Pathfinder Rules You Don't Like


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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1) Traits not being allowed from same category such as Magic traits...even if you take feat that gives you extra traits

2) No more Reverie for elves - I would rather have that ability than any of the other Elven abilities - helped them stand out from the other races & gave them flavor

3) Counterspelling - need a new way of doing it as it promotes casters who do want to do it to take the same usual common spells...like Magic Missile, etc.....no one has counterspelled in any of my campaigns

4) Witch Prestige classes - there is ONLY one

5) Witch familiars - no unique abilities except being a spellbook....wasted chance of flavor

6) Witch Patrons - how about some feats or special abilities relating to them?....instead of just getting a spell every 2 lvls...many of which are already on witch spell list

7) Monk should get ki powers at first lvl instead of bonus feats

8) Diagonal movement


I think the big one is the distance metric. Counting distance is slower, you need templates for area effects, and in return you have reach artifacts. If it's not worth ditching the grid for measuring tape or at least going to hexes for realism it's not worth the crazy alternating diagonal cost crap and having to look up templates for area spells.

If you're on a square grid you should be using Manhattan or Chebyshev distance. I think Chebyshev is a little easier to count and leaves it harder to corner someone, but both share the property that a "circle" at any distance is closed and every distance behaves the same.

I'd estimate going to Chebyshev distance could shave 20% off movement distance calculations and far more off of applying area templates.


I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.


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Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.

Yes. You shouldn't be able to have a character that's different from yourself. That's why in all good D&D games every race except human is banned, and you're not allowed to play any class except expert, commoner, and warrior.

Just like all good books only include characters of the same gender as the author, because the other "not good" books have cooties.

The reverse must also be true. I'll have to tell my friend that she needs to stop playing her male elven wizard unless she immediately researches a spell to instantaneously change her PC's gender to match the metagame. I'm sure she will take it well.

EDIT: Oh, and it must turn her PC into a female HUMAN while we're at it. I'm pretty sure she's not an elf in real life.

Silver Crusade

I was introducing a friend to (2nd ed) D&D a few years ago. We talked about what class and race he wanted to be after I'd gone through some basics.

When I asked which gender he wanted his character to be he said, 'I'm not playing anyone without a sausage!'

: )


Ashiel, while your reaction might be justified because Pendagast might be over-generalizing... there are some people out there that cannot be trusted to play a character of differing gender because they can't or won't stop themselves from either making it completely creepy for those around the table (I had a guy once that kept trying describe in detail shopping sprees and bathing scenes) or from turning the whole thing into some kind of offensive joke (I had a guy that would play only lesbian elves with raging libidos).

In groups that have had too many, or too disturbing of, run ins with that sort of thing, a rule preventing characters of differing gender from their player acts a nice, comfy, safety blanket.

My group doesn't use a blanket rule, but we do use a rule that playing a certain type of character is a privilege, not a right, that can be revoked if you act inappropriately.


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I hate the rule that lets players play classes other than Paladins.

Now, I know you probably think that sounds crazy, and while your reaction might be justified because I might be over-generalizing... there are some people out there that cannot be trusted to play a character who isn't absolutely forced to never do anything even remotely questionable by the game mechanics because they can't or won't stop themselves from either making it completely creepy for those around the table (I had a guy once that kept trying describe in detail kidnapping and torturing NPCs) or from turning the whole thing into some kind of offensive joke (I had a guy that would play only insane characters who kicked puppies).

In groups that have had too many, or too disturbing of, run ins with that sort of thing, a rule preventing characters who can do evil things without losing all class features acts a nice, comfy, safety blanket.

My group doesn't use a blanket rule, but we do use a rule that playing a non-Paladin is a privilege, not a right, that can be revoked if you act inappropriately.

I also think the game needs mechanics for telling other players not to be creepy gits because handling that sort of thing is impossible unless the CRB tells me what modifier I add to my d20 roll for my Talk To Other Players check, and what the DC is for either turning them non-creepy or ejecting them from the group.


Ashiel wrote:
That's why in all good D&D games every race except human is banned, and you're not allowed to play any class except expert, commoner, and warrior.

"B... but... I can trace my lineage to some minor nobility! Can I haz Aristocrat? Pretty pretty pleeeze?"


Midnight_Angel wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
That's why in all good D&D games every race except human is banned, and you're not allowed to play any class except expert, commoner, and warrior.
"B... but... I can trace my lineage to some minor nobility! Can I haz Aristocrat? Pretty pretty pleeeze?"

Yeah, I'll give you that one, but you can forget the weapon and armor proficiencies unless you took fencing and archery in school! :P


AaronOfBarbaria wrote:

Ashiel, while your reaction might be justified because Pendagast might be over-generalizing... there are some people out there that cannot be trusted to play a character of differing gender because they can't or won't stop themselves from either making it completely creepy for those around the table (I had a guy once that kept trying describe in detail shopping sprees and bathing scenes) or from turning the whole thing into some kind of offensive joke (I had a guy that would play only lesbian elves with raging libidos).

In groups that have had too many, or too disturbing of, run ins with that sort of thing, a rule preventing characters of differing gender from their player acts a nice, comfy, safety blanket.

My group doesn't use a blanket rule, but we do use a rule that playing a certain type of character is a privilege, not a right, that can be revoked if you act inappropriately.

I played with a girl who insisted all of her characters have profession {the oldest}, and a lesbian friend who whose character was a "raging heterosexual" (I so wish she was a barbarian so it could be a double entendre)!

The former made me feel somewhat uncomfortable (especially when she insisted on trying to get potential employers to up the ante through a "profession check") though she seemed to enjoy it. The latter made me laugh. Both would be entirely inappropriate in certain circles or even certain games (I wouldn't want either of them to run characters like that if we had children in the game with us).

So is it a sexist thing in that it was only creepy 'cause it was a guy doing it? Or would be be as creepy if one of your girlfriends was playing "Butch Bofur the Barbarian Beefcake with his +12-inch rod of wonder" or would it just be amusingly tongue in cheek? Just curious here.

But I'm with Roberta on this one. This isn't something rule-worthy. It sounds like something you should slap someone with a PHB for.

"Look Chelsea, you really need to stop describing your character Butch and his bath scenes and his lifequest of becoming the most famous warrior king with an all male harem! It's kind of killing the mood for Bobby and Jake over here! And I swear if you make another sword-swallowing joke I am docking you experience points!"


Roberta Yang wrote:

I hate the rule that lets players play classes other than Paladins.

Now, I know you probably think that sounds crazy, and while your reaction might be justified because I might be over-generalizing... there are some people out there that cannot be trusted to play a character who isn't absolutely forced to never do anything even remotely questionable by the game mechanics because they can't or won't stop themselves from either making it completely creepy for those around the table (I had a guy once that kept trying describe in detail kidnapping and torturing NPCs) or from turning the whole thing into some kind of offensive joke (I had a guy that would play only insane characters who kicked puppies).

In groups that have had too many, or too disturbing of, run ins with that sort of thing, a rule preventing characters who can do evil things without losing all class features acts a nice, comfy, safety blanket.

I know you were joking, yet I can't help but to say I actually can relate to this one. I've always had a fairly simple blanket rule born from this sort of thing. "I don't care what your alignment is, as long as you can work together with the group; no backstabbing sociopaths who would be better as loners".

However, I have to admit I squicked out a bit when a friend of mine playing a Lawful Evil character cut the hands off a prisoner. He cut off her hands! She was responsible for aiding in the calling of a succubus queen to the world, and was apprehended after the act. They could have just tied her up (in Pathfinder binding you up is pretty surefire to keep you from casting spells, no matter how cool your metamagic is), but no. He cut her hands off and dropped them in her lap. I failed my Will save and was clearly shaken from the display. XD


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Am i the only who read Pendagast comment as a joke? 0.o

anyway nothing new to add, my biggest gripe is the whole full attack vs move dichotomy as well, honestly for me i liked star wars saga editions way of handling extra attacks the most out of the d20 systems ive played.


Ashiel wrote:
So is it a sexist thing in that it was only creepy 'cause it was a guy doing it? Or would be be as creepy if one of your girlfriends was playing "Butch Bofur the Barbarian Beefcake with his +12-inch rod of wonder" or would it just be amusingly tongue in cheek? Just curious here.

I don't care if it is a guy playing a sex joke of a female character, or a girl playing a sex joke of a male character, both are equally able to be disruptive depending upon the style used - its a matter of whether the player is trying to play a character at the table or make everyone listen while they verbally write-out a one character smut novel.

Also, characters of the same ilk played as same gender are in the same, quickly sinking boat.

Ashiel wrote:
But I'm with Roberta on this one. This isn't something rule-worthy. It sounds like something you should slap someone with a PHB for.

...right, because table rules - those rules that you must follow to remain seated at this table without your head being violently introduced to a game book - aren't rules, and I am some kind of crazy person deserving of Roberta's sardonic misquote treatment for saying that I let people who sit down at my table to play know that I am going to stop them from playing a character if they are using that character as a vehicle to drive everyone at the table to creepy town.

I completely agree, I should just slap people with books if they get out of line rather than actually explain to them where the lines and what consequences exist for going outside them.


Well to be fair we're talking about Pathfinder rules, not special rules we have at our tables. Some people have customs such as everyone chips in to buy lunch. I doubt anyone would say that warrants being in Pathfinder. :P

vinja89 wrote:
Am i the only who read Pendagast comment as a joke? 0.o

Maybe he was joking, but it's hard to tell sometimes. I've seen Pentagast made rather mean spirited comments about other and their playstyles in the past and he was entirely serious, so honestly my first reaction to such things was the belief that he was in fact serious. If he was joking, I'd advise the inclusion of the ":P" emote to help convey the tongue-in-cheek nature of such a comment if said in jest.


Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.

Sounds like you had some bad experience. And I understand there are players like that, but there are also people who do an admirble job at playing a character of the opposite gender. Some are better at it than playing their own gender.


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Threeshades wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.
Sounds like you had some bad experience. And I understand there are players like that, but there are also people who do an admirble job at playing a character of the opposite gender. Some are better at it than playing their own gender.

Gender being a social construct rather than a physical description, it could be quite insulting to try to dictate what kind of characters a person might be allowed to make under such a rule.


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I don't like the rule that allows both players and DMs to occasionally be total ***holes.


Icyshadow wrote:
I don't like the rule that allows both players and DMs to occasionally be total ***holes.

I don't remember where it was, could you quote it to me or give me a page reference in the Core Rulebook?


It's an unwritten code, which has been the basis for many "Player vs DM" discussions on many forums, including here.


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Page 298 if I remember correctly. It's after under the section about how other players are obligated to be backseat-players for the Paladin to make sure he doesn't stray from his alignment, and right before the part suggesting to DMs that Pathfinder is a game about winning, not everyone having fun.


chaoseffect wrote:
Page 298 if I remember correctly. It's after under the section about how other players are obligated to be backseat-players for the Paladin to make sure he doesn't stray from his alignment, and right before the part suggesting to DMs that Pathfinder is a game about winning, not everyone having fun.

Ah now i see, these aren't rules, they're spells. Hence why they're in the spells chapter.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Atarlost wrote:

The lack of the 3.5 reach template. Taking away diagonal reach makes polearms pretty terrible against smart opponents.

Polearms typically were the tools of mass combat, where such "smartness" isn't a factor.


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LazarX wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

The lack of the 3.5 reach template. Taking away diagonal reach makes polearms pretty terrible against smart opponents.

Polearms typically were the tools of mass combat, where such "smartness" isn't a factor.

Funny, I thought the reason that the polearm reach template hadn't been a factor historically was that real life didn't have grids.

Shadow Lodge

The only rules I have disliked are one's that don't make physical sense; ie. the reach weapon diagonal debacle, but we house-rule it away and it becomes a non-issue.

Everything else I've encountered as limiting my own personal power level, be it "weapon X is lackluster", or "build Y is too feat intensive" has been fine.

I don't get bothered when I can't optimize for stats - I optimize for fun and concept.

I accept that these rules were designed to determine the outcomes of, what intelligent and mostly humanoid beings can or can't do, with the roll of a 20 sided die.

My favorite "rule":

"Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. ..... the Pathfinder RPG is a shared experience, and all of the players should contribute their thoughts when the rules are in doubt." - Core Rulebook, Pg 9.

There is so much potential for house-rule sharing and collaboration here. This thread would be far more valuable if it took the form:

I don't like these rules: I can't do this.
Our home solutions for these rules: We do this instead.

Meh, my two iron-bits for what it's worth.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Roberta Yang wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

The lack of the 3.5 reach template. Taking away diagonal reach makes polearms pretty terrible against smart opponents.

Polearms typically were the tools of mass combat, where such "smartness" isn't a factor.
Funny, I thought the reason that the polearm reach template hadn't been a factor historically was that real life didn't have grids.

Take a look at how polearms are generally used. As line armies typically to break up cavalry charges. You don't generally see them as weapons used by solo warriors because they're long and clumsy. and relatively easy to get around if there is only one of them. Face a phalanx of them however, then they're not so easy to "get around".


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.

And I don't like the rule that doesn't prevent humans from playing non-humans. ;)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Gee - next thing you know somebody will be telling me that I can't play an 18-year-old character with a CHA of 20 . . .


Lone spearmen tend to run into problems. The Pathfinder "trip monkey polearm user" is a rules artifact anyway. The usual technique is "beat haft of polearm down with rim of shield, step over it (or on it) with shield foot and pivot from that for a strike to their head, shoulder, or lead arm on the shaft.

Generally not pretty for the lone pole-weapon user. He gets the first shot on the way in; if he's really good at stepping back and laterally, he might well make two shots - but once you're inside the reach, he's not moving backwards faster than you're moving forward.


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Little off topic first. Spears are not polearms, reach weapons are not polearms, some reach weapons are polearms and even some polearms do not count as reach weapons.(This is mostly because of the reach is either 5ft or 10ft in PF world where as in the real world it changes considerably) the terms are not interchangable. And polearms were scary ass weapons in single combat too, they saw use in tournaments for a reason. That reason is not represented by the rules. At one point in time armor came so advanced that it was really hard to pierce it in any meaningful way. Now polearms have the benefit of a long shaft, that means leverage and that the hitting part moves much faster with swings which results in much more force. If this was covered by the rules it would mean longer weapons would get added benefit from STR bonus, well those one's that are swinged instead of thrusted.

Note: I am by no means expert or even hobbyist when it comes to medieval weaponry. So this is all second hand information.

Back on topic.

1) Alingment as mechanic. Kill it, kill it swiftly without mercy.

2) Mindless undead having an alingment(even as descriptive), something that is mindless can not have moral viewpoint.

3) Weapons not having enough distinction between them. Also stupidly named weapons, falchion being a prime example.

4) Fighter bonus feats as a mechanic. They should be replaced with rogue like talents, just combat oriented stuff naturally.

5) Overly long feat chains.

6) Stupid prequisite feats, fighting defensively(combat expertise) has nothing to do with maneuvers.

7) Spell slot system. I would love to see psionic styled spellpoint system across the point. We could still have prepared casters, they would just use some of that pool when preparing a spell, how much depending on the level of the spell.

8) Prepared casters getting a new spell level one level earlier than spontaneus casters. The balancing factor should be Spells known. It doesn't help that wizards for example actually have as many or almost as many and sometimes even more spells per day than sorceror for example. In practice that is.

9)Free spell progresion, this also comes from psionics. If you want more powerful fireball you need to put more juice in to it.

10) Full-attack ruining mobility of martials. Now I would like having an advantage of not moving and concentrating fully on the attack but it should not be this monumental difference. Something like -X on attack rolls if you used move action seems about right, or it could be +X when not moving.

11) Enchament bonus bypassing DR.

12) Special materials should have more effect. If adamantium can ignore 20 points of hardness it should do that to DR 20. Of coarse the prices should rise to reflect these things.

13) Size bonuses and penalties. These are way too small. Gargantuan thing takin -3 to touch AC? Really does that make any sense. It would probably better if it changed from one thing to next. Like a big bonus on bull rush and not much anything on disarm etc.

14) Severe lack of synergy in monk class. Also Martial artist(concept) should be the base class and monk an archtype.

15) Guns vs Touch AC. It might make sense in our world, but lead bullet VS adamantium full-plate it does not, not even taking in to account magic coming to the mix.

16) Martial skill never comes in to AC. Meaning that a fighter and wizard should not start at the same base of 10. Something BAB based would be nice.

I could come up with others but I think I got all my major and not so major grips listed.

Grand Lodge

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Threeshades wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.
Sounds like you had some bad experience. And I understand there are players like that, but there are also people who do an admirble job at playing a character of the opposite gender. Some are better at it than playing their own gender.

Actually the most frustrating thing about playing the opposite gender...

1st Player: "I turn to Honora, Favored Daughter of Emerisk and ask him-"
2nd Player: "Her."
1st Player: "Yeah, her. I ask if he would-"
2nd Player: "She."
1st Player: "I ask if she would be willing to assist us after the noble's ball."
3rd Player: "I ask Honora to accompany her as her date."
1st Player: "Dude, why are you hitting on this guy?"
4th Player: "Wait, Honora is a chick? I have to change my notes."
2nd Player: "Screw it. Honora is now Phallus the Masculine, of the Testicular Clan."
4th Player: "Wait, so is Phallus a dude? Because I don't want to write this down again."


Vinja89 wrote:

Am i the only who read Pendagast comment as a joke? 0.o

anyway nothing new to add, my biggest gripe is the whole full attack vs move dichotomy as well, honestly for me i liked star wars saga editions way of handling extra attacks the most out of the d20 systems ive played.

IT was a joke. well sort of, kinda a poke at the creepy guys mentioned above.

And I've never made a post that was serious about anyone's play style, because I don't care about play styles. (although I do hate people who always seem to have 18s and find every loop hole in the game to wipe out everything in combat before you can get other players to do anything)

The comment was generally tounge in cheek however about the pervs and creepers.

and in my personal experience, I have NEVER seen anyone at my table, that wasn't COMPLETELY from the get go, unwaveringly inappropriate about playing the opposite sex. with one exception, years ago we had one guy who actually got tricked by a girdle of opposite gender. There was one comment about my weiner fell off and then that was about it.
He ended up playing a very convincing 'transexual amazon" (essentially a man in a womans body) but for the most part, it was hardly even mentioned from game session to game session that the character was even female at all.

We don't have 'sex' or other gender related activities at our table. Generally because of the rotating sort of people (either a new female player, under age players or religious players). So as a result, it's just not a thing that comes up much when we play.

However, since the last time that one dude played the transgender amazon, EVERY attempt at least at my table, from a guy who wanted to play a chick, it was always perverted. Not in any stretch of the mind, did it involve "talented or insightful roleplaying"

As far as writing a story, or DMing, yes you are frequently required to RP or take control of a female or male that isn't 'your gender'. By and By, DMs and writers seem to be more mature than the typical player and are capable of that (usually).

But then there are people like Stephanie Meyers that couldn't write a convincing male character if her life depended on it. I've never seen such a pack of caring, considerate, feminine men all in one setting before! In fact her men were so bland, I think they could have gotten Robert Pattenson to play them all with just a bag of wigs.

With that said, there are plenty of writers that can write both genders and without you flipping over the back cover to see if the writer is male or female because it doesn't matter, it's a good book with convincing characters.

Live? I've never seen a male DM 'play' a convincing female, it's usually just funny and/or uncomfortable. I don't typically spend much time on them myself.


David knott 242 wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.

And I don't like the rule that doesn't prevent humans from playing non-humans. ;)

You've never met people who "Fit the bill?"

You can totally see the guy who seems like an elf?

the gruffy dude that fits the role of the dwarf?

The sloppy guy who always has chips and dip on his shirt and plays a half orc?

I was at work one time, and I had a coworker tell me he thought I'd make a good dwarf barbarian.

Curious, Im well over 6 feet tall, no facial hair.... huh, I always try to play dwarves, but they never work out (don't think Ive gotten a dwarf over 5th level, like EVER)

But a curious comment from someone who neither knew I played, nor did I know he played.

Every gaming table I've ever been at you can usually look at the tall skinny guy, and the short grumpy guy and the brooding dude with the long greasy hair, and think to your self (elf , dwarf and half orc) and 8 out of 10 times that's what they play!

You don't have those experiences?

Silver Crusade

Pendagast wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.

And I don't like the rule that doesn't prevent humans from playing non-humans. ;)

You've never met people who "Fit the bill?"

You can totally see the guy who seems like an elf?

the gruffy dude that fits the role of the dwarf?

The sloppy guy who always has chips and dip on his shirt and plays a half orc?

I was at work one time, and I had a coworker tell me he thought I'd make a good dwarf barbarian.

Curious, Im well over 6 feet tall, no facial hair.... huh, I always try to play dwarves, but they never work out (don't think Ive gotten a dwarf over 5th level, like EVER)

But a curious comment from someone who neither knew I played, nor did I know he played.

Every gaming table I've ever been at you can usually look at the tall skinny guy, and the short grumpy guy and the brooding dude with the long greasy hair, and think to your self (elf , dwarf and half orc) and 8 out of 10 times that's what they play!

You don't have those experiences?

No, mate. It's just you. : )

Shadow Lodge

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Pendagast wrote:
But then there are people like Stephanie Meyers that couldn't write a convincing male character if her life depended on it.

Meyer can't write a convincing character, period.

Portraying a character of a different gender is challenging, but playing any character who is sufficiently different from you takes creativity, skill, and maturity. If most of the players you've met don't have the ability to play cross-gender that's too bad. But I've seen some fantastic cross-gender playing at my table, including a guy who pulled off a mother of two convincingly enough that I once or twice accidentally referred to the player as "she."


Weirdo wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
But then there are people like Stephanie Meyers that couldn't write a convincing male character if her life depended on it.

Meyer can't write a convincing character, period.

Portraying a character of a different gender is challenging, but playing any character who is sufficiently different from you takes creativity, skill, and maturity. If most of the players you've met don't have the ability to play cross-gender that's too bad. But I've seen some fantastic cross-gender playing at my table, including a guy who pulled off a mother of two convincingly enough that I once or twice accidentally referred to the player as "she."

That's scary.

I have had a particularly hard time filling an RPG table since my army days.

In school (6th grade through 14th) it was easy. The army, was likewise easy. But as a civilian adult, never could get a good steady group.

I also don't fit in with the 'Hairline Emo' crowd (by which I mean the guys who never stopped playing vampire the masquerade and are too old to look cool doing it). Which seems to be the type lurking around the gaming stores. The gamins stores seem to be staffed by clones of 'Comic Book Guy' from the simpsons. (Worst episode EVER!) and I just don't have enough bored down time to bother getting to know that sort.

the other remaining types of people that seem to be willing to play are : 1) 30ish white people, the wife seems to be overly introverted, with the husband being a closet perv....(and the one always wanting to play females) 2) 30ish white, the wife wearing the pants in the family and the husband constantly fighting with her or 3) college kids who POWER game like there is no tomorrow. 4) extremely over opinionated people*

* I actually had a girl who only ever played twice in my game, tell me to remove my feet from my own table.... REALLY?

The few people I normally game with (my wife included) are many times just too tired or occupied from work to get together regularly, so much so that we stopped playing for a whole year.


Finally decided I have the time, and mental focus to get this list out:

-Hit Dice above 10th level: I don't like how PC HP never slow down like they used to pre-3rd edition.

-Saving Throws: AD&D 2nd edition had saves that would naturally get to the point of almost never failing at high level, yet 3rd and forward we have saves that either almost never fail or almost never succeed after a certain level.

-Attacks: Iterative attacks in larger numbers with lower accuracy is a big time waster.

-Uncapped AC: If AC had a maximum possible value, attack bonus could have a maximum possible value so that we could weigh the chances to hit of a fighter, a cleric, a wizard, and so on... and they all be capable of hitting that maximum with some amount of chance rather than high level stuff turning into the Full BAB classes have a real chance to hit and everyone else needing a natural 20.

-Combat Maneuvers, unarmed attacks, and opportunity attacks: A specific part of a believe I have that feats are limiters, rather than expanders, as written despite being touted as "expansion options."

Trying a maneuver or unarmed attack should be a bit trickier than just attacking with a weapon - it should not be a death sentence unless you use a feat like it is.

-Feats in general: any feat that creates a situation where its existence tells you "Can't try this action without this feat or a severe punitive measure levied against your character" is terrible in my opinion... feats should enhance the character that takes them, not dictate the way character's that do not take them function.

-Level dips and multi-classing: beyond the bad BAB stacking and save bonus super-boost, we come to situations where someone could find a weapon they aren't proficient with and say "oh man, I want to use that," but instead of just taking a proficiency with that weapon and moving on... they can just dip into a class that has that proficiency to pick it and a number of other bonuses up. That bothers me.

What bother me more is when someone makes a multi-class character that has more than one class from each class "group" like a Barbarian/Ranger (both are warrior types) or a Rogue/Bard/Ninja or a Wizard/Sorcerer - to me that is just like taking the same class twice.

-Monsters built just like PCs: waste of time to build them, waste of space to have them written that way, and a waste of effort to actually use all of the details that they just don't need to have (namely feats - those that are important to them could just as easily be traits the monster simply possesses, and the rest are just filler).

-Challenge Rating: the entire system is just wacky, especially when trying to set up encounters like an orc raiding party attacking a village or a single dragon being hunted by the party... you set it up as an encounter the book suggests is "difficult" and it is something the party can steamroll, or you make it actually "difficult" and the book says the CR is something like 6 higher than the APL.

It's first mistake, in my opinion, is the idea that a single monster facing four characters is "normal" - I find it more likely that I have 6-10 players at my table and that the want to face monsters ranging from 1 extremely tough monster to dozens of monsters which are each a threat and even more so because of their numbers (rather than only a threat because of their numbers).

...there are others, along the same vein of the game being entirely too rigid because of all of its "options" actually locking characters down rather than building them up... but I've run out of time.


I also dont like the Cr system and I prefer not scaling enounters, it's completely possible for a party to meet a white dragon they can't handle and escape with their lives.


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EntrerisShadow wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.
Sounds like you had some bad experience. And I understand there are players like that, but there are also people who do an admirble job at playing a character of the opposite gender. Some are better at it than playing their own gender.

Actually the most frustrating thing about playing the opposite gender...

1st Player: "I turn to Honora, Favored Daughter of Emerisk and ask him-"
2nd Player: "Her."
1st Player: "Yeah, her. I ask if he would-"
2nd Player: "She."
1st Player: "I ask if she would be willing to assist us after the noble's ball."
3rd Player: "I ask Honora to accompany her as her date."
1st Player: "Dude, why are you hitting on this guy?"
4th Player: "Wait, Honora is a chick? I have to change my notes."
2nd Player: "Screw it. Honora is now Phallus the Masculine, of the Testicular Clan."
4th Player: "Wait, so is Phallus a dude? Because I don't want to write this down again."

Heh. Can't say, I know this problem. In our current group we have two girls playing guys, and one guy playing a girl, that has not caused any confusion so far.


Pendagast wrote:
I also dont like the Cr system and I prefer not scaling enounters, it's completely possible for a party to meet a white dragon they can't handle and escape with their lives.

Related anecdote incoming:

Spoiler:

I'd been running campaigns for all sorts of different players for about 6 years with AD&D 2nd edition, and had never run into the type of attitude I am about to describe.

I'd just moved to New Orleans a couple months prior, and was finally at the stage of adjusting to my new home where I had a circle of friends that wanted to regularly do things together - and I found out they played D&D. We got our first campaign together... which was kind of rough to start because they insisted we use the 3rd edition rules which I had never even read before.

The players get to a point in the dungeon that I was hastily cobbling together as I was still learning differences in rules where there is a big and nasty monster in its lair, sleeping soundly (a huge-sized dragon of a color I can't recall).

I expected that they would sneak past, or mark down a doodle of a dragon on their map as a dead-end marker and explore a different area.

Then one of the players says to the other "No, it's okay - that's got to be an illusion because we aren't high enough level to fight a dragon that size. We attack it and that counts as interaction so we get a saving throw against the illusion. I charge the 'dragon' and attack it with my sword."

...and he seriously believed that he was right and that I was running the game wrong because he slapped the sleeping dragon uselessly with his sword - which roused and angered it - and was quickly eaten before the dragon said to his companions "leave, unless your names are entree and desert."

Turns out he had read the part of the DMG where it mentions CR and what CR relative to APL was "fair" and thought that any encounter which fell outside those guidelines was actually impossible according to the rules.


It took me completely by surprise. Luckily I haven't see quite that thing since.

Shadow Lodge

You should have asked how his character came to that conclusion.


mplindustries wrote:


2) Control of magic items in PC hands--the assumption that PCs can make magic items or that they can basically place custom orders for them.

Then ban Item Creation feats in your game, like they do in PFS Organized Play.


AaronOfBarbaria wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I also dont like the Cr system and I prefer not scaling enounters, it's completely possible for a party to meet a white dragon they can't handle and escape with their lives.

Related anecdote incoming:

** spoiler omitted **
It took me completely by...

The problem was experienced players with a newbie GM. Not just newbie in that you didn't know 3rd edition, but also newbie in that you were new to them. the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars game was d20 based, basically 3rd edition D&D.

Spoiler:
There was a published adventure for 1st-4th level characters where you were trying to repair your ship to escape Naboo during the Trade Federation Blockade in Phantom Menace. So, as you are running around looking for parts, droids are attacking you. Now, at one point a droideka comes rolling around the corner and then folds out ready to attack, but specifically at 90 feet away. Players must move 30 feet toward it to 60 feet before it can attack, and it's not moving closer. Now, any player that knows what a droideka is, will recall that both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon didn't fight them... they ran cause the things are frickin' mobile combat platforms! So, the intent of the adventure is for the players to do the same thing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon did... turn tail. But, problem is gamers don't always think that way. It's here, I must need to fight it. So they fight it. The GM then has a few options. Nerf it to hell, have some high end NPC save them, or let them get obliterated by it's 15 attacks per round that only miss a level 1 character on a natural 1. Then, IF a player survives, ranged attacks are missed except on a natural 20 and then still don't get through it's starship level shields... melee? Got to charge it... takes 2 turns to get into melee... and you're dead cause it' now gets 15 more pretty much can't miss attacks on you.

So, point is, IF you are the type of GM that likes to sometimes put situations where the characters should AVOID combat, the players need to know this. The system design is for appropriate challenges. It's no different than you putting a level 5 character in 2nd edition up against the Tarrasque. They might assume it's an illusion, or they might say "OMFG RUN AWAY!!!" But, that has nothing to do with the CR system in 3.x/PF it's players.


Scythia wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
I dont like the rule that doesn't prevent guys from playing chicks.
Sounds like you had some bad experience. And I understand there are players like that, but there are also people who do an admirble job at playing a character of the opposite gender. Some are better at it than playing their own gender.
Gender being a social construct rather than a physical description, it could be quite insulting to try to dictate what kind of characters a person might be allowed to make under such a rule.

Gender is a physical description. In general, females produce eggs. Males produce sperm. There are exceptions(although rare in mammals), but gender is heavily used in science to describe things.


Timeless Demiplane exploit. (going to and from during combat - wizards I WIN button)


Everything with high level wizards/druids/clerics.

Having every single thing have to be made of anti magic fields that they can get around anyway pretty much lames out the game. Generally the biggest offender is the divination crap, but most of it is way way out of control and should basically be removed


Mapleswitch wrote:
Timeless Demiplane exploit. (going to and from during combat - wizards I WIN button)

That doesn't work the way you think it works.

Planar Traits wrote:

Timeless

On planes with this trait, time still passes, but the effects of time are diminished. How the timeless trait affects certain activities or conditions such as hunger, thirst, aging, the effects of poison, and healing varies from plane to plane. The danger of a timeless plane is that once an individual leaves such a plane for one where time flows normally, conditions such as hunger and aging occur retroactively. If a plane is timeless with respect to magic, any spell cast with a noninstantaneous duration is permanent until dispelled.

The one you want is Flowing Time.

Planar Traits wrote:

Flowing Time

On some planes, the flow of time is consistently faster or slower. One may travel to another plane, spend a year there, and then return to the Material Plane to find that only 6 seconds have elapsed. Everything on the plane returned to is only a few seconds older. But for that traveler and the items, spells, and effects working on him, that year away was entirely real. When designating how time works on planes with flowing time, put the Material Plane's flow of time first, followed by the flow in the other plane.

Erratic Time can also get you the effect you desire, but the change in time may not always be the same.

Something to keep in mind, none of the published planes have the Flowing Time trait, but there are a couple with Erratic Time. You can use the spell Greater Create Demiplane to make a personal plane with Flowing Time but only half or double, meaning for ever minute that goes by, either half a minute or 2 minutes goes by on the demiplane.


AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
So, point is, IF you are the type of GM that likes to sometimes put situations where the characters should...

That is my point though - I had never even considered that a player would actually think "it's there, so I'm supposed to fight it," because before 3rd edition the suggestions laid out for how to build encounters were much less specific.

In 2nd Edition you could build an encounter with 30 orcs, some of which are toughened up leader types, and an encounter with half a dozen goblins - and both fell within the definition of "1st level encounters" because you determined the "dungeon level" appropriate for a creature to show up by its XP value (15 in the case of both orcs and goblins) and by its rarity (with monster outside the XP range for the current "level" being usable still by treating them as rarer than normal... such as a level 2 XP range commonly occurring monster being in a 1st level dungeon as a rarely occurring monster).

In 3rd Edition you get told 1 monster of CR = to average party level = what 50% of encounters should be.

You even get told that 4 character is a normal sized party, where before 3rd edition there was no such thing (though 6-9 characters was a number commonly suggested by printed adventures).


That CR thing is a rule of thumb to design 'professional' grade adventures, like for PFS or convention style gaming, or if you are trying to sell a module, Not as a binding contract for all encounters.

Character's don't know what 'level' they are, and have no idea the 'CR' of a creature, so that's meta gaming. But the Players might know the answers to one or both of those questions.

I once played with a DM that kept our level, BAB, HP's and other things like that all behind his GM Screen. We knew what spells we could cast and how many etc etc so meta gamey wise we knew 'about' where we were, but if we got hit and took damage, he would tell us "you have blood gushing out of your side and running down your leg" or "the arrow bit deep, and stings like crazy, but you feel you can easily go on"

If we took damage that brought us to the negatives, or zero, he told everyone we had fallen etc etc.

A lot of the mechanics were out of our hands. There for the adventuring experience was pretty different. we also tended to be a little less brave, because we didnt know exactly what we could take.

Although we don't play like that regularly, we have taken to totally hand waving CRs and going with whatever might be there.

I liked that one Oriental Adventures module from 1E that had 1st level characters going up against an oni (Ogre Mage) but it was really two ninjas on stilts and one had some levels of magic user and the other was really good at disguises, that was a HOOT!.

It was like an episode of scooby doo! RUN it's the ONI!! Followed by removing the mask, "It's Old man jones!"
"I would have been able to get it done too, if it wasn't for that meddling korubukuru and his hengiyoki!"


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I love the CR system. It's a good gauge as to what I'm doing while making an adventure and it's a handy way to hand out XP without having to ad-hoc or come up with seemingly arbitrary amounts of XP + X XP for every hit point or whatever. The idea that CR prevents you from having a variety of creatures walking around or expecting that the game must scale is something that the 3.x/PF rules never said.

Quite the opposite in fact. The 3.x DMG specifically says that you won't encounter an equal CR encounter all the time, and even when giving advice on how to spread them out you're still expected to find an overwhelming hopeless encounter now and then ('bout 5% of the time really) that the party should really not engage or should run for.

I personally believe that experience teaches better than anything else. Once during a game online, a 1st level party was wandering through the woods with a goal in mind. While doing so, they saw an ettin off in the distance (for those not aware, Ettins are very large two headed giants) who was apparently foraging. The Ettin was seriously just minding his own business and didn't notice the party because of the distance between them (and frankly wasn't intended to). He was effectively scenery, in the way that lava is scenery. Most don't expect people to jump into the lava.

Unless they're a Monk. Well, this particular monk anyway. The monk declares "I'm going to charge it!", to which the rest of the party basically looks at him strangely and takes a step backwards. He runs out "Hiyaaaaaaaaa!" and kicks the ettin, who is pretty much entirely unfazed. The ettin looks down and delivers one single wallop with one of his morning stars, squishing the monk. The ettin then picked him up, stuffed him in his bag, and wandered off since he was now done foraging for food (Monk is on the menu now).

Surviving PC #1: "Ah, he was bold, and...brave. He...shall be missed?"
Surviving PC #2: "Hm, if that's bravery, I don't wanna see stupidity."
Surviving PC #3: "Well...not much we can do for him now. Let's just hope his noble sacrifice means we won't have to worry about any more giants in the area. We shouldn't be far from the bandit camp now."


Bilbo and a party of dwarves facing Smaug, you don't always have to fight it (although you might peeve it off)

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