Would combining all the abilities negatively affect the game? Details inside.

Homebrew and House Rules

Scarab Sages

I'm a little annoyed by all the different abilities classes are getting rage, ki, panache, grit, etc. So I'm wondering would it have a big effect on the game if you just combined them all into one ability type e.g. Ki? Mechanics would remain the same for each class just the name changes so thematically they're all using the same power source just using it differently e.g. a barbarian uses their ki to enhance their physical abilities, a gunslinger their gunfighting skills, a monk again their physical and metaphysical abilities and so on?

Liberty's Edge

Several issue come up, does the barbarian / monk / gunslinger character have 3 abilities called ki that all work differently? Does the straight monk now qualify for feats that required Rage?

Scarab Sages

ShadowcatX wrote:
Several issue come up, does the barbarian / monk / gunslinger character have 3 abilities called ki that all work differently? Does the straight monk now qualify for feats that required Rage?


Well the way i was looking at it they all have ki they just use it differently. The barbarian uses ki to make thenslevss stronger and tougher, the monk has the best understandinf hence the amny ki abilities like fireballs, the gunslinger to enhance their reaction times.

Yes the monk would qualify for rage feats and the barbarian has a ki pool rathwr than rounds of rage.

Though if that bothers you it wouldnt be that hard to have same power source different effect so you need ki -rage for rage feats like petrol in a lawnmower is the powersource but its powering a spinning cutting blade while petrol in a building generaror powers lights. Power source - convert to use - class abilities.

Actually ki, panache and grit already kind of do this. If a character has more than one of these pools that combine.

Just panache, grit, and the sleuth investigator's luck points Mysterious Stranger - ki is separate.

I agree that these abilities could have usefully been combined in a PF 1.5, but there's a fair amount of work to do to make them work together. They have different means of recovery, and different actual amounts which distinguish them - a barbarian gets a lot more rounds/day than a swashbuckler gets maximum panache, so something which costs a panache point is taking a more significant cost than something which costs a round of rage.

Then there's exactly what pools you wish to include in this - Bardic performance rounds/day? Domain abilities with 3+Wis uses/day? A maguses arcane pool? An arcanists arcane reservoir? What does lingering performance do to a deed, anyway? This is a design space that Paizo has used a lot, and there are thousands of weird feats, spells and other interactions to consider.

If you build the system with that kind of idea then you can make it all work together. But the only pools that were given the consideration to be used together were the Swashbuckler, Gunslinger and Investigator.

Pool size is one consideration. Pools in the game are split between those that grow with each level, and those that level doesn't affect. Take Swashbuckler for instance. It gets a very tiny amount of pool points with some generous rules for regaining points during play. If you can combine that with the Barbarian's ability to gain Rage with levels you'll be able to spam low level Swashbuckler abilities without thinking about it. Take an ability that grants you a Ki pool so you can drink Transcendental Tea if you happen to run out.

Or the thought of a high level monk with a Swashbuckler dip using Dragon's Breath and regaining Panache points for every death caused by the AoE. Unlimited Dragon Breath as long as the GM throws mobs at you.

The maddening thing is in a lot of ways, things would sort of work out if you mashed them all together. But it would be an abusive mess.

Scarab Sages

Hmmmm annoying. I dont like having so many different special abilities especially when some already combine. Even if can just make luck, panache and grit one ability itd make things more tolerable for me.

From a mechanics standpoint it certainly does create quite a few problems as others have pointed out... but if you wish to rename them all for lore reasons in a world, that is perfectly within your power. Even if you arnt the DM/GM if you have a theme in your head for your character, you can refluff some abilities to fit that theme fairly easily.

As for Panache, Grit, and Luck... they technically already are all the same power pool. However the abilities tied to each one is different not just on a class level, but feats as well. They named them differently because of a need to keep the feats tied to them separated. Though a character with access to multiple uses a single combined pool for all of their abilities that rely on either type.

Scarab Sages

Honestly i dont think making them use the same "ability" would present an issue unless someone multiclassed two that currently arent e.g. monk/barbarian or use another classes abilities. Which someone inevitably qould. I just dont like the every class has its special snowflake ability currently in place.

Senko wrote:
Hmmmm annoying. I dont like having so many different special abilities especially when some already combine. Even if can just make luck, panache and grit one ability itd make things more tolerable for me.
Grit, Luck and Panache wrote:

Grit, luck, and panache represent three different means by which heroes can gain access to the same heroic pool, using it to accomplish fantastic feats. For characters with a mix of grit, luck, and panache, they pool the resources together into a combined pool. (Those who use panache and luck gain twice their Charisma bonus in their pool.) For feats, magic items, and other effects, a panache user can spend and gain luck points in place of grit or panache points, and vice versa.

A luck user does not count as a grit or panache user to satisfy feat prerequisites. Swashbuckler levels stack with gunslinger levels for the purpose of satisfying Signature Deed’s level requirement.

So to a limited extent it does stack together.

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Having those different abilities and mechanics is part of what makes them different classes. It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense for every class to draw their power from the same energy pool with the same set of mechanics for all of them. While it can be reasoned from a thematic standpoint that both a monk and a barbarian could be utilizing Ki, the actual mechanics of how ones “Ki pool” functions and is maintained don’t quite fit well together.

It is important to remember that each class has a key stat. Their power pools are often derived from said key stat or a related stat. Monks are Built around Wisdom and Dexterity, while Barbarians are built around Strength and Constitution. Diversification is a highly important aspect to any good RPG. Each class should have their unique feel, they should have mechanics that make them stand out from others who fill the same roll, and the way they fuel their power is often a vital backbone on how one creates that uniqueness.

Let’s look at a monk, a barbarian, and a swashbuckler and see how their different energy mechanics diversify them in ways that make is apparent they are all different classes even though they can all fill the same rolls in a party.

A monk gets their limited Ki pool based on their wisdom score, a simple energy mechanic that replenishes once per day and increases with every other level. It has multiple powerful uses and leaves a monk to be tactical about their use of Ki as they never really know when they might need it most.

A Barbarian gets their Rage rounds from their constitution, another simple mechanic that replenishes once per day, but this one improves at a rate equal to double their level. Unlike the monk the barbarian has to spend their power constantly, they don’t have tactical choice to how and when they use their rage rounds besides choosing when to start the rage. Once started though they need to maintain it until combat ends due to the hefty fatigue cost when it ends.

Meanwhile a swashbuckler with their Charisma based Panache is sitting on a tiny power pool that can easily be depleted in as little as one round but can also be constantly replenished through delivering finishing blows or landing critical hits. Their power gives them an entire arsenal of abilities some providing passive benefits if they still have a power reserve, making them need to remain on their feet and really weigh their choices of what power to use and when and if now is a good time to risk spending that last remaining point or not. But unlike the monk they also know that they can spend it all in one encounter and still be able to do it again if they get ambushed right after.

These unique play styles wouldn’t exist if they all had the same energy pool. The “special snowflake” abilities as you called them are a needed part of keeping things diversified. Without them we may as well just have 3 classes... Arcane Caster, Divine Caster, Martial...

I know their are a lot of different energy mechanics, but you don’t really need to concern yourself with more than just the ones you yourself are using at any given moment. Different mechanics speak to different types of players, some like the more simple straight forwards no thought needed mechanics, while others enjoy the more tactical and thought intensive mechanics.

Scarab Sages

Oh I know about the mechanics but when you point at 2 people and say he draws his power from panache and he from his grit. It just makes me choke on the hatred of it. Those are not power sources they are personality types. I'm fine with magic, I'm fine with psychic powers, I'm fine with luck, I can even tolerate rage though I don't like it but when you start powering classes by types of personalities that's where I draw the line. What's next a hannibal lecter style serial killer powered by its psychosis or a marvin the robot style class that is powered by its depression?

Senko wrote:
What's next a hannibal lecter style serial killer powered by its psychosis

e.g. Bloody Jake slayer, and there's plenty more

Senko wrote:
or a marvin the robot style class that is powered by its depression?

Spiritualist with a despair phantom, or id rager (despair) bloodrager. The latter even has rounds of despair-flavoured bloodrage.

Pathfinder's already gone down the paths that trouble you most.

Senko wrote:
Oh I know about the mechanics but when you point at 2 people and say he draws his power from panache and he from his grit. It just makes me choke on the hatred of it.

Why does this bother you so much? You've said what bothers yiu about it, but I don't understand why this small detail is troubling you so much.

You can call them whatever you want in your head (call them all "resource pool" or something), but having different names for things doesn't change it that much.

Most of the classes have a resource pool named after a trope related to the class theme. Swashbucklers are said to have Panache, a Gunslinger's Grit is the measure of his determination, etc. These names could be anything, they're just given that name to help you get into character.

If you really have trouble with this there are games out there that aren't class-based, they're skill-based (or something similar). So players would each out points inti certain skills that would make their character better at certain aslects of the game, but with no skills (or few skills) being exclusive to them.

Regarding making them all the same pool, you'd probably have to at least separate them into "renewable" and "non-renewable" resource pools, eg: A Swashbuckler can get Panache back very quickly most rounds, but an Occultist who gets their Mental Focus renewed every round is going to be extremely powerful - some Occultist Focus Powers are more powerful than their spells. If someone went Swashbuckler-1/Occultist-19 they'd have a huge advantage all game long.

Scarab Sages

I just dislike this kind of thing not sure exactly why it may be because I have Asperger's syndrome, it may just be my personality and tastes. Rage I could tolerate as there were beserkers in history and I've seen enough to accept someone in the grip of rage might be running high on adrenalin and the like. When a classes core mechanic though is powered by an abstract personality type rather than something that actually makes some sense, luck, ki, magic, psychic powers may not exist but they are something that makes sense as a power source in a fictional setting, its a constant small annoyance to me. The same way I dislike certain films because they have something happen for a plot point or an image when it makes no sense in or out of world. The latest star wars film and they're "Jam the speeders" for example. Not target the speeders, not use the ion cannons but jam like you would a radard tracking station. Or the previous one with its slower than lightspeed, faster than ligthspeed, light and energy based weapon that can split by itself at the end of its path to track and target multiple enemies. IT JUST DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

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Well as mentioned a few times, simply renaming them is certainly a non-issue... and as for Grit & Panache... they are already a shared resource pool with Luck, and you said you have no issue with Luck... and since Grit, Panache, and Luck are all the same resource anyways, you can easily just deflator them all to Luck when it comes to actual play... though, the feats for each might still be best left to requiring the proper class versions... (basically Panache becomes Swashbuckler’s Luck, Grit becomes Gunslinger’s Luck)... changes like that are perfectly fine as they don’t mess with the balance of the game design.

Scarab Sages

That can work.

Grit, panache and all that might not appeal to you because, as far as I'm concerned, they're not very well-written mechanics.
They seem fairly balanced and all, but the mechanic feels like just that: a bit of number-crunching tacked onto a class. Call panache bloodlust or fate or whatever and you could have a whole new class with exactly the same rule set. It just doesn't specifically feel very swashbuckler-y. While not a necessary aspect of a system, I think it's a necessary aspect of a good one.

That's why, in my games, we don't use any of those extra classes/races/feats/whatevers. Pathfinder became a giant, bloated monstrosity with the constant addition and supplemental material. If you want anything resembling a cohesive game, I can't see how you'd manage it without cutting a bunch out.

I do want to point out that those abilities do mix from time to time. For example the Okayo Corsair Swashbuckler gets the "Ki Panache" feature, which let's them use Panache for watered down Ki abilities. Meanwhile, Kata Master Monks get the "Panache" feature, and their Ki pool counts as Panache for deeds gained via the archetype.

So I do feel like Ki, Panache, Grit, and Luck can be combined into 1 type; with every class getting a different recovery method. As for meeting prerequisites, that is fixed by keeping the name of each feature (not the pool) different; So a Swashbuckler would have the Panache feature granting a pool of X using Cha, while the Gunslinger would have the Grit feature granting a pool of X using Wis. This also allows for abilities that are normally very niche (Ex: vs targets with Ki) to be changed to affect a lot more classes.

* As for classes that use rounds/level you can make them rounds/point, making them closer to the Eldritch Scion Magus which is 2 rds/point. So for example, a barbarian with 1 extra rage could get 4 rds/point. Rage powers could decrease the number of round of rage so he has to spend more points to keep it going. And the fatigue from Raging could be decreased to the number of rounds spent raging to balance the less control.

This also means that you can give Barbarians a way to get more rage without just increasing the number of rounds. Ex: Whenever a barbarian lands a critical hit, or kills a target with a 1-handed or 2-handed Slashing weapon regain one point to the pool.

* Bards can use a similar system where they can spend a point to get a number of rounds of perform, but getting to switch perform effect without spending extra points. Their method of recovery could be: When you get a critical hit or a critical roll on a perform check. Which would also make Bards more likely to use the Performance combat rules (wouldn't that be fitting?).

* Magus and Arcanist could get the ability to recover their pools whenever one of their spells gets a critical hit or the enemy gets a natural 1. Which is balanced with the fact they can consume things to regain points.

* Shifter and Druids already kind of work like this getting a number of uses with some type of duration. So that just needs to be revised and adapted.

* All that's left are the weird things like Domains, Channel energy, Smite, and other generally 1/day abilities. Also the Oracle's many many abilities.

Scarab Sages


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