compensate for this, any ability which allows you to specially adjudicate an initiative roll (such as an ability that allows you to roll two dice and take the better) are in effect for the entire combat they are used in.
Summoners wrote:


Summoner's do not use the base class specification, instead, they use my rewritten class.
Teleport wrote:


Teleport requires a specific Teleport Node as the destination. Use the chart below instead of the one in the core book. Each node has a strength rating, from 1 to 10. This rating is added to the caster's effective caster level when casting Teleport while standing on a node. Teleporting without a node is very contraindicated by your insurance company, as BAD THINGS HAPPEN when you do it.
Weapon Groups wrote:


The game will use weapon groups. Here are how weapon groups work.
When you take your first level in a class, you gain a number of weapon group proficiencies based on that classes BAB progression as listed below. All characters are proficient in Unarmed Combat (punches), and in any natural weapons they posess (such as claws on a Catfolk). All characters are also proficient with Simple weapons. Full BAB classes get 4 weapon groups (see Fighter class), 3/4 BAB classes gain 2 weapon groups, and 1/2 BAB classes get 1 weapon group. You can choose Exotic Weapon Group for any group they already have. All feats that work for a single weapon type instead work for groups (IE: Weapon Focus (light blades), Exotic Weapon (Hammers), Weapon Specialization (Bows)).


Instead of rolling for hit points, characters get (1/2 HD +1) HPs instead of rolling. For example, a character with a d10 HD gets 6 HP instead of rolling. Characters still get the max HP at 1st level. I absolutely hate rolling for hit points. It's just too important a stat to be determined randomly, IMO.

Rolls of natural 20s on attack rolls don't need to be re-rolled to "confirm" a critical hit.

There is no "death from massive damage." I always hated that rule. So I have over 100 HP, but I can die from taking 50+ damage? Ridiculous.

Animal companions, familiars, summoned monsters, and other "pets" act on the same initiative turn as their master.

A character can only use one summoning spell at a time and such spells can only summon one creature at a time. Few things are worse than a player that summons monster after monster to hog all of the spotlight and time at the table.

I allow Paladins to be of any alignment. I don't see why only LG deities would have divine champions fighting for their cause. Of course, palaidins working for neutral or evil deities get some different abilities. In fact, I prefer to ignore alignment requirements on core classes altogether. If someone wants to be a lawful barbarian with a strong code of honor and a fierce devotion to his tribal traditions (all of which are lawful traits), why not?

When I DM, I like to get rid of alignment-based spells. Instead of targeting alignments, such spells target creature types, such as undead, fey, elementals, fiends, etc. So a character could cast Magic Circle against Elementals, for example. Good Paladins can detect and smite "Creatures of Darkness" instead of evil, which includes demons, devils, fiendish creatures, undead and priests/paladins devoted to the gods of darkness (because they have been infused with negative energy by their god).


Treantmonk wrote:


Generally, I skip over die rolling whenever possible. For example, if a PC role plays an exceptional bluff, I won't make him roll, but if he can't think of a good bluff, I'll let him roll the skill instead.

I agree with this, but there are times when I rule a character can't come up with such great bluffs, etc. In fact, I once had a player who was playing a super-stupid barbarian. Every time he said anything that was too smart I made him roll a check to see if he would be able to come up with such a thing (with a penalty due to his INT), sometimes he sounded like a genius, other times he had to revise it and sounded utterly hopeless.

As for houserules, I use a flat array: 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 before racial mods. I usually allow for a bit of point swapping if they have a particular character in mind and aren't just min-maxing. For instance, that barbarian was somewhat min-maxed (terrible INT, high STR and CON), but he roleplayed it well so I didn't mind.

Also, in a 3.5 campaign that I've joined recently the DM has a lot of modifications. One I particularly like is allowing the purchase of a feat for 4 skill points. Allows more customization. Of course you can only purchase one such feat per level, and no one is abusing it. I'm playing a swashbuckler/rogue and I've only bought one feat.


FallingIcicle wrote:


I allow Paladins to be of any alignment. I don't see why only LG deities would have divine champions fighting for their cause. Of course, palaidins working for neutral or evil deities get some different abilities. In fact, I prefer to ignore alignment requirements on core classes altogether. If someone wants to be a lawful barbarian with a strong code of honor and a fierce devotion to his tribal traditions (all of which are lawful traits), why not?

When I DM, I like to get rid of alignment-based spells. Instead of targeting alignments, such spells target creature types, such as undead, fey, elementals, fiends, etc. So a character could cast Magic Circle against Elementals, for example. Good Paladins can detect and smite "Creatures of Darkness" instead of evil, which includes demons, devils, fiendish creatures, undead and priests/paladins devoted to the gods of darkness (because they have been infused with negative energy by their god).

The game I just joined the DM got rid of alignment entirely. I sort of like alignment, though I agree about generally getting rid of restrictions. The ones I do keep are specifically related to class features: clerics have spell restrictions and have to align with deity. Also, I like the idea of other pally alignments, but I usually rule that they have to be an extreme (CG, LG, CE, LE) and be a paragon of that alignment (basically, the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana substitutions). But I like your take on lawful barbarians.

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