Homebrew Rules that my players dared me to post...


Homebrew and House Rules


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My players "dared" me to post a few of our homebrew rules expecting that I would be relentlessly flamed, but I responded by saying the boards are much more understanding and open minded; in fact, some people might actually like and/or use our homebrew rules... so here are a few ...

1) PIETY - Characters who worship the same deity as a cleric or paladin may receive an additional benefit for their devotion. Spells that are 2nd level or lower may have their durations increased from rounds to minutes and spells with durations of minutes to hours as a result of the character's piety to a specific god. Spells that have durations of instantaneous, or durations longer than one minute, or are active combat spells - such as Spiritual Weapon - are not affected by PIETY. A character may only receive the benefits of piety from one spell at a time. The caster also receives the benefit unless the target is a single target spell; unless, of course, the caster is the target of the spell. Thus, if a cleric of Desna casts Bless, then all characters who worship only Desna in the area of effect may receive the benefit of Bless for 1 hour/level of the caster instead of 1 minute/level.

2) ARCANE/DIVINE DAMAGE BONUS - Spell casters may add their spell casting attribute bonus to the damage inflicted just as a fighter adds her STR bonus to her weapon damage. The damage bonus is only added once per spell, even if the spell has multiple applications - such as Magic Missile (the first missile would receive the bonus, but none of the others from the same casting would). This bonus is only added to damaging spells, not buffing or healing spells.

3) Spellbooks can be used as "scrolls" at 1/3 the caster's level without using a spell slot, but the casting time is changed to a full round action. That is to say, a 9th level wizard could cast a 1st or 2nd level spell without using a spell slot as though she were only a 3rd level spell caster.

4) Paladins MUST be the same alignment as the god they worship and are not limited to lawful good (unless their patron god is lawful good).

5) Brew Potion - For every 5 points above the difficulty rolled to brew the potion, one additional dose of the potion is created.

I say... Have at thee! I'd be happy to post more and/or provide clarification.


1: I like the concept, but I think it's a bit too strong. I think the duration jump is too much. Instead of the way you have it, I could see it being more balances if the jumps weren't so big. For example, instead of a 1 min/lvl spell turning into a 1 hour/lvl spell, I could see it going from 1 min/lvl to 10 min/lvl. Or 10 min/lvl to 1 hour/lvl. Maybe have the duration increases be larger as your group advances into higher levels. It's something that I may steal for my games, albeit in a toned down form.

2: The only problem I could see with this is at lower levels. A level 1 magic missile doing 1d4 + 3-5 damage is a lot more effective than anything a fighter is throwing out at the same level, especially since there's no attack roll involved. I'd probably end up doing something like you +1 damage per caster level, up to your casting stat bonus.

3: Not a big fan of this. I like my players having to be prepared.

4: This is actually the way I'd much rather have Paladins designed by default.

5: I'm on the fence about this one. I like the idea in theory, but I think it would make it a little too easy to have it be taken advantage of, and basically have a player become a walking potion factory. I'd probably consider allowing one additional dose be made. Probably when rolling 10 over the DC. But I'd likely draw the line there.

Really, these aren't anything absurd. It all comes down to a matter of personal preference with how you want to run a game, and how your players like playing. If it works for you, then who the hell cares what anyone on the forums think?

Edit: Post some more. I'm interested to see what else you've got.


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1) PIETY
Normally things like this would cost a feat, so you're giving a freebie here to promote party cohesion (I guess). I approve, for whatever that is worth.

2) ARCANE/DIVINE DAMAGE BONUS
Me no likee. Spellcasters really do not need this boon, they're powerful enough as it is.

3) Spellbooks
Will using a grimoire as a scroll burn away the spellbook page? If so, it's a nice little rule to get out of trouble at a significant cost. If not, it's just more power to the wizard. Have I mentioned yet they are powerful already?

4) Paladins
Non-LG Paladins aren't really Paladins. So what kind of code do the other alignments have?

5) Brew Potion
What roll are you talking about? And does anyone actually make potions anyway, apart from the odd Alchemist?

It looks to me like a mixed bag, these house-rules. I hope the martial classes get some love too, in other house rules. And you have opened a few avenues for powergaming, so you might want to keep some types of players in check (or at bay).
Of course, what works for you works for you. Regardless of what I might think about it.


1. I think this is too strong. I like the idea of it, but I would make it less powerful. Maybe a feat or combination of feats, better yet a class feature for a prestige class.

3. Resource management and being prepared is a part of the game. I don't care for this one either.

4. This is one I do like. :) Well I actually prefer for them to be LG, but I don't mind variant paladins.

5. Magic items are already to easy to make. Potions can also be really good in the hands of an experienced player. I would not allow this one either.

Sovereign Court

I choose to flame your players, those house rules seem relatively tame compared to a lot of the craziness that gets posted on here. They have no idea the horrible house rules other players are subjected too and should feel ashamed of themselves.

The only two I have any issue with is the paladin one, as it makes them very boring and not paladins, and the piety one, if only because you've got extend spell rules already in the game and yet you've just created a better version of that.


1) As Doggan also suggests, the jump from 1 minute to 1 hour seems to much to me; 10 minutes would seem more reasonable.
Regardless of that, I too approve the concept, but the only problem I have with it is the tedious trouble of keeping track of which effect is active on who (worse for things such as Bless, who move with the caster and depending on the situation may change each round for every battle of the session).
If I may throw a variant idea on that, instead of altering the duration, you could make it so that the subjects of piety get the caster's Wisdom bonus (or whatever other ability score she uses to cast, like in the Arcane/Divine Damage Bonus rule) on a number of relevant rolls (by "relevant" I mean those rolls that the spell itself does affect, if it does) equal to the spell's level +1 while its effects are in place. So, if the Cleric of your example casts Bless, all whorshippers of Desna in the area get the normal bonuses of the spell for its duration (and as long as they stay in the area), plus the caster's Wisdom bonus to a maximum of two rolls (1st level spell + 1) which they will apply to the the first two attack rolls or saves against fear they make (or any combination of the first two of those).

2) On this one, I have mixed feelings. I will only note that many monsters would benefit from it more than players do, since their spell-like abilities may be at will and they could have quite high Charisma bonuses.

3) I like this one very much, since I've long missed the sight of Wizards casting a spell with their arcane tome in hand in the midst of battle.
The only negative thing I see about this is that while yes, the minimum casting time is a full round action, a 18th-20th level Wizard would have at will 6th level spells, free to cast them without risk out of battle, and that is extremely strong even for a 20th level character.
Maybe you should apply some sort of limit, for example that the character can use book-cast only for a total level of spells per day equal to twice her Intelligence bonus (cantrips could still be used at will from the book).

4) To this one, I am contrary. Long story short, a Paladin is a specific type of character. If they can be of any alignment they like, they're no longer Paladins, for me.
If you tell me that Pathfinder lacks a type of NG and CG holy-powered and evil-smithing melee classes (Inquisitors left out), I agree. But Paladins are Paladins. NG and CG holy-fighters should have quite a number of different features. My opinion, of course.

5) I may agree on granting a boon for a higher result on the roll, but I would not let it be a free-of-cost extra dose for a mere 5 points above the necessary result. I'd be more prone to grant that the crafted potion's duration or effects are increased in some way.


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I think they are pretty much okay. I might postpone the effect of no 2 till they are level three and up.

In my campaigns :

wizards cast with no dice cap for damage à la AD&D.

Neutralize poison neutralizes poison à la AD&D.

No one wants to bother with spell components, so don't waist a feat with eschew material.

And before anyoe starts griping with the die cap thingee, it doesn't unbalance our game. If you play a sorcerer you have more spells spurr of the moment, if you are a mage you studies allows to augment the potency of the spells. Add the fact that at hight level, most of the critters have dr and sr anyways so.....


K. wrote:
3) Spellbooks can be used as "scrolls" at 1/3 the caster's level without using a spell slot, but the casting time is changed to a full round action. That is to say, a 9th level wizard could cast a 1st or 2nd level spell without using a spell slot as though she were only a 3rd level spell caster.

I've played under a houserule like this one, but somewhat simpler.

An acrane caster can use the inscribed spell in a spell book as a one use scroll, using normal scroll use rules. Doing so erases it from the spell book.

Gives a new reason to hold on to found spell books.

Shadow Lodge

1. Agreed that the flavor is cool but the rule needs some tweaking down.

2. Spellcasters don't need buffs. They're supposed to be pretty fragile and moderate at low levels and hide behind the fighters, and are already godlike at higher levels. Nix this one.

3. I like the concept. I would personally go with the "uses it up as a scroll, erasing it from the book" method - gives the wizard some emergency power if necessary, but at a grave cost - and remove the 1/3 level thing.

4. I like Paladins being LG, and I like having Paladins of non-LG gods, so no go on this one.

5. I find this one works better if you just remove the silly limit of "only one magic item can be crafted per day" for potions and scrolls. If someone wants to burn a day cranking out scrolls/potions for the party, I say let 'em.


i've used a similiar concept for spell books before but the rule was as follows

a wizard can use their spell book to cast from without using up their spells per day. doing so takes a number of rounds equal to 1 plus the spell level being cast. while reading from their spell books in this matter they are considered flat footed and provoke AO's on each round of their casting from every person in melee range. if the wizard is sucessfully hit while casting in this fashion they must make a concentration check DC 10+ damage recieved in order to continue casting. If their casting is interupted they must start over from the beginning to continue casting. Metamagic feats cannot be applied to casting in this fashion. Eschew materials cannot be applies to casting in this fashion.


also if you are giving your spell casters so many benefits to balance it out you may want to consider giving your melee something, maybe able to ignore armor for a number of attacks per day equal to their combat mod?


5) If this rule was implemented in my game I MIGHT consider making potions. Otherwise it's just not worth it. IMO


Gondolin wrote:

I think they are pretty much okay. I might postpone the effect of no 2 till they are level three and up.

In my campaigns :

wizards cast with no dice cap for damage à la AD&D.

Neutralize poison neutralizes poison à la AD&D.

No one wants to bother with spell components, so don't waist a feat with eschew material.

And before anyoe starts griping with the die cap thingee, it doesn't unbalance our game. If you play a sorcerer you have more spells spurr of the moment, if you are a mage you studies allows to augment the potency of the spells. Add the fact that at hight level, most of the critters have dr and sr anyways so.....

I miss the uncapped damage rules. That was the first "awww, dang it" that 3.0 got from me.


1. I like it, but instead of round to minutes or minutes to hours, I would probably just say that the spell has the extend feat on it for free.

2. I don't mind this. Makes it powerful at low levels, but goes for the enemy too.

3. I like this too and agree with Orthos, make it disappear like a scroll. Found spellbooks become useful beyond a little gold, and a second spellbook would be a great place to put all your scrolls.


Just want to say that I like the second point. It's true that spellcasters are the most powerful classes, but that buff is only for blaster spellcasters, who I really think need a bit of help.
That said, Doggan has a point; possible problems at first levels of too much damage.


Those rules seems pretty harmless, although it's not clear if the "spellbook as scroll" thing uses up the page or not (if not, then it's probably a bit too much).

I'm a little leery about the word "may" in the description of piety (e.g. player 1 always gets freebies and player 2 doesn't get squat, even though he thinks he's being pretty pious).

I'd be tempted to start churning out a bunch of potions...


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I second Tangible that piety should mimic extend spell. The only real problem I would have in a game with these houserules is... Where is the love for the martial classes?! :-)


I dunno your average 2-h fighter focused on Str would be putting out somewhere around 2d6+6 upwards to +9 at first level granted the Fighter has to make an attack Roll vs the free hit of Magic Missile, but still not anywhere more powerful than a fighter can put out.

a twf fighter might have 1d8+4-5/1d6+2 which can still overshadow the damage a mage using magic missile might put out at first level fwiw.


1. Neat idea, but not my thing. I don't really have a comment on it other then it may seem a bit powerful. If the player had to role-play their piety strictly for the bonus then I would reconsider it (like the old role-play limits on powerful abilities aka Paladin).

2. Considering I use a elite array, I like this rule. It means that the low level spell-casters get some more oomph. Honestly I would use this house rule, and may steal it.

3. I do something similar already, so I approve though mine burns the page up like a scroll is burned up. I also use the odd Dragonlance approach and you can memorize spells off scrolls and other spell books discovered in the dungeons.

4. I am a huge fan of the Paladin for different gods angle. Back in my old 2E days I played a Paladin of Mystra that the GM gave me the ability to cast arcane spells instead of divine spells.

5. I have no comment on this. True Neutral.


These are some very good house rules! I can't say I agree with some of it, but after some polishing I am sure that some people may be tempted to tag it as FAQ. I especially like the idea of adding some bonuses to the spells due to attribute bonuses. I am sure my players will like it, too. lol


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks very much for your feedback everyone! It's much appreciated.

I'll explain a little further:

1) MORE ON PIETY - We ended up using the 1 minute/hour exchange rather than 1min to 10min because the spell just didn't last long enough given the typical +1 bonus that's received; the normal stacking rules apply so one couldn't stack the spell effects with magic items, etc. We basically agreed that since the caster has so few spells below level 5, that the duration on a few clerical spells wouldn't upset the game much... and since the PCs could do it, so could the NPCs/Monsters.

2) MORE ON ARCANE/DIVINE DAMAGE BONUS - We saw that as the number of attacks increase in the martial classes increases, so to do the damage dice for the spell casters, which we see as fair. However, where the breakdown occurs for us is that as feats and magic weapons increase damage for fighters, casters must use metamagic, and thus lose higher level spell slots to deal a "relatively similar" amounts of damage. This argument doesn't sustain itself in all cases, but we're not arguing General Relatively... heh... so we came up with the simple notion that since martial classes get a stat bonus to damage, so too should the spell casters.

3) MORE ON SPELLBOOKS - The spell does not vanish from the page if the spell is cast from the spellbook if the caster meets the level requirements described earlier. If the caster uses the spellbook as a scroll for any other level spell, the spell vanishes from the pages.

4) MORE ON PALADINS - I guess I'll have to chalk this idea up to that we see the role of paladins differently that most. We see paladins as crusaders for their gods, much as clerics spread the spiritual messengers of their gods. Rather than getting into a debate over what constitutes good and evil, or philosophizing on moral relativism we simply agreed that Asmodeous would have paladins just as Iomedae would.

5) MORE ON BREW POTION - We saw the RAW on brewing potions as game mechanic limiting the number of potions a PC can make in a day; what lonely magic shop owner to sustain a living that way... Anyway, the argument is simply that if I make some soup for 1 person, I can make soup for 6 people at the same time with little or no more effort.

Again, thanks for the feedback everyone. It warms my polyhedral shaped heart!

I specially appreciate of the notion that almost every table I sit at will give me a slightly different experience depending on who is sitting behind the GM screen.

Shadow Lodge

Terronus wrote:
The only real problem I would have in a game with these houserules is... Where is the love for the martial classes?! :-)

Ditto


I'll chime with Terronus and Orthos - These are interesting houserules backed-up with interesting flavour. They do upset the "power balance" a bit but if it make the game more enjoyable for you and your group; its a win.

What I can objectively observe however is that these mainly affects spellcasting character who already are arguably stronger to start with. It leaves the martial character even further behind.

'findel


kaishakunin wrote:


5) MORE ON BREW POTION - We saw the RAW on brewing potions as game mechanic limiting the number of potions a PC can make in a day; what lonely magic shop owner to sustain a living that way... Anyway, the argument is simply that if I make some soup for 1 person, I can make soup for 6 people at the same time with little or no more effort.

As for my part, effort was not in question. It was the fact that soup for 6 people costs x6 ingredients. You don't create soup from nothing just because you're a good cook.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Gondolin wrote:

I think they are pretty much okay. I might postpone the effect of no 2 till they are level three and up.

In my campaigns :

wizards cast with no dice cap for damage à la AD&D.

Neutralize poison neutralizes poison à la AD&D.

No one wants to bother with spell components, so don't waist a feat with eschew material.

And before anyoe starts griping with the die cap thingee, it doesn't unbalance our game. If you play a sorcerer you have more spells spurr of the moment, if you are a mage you studies allows to augment the potency of the spells. Add the fact that at hight level, most of the critters have dr and sr anyways so.....

I miss the uncapped damage rules. That was the first "awww, dang it" that 3.0 got from me.

my second was when i realized the fireball spell wasn't a volume but a burst effect... miss those old days of a new player casting a fireball in a hallway.

As for the more potions, steal from the 3.x Brew Master prestige class or one of the magical items they had. There was a cauldron of brewing that did make more uses or multiples at a time.

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