Kirthfinder - World of Warriorcraft Houserules


Homebrew and House Rules

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
By the way, my cat just carefully looked over the Races document, walked right in front of me, and used the keyboard to rename the GOBLIN as R5TTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Is everyone cool with that, or should I change it back?

Please change it back. My groups get distracted by silly stuff often enough as it is.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
That reminds me -- if people are actually using these rules at home, any feedback you can give me is extremely valuable. (Preferably things like "X doesn't work for us because of Y," rather than "We like um lol," because my ego is big enough already and because I'd like to fix problems that will inevitably come up.)

Is that an open invitation to tear at this ruleset like a powergamer as opposed to starting with a character concept first like a gentleman?


Tahlreth wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
By the way, my cat just carefully looked over the Races document, walked right in front of me, and used the keyboard to rename the GOBLIN as R5TTTTTTTTTTTTTT. Is everyone cool with that, or should I change it back?

Please change it back. My groups get distracted by silly stuff often enough as it is.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
That reminds me -- if people are actually using these rules at home, any feedback you can give me is extremely valuable. (Preferably things like "X doesn't work for us because of Y," rather than "We like um lol," because my ego is big enough already and because I'd like to fix problems that will inevitably come up.)
Is that an open invitation to tear at this ruleset like a powergamer as opposed to starting with a character concept first like a gentleman?

It appears to be! Come brothers, let loose the dogs of war!


Yes! If stuff is broken right out of the box, it's not the DM's job to fix that -- it's the developer's (in other words, mine, in this case!). So if there are outrageous exploits that are totally rules-legal, which people are keeping under control by "gentleman's agreement," I'd much rather keep them under control by amending the rules as needed.

Caveat: Exploits that blatantly ignore and/or willfully misinterpret certain rules are less helpful. If feat A does X, and feat B does Y, an exploit based on a claim that "I decided to read feat A as doing X and Y instead" isn't rules-legal.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Character CR ... Level Title

1st – 5th ... Journeyman
6th – 10th ... Hero
11th – 15th ... Champion
16th – 20th ... Demigod

A journeyman-level character is a competent adventurer of no great worldwide fame.

A hero has established a great reputation for mighty deeds, and is likely to be known in songs and legends; pseudo-historical figures such as Charlemagne’s paladins, Robin Hood at the peak of his career, and so on, are presented in legend as hero-level characters. This is the maximum level range for any "realistic" framework.

Champion-level characters operate on a scale that cannot be modeled in real-world terms, and leave real-world expectations largely behind. For this reason, many groups will prefer to stop play sometime at or before reaching this level. A champion-level character is one of the greatest adventurers in the world, and will be called upon to save nations, invade other planes, etc.

You know you've just described the principal statement surrounding the E6 preference, right? There are plenty of spin-offs and Pathfinder variants, but I believe the original (and the reasoning behind it) can be found here.

Not saying this is good or bad, but just wanted to point out the parallel.


Re: exploding dice, I'm not sure how this would solve the issue you describe, Kirth.

The issue as I understand it is that a character who doesn't focus on a particular skill or ability gets to the point where it is highly unlikely that they can succeed at that ability in higher levels. So unlikely that it can be assumed that they reliably cannot perform the related action. The only way to succeed in the action is if you use the critical success rule that a natural 20 automatically succeeds.

That's the current Kirthfinder rule, right? I believe that's what we used at the table.

However, it seems to me that exploding dice actually give less a chance of success than critical success. Crits give a 5% chance of automatically succeeding, while exploding dice give a 5% chance of maybe succeeding. What am I missing?


Tahlreth wrote:
Is that an open invitation to tear at this ruleset like a powergamer as opposed to starting with a character concept first like a gentleman?

It really is. He loves to be challenged on stuff like this.

Liberty's Edge

Andostre, there's no auto-success on skill checks, so it helps well with that. The main question is for things like saving throws and attack rolls, which I think should be much more comparable in Kirthfinder than vanilla Pathfinder because of various powered-up feats and class abilities.


Yeah, it would mostly be for skills, because (a) there's no auto-success/auto-fail in the Core rules, as Alice notes (and you can't really do that with anything that involves opposed checks, if you want to avoid paradoxes). Also, (b) Skill Focus, by increasing the critical range to 19-20, gives a much better chance of adding the extra dice.

For saving throws, Improved Iron Will, etc. could also increase the critical success range -- that would mean that people might actually take those feats!

For attack rolls, maybe Critical Focus could also increase the extra dice range to 19-20, or maybe use the weapon's crit range after all?


Andostre wrote:
You know you've just described the principal statement surrounding the E6 preference, right? There are plenty of spin-offs and Pathfinder variants, but I believe the original (and the reasoning behind it) can be found here.

Nice! I was aware of what E6 was, but not that their perception of "tiers" of play was exactly the same as mine -- although I have to admit that I like my names better. Thanks for the link!


Kirth Gersen wrote:

For saving throws, Improved Iron Will, etc. could also increase the critical success range -- that would mean that people might actually take those feats!

For attack rolls, maybe Critical Focus could also increase the extra dice range to 19-20, or maybe use the weapon's crit range after all?

I think it would be neat to have them give a choice to either increase the exploding range or increase the exploding dice (by some amount that is roughly equivalent to increasing the range). Makes a fun choice (having higher reliability or higher top-end) that should be mostly equal, but still worth taking.

Maybe even make them allow you to remove the chance of critical failure, though that might be a bit strong/defeat the purpose of having it in the first place.

As for the PP discussion upthread, much as I would like the ability to pick and choose some of the paladin stuff as Fighter Talents, I feel like that would remove some of its flavor. You could probably put a couple of paladin-like abilities in the Fighter Talents to allow a more divine-knight feel, but that can be pretty easily covered with a fighter/cleric or fighter/incarnate multiclass already (while also grabbing some of the knight related talents).


Kirth Gersen wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:
4e solution: you automatically raise every skill
Then you've still got 10th level guys who can auto-succeed against 1st level guys. I want the 10th level guys to be 10x better, not infinity times better! And you can only do that if the range of random numbers is larger than the maximum bonus size.

If you get an bonus equal to half your level like in 4E, a 10th level guy will only have +5 more than a 1st level guy. That doesn't seem unreasonable. Add in some specialization, the difference might be +10. Again, ok imo. At 20th level, those numbers would be around +10 difference, with +15 for specialization. That's ok for a 20 level difference.

Kirth, I have been thinking about a way of doing the "½lvl bonus to all skill" thing. I'm not there yet, but was going to include my thoughts when I give you feedback on the Skills document.

Concerning exploding dice and opposed rolls:
Hackmaster 5E is doing opposed rolls and exploding dice. A 20th lvl fighter only has a +10 bonus in what corresponds to BAB. All dice explode, the next die you roll, you subtract one from the result, i.e. roll an 8 on a d8, you roll one more d8, subtracting 1, for a result of + 0-7. If you get an exploding d20, you roll a d6, not an additional d20. Guess feats could increase that die.
Just something to consider.

If we're going percentile, why not used Rolemasters openended and low-openended dice? Crazy things could be done with feats and Hero Points here as well.


I was doing a little more thinking on this exploding dice idea. I thinking exploding/imploding into a d10 is a nice round value for checks and saves. Min of +/-1, Avg of +/-5.5, Max of +/-10. That allows you to reach DC30 checks before your skill bonus, which seems to be either the high cap or the high-avg for most of your skill checks in Kirthfinder. I don't think you need to keep exploding beyond that, as that's a pretty decent range of numbers, not to mention the story-telling ramifications of someone that is completely untrained in a skill miraculously being able to jump 30+ feet or something similar.

This got me thinking about exploding dice and attack rolls though. It makes sense to implode on a natural 1 attack roll, but exploding on a crit feels a little funny/complicated. You would now have 3 rolls instead of 2; Roll nat 20, roll confirmation, then what? Roll d10 with confirmation roll (at same time, to save time)? Roll d10 after confirmation roll fails to determine success of hit (because auto-hit has been removed)? Typing it out, I guess it doesn't seem that much of a hassle, as it seemed in my head...

Roll 20, roll confirmation and d10 at same time. If d20 does not confirm without d10, then treat as normal attack and add d10 result to determine hit success. Adding the d10 to the confirmation roll seems a little too powerful. Thoughts?

----------

As with skill bonuses, an idea to rake in the bonuses a bit is to have skills grant a +1 bonus per two skill ranks. But if a skill is a class skill, then you also add your class level to the skill. At 1st level, you would get a +3 for trained class, +1 for class, +0 for ranks, plus your stat bonus, avg of +6 at 1st level. Same as how it is now, but class skills mean more (which helps out the rogue considerably). At 20th level and 20 ranks, you get a +23 bonus, same as before. If a class has a class feature that gives a bonus to a skill, then it adds its full class level to that skill, instead of half. This would still give you +30 at max level, same as before.

Another option is to change the "trained class" bonus to a simple +3 bonus if you put 1 rank into any skill, removing the bonus for "trained class" skills. This allows you to expand your skill set beyond your class skills, and not be totally gimped.

Number crunching...

Class Skill
Level 1/1 ranks = 1 level + 0 ranks + 3 trained = +4
Level 2/2 ranks = 2 level + 1 ranks + 3 trained = +6
Level 3/3 ranks = 3 level + 1 ranks + 3 trained = +7
Level 4/4 ranks = 4 level + 2 ranks + 3 trained = +9
Level 5/5 ranks = 5 level + 2 ranks + 3 trained = +10
And so on...

Non-Class Skill
Level 1/1 ranks = 0 level + 0 ranks + 3 trained = +3
Level 2/2 ranks = 0 level + 1 ranks + 3 trained = +4
Level 3/3 ranks = 0 level + 1 ranks + 3 trained = +4
Level 4/4 ranks = 0 level + 2 ranks + 3 trained = +5
Level 5/5 ranks = 0 level + 2 ranks + 3 trained = +5
And so on...

Perhaps Skill Focus or a similar feat can provide a scaling bonus similar to Toughness; +1 bonus to chosen skill per skill rank, instead of per two skill ranks. Perhaps still keep the +10 max skill rank bonus limit though? Maybe have Skill Focus add a flat +3 if chosen skill is class skill, but have the scaling bonus if not a class skill.

This change kind of shifts the relevancy of class skills back to the class itself, instead of allowing anyone to have decent skill bonuses outside of class skills (with specifically Rogue Perception bonus vs. other class Perception bonus in mind, keeping the Rogue's trap finding ability far ahead of everyone else, making it more relevant).

This does however, hamper a character's ability to expand their skills beyond their class skills, mostly hurting the classes with low skill points per level and fewer class skill lists. That is, unless, you consider the class bonus to class skills a way to drop a couple of ranks in a skill, and then expand elsewhere, but still keep the class skill relevant even if they don't EVER further their training it. This system might offer more flexibility than before, actually, depending on how you look at it I suppose. Thoughts?

Sort of just thinking aloud here, as I have been pondering this for my own homebrew setting.


One option is to simply replace a few of the bonus plusses with bonus dice.

So it's a class skill? +1d6. You've got skill focus? +1d6, or +1d12 if you have 10 or more ranks.


Ilja wrote:

One option is to simply replace a few of the bonus plusses with bonus dice.

So it's a class skill? +1d6. You've got skill focus? +1d6, or +1d12 if you have 10 or more ranks.

That's an interesting idea to replace static bonuses... very interesting indeed. I will play around with this idea a little bit.


My issue with non-contested skills is the DC typically is too high at low levels and trivial at high levels unless artificially inflated for no particular meta reason other than they're trivial.

(Seriously, why is opening a lock harder at 20 than at 1? Some superduper metamagiced uber lock on a commoners house? just to keep the party rogue sweating?!?)

Anyway, my thought on the matter is, DCs should all be low - or lower than they are now, and stay that way. The thing that should change is the amount of time something takes.

Lockpicking, for instance. Simple lock: DC 5, Complex: DC 10, Superior: DC 15. That's it. Just that it takes 10 rounds to open it. Now, if you want to open it faster, increase the DC by 5 for every round you reduce (or more realistically, roll the skill and see how long it takes.) Rogue: "I got a 32 on my lockpicking" DM: "Great, it's a simple lock, DC 5, it takes you 5 rounds to open it." The DM would then check to see if any guards are passing by, checking their passive Perception against the rogue's Stealth check (if he remembered to do it stealthily) etc etc.

I'd also alter the knowledge checks accordingly. Level to CR par (to make it easy, for this purpose only, call level = CR of creature. If par, DC 5 knowledge check to know about the creature. +/- 5 DC for every CR to Level difference (and stop at CR 1; don't continue providing penalties for 1/2, 1/3 etc.) Again, the knowledge check takes 10 rounds, as the player studies the subject. Increase the DC by 5 for every round shortened (again, roll the skill to see how long it takes). The longer it takes, the more likely the subject will notice - not a big deal if you're trying to ascertain the royal crest on some knight in a crowd - a larger deal if it's an undead stalking your camp...

I also think that critical success and failure should work for skills. Even the most badass of scouts might flub a stealth check if at the critical moment, he's kicked in the shins by his woman - or gets tangled in his dog's leash... whatever. The same with the ninja-esque woman and the cookie thief... maybe the cat ran in front of the tv, knocking the rabbit ears on the ground, interrupting Days of Our Lives and the kid wins the skirmish...

Most skills aren't so critical that a one time 1 will negate any chance of future success - and if it does, it creates more drama and story anyway.


BTW - at Kirth: Magical Talent has been DM modified to not allow cross genre spells - you pick your spell list: Wizard, Cleric, Druid, Bard - and you're stuck with that list. You also stuck with whatever list you have if you're a caster - so wizards can't pick up cleric spells regardless.

It makes it less broken - though it's by far my most favorite feat ever, because it's soo darn versatile. Initially had a sorcerer with CLW unlimited... DM said it'd make the clerics cry (and obviously negate the need for wands).

DM btw is Heliopolix - he rocks.


Theodoxus wrote:
DM btw is Heliopolix - he rocks.

That he does! I LOVE having him in the play-by-post, and hope when/if that ends he'll reciprocate.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Theodoxus wrote:
DM btw is Heliopolix - he rocks.
That he does! I LOVE having him in the play-by-post, and hope when/if that ends he'll reciprocate.

Thanks for the compliments!

Prepping for my local game takes most of the free time I have for PRG stuff. I've considered running a PbP, but that will probably have to wait until I've got my degree (so a few years still) when I have more free time. Content to just kick ass and take names in the current PbP till then.

Not sure why Theo's so cheerful... Recently, I've turned his sorcerer to stone (he got better) and abducted their cleric to Abaddon (with the fighter's cohort, no less). Currently, their fighter is cursed and is about to turn into a graveknight, they are being hunted by assassins and vampires, and they're stuck trying to help someone (a malevolent hag) who'd already murdered half the party once. To top it off, none of that other stuff really matters, as they are all probably going to die facing down a Pit Fiend this coming Friday, so there's that. Anyways, kudos on your optimism!


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Arthun wrote:
I don't know how soon I will get to using the rules - but be sure that I will let you kow

Awesome!

I wish you years of happy gaming!

Question for you, Kirth. How well does the Wisdom for ranged attacks work in your games?


Something I've noticed while building the boss monster for Friday: Since battle fatigue reduces most other defenses, why doesn't it lower SR as well (analogous to AC vs spells)? Offensively, it lowers caster-level checks to penetrate SR, so the converse should be true for balance.


heliopolix wrote:
Something I've noticed while building the boss monster for Friday: Since battle fatigue reduces most other defenses, why doesn't it lower SR as well (analogous to AC vs spells)? Offensively, it lowers caster-level checks to penetrate SR, so the converse should be true for balance.

That makes a lot of sense to me; the short answer is, "because I never thought of it."


Insanity Logic wrote:
Question for you, Kirth. How well does the Wisdom for ranged attacks work in your games?

It didn't really affect the casters, because their ranged spells are usually touch anyway, and it didn't really affect the melee guys, because the ranged weapons weren't a mainstay. I really liked it when TOZ had an archer ranger, because then he invested in Wisdom, which gave him a nice boost to his spellcasting. In designing NPCs, it means that I can't dump Wisdom with quite the same abandon I used to, unless I'm willing to spend a feat on Reflexive Shot. (I also notice it makes for great sentries, because the high Wis ties in with Perception checks!)

As an aside, I think Alice's group still uses Dex for ranged weapons, and uses Wis for initiative instead, and I think that's working out pretty well for them.

P.S. I'm still kind of torn on what attribute to use for thrown weapons. One suggestion was to use Wis, to keep ranged attacks similar; another was to keep it Dex; my preference was to use Str to make barbarians really good axe-throwers.


I like the idea of Wisdom for initiative, but Str for thrown weapon accuracy, not so much.


Arakhor wrote:
I like the idea of Wisdom for initiative, but Str for thrown weapon accuracy, not so much.

There's stuff to like and dislike about all of them. Personally, I'm agile as hell, but I can't hit a target with a ball or knife or hatchet to save my life. But I see a bunch of clumsy oafs on a football field neatly dropping the ball directly into the hands of a moving teammate from half a field away. What am I supposed to think? I suppose WIS could work, too (spatial orientation and so on), but from the standpoint of synergy with things you're likely to want to do, STR works better for me. It's still DEX for now in the written rules, but I still dislike that.


To be honest, I like the idea of Str for thrown weapons more than I do Wis for ranged weapons, which isn't much of an endorsement, but I do see your point.


I don't really like Wis to ranged attacks, but I see it fit as balance-wise between stats (it decreases the value of Dex a bit, a gives something to Wis which is nerfed a bit; although thinking about Wis to Initiative). Str for thrown attacks I like, but will you then make a feat that can use double stats for attack/damage (like the Power Throw is doing now)?

Liberty's Edge

My group (while it lived; unfortunately university tends to get in the road of playing for extended periods) stuck with Dex to ranged attacks (including thrown attacks) and Wis (general Perceptiveness and clear-mindedness) to Initiative indeed, which turned out to my liking! Worth a shot for anyone not too fussed on Wis to ranged attacks.

Str to thrown weapons I like in concept, but I honestly just prefer a single attribute for ranged attacks - it makes it easier to remember. That and it also gives Str-based warriors the ability to now have a pretty damn strong ranged option out of the box and allowing them to relatively ignore their Wis/Dex scores... I think I'd prefer people to consolidate stats using a feat rather than it being "free".

I've been thinking of making/posting a few random characters of mine under the Kirthfinder ruleset after my exams are over. Easy way to find some oddities in the rules as well as providing GMs with some example NPCs to steal. :)


Alice Margatroid wrote:
I've been thinking of making/posting a few random characters of mine under the Kirthfinder ruleset after my exams are over. Easy way to find some oddities in the rules as well as providing GMs with some example NPCs to steal. :)

I went back to a bunch of my old 1e/2e characters and started converting them -- having lots of fun with it! I think houstonderek did that years ago with all of his, too.


A feat to apply Str to thrown weapons (default: Dex) I could get behind. I'm definitely not sold on Wis to ranged attacks though.


Here's an idea I've been mulling over...

This coincides with a system that works thusly:

Anytime you roll a natural 20 on a d20 roll, you roll 1d10 and add the result to your roll. Anytime you roll a natural 1 on a d20 roll, you roll 1d10 and subtract the result from your roll.

--------------

On a weapon attack roll, you score a critical hit if you hit your opponent by 10 or more, and critical hits are automatically confirmed.

Changes to existing mechanics:
- Abilities that give you a bonus to confirmation rolls instead are added to your attack roll result when determining whether or not you hit a target by 10 or more, but do not actually affect your attack roll result. For example, you roll a 10 with a +9 attack bonus (19). Your target has 13 AC, so you hit, but not by 10 or more(19 - 13 = 6). With a +4 bonus to confirmation rolls in the current system, you would treat your attack roll result as 23, scoring a critical hit (23 - 13 = 10). If you had rolled a 3 (result of 3 + 9 = 12), with a +4 confirmation bonus, you would not hit the target, as the confirmation bonus is not an attack bonus.

- Abilities that automatically confirm a critical hit would instead allow you to maximize your weapon damage on a critical hit, extra damage is not maximized.

- Critical Threat ranges would instead increase the natural d20 value that would grant you the extra d10 to your attack roll. For example, when using a scimitar (18-20 threat range), rolling an 18, 19, or 20 would grant you the extra d10 to your attack roll.

GOALS of the Mechanic:
- Allow critical hits to happen more often without requiring a wide-threat weapon.
- Get more use of your Crit Feats.
- Rewards teamwork and tactics to get those bonuses to attack rolls or to reduce a target's AC (Aid Another can help someone crit, essentially).
- Crit more often on weaker, lower AC targets, speeding up combat.
- Makes combat a little grittier, encouraging players to roleplay out of or avoid more combat encounters.

Thoughts?


Arakhor wrote:

1. A feat to apply Str to thrown weapons (default: Dex) I could get behind.

2. I'm definitely not sold on Wis to ranged attacks though.

1. That's exactly how it is currently set up.

2. We went over and over the reasons for this when the change was made, and, while your group can change anything you like (as Alice's did), Wis for projectiles will not be changing in my home games (or the master documents) unless a new group of players votes it out.


Oh, I quite understand, Kirth. It's not a demand that it be changed at all. :)


Sellsword, I totally approve of your "goals" list, but, looking at your proposal, I worry it might (a) introduce a little too much randomness, and/or (b) push everyone into carrying around picks and scythes only, and just maxing out their attack bonuses. I'll definitely have to look at the math some more.


Alice Margatroid wrote:
after my exams are over

Good luck, Alice!


P.S. For people wondering why I don't use Wis for initiative, it's certainly not because of any "realism" -- I find it totally reasonable that awareness would help you act first. From a gamist standpoint, though, I want rogues and fighters (who get a lot of benefit out of Dex) to generally have better initiative than clerics.


So, wait -- I haven't downloaded the Advanced Classes playtest doc yet, because Mrs Gersen managed to knock out my home internet while "fixing" it. But, from the discussion, it looks like the new Investigator class pretty much is the Kirthfinder rogue (rogue + 3/4 casting + bombs). Is that too far off?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sellsword, I totally approve of your "goals" list, but, looking at your proposal, I worry it might (a) introduce a little too much randomness, and/or (b) push everyone into carrying around picks and scythes only, and just maxing out their attack bonuses. I'll definitely have to look at the math some more.

Thanks for your feedback Kirth. Let me know what you come up with, as I will continue to ponder and calculate this out as well.

In response to your concerns:

A) Randomness in terms of what? When crits happen? Spikes in damage? Attack roll values?

B) The desire to carry around wide-threat weapons is already present, as in the current system, a crit always equals at least an automatic hit. I am removing the auto-hit mechanic, balancing that with an increased chance to hit. If anything, this change slightly dulls the shine of wide-threat weapons, bringing their glow more inline with other weapons; reducing their superiority slightly.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
So, wait -- I haven't downloaded the Advanced Classes playtest doc yet, because Mrs Gersen managed to knock out my home internet while "fixing" it. But, from the discussion, it looks like the new Investigator class pretty much is the Kirthfinder rogue (rogue + 3/4 casting + bombs). Is that too far off?

Investigator is rogue with extracts, not bombs (no archetypes yet, so it may be possible), and better skill utility (point-pool system that lets you add +1d6 to skill rolls and ability checks for 1 point, to attack rolls and saves for 2 points, and Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft checks for no point cost if you are trained in those skills.[Some talents increase the list of skills that can gain +1d6 for no point cost.])

Essentially, think Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) with alchemy extracts.


Hey Kirth,

I've been looking to get my home group to import some of your rules, and some of my less system-mastery concerned (flavor over crunch) players are concerned that the changes to the combat flow will overly "complicate" things, and thus make turns take longer. I'm don't really agree with them, for a number of reasons, but it is their concern none-the-less.

I know that you have your egg-timer rule, but I'd rather not use that in my group, and I know they don't like it, though, honestly, I haven't had issues with my players not knowing what they want to do.

Have you (or any of you using these rules) had any troubles with with players going longer without being able to do anything? Or with turns taking appreciably longer because of the changes to the flow of combat?


Melasoul,

At higher levels, each turn in combat probably will take longer, because the martial guys will be holding actions and making all kinds of immediate responses. The good news is, if my experience is any indication, fights won't last very long at those levels (like 2 rounds at most), so overall, combat will still take less time to run.

That said, if your group likes really long fights in which combatants slug it out for like 10 rounds, these probably aren't the right houserules to be using. (Then again, if they're really into flavor, less time spent fighting will give them that much more time to focus on everything else.)


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sellsword, I totally approve of your "goals" list, but, looking at your proposal, I worry it might (a) introduce a little too much randomness, and/or (b) push everyone into carrying around picks and scythes only, and just maxing out their attack bonuses. I'll definitely have to look at the math some more.

options like Power attack gets heavily nerfed (even more than Pathfinder initially did). I don't think the math holds up.


Sellsword, only nat20 is autohit, not any threat.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Melasoul,

At higher levels, each turn in combat probably will take longer, because the martial guys will be holding actions and making all kinds of immediate responses. The good news is, if my experience is any indication, fights won't last very long at those levels (like 2 rounds at most), so overall, combat will still take less time to run.

That said, if your group likes really long fights in which combatants slug it out for like 10 rounds, these probably aren't the right houserules to be using. (Then again, if they're really into flavor, less time spent fighting will give them that much more time to focus on everything else.)

First of all, let me say thanks for all the hard work and that it is good to hear from someone who has been running this for a while.

I was making the argument that while it may make an entire combat round longer, the ability to interrupt another persons turn more easily means that the time between an individual character getting to do something can actually be shorter.

And it is funny, I actually expect these rules to make our combats take more turns, because they've never had problems killing things, it's just been that the fighter and rogue characters usually weren't fully vested in the combat because they were mostly relegated to "Full-attack" and "get into flanking position". I'm not wholesale taking on your house rules, just the following (so far in discussion):
* your combat flow changes (as a player from ADnD, I really like the withholding actions and iterative attack changes)
* a grab-bag of your fighter and rogue changes mixed in with some stuff I was already doing
* most of your feats, with some tweaks (some of my players don't like the auto-success of some of them, like automatically denying actions at 11 ranks in combat reflexes)
* a chunk of your new skill uses
* your changes to equipment proficiencies

I just have kind of an odd group, with two people that love system-mastery, though not at the cost of role-play, and two that love role play and hate needing system mastery. I'm thinking that using these rules, I'm going to be seeing a lot more aid another actions, parries to protect party members, and middle-of-combat in party banter to go along with the actions. Not to mention that I already know one of my players is wanting to go a protect-your-allies turtle-style fighter. That, combined with another player who has always wanted to play a non-mounted long-spear user (that does something other than just trip the opponents), and I think we're going to be seeing a lot more dynamic combats that keep everyone interested.

Finally, are you still taking suggestions on stuff to look at adding?


Melasoul,

Heliopolix is playing a protector-turtle-fighter in the PBP; in combination with the pick-wielding offensive fighter, the two are nigh-unbeatable in a straight-up slug-fest.

Re: suggestions, I am ALWAYS open to them! -- although I of course don't guarantee anything if it's too big a job for me to tackle in my limited free time (e.g., revising the Craft rules), or if it can already be done in some other way, or any of a zillion other reasons...


Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. It is greatly appreciated.

Ilja wrote:
Sellsword, only nat20 is autohit, not any threat.

You're right. I must be thinking of 3.X mechanics... Thank you for pointing that out. I will have to think a bit more on wide-threat weapons and this system then...

Matrix Sorcica wrote:


options like Power attack gets heavily nerfed (even more than Pathfinder initially did). I don't think the math holds up.

You mean because you have to hit by 10 or more to crit, and Power Attack applies up to a -6 attack penalty at 20th level? That certainly does lower your chances to crit slightly, but that is where the extra d10 helps to overcome those penalties. But regardless, you're right, I didn't really think about this implication...

Perhaps exceeding by 5 or more results in a crit then, like skills or combat maneuvers that have extra effects by exceeding by 5 or more?

The problem with any "degree of success" mechanic (aka, "exceeds by X or more") is that penalties to your roll will always lower your chance of succeeding by any degree. This system does, however, already exist with skill checks, and people don't seem to mind.

But maybe that isn't necessarily a bad thing; shouldn't cover or range penalties reduce your chances of hitting a foe's vital spots from a distance (or being critically hit yourself), or landing a really deadly shot? Shouldn't swinging recklessly reduces your chance of landing a really solid, accurate blow in a vital location? Makes sense for sneak attacks, melee or ranged.

Thoughts?

Perhaps we keep the current crit system, minus the auto-hit rule, and only grant the extra d10 on nat-20s, and have it apply to confirmation rolls? That still increases the frequency of critical hits, without increasing the frequency of critical threats. This sort of accomplishes my goals, but to a lesser degree.

I had envisioned designing feats that allow you to "crit" (add the d10) on skill checks, ability checks, or saves at natural values other than 20 (ex. 18-20), like wide-threat weapons. Would it be bad to have wide-threat weapons also get the d10 on non-nat-20s in this case?

Thoughts?


Sellsword, only nat20 was autohit in 3.x too AFAIK. I'm certain in 3.5 and believe the same for 3.0.

But regardless, my recommendation would be to look at the Grim 'n' Gritty ruleset for 3.5, particularly the 3rd version of it if I remember correctly. While the goals there where completely different, a lot of the implementation was the same. Might be worth a read-through at least.


I think your system could work, and there are benefits to it and I have myself thought about similar systems before, but it's not a simple "slap on" houserule like many others are; it's a huge change that would resonate through the whole game, and you'd have to remake most combat classes and feats etc.


Ilja wrote:
I think your system could work, and there are benefits to it and I have myself thought about similar systems before, but it's not a simple "slap on" houserule like many others are; it's a huge change that would resonate through the whole game, and you'd have to remake most combat classes and feats etc.

Which I am doing, actually. Thanks again for the above suggestion, I'll look into it.


Downloaded the Advanced Class Guide playtest document and have been looking through it. So far most of these "hybrids" are already options available in Kirthfinder:

  • Arcanist: Wizard with High Sorcerer esoteric branch. Yeah, you don't get everything the Arcanist does until 20th level, but come on -- there's a limit to what arcane casters should be able to do!
  • Bloodrager: Barbarian/sorcerer with the Bloodline totem I just made up to bridge the gap better than Spirit Totem did.
  • Brawler: Fighter/monk with the Ascetic Warrior talent.
  • Hunter: Druid/ranger with druidical theurgy spellcasting option and aspect of nature initiation.
  • Investigator: Rogue (as is).
  • Shaman: Incarnate/witch with a new Spirit Magic feat for spell theurgy. I added the "theme" hexes to the appropriate incarnate revelations lists, with some beefing/recombining as needed. The "wandering" class features are cool; I might make feats for that.
  • Skald: Bard (skald)/barbarian with the roaring skald lore and rage as a spell known/inspiration.

    I'll post ideas for the others as soon as I finish going through them, but so far I feel pretty good that I can add an entire book worth of options by adding a couple paragraphs of text.

    BLOODLINE TOTEM

    Spoiler:
    Pick a sorcerer bloodline (q.v.); your totem is represented by that bloodline in some way.
    Favored Terrain: None.
    Totem Bonus: Special; your barbarian levels provide Full synergy for purposes of determining your bloodline resistances.
    Bonus Feats: Choose from the bonus feats listed for your sorcerer bloodline.
    Blood Casting (Su): Starting at 4th level, you gain Weak sorcerer spellcasting theurgy from your barbarian levels, and can cast sorcerer spells while in a rage.
    Bloodline Pact (Ex): Starting at 8th level, you can gain certain sorcerer bloodline powers and abilities in place of rage powers. Higher-level abilities count as higher-level rage powers, according to the following table.
    1st level bloodline power or eldritch blast - Lesser rage power
    Iterative blast - Improved rage power
    9th level bloodline power or improved blast - Greater rage power
    15th level bloodline power or greater blast - Mighty rage power
    20th level bloodline power - costs 2 Primal rage powers.

    SPIRIT MAGIC

    Spoiler:

    Prerequisites: Able to prepare arcane spells, hex class feature, access to an incarnate mystery.
    Benefit: You gain the following benefits when multiclassing with Witch (see Wizard, Appendix E):
    - You give up your arcane spellcasting ability in exchange for Full theurgy towards your incarnate casting progression. However, you can choose to be a prepared, rather than a spontaneous, caster.
    - Your incarnate and witch levels provide Full synergy for determining the effects of your hexes and revelations, and their save DCs.


  • Had an idea other than exploding dice -- remember, still trying to keep changes relatively non-invasive, but decrease the gap between low and high bonuses. Instead of expanding the range of the number generator (through exploding dice), we could decrease the magnitude of bonuses through diminishing returns -- but as simply as possible. For example:

    Any time your total bonus to anything is greater than +5, the portion of the bonus above +5 gets cut in half. (For AC and static DCs, it would be any amount above 15 gets cut in half.)

    For example, if Alyx the Awesome (+18 attack bonus) and Bubba the Blah (+5 attack bonus) are fighting a monster with AC 28, currently Alyx needs a 10, and Bubba has no hope except on a natural 20. Under a system of diminishing returns, Al’s new attack bonus is +11 (+5 plus half of the remaining +13), Bub’s is still +5, and the monster’s AC is 21 (15 + half of the remaining +13). Al still needs a 10 to hit, but Bub can now manage on a 16 or better.

    Players and DMs who are reasonably good at arithmetic could look at a total bonus and figure their applied bonus very easily, allowing them to use prewritten materials as-is. For players who aren't so quick, they could either pre-calculate their effective bonuses and record those numbers, or else the front of the character sheet could have a 2-column conversion table in the right-hand margin, where it's convenient for use but doesn't interfere with the rest of the sheet. Even applying bonuses and penalties on the fly is simple: if you're over +5, just cut them in half and apply (maybe round down for bonuses and round up for penalties, so a -1 penalty is still -1, and a +2 aid another bonus becomes a basic +1).

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