What is in your Top 5 "Things to Change" list for Pathfinder?


Homebrew and House Rules

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Neurophage wrote:
I've only got one major thing I'd change, but the consequences would impact the entire rest of the game. Rather than it being just a rules change, the thing I'd want to alter is a little more abstract. I'd want to alter the basic assumptions of the game. Specifically, I'd want to change the (visible) assumption from "The world has magic in it" to "The world (and everyone and maybe even everything in it) is magical." Pathfinder is designed as a high-magic game and, speaking personally, I don't think non-magical people have a place as player characters in a high-magic game. Whether through spells, superhuman abilities or anything else at all, every single player character should be magical.

Generally speaking, that is rather specific to setting. Honestly, I agree that for a highly magical world where anyone could potentially learn magic, only an idiot would try to be a soldier without knowing magic.

However, what about settings where only certain people can learn magic? Or a setting like Darksun, where arcane magic is not only illegal but dangerous to the environment? Or a setting where the use of magic is highly restricted or illegal? Or a setting where mages are born, not made? In each of these settings, there is a place for purely mundane folks despite being substantially less than what they could be with magic. A system trying to support any of these settings would need purely mundane classes.

The way I see it, some character options are situational, a pure mundane fighter in one of the settings I mentioned makes sense, but if a fighter is in a highly magical setting and wants to improve at higher levels, then they should multiclass into a casting class and learn magic that supports their fighting style. Or just go with a casting class with the right spell selection and feats. Or maybe even just go gestalt in some form (though that would be for everyone in the game, but still might work to have one half caster and the other half not.).

So really, I guess then, do you want a system totally dedicated to a particular setting, or do you want it more flexible (which inherently means that not all options will be equal in all situations)? Do you want a system designed for a specific type of play, or to support various different circumstances, like one shot adventures and long running epic campaigns?

Grand Lodge

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1) Remove the class skills system. You get the +3 bonus in any skill you put ranks in.

2) Bump the 2 skill point/level classes that aren't int-based casters to 4/level.

3) Use automatic bonus progression from Unchained.

4) Rework or remove attacks of opportunity based on movement.

5) Remove attacks of opportunity provoked by using combat maneuvers without improved X.


Goth Guru wrote:

{. . .}

Several issues can be solved by revamping Prestige classes. The Eldritch Knight should require 11th character level instead of already casting spells. If it allowed magic missile and shield to fighters at that level, it would level the MCD.
{. . .}

That would make Eldritch Knight just about unusable until you got to near-epic levels, unless you increased its power (which would be hard to do without making it overpowered at near-epic levels, unless you changed it so much as to be really a different prestige class needing a new name).

Arutema wrote:
1) Remove the class skills system. You get the +3 bonus in any skill you put ranks in. {. . .}

I was think something more opposite to that -- you get a slowly scaling bonus (instead of just a flat +3 bonus) to ranks that you put into class skills (like a lesser version of the Rogue's normal bonus to Disable Device); however, to avoid the problems of D&D 3.x, this bonus applies regardless of the order in which you get the skill ranks and class levels -- if you put ranks into a non-class skill, and then later get levels in a class (or acquire an additional trait) that makes it a class skill, you get the bonus just the same as if you got them together.


1) Remove Vancian casting, use magic (or whatever) points, 9th level aren't merely costing 9 MPs, class level dictate what one can or cannot cast.

2) Rework combat, give active (read "need rolling") Block, Dodge and Parry, CMD now requires rolling... this make Armor as DR and being Light Armored (and some feats)more viable.

3) Fix Skill points per Level and lists of Class Skills.

4) Untie Energy Channeling and Cure/Inflict, Heal/Harm spells from Alignments.

5) More Feats that scale up with levels, less feat "trees", and no more stupid feats requirements for something a 3 PB Lvl 1 Commoner should be able to do.


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Generally speaking, that is rather specific to setting.

Everything is specific to setting. Games are made with a setting intention built-in. Even generic games like GURPS have books of options that clearly indicate the kind of setting that they're designed to support.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Honestly, I agree that for a highly magical world where anyone could potentially learn magic, only an idiot would try to be a soldier without knowing magic.

This is one of the assumptions I'd want to correct. It's not really important to any kind of point I'd try to make, but it's more for the purpose of making sure we're talking about the same things. I say "magic" and people immediately assume "spells." I'm talking about spells being only one possible expression of magic. If the world itself is magical, then every thing, every being is also magical. Even every action, once elevated to a certain level of power, would be obviously magical. If your ability with a sword has reached the point where you can carve a hole through a castle wall with one swing, is your swordsmanship any less a practice of magic than creating an explosion through canting an incantation and tracing runes with your hands? In a world that is itself magical, a person can learn a spell if that's how their magic works, but they can't "learn" magic any more than a person can "learn" physical existence.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
However, what about settings where only certain people can learn magic?

This would be a deviation from the game's core rules wherein anyone with a sufficient intelligence, wisdom or charisma can learn to cast spells by taking levels in a spellcasting class. It's the sort of deviation that would be specifically pointed out as a specific in-setting rule in some kind of setting guide.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Or a setting like Darksun, where arcane magic is not only illegal but dangerous to the environment? Or a setting where the use of magic is highly restricted or illegal? Or a setting where mages are born, not made?

See above.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
In each of these settings, there is a place for purely mundane folks despite being substantially less than what they could be with magic. A system trying to support any of these settings would need purely mundane classes.

It's the "substantially less" part with which I take issue.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
The way I see it, some character options are situational, a pure mundane fighter in one of the settings I mentioned makes sense, but if a fighter is in a highly magical setting and wants to improve at higher levels, then they should multiclass into a casting class and learn magic that supports their fighting style. Or just go with a casting class with the right spell selection and feats. Or maybe even just go gestalt in some form (though that would be for everyone in the game, but still might work to have one half caster and the other half not.).

See above. I'm not talking spells. I'm talking magic.

TheAlicornSage wrote:
So really, I guess then, do you want a system totally dedicated to a particular setting, or do you want it more flexible (which inherently means that not all options will be equal in all situations)? Do you want a system designed for a specific type of play, or to support various different circumstances, like one shot adventures and long running epic campaigns?

This is a false dichotomy. There isn't a binary decision here. It's not "totally dedicated to particular setting." It's dedicated to a particular kind of setting, sure. But that's still a number of possible settings greater than one. To answer the question, I want rules that are dedicated to delivering the best mechanics they can to support the kind of play the core system is best at, even if it means making a compromise on what kinds of stories it can be used to tell. Maybe it's not a popular opinion, but this thread isn't about what changes we think would be popular. It's about what changes we would want to make for the game to be more enjoyable for us.


Neurophage wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Honestly, I agree that for a highly magical world where anyone could potentially learn magic, only an idiot would try to be a soldier without knowing magic.
This is one of the assumptions I'd want to correct. It's not really important to any kind of point I'd try to make, but it's more for the purpose of making sure we're talking about the same things. I say "magic" and people immediately assume "spells." I'm talking about spells being only one possible expression of magic. If the world itself is magical, then every thing, every being is also magical. Even every action, once elevated to a certain level of power, would be obviously magical. If your ability with a sword has reached the point where you can carve a hole through a castle wall with one swing, is your swordsmanship any less a practice of magic than creating an explosion through canting an incantation and tracing runes with your hands? In a world that is itself magical, a person can learn a spell if that's how their magic works, but they can't "learn" magic any more than a person can "learn" physical existence.

Something, something about the strength of Magic outside of spells.

^ that would be my guess.

the arbitrary values of different class features compared to each others don't help either.


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1) Before doing anything else, take a big step back and answer the question, "what is a character of x level supposed to be able to do?" For example, what is the Mundane Melee Warrior supposed to do? How far can he go before he must get some source of supernatural power to keep up with the casters and monsters? I've read good arguments to the effect that the Fighter should be a six-level class that sets you up for various Prestige options to keep the character interesting and relevant.

2) Balance high-level gameplay. This is very broad because it involves fixing many things: Martial-Caster Disparity, Rocket Tag, slow combat, high level spells, etc. I think one of the major reasons for 3.5/PF's continued popularity is that it is one of the few systems out there that let you grow a character from one step above a commoner, to one of the most powerful entities in the world. Solutions like E6, or other systems like 5e or Savage Worlds, achieve better balance and gameplay at the cost of lowering the power ceiling dramatically.

3) De-emphasize things like combat prowess and trapfinding. These are historically the biggest stumbling blocks towards balancing the Fighter (he can't have other things because he's soo good at fighting!) and Rogue (he can't have other things because he fills The Trap Guy Niche!), but it sneaks into a lot of other classes as well. How many archetypes for other classes give up a big pile of class features for Heavy Armor and Martial Weapon proficiency, or whatever? How much are full BAB and proficiencies "worth" when budgeting a class' pile of features? From what I've seen, they're weighted far too heavily. I've even seen it seriously argued by a Paizo writer that the Fighter's Weapon Training is underrated because it's the equivalent to dozens of feats (i.e. Weapon Focus for every weapon in that group). Give me a break.

4) Stop tying generic mechanical benefits to highly specific fluff. A perfect example is Fey Foundling, whose ubiquity on Paladins is a constant source of complaint. Its effect is that magical healing is more effective on that character. Why must that be the result of being found in the woods as a child by fairies? Why couldn't it be refluffed to be the result of some other childhood encounter, or divine favor, or what have you? If your objective is to reduce min/maxing, tying mechanical choices to fluff does the opposite: Those dirty munchkins will simply start min/maxing their backgrounds too. Take away refluffing and characters will get more samey, not less.

5) Move casters to a system (not necessarily Spheres of Power) in which they have to learn basic versions of a spell to learn the major versions of that spell. Everything else works that way, but casters get a pass for some reason. This contributes to casters being both overpowered (they can learn anything their character level and class list allows them to, with no "foundation") and thematically boring (casters will avoid redundancies in spells known, therefore the best Wizard is a pile of mutually unrelated spells).


Athaleon wrote:
Lots of good stuff

1)While I am not a fan of “magical mundanes” (i.e., Rogues who are so acrobatic that they run on the walls and ceiling), I like this mission statement; setting the parameters for what is “mundane”. One could then integrate a system of tiers, where one of them crosses the threshold into supernatural abilities, creating various sort of “E6” points. So, campaign A encompasses Tiers 1 and 2, stopping at 8th level. Whereas, campaign B is a full powered epic campaign encompassing all 5 tiers, and going to 20th level.

2)Aye, there’s the rub. Better balance and gameplay seem to come at the expense of the power level. But, there is streamlining that can be done. An easing of the power creep inherent in the numbers by, for example, using a 1-10 range instead of 1-20 (i.e., half level.) for things like BAB, caster level, and saves. As well as reducing the possible bonus types and the range of such. And of course, the chess of combat movement and actions.

3)Yes, I see many things that are overestimated in value. Spell-like abilities in creature CR is a big one. In 3.x this was a huge problem with the ECL of monsters as PCs, and continues to be an issue for the effective level of exotic cohorts. Another area is weapon and armor proficiencies. It reminds me of a wonderful letter to Dragon Magazine in the 80’s, where the writer was discussing the silliness of restricting armor on mages, and said ‘You could give a magic-user +5 plate mail and a light saber, he still has no business in melee’. I think that is still very true; if you must “build” your warrior mage or priest to compete in frontline combat, then you have given up other things. Why make it so clunky and prohibitive. If I want my Wizard to carry a longsword, why should it take away from being a Wizard.

4)Absolutely, one of my greatest pet peeves. I favor a set of generic traits that are simply the mechanical bonuses they boil down to. My group really doesn’t even bother with the fluff, because if you want it, you’re going to take it. Back in the 3.x Forgotten Realms, there were Regional feats that you could only take if you were of a certain race and region. Sooo, people shopped for the feats they wanted most, and then chose the race and region they needed. Hardly a recipe for creative or spontaneous character creation.

5)I like this.


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Well, these are less things I "would" change and more things that I have long-since house-ruled. But yeah, if I could pick a few house rules to make PRPG standard, here they are:

1) Rolled DCs for PCs, flat DCs for NPCs/monsters.
That is, a PC Wizard with Int 16 would have a DC of d20+4 for first level spells and roll each time she cast a spell. This gives the player the thrill of a Nat 20, or the horror of a Nat 1.

2) Rolled saves for PCs, flat saves for NPCs/monsters.
Rolling a dozen saving throws for all the dudes hit by a fireball is a pain. Better to have a flat DC that the PCs roll to hit. This is tied with the option above.

Basically 1 and 2 have the Players rolling more often and the GM rolling less often, which is how I like it.

3) Bucklers impart no penalty to attack with a two-handed weapon. Bucklers IRL were designed for this very purpose and would be more likely to interfere with one-handed attacks.

4) Background Skill variant from Unchained.

5) ... I can't think of a 5th one. **shrug**


Zelgadas Greyward wrote:

Well, these are less things I "would" change and more things that I have long-since house-ruled. But yeah, if I could pick a few house rules to make PRPG standard, here they are:

1) Rolled DCs for PCs, flat DCs for NPCs/monsters.
That is, a PC Wizard with Int 16 would have a DC of d20+4 for first level spells and roll each time she cast a spell. This gives the player the thrill of a Nat 20, or the horror of a Nat 1.

2) Rolled saves for PCs, flat saves for NPCs/monsters.
Rolling a dozen saving throws for all the dudes hit by a fireball is a pain. Better to have a flat DC that the PCs roll to hit. This is tied with the option above.

Basically 1 and 2 have the Players rolling more often and the GM rolling less often, which is how I like it.

Well, and I'm not criticizing, 1 and 2 are basically one thing. It's usually called 'players roll all the dice', and it is discussed often in optional rules. Sooo, that means you need 2 more "things". ;)


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Athaleon wrote:

1) Before doing anything else, take a big step back and answer the question, "what is a character of x level supposed to be able to do?" For example, what is the Mundane Melee Warrior supposed to do? How far can he go before he must get some source of supernatural power to keep up with the casters and monsters? I've read good arguments to the effect that the Fighter should be a six-level class that sets you up for various Prestige options to keep the character interesting and relevant.

{. . .}

I've toyed with the idea of this for other classes as well. Of course, D&D 3.x sort of did this under the table by giving you 20 levels of base class that just weren't very good, and then offering prestige classes that were more powerful and interesting, so that in most cases it was best to go into a prestige class as soon as you could.


1. Borrowing from latter day 4e; all races would have an alternate racial trait to affect their ability scores in the way that humans and changelings already do, so that not every member of the race has the precise same stats.

2. Good will saves for fighters.

3. The Advanced Armor Training and Advanced Weapons Training alternate class abilities from Armor Master's and Weapon Master's handbooks, respectively, would be made into base class abilities that layer on top of the basic weapon & armor training rather than replace parts of it.

4. Vital Strike feats would work in a greater range of circumstances.

5. Warpriest would be given back the ability from playtesting that gave them full BAB when using their divine weapon.


Athaleon wrote:
5) Move casters to a system (not necessarily Spheres of Power) in which they have to learn basic versions of a spell to learn the major versions of that spell. Everything else works that way, but casters get a pass for some reason. This contributes to casters being both overpowered (they can learn anything their character level and class list allows them to, with no "foundation") and thematically boring (casters will avoid redundancies in spells known, therefore the best Wizard is a pile of mutually unrelated spells).

I like your suggestions, as they pretty much mirror my thoughts, except this last one. While (9th lvl) casting in 3.x&PF doesn't resemble much anything from fiction, I consider it foundation of 20 lvl progression in the game. I'd rather that fighters and rogues are given more levy, reducing the feat chains and feat prerequisites, and making things like Iron Caster fighter the norm, rather than a specific build.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Instead of making casters weaker or nerfed, I would want to see martials enhanced.

Get rid of the reduced attack rolls for iterative attacks and let them move and get full attacks. Maybe some scaling damage bonuses so they're not totally out-performed by casters. I understand spells are limited resources, and swings are pretty much unlimited, so I realize that there should be a benefit for spending the opportunity cost of a spell.

Tighten up the Feat Chains, like incorporating Improved and Greater into the basic forms of feats. Also, make feats do more, kind of like 5e feats.

Let martials do cool, cinematic things, like jumping through the air, throwing two javelins at once. Definitely give them cool things to do with their Swift Actions, even if it's just an extra attack or a bonus to hit from aiming, or some extra movement.


^Add to this: Make Vital Strike (and Improved, and Greater) something that you can just choose to do if you have a high enough Base Attack Bonus, except make the damage scaling more fine-grained. This cuts down on the need to use Iterative Attacks (although the option would still be there), thereby speeding gameplay and helping martials get in the equivalent of full attacks.


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I'd make so if they move and attack theniteratives works as they do now with accuracy decreasing, if they take a full round all the attacks hit at highest BAB.

There should be some benefit to attacking as a full round action.


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There should be some Hollywood stuff for martials... eg) slashing with your sword and then kneeing them in the gonads and finished with a headbutt...

Grand Lodge

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1. The Magic system, which can be very frustating especially if you want a game to go high level and yet don't want full casters completely overshadowing other players or causing undo stress to the adventures.

I would replace it with the Spheres of Power system.

2. The Combat system, which often leaves melee characters with much more limited options as well just standing still and full attacking. Giving them options other then simply beating an opponent with a stick while hoping a caster doesn't simply cast a spell and get the job done faster. Also, more kinetic and fluid combat where one does not need to stand still just to get the most damage.

I would, once it is finished going through playtesting and is offically released, replace it with Spheres of Combat. Of which I was part of the kickstarter for and am very excited to use.

3. Leadership rules and the feat that everyone thinks is broken, and how apart for spellcasting many see Charisma as a wasted feat. How there isn't a lot of options, apart from perhaps Kingmaker, for more social encounters or even psychological strategy in combat.

Replace existing rules with Ultimate Charisma, as well consideration of certain Legendary Games supplements from their Ultimate line.

4. More versatility and even complexity for Bloodlines, both for Sorcerers and Bloodragers, and in what powers can actually be gained from have a particular ancestry or parentage.

The The Big Book of Bloodlines by Interjection Games.

5. More archetypes, better crafted archetypes, and in general more options for players or class building. With this even, improved versions of already published options that Paizo did not do quite as well as they could.

The Archetype Compendium by Flaming Crab Games, the Everyman Unchained products (counting, in particular, the Unchained Fighter), Legendary Classes (particularly for the Rogue which is comparable with its Unchained version), Childhood Adventures, and more.
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There is more, but for now that will do. When it comes to Pathfinder not having the rules or options I want, I can generally count on a 3rd parties coming up with something brilliant and well made. Particularly when it comes to products well rated and recommended by The Endzeitgeist.


Neurophage wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Generally speaking, that is rather specific to setting.
Everything is specific to setting. Games are made with a setting intention built-in. Even generic games like GURPS have books of options that clearly indicate the kind of setting that they're designed to support.

A system can be made for a specific setting, but not always. DnD was designed for a range of settings, a range of playstyles, and a range of gametypes.

Oftentimes people complain about things because they don't understand the design niche of the thing they are complaining about.

DnD was not designed for magic to be something anybody can learn.

Do not mistake freedom of player choice with freedom of character choice. A player can at anytime take a level of sorcerer, but characters could never choose to have heritage required.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
Honestly, I agree that for a highly magical world where anyone could potentially learn magic, only an idiot would try to be a soldier without knowing magic.
This is one of the assumptions I'd want to correct. It's not really important to any kind of point I'd try to make, but it's more for the purpose of making sure we're talking about the same things. I say "magic" and people immediately assume "spells." I'm talking about spells being only one possible expression of magic.

I do not assume that magic means spells, though d20 does (well it includes magic items as well, but making those is strictly out of combat).

Quote:
If the world itself is magical, then every thing, every being is also magical. Even every action, once elevated to a certain level of power, would be obviously magical. If your ability with a sword has reached the point where you can carve a hole through a castle wall with one swing, is your swordsmanship any less a practice of magic than creating an explosion through canting an incantation and tracing runes with your hands?

Yes, swinging a sword is less magical than summoning fireballs for some definitions of magic (what magic is, and what it can do, are different things entirely).

Also, why would swordswinging ever slice through a castle wall? The sword itself would break, and having the strength to do that would actually be far more strength than would be required to simply punch a hole through tge wall.

Slicing a castle wall with a sword would never come from

[working]

Quote:
In a world that is itself magical, a person can learn a spell if that's how their magic works, but they can't "learn" magic any more than a person can "learn" physical existence.

True, but, to use a real life example, does that mean you can learn to use the weak nucleic force to precisely grant an individual the ability to fly? No.

The rules of a universe can only be utilized in particular ways. A universe might have magic built into it's laws of physics, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
However, what about settings where only certain people can learn magic?
This would be a deviation from the game's core rules wherein anyone with a sufficient intelligence, wisdom or charisma can learn to cast spells by taking levels in a spellcasting class. It's the sort of deviation that would be specifically pointed out as a specific in-setting rule in some kind of setting guide.

Incorrect. Sorcerers get their magic from heritage. Only those born with it can learn it. Players can choose it, but only because players get to choose the heritage of their characters. The characters themselves do not get to choose whether they have the power in them, though they can refrain from using that power if they do have it.

Furthermore, the rules themselves state that they are guidelines and tools, not a complete package. Even Gygax said that a player could play the rules and miss the entire point of the game.

Just because all those classes are there does not mean that the system (or it's designers) expect every game to allow all the classes in every game setting.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Or a setting like Darksun, where arcane magic is not only illegal but dangerous to the environment? Or a setting where the use of magic is highly magical setting and wants to improve at higher levels, then they should multiclass into a casting class and learn magic that supports their fighting style. Or just go with a casting class with the right spell selection and feats. Or maybe even just go gestalt in some form (though that would be for everyone in the game, but still might work to have one half caster and the other half not.).

See above. I'm not talking spells. I'm talking magic.

I wasn't talking spells either.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

So really, I guess then, do you want a system totally dedicated to a particular setting, or do you want it more flexible (which inherently means that not all options will be equal in all situations)? Do you want a system designed for a specific type of play, or to support various different circumstances, like one shot adventures and long running epic campaigns?

This is a false dichotomy. There isn't a binary decision here. It's not "totally dedicated to particular setting." It's dedicated to a particular kind of setting, sure. But that's still a number of possible settings greater than one. To answer the question, I want rules that are dedicated to delivering the best mechanics they can to support the kind of play the core system is best at, even if it means making a compromise on what kinds of stories it can be used to tell. Maybe it's not a popular opinion, but this thread isn't about what changes we think would be popular. It's about what changes we would want to make for the game to be more enjoyable for us.

I was not trying to imply it was binary, but they are opposite ends of a spectrum. And while you might have a desire for a system to be at a specific point on that spectrum, you'll have better success, making or using, a system if you understand where the system us on the spectrum.

You think d20 is designed with narrower range of settings than it actually is, and that has colored your analysis.

It is a grave mistake to see d20 rules as a complete set of rules intended to be used as written and unchanged. They are not.

The rules are constantly encouraging things to be adjusted and adapted to each particular campaign.

The default assumption of the system is that the gm will use the rulebook as a mere foundation upon which to build the rules to their individualized campaign.

Thus the rules have a range of "parts" with different ideas.


There was an option in 3.5 to let everyone with bloodlines to use them, to some extent. Thus my leveled mutations. Only sorcerers get the bonus spells, but ant fighter can use the combat aspects.


1. Dump iterative attack structure
2. Admit Golarion is a massively magic world and stop pretending it's lovecraftian.
3.dump % miss chance.
4. Really simplify combat manoeuvres
5. Cut back on the Christmas tree amount of gear


Can'tFindthePath wrote:
2)Aye, there’s the rub. Better balance and gameplay seem to come at the expense of the power level. But, there is streamlining that can be done. An easing of the power creep inherent in the numbers by, for example, using a 1-10 range instead of 1-20 (i.e., half level.) for things like BAB, caster level, and saves. As well as reducing the possible bonus types and the range of such. And of course, the chess of combat movement and actions.

I agree with cutting down the number of bonus types (and situational bonuses in general), but the increase in numbers isn't a bug, it's a feature: It keeps the riffraff out of high level play. In a fantasy setting like Golarion there will be enemies that are simply beyond the ability of 1st-level characters to defeat, yet are barely worth a 20th-level character's time, and mechanically, those gaps are enforced by the gaps in numbers (and spell levels). In other words, the difference in power between low and high level characters (which again, I believe is a big draw of 3e) is defined by bigger numbers and higher level spells. This also goes back to point #1: Define what character levels actually mean before building the rest of the system around those definitions. Sure it comes with its own set of problems, like things not scaling in sync with each other, heavy reliance on gear to keep up with the assumptions made in the CR system, etc, but those are some of the things I'm talking about fixing in balancing high level gameplay.

doc roc wrote:
There should be some Hollywood stuff for martials... eg) slashing with your sword and then kneeing them in the gonads and finished with a headbutt...

You can already do this (make an attack with a sword, followed by a Dirty Trick and an unarmed strike), it's just that the Dirty Trick part requires major investment and there's just little reason for most characters to do that. Personally I feel it's neither believable nor satisfying for a man with a sword to suddenly decide to hit his opponent with his forehead instead of just using his sword again.


Athaleon wrote:
Can'tFindthePath wrote:
2)Aye, there’s the rub. Better balance and gameplay seem to come at the expense of the power level. But, there is streamlining that can be done. An easing of the power creep inherent in the numbers by, for example, using a 1-10 range instead of 1-20 (i.e., half level.) for things like BAB, caster level, and saves. As well as reducing the possible bonus types and the range of such. And of course, the chess of combat movement and actions.

I agree with cutting down the number of bonus types (and situational bonuses in general), but the increase in numbers isn't a bug, it's a feature: It keeps the riffraff out of high level play. In a fantasy setting like Golarion there will be enemies that are simply beyond the ability of 1st-level characters to defeat, yet are barely worth a 20th-level character's time, and mechanically, those gaps are enforced by the gaps in numbers (and spell levels). In other words, the difference in power between low and high level characters (which again, I believe is a big draw of 3e) is defined by bigger numbers and higher level spells. This also goes back to point #1: Define what character levels actually mean before building the rest of the system around those definitions. Sure it comes with its own set of problems, like things not scaling in sync with each other, heavy reliance on gear to keep up with the assumptions made in the CR system, etc, but those are some of the things I'm talking about fixing in balancing high level gameplay.

Well certainly, if that is your goal, then more power to you. One of the things I took away from 5E, is the widening of the threat ranges. That is, a given CR critter can be used for a wider range of levels of adventurer, because the numbers are flatter. And I like the idea of a band of Orcs being a threat to a mid level party without needing to build an (unbelievably) higher level Orc band. As you say, define your levels.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My five changes to pathfinder:
1. Remove all spontaneous casting. Some spontaneouse classes like oracle and sorcerer just go away completely. Others such as bard which have no corresponding prepared class become prepared casters. Orisons, bonded item spells, cleric spontaneous cure/inflict, and druid summon are all slight exceptions to the Vancian system that can remain to soften the edges.

2. Remove all mention of point buy, and instead in the core rule book include about five different possible systems to roll stats.

3. Dex to damage available for the cost of about 2 feats at level 3 for any class (one of those feats being weapon finesse)

4. Strengthen animal companions

5. Loosen the stacking rules. More things should stack.


^Why do you want to get rid of spontaneous casting and point buy?


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Why do you want to get rid of spontaneous casting and point buy?

With point buy, I'll bet dollars to pesos it's "because powergamers".


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^At one time I would have agreed with your assessment . . . but in quite a large number of posts I have recently seen an awful lot of characters posted with insane ability scores (on the order of 33 point buy equivalent) from rolled stats, usually claimed to be 4d6 drop lowest . . . .

Dark Archive

My 5 changes would be
1)Add at character creation the dramatic character chart from Hill Folk rpg. At the start of the game everyone should have an idea of who their character is and what is their relationship with everyone and not all these decisions should come from the player alone.

2)Add legendary actions, saves and lair actions from 5e at least to the monsters that are suppose to be boss monsters so that combat is more interesting

3)Make traits a 20 level progression, you pick 2 (or 3 with a scaling drawback) and at each level they will give you special abilities tied to your profession or background that will let you do things outside of combat or alternative actions in combat.

4)Have scaling feats and magic items, basically remove the taxes

5)Change combat rules a little, like you can always full attack and move, the ability to trade an attack action for a combat manoeuvre for free so if you have bab of +15/+10/+5 you can make 3 attacks or 3 grapple checks and other little changes that escape my mind at the moment. The point being to add flexibility to combat


I see the topic of this thread changing quickly.....

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I would like there to be a core Action Point/Hero Point/Inspiration-type mechanic beginning at 1st level, with boosts to that ability occurring at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 (essentially the non-class related empty levels (odd levels get feats, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 get ability score increases)). These would also be used to improve martial abilities.

I think the Ability Score Increases should be +2 or +1/+1 like 5e.

I think race abilities should also get boosts at levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18.

Actually, I think levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 have been design spaces that should have been exploited for a while now. I think they should be used for additional traits, racial abilities, and Action Point stuff, as well a way to show non-combat growth in characters. Basically relatively non-combat abilities, especially abilities enhancing exploration and social interactions, to represent character growth.


1.Fractional Base Bonuses into Core!
2.Simplify Conditions!
3.Unchain Animal Companions!
4.Simplify Environment!
5.More Love to Grippli!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A Base Spellcaster Level Bonus (Multiclassig spellcasters suuuux)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Get rid of non-d20 rolls (other than damage). For miss chance, use Advantage/Disadvantage. For Arcane Spell Failure, make it a Concentration check. For Armored Arcane Casters, let them Take 10, so it will just naturally scale with level (DC 15 for Light, 20 or 25 for Medium, 25 or 30 for Heavy Armor).

Simplify combat math. Make every class Full BAB and let spellcasters use their relevant spellcasting ability score to make spell attack rolls. Allow moving and full attacking. No reduction to iterative attack roll bonuses. Allow swapping out of attacks for combat maneuvers. Using a Combat Maneuver only provokes an AoO if the CM fails. Combine all Improved and Greater Combat Maneuver feats into 1 Feat, as well as choosing Dex instead of Str for CMB. Make Dex to attacks and damage a feature of the weapon, not the wielder. Make feats automatically scaling instead of doing Improved, Greater, etc. Every creature gets a possible swift action and a possible immediate action.

Revise magic rules. Get rid of the differences between spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural effects; magic is magic. Have multi-classed spell casters use a single pool of spell slots, but learn/prepare/know spell levels based on each class. Make cantrips more fun. Make 6 level casters 9 level casters, and grant 9 level casters better class features at higher levels, such as bonus high level spells. Balance the former 6 level casters with current 9 level casters with spell list selection. Make the 4th level casters "half" 9 level casters (like 5e). Make spell DCs based on character level, not spell level. Make some PrCs, like arcane tricksters and eldritch knights, built-in archetype options for rogues and fighters as half-casters (not 1/3 casters like 5e), giving them an equivalent magical ability to paladins and rangers.

EDIT:

Mystic Theurge would be an archetype for every spell casting base class. Basically, you would select a primary class, like cleric, and then become a secondary half-caster in a different class, like wizard. So there will be cleric (wizard)s, bard (druid)s, sorcerer (bard)s, wizard (druid)s, druid (cleric)s, alchemist (wizard)s, cleric (inquisitor)s, wizard (magus)s, etc. etc.


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SmiloDan wrote:
Actually, I think levels 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 have been design spaces that should have been exploited for a while now. I think they should be used for additional traits, racial abilities, and Action Point stuff, as well a way to show non-combat growth in characters. Basically relatively non-combat abilities, especially abilities enhancing exploration and social interactions, to represent character growth.

This is an excellent idea. I never really considered those as dead levels, but you are right!


so basically make PF a copy of 5E?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like 5e as a system. And though many of my wishes are simplifications, I'd still like to retain the core of 3.5+ type play.

Take Hit Dice for example:

I hate them as the hp mechanic for characters. Since pure chance determines whether your fighter is effective at their role or not. It'd be like asking a sorcerer to roll for spells known each level.

Rolling is good on a micro level, but bad on a macro level. (It's why I don't do rolled stats).

So I'd like to see 3 "chassis":

Caster:
HP 6; BAB +1/2; BSB +1; Save: 1 Good; Maximum Spell Tier: 9. Skills: 4

Hybrid
HP 8; BAB +2/3; BSB +2/3; Save: 2 Good; Max. Spell Tier: 6; Skills: 4

Martial
HP 10; BAB +1; BSB +1/2; Saves: 2 Good; Max Spell Tier: 4; Skill: 6

If a character chooses to forgo a BSB entirely they can either get 2 extra skills or hp/level


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

{. . .}

Take Hit Dice for example:

I hate them as the hp mechanic for characters. Since pure chance determines whether your fighter is effective at their role or not. It'd be like asking a sorcerer to roll for spells known each level.
{. . .}

That reminds me of 1st Edition AD&D, in which Magic-Users (what they used to call Wizards) had limited spells known unless they had Intelligence 18, and had to roll for the possibility of learning each spell (the latter mechanic still exists to some extent, but has been made less arduous -- and back then, you didn't get any spells automatically except for a very limited number at 1st level). Not the same as rolling for number of spells known at each level, but had a potentially similar result (particularly if you had bad ability score rolls -- although people had individually thought of point buy back then, it officially didn't exist, and AD&D 1st Edition didn't even have Basic D&D's mechanic of trading out points in other ability scores for points in your primary ability score).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I houseruled you roll for hit points for levels 2 to 20 (max at 1st), and if you get less than half, you get half + 1 (4 for d6s, 5 for d8s, 6 for d10s, 7 for d12s).

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:
I houseruled you roll for hit points for levels 2 to 20 (max at 1st), and if you get less than half, you get half + 1 (4 for d6s, 5 for d8s, 6 for d10s, 7 for d12s).

I give Maximum forever because why not? The worst that happens is players can fight for longer and use more of their healing spells because players are deathly afraid of going into any combat at anything less than maximum. Then when they're in deep, and want to go rest.

Random encounter time.

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