One simple house rule to get that 1e power reliability feel in 2e


General Discussion


There seems to be quite a lot of concern that the tighter math in 2e won't allow the incredibly optimized 1e characters that can succeed at what they're trying to do even at a roll of 5 or lower (even on a 1 with Mythic 1e!)

Most of that is coming from the very few bonus types in 2e and the fact that they don't stack.

Now I completely understand why Paizo is doing this as the amount of optimization 1e allows really rewards the kind of system mastery that new players are scared off by.

But for tables that want that old feeling why not houserule that all bonuses stack? Then players can happily hunt for all the various places to get bonuses and pile them on each other 1e style. Then on top of that the Bard can Inspire Competence and the Cleric can Bless and I'm pretty sure even in the current playtest you can get to the point that you're succeeding on level appropriate challenges on a low dice roll!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What are your experiences running this? The obvious concern is that critical hit rates would go through the roof. How did that play out for you?


This is very much theorycrafting unfortunately, but you're right. +10 AC crit on attack rolls might have to be junked for balance reasons.


I'd rather go for something less extreme: like removing the 18+ ability boost tax, rewarding stronger than recommended items, or giving the players a flat bonus on all rolls (even just a +2 would make a notable impact).


The fun of stacking bonuses from as many sources as possible as an exercise in system mastery is what I'm trying to replicate as a 2e house rule @The Once and Future Kai.

It will also allow 2e to become a superhero game like optimized 1e is, rather than the pulp feel that 2e seems to be aiming for (I define pulp as you mow through minions but are evenly matched or slightly over matched against significant enemies always, so you can expect to fail on a roll of 12 or even higher!.)


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Here is a suggestion I made to get similar percentages without skewing overall number higher:

Thread

The basic idea is that Master proficiency lets you roll 2 20s and choose highest, while Legendary lets you roll 3.

It does increase the likelihood of critical hits, but not astronomically for difficult challenges.


removing bonus types is basically what they did anyway.

It would certainly be better for the game if it was balanced around a max cap (maybe based off you level/proficiency?).

Like, what if the max bonus you could have after your proficiency bonus was based on 1/3 of your level + your proficiency rating (0-4). That caps out at 11 which is about the same max cap as we have now, but it's gated in a different way which makes a lot of abilities more useful but has a reduced capacity overall. Might be a bit artificial, but not any more so than "item bonus".

Because really, anything would be better than the meaningless bonus types we have now anyway, if you're gonna butcher the bonuses from 3.5, at least take it away and don't let it lay out in the sun to rot.

Scarab Sages

NorthernDruid wrote:

removing bonus types is basically what they did anyway.

It would certainly be better for the game if it was balanced around a max cap (maybe based off you level/proficiency?).

Like, what if the max bonus you could have after your proficiency bonus was based on 1/3 of your level + your proficiency rating (0-4). That caps out at 11 which is about the same max cap as we have now, but it's gated in a different way which makes a lot of abilities more useful but has a reduced capacity overall. Might be a bit artificial, but not any more so than "item bonus".

Because really, anything would be better than the meaningless bonus types we have now anyway, if you're gonna butcher the bonuses from 3.5, at least take it away and don't let it lay out in the sun to rot.

Wow that is a huge advantage!, see what I did there? On a serious note, 2 and even 3 d20s take the highest is just going to throw the math way off, even in the current rules there exist this mechanic, and in those cases it cost you a resource, like True strike, for example. I can't imagine having a static bonus like you suggest. This whole thread to me seems like your all barking up the wrong tree. Why are we so opposed to characters failing rolls, I mean why should characters somehow cheat physics and be like demigods? You don't even need a house rule to do what you guys want. Just find the right group and GM and make all your monsters and challenges five levels lower than the party, there you go problem solved, you already have a way to feel epic. As a little side note, I am in a PF1 game where one of the players is super optimal, he basically hits most things with a 3 or more, and only gets hit with 19 and 20s, I'm just going to say it how it is, that campaign is no longer any fun, I want to be challenged.


Unicore wrote:

Here is a suggestion I made to get similar percentages without skewing overall number higher:

Thread

The basic idea is that Master proficiency lets you roll 2 20s and choose highest, while Legendary lets you roll 3.

Interesting, like Advantage (roll twice, choose highest) and Elven Accuracy (roll thrice, choose highest) from 5th Ed, I have quite liked mechanics (dice tricks?) like this since SWSE (nifty game, unfortunately it totally breaks down at higher levels, unless you strip out +Heroic level and BAB)


Advantage does get you the feeling of power and succeeding on most die rolls but what I'm trying to replicate is the system mastery aspect of 1e where players could stack bonuses and buffs from multiple sources to get that outcome.

Some people on the boards have complained that 2e has taken that away. I just thought of this as a simple house rule to make 2e feel like 1e in that regard.


Azih wrote:

Advantage does get you the feeling of power and succeeding on most die rolls but what I'm trying to replicate is the system mastery aspect of 1e where players could stack bonuses and buffs from multiple sources to get that outcome.

Some people on the boards have complained that 2e has taken that away. I just thought of this as a simple house rule to make 2e feel like 1e in that regard.

Ah, yes, maybe stack bonuses to a maximum of +5, or something. The open-ended nature of 3rd Ed/PF1 can be a bit much for me (Str 55, +93 Stealth check, etc).


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Azih wrote:
The fun of stacking bonuses from as many sources as possible as an exercise in system mastery is what I'm trying to replicate as a 2e house rule @The Once and Future Kai.

In Pathfinder First Edition, the system mastery aspect was navigating the various bonuses and figuring out how they could stack. There's not much mastery inherit to everything stacking - for this houserule to bring back that component of First Edition you'll need to bring back the various bonus types. Otherwise you're just breaking the system...not because a player was clever in navigating the rules but just because a central limitation was removed.

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