D&D 3.5 Vow of Poverty Conversion help

Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Howdy all,

I had a (super broken) Paladin in 3.5 that had taken the feat tree from the Book of Exalted Deeds including the Vow of Poverty; It/he was killer. I want to remake this character concept in Pathfinder as an Order that is established in the world. However, I cannot find anything nearly as powerful as this in Pathfinder (darn this system, being too well regulated to be this broken). Any ideas that would lead a character down a similar path? I rule nothing out, multiclassing, crazy feat or skill concepts, anything goes. Thanks!


Use the rules for ABP from Pathfinder Unchained. They were mainly designed to reduce the need for characters to have the big six items, but work well for this type of concept. If you want to mix this with a campaign with normal magic items talk to the GM about letting spend a feat to use these rules. If he does use these rules than maybe the feat would allow you to use the progression of no magic items at all.

Jhaosmire, you do know that the Vow of Poverty you linked to isn't the official version from BoED, right?

The version you've linked to is on D&D Wiki, which is pretty notorious in some quarters for its rather wonky homebrew. Just wanted to be sure you were aware of that.

J. A. wrote:
...The version you've linked to is on D&D Wiki, which is pretty notorious in some quarters for its rather wonky homebrew.

Looks right to me. A stupid, stupid, stupid feat. Easily the most broken thing I've witnessed at a table.

Quixote, are you referring to the official version, or the D&D Wiki version? The version the OP linked is radically different from the original in the BoED.

J. A. wrote:
...are you referring to the official version, or the D&D Wiki version?

Looks pretty close to me. The "divine blessing" stuff is definitely different--you just got sustenance and greater sustenance and a few other things, no wings or a familiar or anything. And stigmata was another feat entirely.

But even the original was a terrible pile of nonsense. I mean, a feat that gives you more feats. That alone is ridiculous.

I had a player who wanted a fighter with the vow of poverty. Not as bad as a sorcerer or cleric, but still pretty bad. We came up with a homebrewed version that was considerably toned down, but the character was a power house in that party anyway.

Shadow Lodge

Your closest bet in Pathfinder is going to be Automatic Bonus Progression, which I think is stronger than VoP since you get all kinds of stuff and magic items.

Never really saw it as broken. I've even seen it considered underpowered a few times. Two feats for bonuses you could miss if you weren't human and picked it up at level one?* As much restriction, if not more, as a paladin? Fun, but not OP.

Has anyone checked the total bonuses from VoP versus what a wealth by leveled character has?

*I could be mis-remembering this part/

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Never really saw it as broken.

I played one session of a game where the GM challenged everyone to bring a broken character.

We were lvl7, so I rolled up with a gnome sorceress with the vow of poverty, which led me into the vow of nonviolence and vow of peace. AC27, Cha21, with DC20 0-level enchantment and illusions. Constant 20ft calm emotions aura (DC21), weapons that hit must make DC21 Fort save or be destroyed (they do not deal damage on a failed save).

I had no traits, flaws, alternate rules or weird gimmicks. I took a core race, a core class, core spells...and those four feats. And then I proceeded to ruin the game for everyone.

I think Vow of Peace is probably more of an issue than Vow of Poverty per se, since the calming aura can really crimp the average party's style.

As Dragonborn3 alludes, I've seen Vow of Poverty widely ridiculed as an underpowered trap. It does allow access to bonus exalted feats, but most of those are frankly terrible, often just a static +1 bonus to something that never scales.

From what I can tell, VoP tends to do well by comparison in the early levels, but doesn't keep up from mid- to higher levels. This is heavily dependent on the table, of course.

But on the specific question about VoP vs WBL, I've seen the claim many times that VoP simply doesn't keep up in terms of the effects that are normally available through magic items. Flight is often called out as a major issue. A druid with VoP doesn't have that problem, but many other characters would.

Any full caster that doesn't normally have access to armor might does extremely well; the vow tries to make up for the fact you're not wearing +3 spiked full plate of fortification, but if you would never have worn it in the first place, you're doing great.

And yes, many of those feats are terrible. But nonviolence is a given for any non-blaster caster, and peace give you TWO insane abilities as well as a PLUS SIX to your AC. I mean. Even if Sacred Vow and Vow of Nonviolence did absolutely nothing, three feats for a +6 to AC would be pretty great.

So yeah, Poverty is less of an issue than the other two, but I can't see why you'd just take Poverty, especially when it gives you bonus feats and you have to choose between weird trash and amazing broken stupidness. And if you want those two, well, Poverty is one feat that will give you two (plus more), so you might as well.

I don't doubt your own experience, since you said your GM challenged you to build a broken character. But by definition that's an extreme example, and not every GM will welcome characters built on that premise.

My point is this: I didn't have to try. I just looked at the sacred vow feat tree, Poverty+Nonviolence+Peace, and made a bog-standard gnome sorcerer with color spray, web, major image, etc. And it wrecked the game.

One of the other characters was a kobold sorcerer. Took a draconic feat that reduces your racial HD and boosts your sorcerer caster level. So...a feat that was basically a level. Bunch of weird spells; one that cast as an immediate action and negated an attack, a touch spell that does 1d8/level with no save, some shenanigans with metamagic rods and spectral hand that lead to 96 damage on a touch attack, no save...

...but the character couldn't hold a candle to mine. All the shenanigans in the world paled to insane AC, insane spell DC, insane constant abilities (with insane DC's).

I wasn't taking advantage of some crazy loopholes or exploiting an obscure synergy between two disparate supplements. I had the Player's Handbook and the Book of Exalted Deeds, and the second one only for the feats.
The only thing I did was pick a class that benefited from the feats the most.

Trying to break the game is annoying. Running a broken game is weird and frustrating. After three hours with me at the table, everyone else agreed.

Thanks for all the input, folks. I didn't know D&D Wiki was a lot of Homebrew, but really I was just posting a link for folks who didn't know the Rest I was referencing as an example.

I'll try the Unchained build, that sounds good.

I know VoP isn't the best of the best, especially thrown on a Martial classed character, but it was fun, different, and would give my players an enjoyable challenge, which is all I'm really after.

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