Deadmanwalking's PF2 House Rules


Homebrew and House Rules

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FowlJ wrote:
It seems like a possibly unintended consequence of the wording here is that, while a multiclass Witch can get a hex cantrip as you said was intended, they can't actually get the hex cantrip associated with their own patron, only a different one.

True, it is a House rule making such wording less of an issue, but I've changed the wording to remove the problem anyway.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Note that multiclass bards have a similar problem with the bard dedication feat vs. Multifarious Muse.

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caps wrote:
Note that multiclass bards have a similar problem with the bard dedication feat vs. Multifarious Muse.

Actually no. The actual mechanical benefits of a Muse (bonus spell to repertoire aside) take the form of a Feat, so Bard Multiclass characters can take that prior to taking Multifarious Muse if they so desire.

The issue here was that by a technical reading, you could never get your own Patron's Hex Cantrip, only those of other Patrons, which is thematically off and why I fixed it.


Yoo, I really like these, the next time I run a game I'll present them to my players to see if they're up for using alternate rules (I also intend to use the Stamina system from the GMG, and Relics as a key part of my story). I'm also thinking of making my own cantrip for one of my players who wants to play a heavy metal bard, and am curious if you have any experience in making brand new spells, or just altering ones that exist, because I'd have to balance it to these, and not what's in the book

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nick1wasd wrote:
Yoo, I really like these, the next time I run a game I'll present them to my players to see if they're up for using alternate rules (I also intend to use the Stamina system from the GMG, and Relics as a key part of my story).

I'm glad to hear it. The primary purpose of posting it here rather than just keeping it as a file on my computer, is so that other people can make use of elements of it if they so desire, and I'm very pleased it's looking useful to you in that regard. :)

nick1wasd wrote:
I'm also thinking of making my own cantrip for one of my players who wants to play a heavy metal bard, and am curious if you have any experience in making brand new spells, or just altering ones that exist, because I'd have to balance it to these, and not what's in the book

Spells are often a bit complicated, and I'd be reluctant to invent a new one out of whole cloth without a pressing need. That said, a straight damage cantrip balanced against the existing ones is almost more of a modification than a truly new spell (all the existing ones are within a pretty narrow band of effects and power level), and I could probably whip something like that up.

What specifically do you have in mind?


Deadmanwalking wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Yoo, I really like these, the next time I run a game I'll present them to my players to see if they're up for using alternate rules (I also intend to use the Stamina system from the GMG, and Relics as a key part of my story).

I'm glad to hear it. The primary purpose of posting it here rather than just keeping it as a file on my computer, is so that other people can make use of elements of it if they so desire, and I'm very pleased it's looking useful to you in that regard. :)

nick1wasd wrote:
I'm also thinking of making my own cantrip for one of my players who wants to play a heavy metal bard, and am curious if you have any experience in making brand new spells, or just altering ones that exist, because I'd have to balance it to these, and not what's in the book

Spells are often a bit complicated, and I'd be reluctant to invent a new one out of whole cloth without a pressing need. That said, a straight damage cantrip balanced against the existing ones is almost more of a modification than a truly new spell (all the existing ones are within a pretty narrow band of effects and power level), and I could probably whip something like that up.

What specifically do you have in mind?

So, my best friend wants to play a bard that's super METAL!!! (imagine Jaskier/Dandelion mixed with FFDP or Metallica), so I was thinking a sonic damage dealing 5' emanation (15' across plus shape) with a Fort Save, and a crit fail bestowing some uncomfortable effect (maybe deafened, maybe not, it's a strong effect for a cantrip, but then again so is Stunned 1). Probably hug Daze's scale in terms of damage, or a little more because the range is intentionally bad. I'm also thinking Arcane/Occult in case we have a Wizard that also wants this spell, might put it up on these forms along with my Relics if it plays out smoothly

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nick1wasd wrote:
So, my best friend wants to play a bard that's super METAL!!! (imagine Jaskier/Dandelion mixed with FFDP or Metallica), so I was thinking a sonic damage dealing 5' emanation (15' across plus shape) with a Fort Save, and a crit fail bestowing some uncomfortable effect (maybe deafened, maybe not, it's a strong effect for a cantrip, but then again so is Stunned 1). Probably hug Daze's scale in terms of damage, or a little more because the range is intentionally bad. I'm also thinking Arcane/Occult in case we have a Wizard that also wants this spell, might put it up on these forms along with my Relics if it plays out smoothly

Sonic damage is probably on par with mental, and indeed my first instinct on a sonic cantrip is to just duplicate Daze but switch up the damage type, so that part is simple.

But having an area is huge for a cantrip. No other cantrip has a meaningful area, and the only one that can hit two people is really good in comparison to the others even after my House Rules (which do not buff Electric Arc at all).

It being very specifically an emanation makes that a bit less of an issue, but that's still a very powerful effect (you can hit up to eight targets with it, it effects swarms as an area effect, etc.). My instinct would be to go for low damage (so Daze progression, as you say), a Fort Save to resist it (which makes sense and is a slight debuff that I think it needs, as Fort Saves trend high among monsters), and a crit fail granting Deafened (it does make sense, and the damage is low per target), but only for one turn.

I think that's probably the way to go mechanically, there. And I think Occult/Arcane is fine as what lists it would be on, though you could add it to Primal as well (it would make a lot of sense for, say, a Storm Druid) without breaking anything, and so I probably would.

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Added a slight boost to Augment Summoning for Conjurer Wizards (and a very slight, verging on meaningless, boost on Conceal Spell for Illusionists). The only Arcane School I'm not pretty satisfied with now is Transmutation.


It has already been discussed but I like how everything here is a boost rather than a nerf to existing classes. It does present some tricky points.

For example people on this forum consider Bards to be one of the best classes in the game and the strongest spell casters . And they benefit from both the will save change and the cantrip boost

Do you think there are any other (Presumably) unintended consequences like this? Or is the Bard stuff just a load more “white room” stuff where people run the numbers of the +1s and say things like “makes the party x% better” . I am sure I even saw a claim that a party of 4 with a bard was better than 5 without ...

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Bards are a very powerful Class, white room or not.

That said, Bards can get Electric Arc in a few different ways (most simply, by being human), which does more damage than any of the cantrip options I've created except for Telekinetic Projectile (for which discussion see below).

So that change doesn't boost optimal Bards, it just makes them not have to be Human or take Electric Arc. I think that's more a flavor change than a power level one.

And the Will Save boost, while indisputably very good, is actually smaller than it looks, as it's probably only +2 on optimal Bards, it otherwise just frees them up to use stat points on things other than Wisdom if they're willing to take hit to Perception. Now, +2 to one specific Save is a god boost, even a very good one, but it's the equivalent of a single General Feat (Canny Acumen, to be specific). An extra General Feat is not gonna effect the net power level of Bards notably. It's good, but not enough to shift the needle, IMO.

Now, all that said, this question caused me to look at Telekinetic Projectile, and do the math on it. I've decided, based on doing this, that it being 1d8 per level is more powerful than my cantrip boost is intended to be, actually raising the net power level of cantrips (or, at least, Telekinetic Projectile specifically) in combination with my Item giving spell attack bonuses, which was not my intent (my intent was to boost the other cantrips to more closely equal Electric Arc, not to exceed its power level). So I've dropped it to 1d6 per level, though I've kept the range changes. I may boost it in some small way going forward, but it won't be damage.

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Added a change to Polymorph spells in general to extend their duration if people want to use them for utility. Druids can do even better, of course.


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Just to provide some playtest feedback pertaining to your homebrew rules for attack cantrips. These changes ROCK! The damage increase feels just right without being overpowered at all. Before I implemented the cantrip changes, I always felt quite weak as a warpriest during combat encounters. I would never expect to match the damage output of a dedicated martial, but the vanilla cantrips covered by these changes are too underpowered and unsatisfying.

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I'm very pleased to hear it. That was definitely the goal.


Have you considered to move the witch "versatile patron" from level 1 to level 2?

To prevent it from being taken through natural ambition ( which is already too powerful).

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HumbleGamer wrote:

Have you considered to move the witch "versatile patron" from level 1 to level 2?

To prevent it from being taken through natural ambition ( which is already too powerful).

I could, but I'm actually fine with it being taken with Natural Ambition. That Feat is certainly good, but it's good for everyone, and I see no reason to make it worse for Witches.

If I was going to power down Natural Ambition (which I'm not convinced is necessary) I'd do it in a much more targeted fashion regarding that Feat itself, not refusing to make new Class Feats 1st level in fear of its use.

And, on an unrelated note, I've added that minor boost I was considering to Telekinetic Projectile, doubling its range.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Have you considered to move the witch "versatile patron" from level 1 to level 2?

To prevent it from being taken through natural ambition ( which is already too powerful).

If I was going to power down Natural Ambition (which I'm not convinced is necessary) I'd do it in a much more targeted fashion regarding that Feat itself, not refusing to make new Class Feats 1st level in fear of its use.

Well, the point is it's, unfortunately, the current condition for some classes.

This on the one hands doesn't make mandatory to be human, since you won't be needing any lvl 1 feat cause they are not worth it, too situational, or simply not necessary for your build.

But on the other hand it makes the human race too good for some classes ( like monk and fighter).

But I understand it's not about one extra class feat, but instead it's the whole lvl 1/2 which might require some adjustments.

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HumbleGamer wrote:

Well, the point is it's, unfortunately, the current condition for some classes.

This on the one hands doesn't make mandatory to be human, since you won't be needing any lvl 1 feat cause they are not worth it, too situational, or simply not necessary for your build.

But on the other hand it makes the human race too good for some classes ( like monk and fighter).

I think non-human Monks and Fighters do fine. Natural Ambition is good, but very front-loaded in how high powered it is. It's great at 1st level but falls off in power level pretty sharply thereafter. It's never bad, but it's not great either by the time you've hit 10th or something like that.

HumbleGamer wrote:
But I understand it's not about one extra class feat, but instead it's the whole lvl 1/2 which might require some adjustments.

I mean, I designed it as a 1st level Feat with the idea that some people could get it at 1st level in mind. Raising it to 2nd is a pretty minor change all things considered, though. It compares less favorably with cantrip expansion then, though.

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Added an additional perk to Telekinetic Projectile allowing it to target golems or things in an antimagic field. This fits with the vibe I'm going for with the range working like normal attacks, where you chuck the object with magic, but then it has momentum even sans magic.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
So, my best friend wants to play a bard that's super METAL!!! (imagine Jaskier/Dandelion mixed with FFDP or Metallica), so I was thinking a sonic damage dealing 5' emanation (15' across plus shape) with a Fort Save, and a crit fail bestowing some uncomfortable effect (maybe deafened, maybe not, it's a strong effect for a cantrip, but then again so is Stunned 1). Probably hug Daze's scale in terms of damage, or a little more because the range is intentionally bad. I'm also thinking Arcane/Occult in case we have a Wizard that also wants this spell, might put it up on these forms along with my Relics if it plays out smoothly

Sonic damage is probably on par with mental, and indeed my first instinct on a sonic cantrip is to just duplicate Daze but switch up the damage type, so that part is simple.

But having an area is huge for a cantrip. No other cantrip has a meaningful area, and the only one that can hit two people is really good in comparison to the others even after my House Rules (which do not buff Electric Arc at all).

It being very specifically an emanation makes that a bit less of an issue, but that's still a very powerful effect (you can hit up to eight targets with it, it effects swarms as an area effect, etc.). My instinct would be to go for low damage (so Daze progression, as you say), a Fort Save to resist it (which makes sense and is a slight debuff that I think it needs, as Fort Saves trend high among monsters), and a crit fail granting Deafened (it does make sense, and the damage is low per target), but only for one turn.

I think that's probably the way to go mechanically, there. And I think Occult/Arcane is fine as what lists it would be on, though you could add it to Primal as well (it would make a lot of sense for, say, a Storm Druid) without breaking anything, and so I probably would.

I agree with area effects of damage is a big item, especially on a cantrip. But I tried to think if there was a way to balance it out, and make it interesting.

What about going with the caster's ability modifier sonic damage with a range of 15'. Target makes a basic Fort save. On a critical failure, they are deafened for a round. Surrounding 5' around both the target and the caster everyone takes 1 point of sonic splash damage, but excluding the caster. (any overlap between the two only take 1 point of sonic splash damage) Heighten (+2): target takes +1d4, splash damage increases by 1, and duration of deafness caused by critical increases 1 round.

The splash generates an area damage, that can be very useful, but due to the splash area impacting both the caster and target, it makes its use more strategic. Its range is close to keep it from being seen as potentially too much better than daze. (the heightening was based on daze, but needed to pay for the boost to splash, although deafened is likely admittedly a weaker effect than stunned.

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Hmm. If going with Splash damage, I think Acid Splash is the cantrip to look at for comparisons and duplicate the damage on my version of that.

But that said, honestly, I'd personally still go with my previous suggestion (5 foot emanation, Daze-level damage, Fort Save, Deafened for one round on a crit failure). That's cool and does something very different from other cantrips without, I think, being overpowered. The splash version is just a weird and kind of awkward Acid Splash and thus much less interesting.

It also means you have to get right up in the enemy's face to use it, which is metal. Which, I understand, was the goal. :)

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I have added a new Feat, Dervish Dance (in a PF1 reference), for those who want to use finesse with a weapon that does not normally have finesse (as long as its damage die is d8 or less). I've also added a bit of text to a Monk Feat to help them take advantage of that.

This combination of things allows Swashbucklers, Rogues, and Monks to really expand their weapon choices in some fun and thematic ways that I don't think break anything.


Unlocks Devoted Muse!

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Lanathar wrote:
Unlocks Devoted Muse!

I wasn't thinking of Devoted Muse specifically but PF1's Bladed Brush and the ability to finesse a glaive as a worshiper of Shelyn was definitely on my mind (and that combat style works fine with this Feat, glaives being a d8 weapon).

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It's been pointed out in another thread that Savage Animal Companions, and Str-based companions in general, are basically a trap option due to vastly lower AC than Nimble companions and few real advantages (I think it's +6 damage at high levels for -1 to hit and -6 AC...something silly like that, anyhow).

I have added House Rules to correct this (mostly, increased Barding Proficiency). The trade is now -1 AC for +6 damage at high levels (and having to wear Barding). That sounds much more reasonable, and in-line with other similar trades.

Genie Companions should logically receive some similar modifications, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

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Genie Companions now updated as appropriate.

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It has been brought to my attention that there is technically no official rule preventing attempting Recall Knowledge until you succeed. That seems wrong, and I have thus added a House Rule to correct the issue.

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Added some changes to increase the usefulness of Physical Boost (the Transmutation Focus Spell). I'm still not very happy with the Transmutation School additions I've made, but this makes it a little better.

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Just noticed that my personal ruling that you can have wooden Sturdy Shields was not actually codified in the document. Now it is.

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Added some improvements to the Warpriest Doctrine for Clerics. Still not entirely happy with the nature of them, but they'll do for now.

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Expanded free Deadly Simplicity from Warpriests to all Clerics. That seems more fair and reasonable to me, and helps Cloistered Clerics to make up for my changes to Warpriests at low levels.

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Upped the AC on the spell Dragon Form (and the AC on Monstrosity Form very slightly). Dragon Form's starting AC is just abysmal for its level.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Added some improvements to the Warpriest Doctrine for Clerics. Still not entirely happy with the nature of them, but they'll do for now.

At level 15 you've given warpriests Expert proficiency with heavy armour but I'm not seeing them be Trained in heavy armour before then.


The Bomber's Eye Elixir is described as follows:

Bomber’s Eye Elixir: The lesser version ignores 2 points of circumstance penalty, the greater version gives the user weapon specialization with bombs, or greater weapon specialization if they already have weapon specialization. Both last one hour.

Does the greater version also get the 2 point reduction for circumstance penalty? As it's worded the greater one only seems to get the weapon specialisation but I think that's wrong.

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JerkyGunner wrote:
At level 15 you've given warpriests Expert proficiency with heavy armour but I'm not seeing them be Trained in heavy armour before then.

That's correct, yes. It's intended to be a minor AC buff at that level, letting them switch from the Medium Armor they've been wearing until then. Sort of a compromise between no AC bump and adding Master.

JerkyGunner wrote:
Does the greater version also get the 2 point reduction for circumstance penalty? As it's worded the greater one only seems to get the weapon specialisation but I think that's wrong.

It is the intent that it still grants the 2 point reduction, yes. I'll try and clear up the wording on that.

EDIT: And done, should be clearer now.

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Added temporary fixes for stuff that's on the Errata pile but not officially fixed yet. Specifically, Heaven's Thunder from Jalmeri Heavenseeker, and the Mountain Stance + Drakeheart Mutagen combo.

Both are very temporary, and will likely be removed in favor of official fixes when those become available.

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Added a note that spellcasters can cast spells in Dragon Form, as it doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise and the rules are ambiguous.

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Added a specific note that you can speak or use hands to Manipulate normally in battle forms if the form could normally do so (ie: Dragon Form or Elemental Form can do both, Ape can do Manipulate stuff, etc).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Have you been updating the Google doc as you add these? I haven't spotted the most recent ones.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Have you been updating the Google doc as you add these? I haven't spotted the most recent ones.

I have. They're under Spells and both the last two were modifications on existing passages rather than being new entries. And the 'Temporary Pending Errata' stuff is in its own separate section at the very end.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Added a note that spellcasters can cast spells in Dragon Form, as it doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise and the rules are ambiguous.

If you are going to do that - which seems reasonable - then you should also include it for Righteous Might and Avatar, which technically can't talk, or cast spells either.

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Gortle wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Added a note that spellcasters can cast spells in Dragon Form, as it doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise and the rules are ambiguous.
If you are going to do that - which seems reasonable - then you should also include it for Righteous Might and Avatar, which technically can't talk, or cast spells either.

Well, I fixed the 'talk' part of that already and separately (along with Manipulate actions). As for spells, Righteous Might looks about on par with Dragon Form, and I've added that in.

Avatar is another matter. Unlike most Battle Form spells, it's a huge defensive buff as well as providing offensive options and the flavor is such that not being able to cast would actually make sense. I think I'm gonna stick with that not working for now. Ditto for Green Man under Nature Incarnate, really.

Elemental Form may yet come in for some modification of some sort, possibly allowing casting, though I'll need to look it over a bit.

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It has come to my attention that Champions currently keep their Cause's Reaction even after 'falling'. That doesn't make a lot of sense thematically, so I changed it.

I've also decided to officially state that getting crit by on level or above enemies, or critically failing a Save, gets you a Hero Point. I like codifying at least one way to get those (as I often forget to hand them out for meta reasons), and like the idea of bad dice luck getting you something.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I've also decided to officially state that getting crit by on level or above enemies, or critically failing a Save, gets you a Hero Point. I like codifying at least one way to get those (as I often forget to hand them out for meta reasons), and like the idea of bad dice luck getting you something.

While I like the idea too, this means that an enemy can't kill you with a critical hit, as you will automatically have the hero point needed to stabilize. Maybe it's intended, I don't know... this kinda makes normal hits scarier than crits.

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Megistone wrote:
While I like the idea too, this means that an enemy can't kill you with a critical hit, as you will automatically have the hero point needed to stabilize. Maybe it's intended, I don't know... this kinda makes normal hits scarier than crits.

You have a point. I was considering adding a time delay anyway, so I'll just do that. It's now moved to the end of their next turn.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

It's been pointed out in another thread that Savage Animal Companions, and Str-based companions in general, are basically a trap option due to vastly lower AC than Nimble companions and few real advantages (I think it's +6 damage at high levels for -1 to hit and -6 AC...something silly like that, anyhow).

I have added House Rules to correct this (mostly, increased Barding Proficiency). The trade is now -1 AC for +6 damage at high levels (and having to wear Barding). That sounds much more reasonable, and in-line with other similar trades.

Genie Companions should logically receive some similar modifications, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

I'm writing up my own document for Homebrew and House rules, mainly for my own players and I wanted to know if this fix keeps strength based/savage companions consistently at -1 AC compared to Nimble?

This is done through Expert to Master in Barding and Barding's Max dex being increased correct?

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Intoxicated Illithid wrote:
I'm writing up my own document for Homebrew and House rules, mainly for my own players and I wanted to know if this fix keeps strength based/savage companions consistently at -1 AC compared to Nimble?

Not usually, for that you probably want to only up the Dex Mod of the armor by 1 rather than 2, but that seems a little harsh given the other tradeoffs.

With my rules, at Advanced they wind up equal in AC if the Dex Companion wears light barding (I have just increased the Dex Maximum for Light Barding for this purpose), or have +1 AC if they wear Heavy Barding. This makes the tradeoff for going Str +3 damage for -5 speed and -2 Reflex Save, or +3 Damage for -1 AC and -2 Reflex Save, depending on armor choice on the Dex end.

At Specialized, they're about equal in AC (at this point, the Dex Companion ditches Barding to max their AC), and the tradeoff becomes +5 damage for -5 Speed and -3 Reflex Save. If you're a Druid or Beastmaster and get a second Specialization, then the Dex Companion can pull ahead on AC with that.

Intoxicated Illithid wrote:
This is done through Expert to Master in Barding and Barding's Max dex being increased correct?

Pretty much, yeah. Expert Barding for everyone at Advanced (upped to Master for everyone at Specialized) and +2 Dex Max on Heavy Barding, as well as +1 Dex Max on Light Barding.

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Added a couple of mostly flavor changes to the Philosopher's Stone, allowing it to make one person immortal with continued effort or bring back those who died more than a week ago. Both are intentionally resource intensive.

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Added a Sprint Activity and a change in the Hustle rules to more accurately reflect real-world human running speeds (these rules plus a speed of 45, achievable on a 7th level Monk, hit around the human limits...and 7th level is where most of the rest of those get hit, too).

Animals are still inaccurate, but only because some should have a higher base speed, and that's not worth going through each entry and fixing.

In practice, this will rarely matter but it makes me happy.


What are your thoughts on/experiences with talismans?

Are you finding your players make use of them or do they just ignore them completely?

Have you changed them in any way to better suit your table?

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So far, it hasn't come up.

In general, I think they're conceptually fine but a lot of specific ones are a bit lackluster. They're thus less in need of House Rules and more in need of new and better Talisman options.

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