“If this were the final version of the game, what would I house rule and why?”


General Discussion


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Premise: this will have links.

OVERALL GAMEPLAY:

Challenges
Not as much of a house rule but more of a premise and side note, but people need to realise that an equal-level challenge is supposed to be an equal-level challenge. If a character is the same level as a monster, they are roughly equal. If a character is the same level of a door, he’s supposed to crack it just as much as the door is supposed to keep him out. Designing encounters and challenges must be done with this in mind… And the book must make it blatantly clear. Much of the feedback I read seems to be starting from the premise that a level 6 PC should easily beat a level 6 DC, which is like saying that a lv5 Ranger should single-handedly duel Trolls all day long. Good luck with that.

So, if I were to house rule something and then show those house rules to someone else, it would start with this premise. And state this clearly to every GM.

Skills
Skills are currently staying out of my naughty list, with two outliers - Crafting and Performance.
Crafting is a downtime skill with a lot of complexity and relatively low use, but can have value in some places. Mostly, this is a mandatory Trained skill for Alchemists, but beyond that it really does not feel significant. I would, then, add interactions between Alchemists and Crafting ranks and checks, and perhaps increase Crafting’s baseline strength.
Performance is… not so sure. See The Dancing Elephant in the Room for details. I would remove it from the skill list and redistribute Fascinating Performance to some other skill, perhaps Society.
Medicine, while not on the naughty list, is a likely target for improvements, as outlined in the Healing section of this thread.

Feats
Different approach to different issues for different groups. Let’s work in order:
-Class Feats: I would likely group some feats together to make them more significant, allowing feats to scale in a similar way to Cleric Spellcasting (p.280). I believe the Druid’s Wild Shapes to be a likely candidate for this, as they are outgrown fairly quickly by higher level druids and get very likely retrained.
-Skill feats: I would remove Performance-related skill feats except Fascinating Performance, which would become a Society feat.
-General feats: I would add a feat to grant an additional reaction in some way, to help those characters with multiple reaction abilities. This should be restricted to reactions that have not been used since the start of your last turn.

Equipment
Heavy armour, and armour in general, would get a few modifications. Specifically, I would remove Clumsy and ACP reductions with quality, and instead add three new traits: Lightweight, Flexible, and Impervious.
-Lightweight would reduce ACP to Str-based checks.
-Flexible would reduce ACP to Dex-based checks.
-Impervious would grant a small damage reduction against bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, or any combination of the three.
-Noisy would change to prevent Flexible from affecting Stealth checks, with only a slight reduction being allowed at Legendary quality.
All these traits would scale with item quality, with lightweight and flexible being common for light and medium armour, and Impervious being mostly a heavy armour benefit.

I have (reluctantly) accepted Heavy Armour bonuses as mathematically constrained, but that does not mean they must become strictly obsolete with level. There are other ways to depict physical protection, and they should be used.

Further, I would be granting all characters a minimum number of damage dice when using nonmagical weapons, provided they have sufficient Proficiency and high enough level. This to make it so that a character that is meant to master weaponry could actually be good with weapons, not simply be good when wielding a very powerful magic sword and be horrible at anything else. Magical weapons would be better than raw damage, and non stacking, but there needs to be a fallback option.

When assigning treasure, I would let characters get 2-4 consumables instead of a permanent item of the same level, or 2 items of 2 lower levels if they wanted.

Lastly, snare kits as 8 bulk are ridiculous. If you want rangers to use this, it needs to be at least modular, splitting it into a lesser snare kit for quick traps and a full-scale one for bigger snares.

Resonance
I am, actually, a fan of Resonance. Perhaps because it reminds me of Methyrfall’s background and magic rules a little, but I want it to stay.
What I do not want, however, is uses/day.
I would thus remove uses per day and charges from almost every item (1/day powerful effects being the exception), instead adding 2pt and 3pt resonance costs on certain powerful effects (which I believe would also address the higher resonance pools high level characters currently have).
The few items that would maintain charges would be items granted by a power or ability like the wizard’s Improvised Wand and some items that get spent like a fuse, such as the spell-absorbing Aeon Stone.

CHARACTERS:

Ancestries
I am certain that even on the current system I would allow for at least two Ancestry feats at lv1 (max 1 heritage). I am also certain that I want ancestries to grow over time. I am less certain of how I want this to happen, so at the start I would experiment with this:
- Divide feats in three groups: Heritage, Ancestry, and Growth.
- keep Heritage feats as static, impactful, themed feats. Add the Heritage feat “True to your Roots” which grants two Ancestry feats.
- make Ancestry feats relatively weak, simple, and minor flavour bonuses. Add some new, region-based Ancestry feats that can be selected regardless of your race to represent populations from different countries other than different genes.
- make Growth feats build upon Ancestry, increasing the bonuses and reach of them.
- allow Characters to select one Heritage feat and two or more Ancestry feats at lv1. No more Ancestry feats are given, and only Growth feats are available from that point forward.

This is to give a customisable, personal touch to Ancestry, while still giving a form of growth that feels related to how you started rather than a sudden change with characters “mysteriously” developing a hate for giants or whatever else.

While this would require a lot of new feats being written, I will not do that in this post. Expect a separate thread soon.

Classes
-Alchemist would get a full rework, with some help from the Druid orders and large use of Crafting rank to determine its power, but also probably using Crafting checks to improve on his chemicals in a similar way as the current Bard (giving all alchemists a reason to invest in their main skill).

-Barbarians would get an accuracy bonus while raging, and some feats would be condensed together or improved upon. The accuracy would be a light adjustment but very meaningful in enhancing his damage on multiple strikes.

-Bards would use spell roll instead of Performance (and the DCs would be adapted), because I would be removing Performance. There is no need to substitute it with another skill. Versatile Performance would instead let you treat your proficiency rank as one higher to qualify for Deception, Diplomacy or Intimidate skill feats (level requirement still stands).

-Clerics would lose most of their Channel feature. Sorry. While I see value in it, it’s beyond excessive in the current form. I would reduce that to once per day, with a second use becoming available for Clerics with 16 or higher Charisma. I would add Charisma requirements (12 or 14) to most channel-themed feats, thus splitting channel-clerics from non-channel clerics and preventing the current situation of combat-focused clerics being able to heal more than healing-focused characters. I suppose a third use could be conceived for clerics with 22 Charisma.

-Druids would see some of their Wild Shape feats consolidated together and turned into scaling feats, giving access to more forms of wild shape over time. Animal Companions would get some form of help, too, mostly aimed at their unguided behaviour. See “minions” later.

-Fighters would see some of their fighting styles feats consolidated together as I mentioned before. Of note is Power Attack, which would be changed to add a conditional +1 damage per die and a third extra die at lv15. Simple change to keep the damage up and avoid making the feat counterproductive without making it too powerful.

-Monk looks generally fine to me and I like it. Again, I would probably consolidate a few feats, like for every other class.

-Paladin has seen a lot of talk around Retributive Strike and Smite Evil, and I won’t shy away from it. I liked Retributive Strike since the blag reveal. I believe it needs some usability tweaks (such as allowing the paladin to Step reactively to get in range if the enemy is within 10ft, for example, or to work with ranged attacks if within 30ft) but I like it as a concept. I also, however, want a proactive paladin, and giving a more relevant part to Blade Ally seems the easiest way. In its current state, it’s basically only worth when triggering a demon’s Good weakness. I would likely turn it into a Paladin Power, adding Good damage to a strike against an evil foe in a relevant and meaningful way. My current version uses d4s and a conditional penalty to AC, making it the reverse of Lay on Hands. As an additional note, I feel like Paladin needs feat condensation more than most.

-Ranger is a solid and functional combat class, with only one issue: it does not feel like a ranger. Beside the buffs to minions, I would consider altering the combat feats to add to ranger’s mobility and skirmishing feel, allowing attacks midway through movement or letting him dart away after dodging a hit, and rework snares to introduce more quickly-usable terrain-altering snares. Anything that can be deployed in 3 or less actions would allow Ranger to fight enemies on his battlefield, which is what a snare ranger should do. I’m fine with bigger snares taking time to set up, but some minor effects like creating a patch of difficult terrain should not take a specialist 10 minutes when anyone can throw caltrops as one action.

-Rogue feels great and I love it. Join some feats together for general consistency with other changes and that’s it.

-Sorcerer would get a full rework to make Bloodlines more personal and flexible, to allow for feat selection and multiclassing, and possibly to allow for Sorcerer to pick between being a true master of magics and a magically-powered gish creature. Mainly, I would add a bunch of new feats to help Sorcerer gain mastery over the non-arcane lists, something that is currently lacking. Finally, I would completely redo the Magical Evolutions to connect more with the magic itself rather than the classes from which Sorcerer “borrows”.

-Wizard is my favourite class and the class I played since forever. When I play a rogue, people wait for me to go Trickster. When I play a Fighter, people bet on how long I’ll last. My longest living character was a pure Wizard I played for 7 years in an ongoing campaign. Basically? I love this. I would play this forever. And so, when I say that P2’s wizard feels off, I hope this comes as a worry. My main issue regards the excess versatility given to wizards with Quick Preparation, Arcane Focus and its feats, and Makeshift Wands, and the lack of attractiveness given to Specialist Wizards. As it is, I have very little incentive to funnel myself into a specialty and very good reasons to walk the Generalist path, ignoring spell powers and simply taking all the versatility I can to become the ultimate wizard bro. If this was the final version, I would probably limit Quick Preparation to generalist wizards, while giving the two Arcane Focus feats to specialists only, thus splitting the maximum versatility a single character can gain. I would probably touch up some of the lv1 spell powers, and I never liked Hand of the Apprentice myself so I’d probably rewrite it into something different. A change I am not sure about could be giving Generalists a single use of Arcane Focus, and allowing that single use to refresh up to one spell slot per level available, turning it into a spell recovery system rather than a source of massive adaptability - but I’m unsure. Basically I still believe that wizard loves adaptability but should rely on good prep work, and this is way too forgiving.
(Final point on wizard - no more opposed schools… that’s actually very nice)

MINIONS
If not commanded every turn, a minion (but not a mindless minion) continues to perform its last task, such as carrying a message, fetching, retreating, or fighting. Any checks attempted without guidance suffer a -2 penalty, and no more than one action per turn can be attempted in such conditions.

HEALING
Remember when I cut down Channel Energy? This is why.
Healing right now is cleric-dependant because of how Resonance cut off the wands. While I approved of Resonance, I do not approve of mandatory clerics, so some other form of healing is necessary. Either characters gain some form of out-of-combat healing (such as a Trained use of the Medicine skill, or some Common magical ritual), or P2 introduces some form of short rest (personally I do not like this option). Personally, I would allow a Trained Medicine activity to spend 10 minutes to heal some recent wounds (no more than 1 hour), the amount scaling with skill rank. Those wounds would then be bolstered, but new wounds could be healed independently. Magical healing and Battle Medic could still have a role in combat healing or to heal wounds you were too busy to tend to in time, and rest would still be your go-to condition removal and longterm healing, but there is a need for out-of-combat patchup that does not rely on Channel Energy just as there was before, even if higher level magic items are now usable. It doesn’t have to cover ALL the healing, nor it has to completely replace consumables, but it has to be a fallback option for characters who are having a rough day.
Otherwise, we’ll always need Clerics.

MAGIC:
Way too many spells have been made to be combat-only. Having anything last longer than an hour seems like an unlikely dream. While that can be good, some spells have been great tools for exploration, world building, or flavour, and I feel this edition has lost that touch of epic magic that such spells gave. I would thus change the durations of several spells, to bring back some non-combat magic usage such as Unseen Servant and turning into a cat.
Also, Prestidigtation needs a bit of loosening up. It was the poster boy for flavour, now it feels like just a sad pick.

OTHER:
I would recap spell powers per class (I already have). I would write short spell summaries to be placed next to the spell lists entries. I would need to write down a lot of stuff myself if I wanted to use this rulebook.
Other minor adjustments would likely be made on a case by case basis on spells, feats, items and the like, but I will assume you realise that and that I kept this feedback as strong points only. It was probably long enough as it was.

Thanks for the read and feel free to comment.


Oh and current Hunt Target runs completely against the idea of skirmishing rangers, so that's another thing I'd definitely address. I can see it working with ranged characters, but it's still very much aimed at stationary fighting, and that's not very rangery.

I totally forgot to add it and can't edit anymore. As usual.

(since I'm here... Channel with single use, with multiple uses gained by Clerics that invest in Channel feats rather than just having high Charisma, can be another option. Especially if adding Cha requirements to them.)


At that point, why would you use Path 2 at all? It's less work to create a whole new system...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If the final rules look anything like the current ones? I'll houserule some very few elements back into PF1E and that's it.


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Gaterie wrote:
At that point, why would you use Path 2 at all? It's less work to create a whole new system...

What makes you think that I had less houserules for PF1?

:D


Same as Magniuskin here. I'm already house-ruling in the 4 domains and the 1000 EXP to level, so I could easily add in the 3 action economy from Unchained, throw a cap on the number of Slotless wonderous Items you can equip and call it a day.

The base math system seems to work better in PF1E than PF2E, and I really don't like the kind of houseruling it would take to fix that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lyricanna wrote:

Same as Magniuskin here. I'm already house-ruling in the 4 domains and the 1000 EXP to level, so I could easily add in the 3 action economy from Unchained, throw a cap on the number of Slotless wonderous Items you can equip and call it a day.

The base math system seems to work better in PF1E than PF2E, and I really don't like the kind of houseruling it would take to fix that.

Keep swift actions as their own type of action in the three action economy, otherwise you'll screw over the classes which rely heavily on them, like Swashbucklers, Inquisitors and Warpriests.


I think you guys are missing the point.
There was a reference to asking playtesters to do this as feedback on the stream a week or two ago.
Yes, of course it's a lot, but that's the point.


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The classes chapter because it's currently unplayable for my group and the introduction chapter because we don't need to be preached at for being offensive when we sit down with friends and play make believe elves, dwarves, french, americans and chinese.

[EDIT]: And also strip out the rules that appear to restrict how exploring dungeons and the environment works.

Liberty's Edge

I'd: (-forgot to add the reasons)
* increase RP and allow 10min healing (Class hp) - I like self healing
* modify table 10-2, 4-3/4 and Hazards slightly for math and integrated use for challenges - if the tables perform smoothly and predictably for me, it make my job easier
* make Languages Lore(Race) - I make use of culture and racial knowledge
* modify Exploration to a 3 action system and halve movement, and use accumulating Sluggish in place of Fatigued (when using all 3 actions to do something) - I think it needs some development
* freeform Backgrounds and associated skill feat to whatever the players wanted, instead of the list - I like player flexibility
* experiment with 2 ability picks being Fort(Str&Con), Ref(Dex), or Will(Int,Wis&Cha) - 2 instead of 4 free, and 1 for Background - I think this might balance better, and end up with some mental capacity
* experiment with growing Bulk capacity (as RP), and allow use of spare capacity for additional melee weapon damage - I dislike mechanics that just limit/restrict and don't offer advantages

* (various setting modifications) - I like being creative


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If this was the final version, well it'd need some work. Though, I expect significant improvement on a couple of these points before the actual final release, especially number 3. And assuming the multiclass dedications are out.

1. Remove +Level mechanic and run Bound Pathfinder

2. Address Monster Skills, Perception, and DC issues by incorporating the Proficiency based skill items and DC re-calibrations located in Suggestion 3. Add some more specific proficiency gates for skills.

3. Fixing Resonance, Healing, and Hero Points

4. Change additional weapon damage dice to level based at 4/8/12/16/20. Allow armor potency runes to be added to shields, adds to Hardness and number of Dents. Details located in number 1's link.

5. All classes get get a skill increase at every level 2+.

6. Ancestry Feats moved to Levels 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 instead of 1, 5, 9, 13, 17.

7. Sorcerer- Bloodline Powers at levels 1, 6, 10 are optional feat choices creating a feat chain.

8. Minor Equipment changes. Change ACP to fit the suggestions in number 2.
Combine Longsword and Bastard sword into d8s, versatile p, two-hand d10 weapon.
Change katana to d6s, finesse, two-hand d8, backswing.

9. Backgrounds. Each character gets 2 Backgrounds. Each background grants a single named ability boost. No Free boosts.

That really covers it. I feel like that list is bigger than it feels, but each addresses something I feel could use a tweak.


Ediwir wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
At that point, why would you use Path 2 at all? It's less work to create a whole new system...

What makes you think that I had less houserules for PF1?

:D

Nothing.

But I think you started D&D 3/3.5/PF1 with a negligible number of houserules. And then, with the experience, seeing the problems of the system, you added houserule over houserule. At any instant t, the number of houserule you needed was compensated by your overall mastery of the system, and it was your mastery of the system that alimented new houserules. In other words, your number of houserule became huge because your mastery of the system became huge.

Here, it's a whole new system, you've used it 3 or 4 times, and you've got more than 1 page of houserule already. At that point, why bother?


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Maybe because he’s using the experience gained from houseruling older systems to quickly identify what he wants to change in the new system? Or perhaps because the new system allows for faster access to system mastery, i.e. it’s more user friendly?

Or maybe the OP’s experience with the older systems is different from your assumption, and the reason he’s listing these house rules is to give feedback to the devs and solicit comments about them?

There are a lot of reasons to bother posting on the forums. I’ve talked to the OP, and I think he’s trying to give feedback on how he would like to see some of the playtest rules changed. Which is, you know, the point of a playtest: to gather feedback and use it to improve the game.


I suppose because I see it as a good baseline, with the potential to be better.

That is, after all, why I am playtesting.


Pramxnim wrote:

Maybe because he’s using the experience gained from houseruling older systems to quickly identify what he wants to change in the new system? Or perhaps because the new system allows for faster access to system mastery, i.e. it’s more user friendly?

Or maybe the OP’s experience with the older systems is different from your assumption, and the reason he’s listing these house rules is to give feedback to the devs and solicit comments about them?

There are a lot of reasons to bother posting on the forums. I’ve talked to the OP, and I think he’s trying to give feedback on how he would like to see some of the playtest rules changed. Which is, you know, the point of a playtest: to gather feedback and use it to improve the game.

Bingo, while I liked 5th Ed on release, I instantly recognised things that would bother/not work for me, and some out right blunders (Dex to damage, Expertise and grappling, no minimum value for hit point increases for levelling, no damage minimum on a hit, for example), and things I wanted to port over from 3rd Ed (firing into a melee, for example), as 5th Ed is basically 5th Ed Lite, so I had houserules/variants before the first session, I still use them and have added some.

I instantly omitted +Level from my home PF2 action (not the playtest), vastly prefer it to +Level (also makes the extra +1, +2, and +3 from E, M, and L, feel like they have more impact). I like that PF2 is so easily tweaked in that dept (I have also run numbers and scenarios with +1/4 Level, +1/2, and +2 x Level). I also bake in extra plusses and weapon damage by level, so as not to rely on magic armour and weapons.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One very simple house rule I would make would be re: identifying magic items. It's just not fun or interesting to have to roll to identify every little magic item so as GM I'll just tell them exactly what they found - unless the item is something unique and important to the story.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Stamina-
I would count half of the HP a character gets per class/level, along with the CON Bonus as Stamina. (Why CON to Stamina and not HP? It is the 'bounce back' principle. Higher CON means being able to absorb extra before actually being injured.)

Stamina can be healed by Heal spells, though it has no Role Play noticeable effect, since stamina wounding is nicks, bumps and scratches that have no normally lasting condition.

I'd give a number of stamina recoveries per day equal to the total bonuses of CON+WIS. Constitution is a natural. Wisdom, because it's aspect includes Willpower. The character just has that drive to get over it. We can still call that resource Resolve Points. Alternatively, we can just have a flat number, say between 2 and 4 (depending on how heroic your games are), for each character in the number of rests per day they get.


Pramxnim wrote:


There are a lot of reasons to bother posting on the forums. I’ve talked to the OP, and I think he’s trying to give feedback on how he would like to see some of the playtest rules changed. Which is, you know, the point of a playtest: to gather feedback and use it to improve the game.

I have seen a reason for play testing feedback as a way to harvest ideas to sell or provide to other games and or companies.

But I do agree that the purest ideal of a play test is to allow feedback on rules/games before they go on sale.
MDC


The big 4 for me would be:

1. Resonance - gone completely. Nothing replaces it.
2. Skills +1 for everyone. Gone completely. Replaced with 4+int modifier/level.
3. extra damage dice for weapons. Gone completely. Temporarily replaced by extra damage dice for proficiency levels in said weapon (note - you'll be taking proficiencies in individual weapons when you're past trained, not in everything.) Permanently replaced by something similar to this and this . Who cares if, at 15th level you can mow down goblins like cordwood? You're 15th level.
4. Fixing the spellcasting nerf is going to be harder, because it's so baked into the core game rules. I'd probably go with something like doubling the number of spells / level to give casters a fighting chance.

But honestly, with Paizo "looking" at #1 and no word about 2-4 halfway through the playtest, it's looking kinda grim for me supporting this product going forward. Unfortunate.


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If this were the final version of the game, even after the current updates, I wouldn't even bother with it. This version is so bad I actually cancelled my preorder of the book once I saw the pdf.

My houserules would involve gutting half the game.

- Remove Resonance entirely
- Change how skill bonuses work to put the focus solely on your level of training, and remove all feats that provide "skill functions"
- Give ancestries more core features
- Entirely alter the class system to remove the "feats and powers" system and replace it with simpler talent system that offers stronger, more useful features
- Make feats largely independent of class again
- Rework the action economy for more efficiency and options

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