What a game mechanic from Pathfinder and / or DND you've always disliked?


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I've always hated the "spells per day" thing, would much rather have some kind of mana point system.

I also always thought the way skills work in 3.x was just too complicated (though Pathfinder makes it a bit better).


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The distinction between ability scores and ability modifiers. It just adds a level of complication to new players that I think could quite easily be removed.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Channel Energy Ability, picking if it harms or heals seems weird too me. If you fill a room with light (an Energy) then it hinders or helps per sensitivity to it.

so house rule has generally been for classes with the Channel Energy ability it helps and harms at the same time based on the type of energy being channeled. Made Selective channel more important in more than a few cases. (and cut down on Dhampires being played)


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Always wished that there were no dump stats. Like ‘Cha.’ Which is why I tie the Cha bonus to how many Hero Points PCs get...


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I want to use the unchained variant for more of the game, but most of the core game is ingrained into my group at this point.


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Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Channel Energy Ability, picking if it harms or heals seems weird too me. If you fill a room with light (an Energy) then it hinders or helps per sensitivity to it.

so house rule has generally been for classes with the Channel Energy ability it helps and harms at the same time based on the type of energy being channeled. Made Selective channel more important in more than a few cases. (and cut down on Dhampires being played)

I also use that as a houserule.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Valandil Ancalime wrote:
Michael Talley 759 wrote:

Channel Energy Ability, picking if it harms or heals seems weird too me. If you fill a room with light (an Energy) then it hinders or helps per sensitivity to it.

so house rule has generally been for classes with the Channel Energy ability it helps and harms at the same time based on the type of energy being channeled. Made Selective channel more important in more than a few cases. (and cut down on Dhampires being played)

I also use that as a houserule.

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that finds it odd.


The magic item creation/identification mechanic. (Okay, so it's two)
They always seem impossibly difficult or impossibly easy.


Alignment, also point buy.


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Alignment.


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Alignment


The law/chaos alignment bothers me, but I'm ok with good/evil. I would maybe just add tiers or flavors of good and evil. Like selfish evil vs omnicidal evil, or righteous good vs selfless good.

But if I had to pick just one thing I don't like, it'd be hard. Almost all of my complaints are more like nitpicks. So, I'll go with how multiclassing interacts with scaling class abilities. It just creates way too many trap options.


More of a systemic issue with D&D than Pathfinder: Multiclassing spellcasters, in general. I like how 5th edition handled the issue and adopted it for my Pathfinder games, at least as far as caster level works out.

Alignment, and all the issues that people have related to it, has never been an issue for me. I am actually quite fond of the subsystem.


I hated the grappling rules in 3.5. In Pathfinder I don't like that they felt the need to have two attack and defense systems: To Hit and Armor Class and CMB/CMD.


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Combat maneuvers.
Either you're amazing at them and only someone designed to be good against them has a chance to defend against them or you suck at them just like everyone else.

Alignment.
But mostly because people think "Lawful Good = Lawful Stupid" and evil means you're going to kill anyone you don't like without any provocation.


DeathlessOne wrote:

More of a systemic issue with D&D than Pathfinder: Multiclassing spellcasters, in general. I like how 5th edition handled the issue and adopted it for my Pathfinder games, at least as far as caster level works out.

Alignment, and all the issues that people have related to it, has never been an issue for me. I am actually quite fond of the subsystem.

What do you mean about that spellcaster multiclassing thing?

and one of my own pet peeves is with ability point buy... neve enough points for a well rounded char.


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Alignment.

Also, the idea that all characters continually get better at offense (even a Wizard's BAB goes up), but their basic ability to defend almost never does (AC improvement is entirely dependent on equipment, no one but essentially the Monk learns to do more than "dodge to the left" and even he only gets this ability to make up for not being able to use equipment). Instead, we're supposed to bend over backwards conceptually and envision all the hp damage up until the last as "dodging but strenuously".


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Players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tectorman wrote:


Also, the idea that all characters continually get better at offense (even a Wizard's BAB goes up), but their basic ability to defend almost never does (AC improvement is entirely dependent on equipment, no one but essentially the Monk learns to do more than "dodge to the left" and even he only gets this ability to make up for not being able to use equipment). Instead, we're supposed to bend over backwards conceptually and envision all the hp damage up until the last as "dodging but strenuously".

Doubly agreed.

That's why I house ruled that when your abilities go up every 4 levels, your base 10 AC also increased by a +2 each time as well.

I don't play a very magic heavy, build all armors and weapons to +5 along with the belts and headbands stat boosts to+6 campaign either.

Mainly, as a new addition to this list, I hate Perception as a class skill for some and not others. I hate that it's beyond important over all others. So I house ruled it's no one's class skill.


DeathlessOne wrote:

More of a systemic issue with D&D than Pathfinder: Multiclassing spellcasters, in general. I like how 5th edition handled the issue and adopted it for my Pathfinder games, at least as far as caster level works out.

Alignment, and all the issues that people have related to it, has never been an issue for me. I am actually quite fond of the subsystem.

Haven't played 5e in years how did they solve this?


Anyone else agree about the spell system?


doomman47 wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:

More of a systemic issue with D&D than Pathfinder: Multiclassing spellcasters, in general. I like how 5th edition handled the issue and adopted it for my Pathfinder games, at least as far as caster level works out.

Alignment, and all the issues that people have related to it, has never been an issue for me. I am actually quite fond of the subsystem.

Haven't played 5e in years how did they solve this?

caster level stacks for (pseudovancian) slots, but the spells you can access are limited by level in each class.


Klorox wrote:
What do you mean about that spellcaster multiclassing thing?

Pretty much what Lelomenia said.

Lelomenia wrote:
caster level stacks for (pseudovancian) slots, but the spells you can access are limited by level in each class.

5th edition had the neat concept about designing spells that performed better if you used a higher level slot to cast them in. I took the idea and ran with it in Pathfinder. Metamagic was simply built into the spell slots they way I ran it. That way, a Mystic Theurge might only know 2nd Level spells, but would have 4th level spell slots to use those spells in.


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I hate that attack is either based purely on strength, or purely on dexterity with contrived feats. A character with 20STR/3DEX is more accurate than a character with 18STR/18DEX. Or for that matter, a "DEX build" character with 20DEX/3STR does more damage than one with 18DEX/18STR. It's absolutely ludicrous.

One incredibly simple solution: AB = STR + DEX, and maybe slightly change base AC. Done. In that world, a player can choose where a character lies on the STR-DEX continuum, with every point between them being a trade-off. Average strength and high dexterity becomes as valid a build as it should be - while making a weapon-wielder with the STR of a small animal is as stupid as it deserves to be.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Klorox wrote:
What do you mean about that spellcaster multiclassing thing?

Pretty much what Lelomenia said.

Lelomenia wrote:
caster level stacks for (pseudovancian) slots, but the spells you can access are limited by level in each class.
5th edition had the neat concept about designing spells that performed better if you used a higher level slot to cast them in. I took the idea and ran with it in Pathfinder. Metamagic was simply built into the spell slots they way I ran it. That way, a Mystic Theurge might only know 2nd Level spells, but would have 4th level spell slots to use those spells in.

Oh, THAT mechanic, awright

and I'd forgotten that spell caster levels combined for your overall available slots.


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I have... two that come to mind:
- Feats; mostly because they are a LOT of them, but most could be merged into one single feat that scales up with your level. For instance, Two-Weapon Fighting should have been one sngle feat that gets better, instead of 3.

- Multiclassing; because it HALTS progress when it comes to class features. A 10th Fighter/10th Sorcerer will never be as good as a 20th Fighter or a 20th Sorcerer. Technically speaking, half the levels you take in another class should increase your primary class. This is why people want more archetypes or hybrid classes.

Dark Archive

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Nonabilities like Int and Con 0, and how they encourage, or even require, exception-based design. Bugs, in real-life, can learn, use Int-based skills like Craft, act, react, display emotions, friggin' Intimidate each other, etc., but, in-game, are 'mindless,' except for the *many* times (feats, class abilities, specific spells or creatures, etc.) when they suddenly aren't. Same with Con. My *car* has vital points, and can be 'poisoned' by stuff like sugar in the gas tank. Instead we need more rules for what stat is used instead of Con or whatever, and that's just wasted wordcount and, IMO, bad/inconsistent design. If the word was 'Durabiliity' instead of Constitution, maybe it would be less of a pedantic hurdle for some to overcome that constructs, undead, cars, spaceships other unliving things have this sort of attribute, but we are talking about language, rather than gaming, at this point, and an audience that can handle multiple mechanical definitions of 'level' (caster level, spell level, character level, class level) depending on context.


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I also don't like traits. It's an example of the power-creep that led to problems with 3.5, and before traits and the explosion of archetypes, I still had hope that Paizo would create quality PF content without the overall power of character options creeping higher and higher, making it less compatible with earlier content.

Aside from power-creep, there's just too damn many traits. First off, if you have a specific effect in mind, it can take way too long to find the trait(s) that might grant such an effect. And unless you have a GM who's going to do the work to limit you to a certain, appropriate set of traits, you could spend hours trawling through the options. More likely, you'll just review a handful of standbys and not even look at the large majority of them, which defeats their purpose.

There also don't seem to be any standards around them. I don't think I've come across any traits that give the exact same benefit, but some of them are so similar in their specificity ("+3 to athletics when jumping from a ship's rigging if you're an elf!" vs. "+3 to jump checks on city rooftops on cloudy days!"), and others are so broad ("+2 to your choice of skills. And go ahead and make it a class skill, too. Whatever. Nothing matters."), I wonder how much effort they put into balancing them.


I dislike traits too, but for a more practical reason : most of them come in short splatbooks, and while I've managed to grab some few rules books, I'm utterly lacking in the short softcover department, meaning I'm not at all informed about traits, which is a definite hindrance in character design for most games.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I hated the grappling rules in 3.5. In Pathfinder I don't like that they felt the need to have two attack and defense systems: To Hit and Armor Class and CMB/CMD.

I feel it's much worse than that. To me the worst part of 3.0, 3.5 and Pathfinder is grappling. The rules for grappling are so complicated, I could swear that the physical book somehow, magically revises itself every time I read it! And it's made much worse by Improved Grab (or as PFRPG calls it, simply "Grab") which is not only too complicated; it makes monsters far, FAR deadlier than their CRs imply.


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Brother Fen wrote:
Players.

This may not be the hobby for you.


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Andostre wrote:

I also don't like traits. It's an example of the power-creep that led to problems with 3.5, and before traits and the explosion of archetypes, I still had hope that Paizo would create quality PF content without the overall power of character options creeping higher and higher, making it less compatible with earlier content.

Aside from power-creep, there's just too damn many traits. First off, if you have a specific effect in mind, it can take way too long to find the trait(s) that might grant such an effect. And unless you have a GM who's going to do the work to limit you to a certain, appropriate set of traits, you could spend hours trawling through the options. More likely, you'll just review a handful of standbys and not even look at the large majority of them, which defeats their purpose.

There also don't seem to be any standards around them. I don't think I've come across any traits that give the exact same benefit, but some of them are so similar in their specificity ("+3 to athletics when jumping from a ship's rigging if you're an elf!" vs. "+3 to jump checks on city rooftops on cloudy days!"), and others are so broad ("+2 to your choice of skills. And go ahead and make it a class skill, too. Whatever. Nothing matters."), I wonder how much effort they put into balancing them.

The original idea behind traits was to not look for a specific effect but to instead look for a trait that matched your character's narrative concept. Did you grow up on the streets as the local punching bag? There's a trait for that. Taught yourself everything you know from exceedingly rare peeks at books in your master's study? Pick this other trait. The mechanical benefit was intended to be a bit of a carrot to encourage fleshing out a character's background.

Obviously, it didn't end up that way for everybody. Some players come up with a mechanical concept and build that in its entirety before figuring out a background for the result.

As for balance, a trait was intended to be approximately half as powerful as a feat. I've found this to hold reasonably well if one excludes AP-based campaign traits, which vary dramatically from AP to AP.


the d20pfsrd has a traits filter tab so you can look up the effect you want and it makes the giant list tiny for you.


blahpers wrote:

The original idea behind traits was to not look for a specific effect but to instead look for a trait that matched your character's narrative concept. Did you grow up on the streets as the local punching bag? There's a trait for that. Taught yourself everything you know from exceedingly rare peeks at books in your master's study? Pick this other trait. The mechanical benefit was intended to be a bit of a carrot to encourage fleshing out a character's background.

Obviously, it didn't end up that way for everybody. Some players come up with a mechanical concept and build that in its entirety before figuring out a background for the result.

I'm actually the sort of player that will come up with an rp concept before I build the character. The overwhelming variety of feats and inconsistent levels of specificity still come into play. And I often do select traits based on character personality/background. But I'm not going to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing traits to pick one that's ties into a mechanic that my PC will never use when I could just pick a generic-sounding trait that increases initiative. If there are players that do that, great! But it's not realistic to think that the methodology of players across the board.

(Re-reading what you said, it sounds like you may agree. Sorry if I sounds aggressive.)

blahpers wrote:
As for balance, a trait was intended to be approximately half as powerful as a feat. I've found this to hold reasonably well if one excludes AP-based campaign traits, which vary dramatically from AP to AP.

I think the half-a-feat comparison is valid, but only because feats are not always balanced and are often situational.


Andostre wrote:
(Re-reading what you said, it sounds like you may agree. Sorry if I sounds aggressive.)

Not at all, and it looks like we do agree. Even if the original intent still help up, there are so many of them now that finding the ones that really matches your character can be daunting.

Honestly, I'm about this close to just using existing non-campaign traits as guidelines and working with each player to custom-fit a trait for each character.


Hard to pick any one thing as the worst, if I had to say anything it would be Bloat.

Do you know how many useless feats there are in Pathfinder? How about traits or spells? How many under-CR'd monsters? How many broken archetypes?

Its so hard to keep all the nonsense straight and build a decent character. I've had to baby my newbies so hard because they just get overwhelmed with their options. I love this game to death but teaching someone else how to build their own character here (especially if they lack PNP RPG experience) is a hell of a process.

Silver Crusade

I've always disliked the rules concerning swarms.


I've always disliked AoO on AoOs.

For example: Some classtraits allow you to make an Attack of Opportunity to an attack made against you. If the character attacking you has the same classfeatures, it would mean that there are going to be a hellalot AoOs before the actual first attack has taken place (at least that's how our DM and players do it).

For instance, my barbarian, with Come and Get me, combat reflexes and a Dex of 16 is fighting another barb with the same stats, feats and scores. If I use the CaGm rage power, and baddy attacks me, I would get an AoO, but he uses CaGm too, wich would results in him making an AoO against my AoO, but that attack would also trigger an AoO from me, which in turn would trigger an AoO on his side, which would than also trigger an AoO at my side, which in turn would trigger an AoO on his side, which would than also trigger an AoO at my side and last, but not least, would that trigger an AoO on his side.

Now bare in mind that a single round is approx. 6 seconds:
That would mean that Mr. Baddy makes an attack, that attack triggers 8 AoOs (!!!) and after all those attacks are resolved, the first initial attack takes place. This basically means he abandons his first attack to make an AoO, and then they starts resolving the AoO from last attack to first (because each AoO triggers a new AoO), and after all the AoO are resolved (and the baddy has made 4(!!) attacks against me) the baddy continues with his FIRST attack!!>!?!? I find this abominable and preposterous.

And it can even get worse...imagen 2 lvl 20 Two-Weapon fighters archtypes with a high Dex (e.g. 30) and the Two Weapon tree...they would provoke and AoO with each attack and they can attack with both weapons in an AoO:
Attack 1 provokes and AoO with two weapons (i.e. 2 attacks)
Those 2 attacks each provoke 2 AoO (4 AoO)
Those 4 AoO trigger 8 (!!!) AoO....
That would mean 20 AoO, TWENTY ATTACKS OF OPPORTUNITY WITH FULL BAB!!!!!! have to be resolved before the initial attack even takes place.

It's like Paizo is just flipping us off and crossing the middlefingers (which is the WORST insult ever)


I have house ruled how crafting works (using a provided system, i think its called "Making Crafting Work" or something.)


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The inability of Druids to wear metal armour. Completely clashes with what I think of as nature (i.e. willingness to adapt via anything that works, the sheer commonality and importance of various metals IRL for various natural processes)


(1) combat maneuver system as implemented. There were good ideas there, but enemy CMDs go crazy by the time you have enough feats to use something, so it ends up just being a system for monsters to grab wizards.
(2) filler. Like vast majority of options are just terrible no matter what you are building. But relevant things are buried in piles of that stuff. Makes character building unnecessarily difficult.
(3) some overlap with (2), but incredibly situational feats, traits, class features, items, etc. +2 to skill x in situation y. Or worse, once per day +2 to x if y.
(4) physical combat as ‘I attack as many times as I’m allowed. Repeat.’ (Particularly against a non-interactive AC)


I don't like how Strength is used to-hit, but SPECIFICALLY with touch attacks.

The idea that a wizard casting chill touch needs to use his MIGHTY SINEWS to...uh...push his hand through a target's protections... doesn't make sense to me.

While I get that with my weak arms I wouldn't be able to swing a sledgehammer effectively, I think that's more to do with the object weight than anything else.

Oh, and a new rule that I dislike is Bulk. I understand that it's supposed to make things easier, but, unless things have changed in P2E, every attempt I've had to understand how it works with mounts especially has ended in failure.


haremlord wrote:

I don't like how Strength is used to-hit, but SPECIFICALLY with touch attacks.

The idea that a wizard casting chill touch needs to use his MIGHTY SINEWS to...uh...push his hand through a target's protections... doesn't make sense to me.

While I get that with my weak arms I wouldn't be able to swing a sledgehammer effectively, I think that's more to do with the object weight than anything else.

Oh, and a new rule that I dislike is Bulk. I understand that it's supposed to make things easier, but, unless things have changed in P2E, every attempt I've had to understand how it works with mounts especially has ended in failure.

Want to use dex to hit for touch attacks take weapon finesse. If you don't its your fault for dumping str on a wizard.


Something I don't like is how the Sorcerer must have a bloodline. Having the blood of a dragon was an unsupported claim back in DND. You didn't need to explain your power, you simply had it. In a way, it made it possible for a savage tribe to have arcane magic. The sorcerer didn't need spell books or be literate. They could be to Wizards like how the Barbarian was to the Fighter.

I also liked how Sorcerers were spontaneous spellcasters instead of prepared spellcasters like the Wizard. I thought it was an important option one could make for their character. You basically had 2 different options for casting powerful arcane spells.

It also made it easy to give monsters levels in the Sorcerer class. If you wanted to give a dragon or demon a few sorcerer levels, you didn't have worry too much about it.


blahpers wrote:
Honestly, I'm about this close to just using existing non-campaign traits as guidelines and working with each player to custom-fit a trait for each character.

Personally I think this was the intent behind Prestige classes in the 3.0/3.5 DMG. The ones in the DMG were meant to be examples for the DM to use in creating his own unique ones for their individual campaigns. The rest were just 'bloat' created for the various splatbooks that followed, as well as saving DMs a ton of work trying to create a bunch of prestige classes unique to their worlds. Traits and archetypes pretty much fall into the same category.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Grab & CMB

I dislike the way large / huge monsters tack a free grapple onto attacks and have such big CMB / CMD that even a brawler type with improved grapple or a rogue with maxed escape artist has little chance of breaking free.

Why?

Because this stops casting & attempts to break free seem doomed to fail (even with liberating command helping), the only hope the party have is to kill it quick before their friend is crushed or swallowed. Pushes players to optimise for DPR and drives the game towards rocket tag more than anything else.


Vancian spellcasting. Which is why I dropped it for a created mana system that's worked wonders for me. Granted, I have a lot of other homerules as well, but that's one of my big ones that I just can't play/DM without. I can be flexible on the others, but I hate Vancian casting.

Silver Crusade

JulianW wrote:

Grab & CMB

I dislike the way large / huge monsters tack a free grapple onto attacks and have such big CMB / CMD that even a brawler type with improved grapple or a rogue with maxed escape artist has little chance of breaking free.

Why?

Because this stops casting & attempts to break free seem doomed to fail (even with liberating command helping), the only hope the party have is to kill it quick before their friend is crushed or swallowed. Pushes players to optimise for DPR and drives the game towards rocket tag more than anything else.

It wouldn't be as bad if Liberating Command boosted breaking free with CMB, and not just Escape Artist.

EDIT: It's annoying that RAW, you can't use Liberating Command to boost your own chance to escape.


You could kind of use liberating command on yourself, but it’s kind cheesy, and yet not super effective. You would have to ready an action to cast it on the next action after your turn.

But I agree the intent seems to be there for you to be able to more regularly cast it on yourself, hence it only having a verbal component.


doomman47 wrote:
haremlord wrote:

I don't like how Strength is used to-hit, but SPECIFICALLY with touch attacks.

The idea that a wizard casting chill touch needs to use his MIGHTY SINEWS to...uh...push his hand through a target's protections... doesn't make sense to me.

While I get that with my weak arms I wouldn't be able to swing a sledgehammer effectively, I think that's more to do with the object weight than anything else.

Oh, and a new rule that I dislike is Bulk. I understand that it's supposed to make things easier, but, unless things have changed in P2E, every attempt I've had to understand how it works with mounts especially has ended in failure.

Want to use dex to hit for touch attacks take weapon finesse. If you don't its your fault for dumping str on a wizard.

Yes, I realize that is an option. I didn't say it was insurmountable, just that I don't like it.

But, seriously, thank you for the suggestion. If I hadn't known about it that would have really helped!

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