"Pathfinder 1.5" Musings


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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A couple of parameters for this thread:

This is not a place to discuss PF2e, or what Paizo should or should not have done/do going forward. Make a new thread, or better yet, don't bother at all.

This is not a place to discuss whether or not creating a PF1.5e equivalent system is a good idea. The premise of this thread assumes it is, even though it probably isn't. Make a new thread, or better yet, don't bother at all.

Also, please be civil and constructive. Thanks!

With all of that out of the way- I've been musing the idea of a PF1.5e system. Basically do for PF1e what it did for 3.5. Full backwards compatibility, game balancing, and quality of life improvements. It would rely entirely on the OGL and not include anything copyrighted or trademarked by Paizo or any 3pp. Assume this system would be setting agnostic (but compatible with Golarion).

So, what would you want? What changes would you make? What would you keep? I have my own thoughts, but most of them are quality of life and balancing tweaks. A lot of these are touched upon by alternate rulesets and homebrew.

Including:
-Fixes for core martial classes (give them more options, flexibility and power)
-Fixes for spellcasting classes (to make low levels less onerous, rebalance some spell lists)
-Reworking skills
-Rebalancing feats, reducing feat taxes and removing trap feats
-Reworking combat maneuvers
-Clarifications on essential rules
-Better rest/mundane healing options at low level.
-Combat the 15 minute adventuring day (by making adventuring longer more viable and overly cautious play less beneficial)
-Rebalance certain notoriously low level, under CR monsters.
-Introducing Tooth Fairies as a core playable race that can be any alignment ;P

If this already exists, go ahead and link me to it. I've seen Legend, which is kind of this but mostly not.

Oh yeah, and before you bother: I like PF2e. It is not the answer to the question posed. So don't waste anyone's time. Make a new thread, or better yet, don't bother at all.

Also, I am not a legal expert. I am also not planning to do this (nor is anyone as far as I'm aware). At most I might put together a compendium of house rules, homebrew, and alternate rulesets (not to sell, mind you). But don't hold your breathe either.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Did you check Porphyra RPG? It's kind of PF1.5.


Gorbacz wrote:
Did you check Porphyra RPG? It's kind of PF1.5.

I did. It's honestly pretty good, ticks some of the items I've listed but not all. I think it's a worthy contender but *the answer*.

Realistically, not PF1e has been created nor will be most likely so Porphyra is a good way to go. Personally I'll probably just play PF1e when I have the itch.


Gorbacz wrote:
Did you check Porphyra RPG? It's kind of PF1.5.

Not to knock Porphyra (because I admit I only skimmed it) it uses unusual races and classes (more the races than the classes) so its backwards compatibility is low.

---------------------

If we're not allowed to propose 3rd-party additions, the only things I can think that I want are:
* Integration of Automatic Bonus Progression.
* Consolidated Skills. (Not a deal-breaker.)
* Reduce the weapon list somehow.
* Do away with "masterwork" and DR-bypassing special materials, or make then something that can be added later. I've had the idea that instead of a weapon needing to be "masterwork" to be enchanted the weapon might need to be "anointed", "sanctified", or "engloried". Do the same with DR-bypass. No more golf-bags!


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A feat consolidation to bring feats more in line with the vigilante talents that offer like 2-3 feats that are unlocked as you level would do an awful lot for martials. Not just the combat ones but the skill boost ones that are prereqs for later feats that actually do a thing as well.


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* Add more playable races to core. At the least I want to be able to play gnolls and lizardfolk!


I'll echo the idea that feat consolidation should resemble vigilante talent scaling. When my group was trying to rebalance our game, the major theme of our discussion was that felt that feats ought to grow more over time. Dense feat trees that build off of feats that grant piddly, non-scaling bonuses are disappointing and mean that your build probably doesn't come online for a significant portion of gameplay.

We did a dive into the Style feats and proposed a system for the Styles to remain BAB/level-gated, perhaps with some additional prerequisite feats, but otherwise not requiring the three-feat sequence to pick up mastery. That way it resembles something like the Magic Trick feats.

We also maxed HP like 2E. Combats last longer and are less rocket-taggy.

The last thing that we started doing (but haven't finished) is restructuring the different playable races so that they're closer to 10 RP. I wanted to build an Aasimar Bard and gave up Celestial Resistance to be closer to the rest of the party from a power perspective.

To be honest, Unchained is kind of already 1.5, or at least on its way. Between the four primary class fixes, the Revised Action Economy, and a bevy of optional rules (Background Skills, Automatic Bonus Progression, Skill Unlocks, Variant Multiclassing, etc.), there are a lot of helpful systems.

As always, I'll plug the Elephant in the Room feat tax system. My group used that heavily when devising our own fixes. Consolidating combat maneuvers into three broad categories (Grappling, Powerful, and Deft) has turned PCs (and NPCs) into multi-trick ponies. Combats have gotten much more interesting than the usual full-attack shenanigans.


Wyran Tegus wrote:

I'll echo the idea that feat consolidation should resemble vigilante talent scaling. When my group was trying to rebalance our game, the major theme of our discussion was that felt that feats ought to grow more over time. Dense feat trees that build off of feats that grant piddly, non-scaling bonuses are disappointing and mean that your build probably doesn't come online for a significant portion of gameplay.

I really really wish combat expertise was this

Combat Expertise: Gain +2 to CMB, Combat maneuvers you initiate no longer provoke attacks of opportunity. (remove all Improved X feats)

I'd feel a lot happier about allocating int to a fighter if the feat let me play around with all the maneuvers and be good at it.

Dodge could be

Dodge: Gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC, increase this bonus by 4 vs attacks of opportunity from movement. When making an attack you may take a -1 penalty to hit to gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC and reflex saves. Increase this penalty and bonus by 1 for every 4 points of BAB you have. (remove mobility)


I have mixed feeling on feat consolidation. On the one hand, it would greatly improve the game. OTOH, it also shoots backward compatibility in the head.

_
glass.


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glass wrote:

I have mixed feeling on feat consolidation. On the one hand, it would greatly improve the game. OTOH, it also shoots backward compatibility in the head.

_
glass.

eh, your conversion document just lists what feats were consolidated and treats them as a "counts as"

edit

I dont think you address many of the issues of the game without a feat consolidation.


glass wrote:
OTOH, it also shoots backward compatibility in the head.

Could you explain this? I don't have the rules-savvy to figure it out myself.


Keep in mind that the martial vs caster issue is level dependent. At first level, the martial is typically better off than the caster. The caster doesn't start to pull ahead until about 3rd level spells. And the "problem" isn't really noticeable until at least 5th level spells. The issue isn't usually about damage either. Most martials do great damage. The caster issue is mostly about the narrative power they have. For instance, you don't have to worry about your group overcoming some obstacle if you can just dimension door around it.


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Artofregicide wrote:


Including:
-Fixes for core martial classes (give them more options, flexibility and power)
-Fixes for spellcasting classes (to make low levels less onerous, rebalance some spell lists)
-Reworking skills
-Rebalancing feats, reducing feat taxes and removing trap feats
-Reworking combat maneuvers
-Clarifications on essential rules
-Better rest/mundane healing options at low level.
-Combat the 15 minute adventuring day (by making adventuring longer more viable and overly cautious play less beneficial)
-Rebalance certain notoriously low level, under CR monsters.

My groups typically use some of the rules depicted here.

As for other things I typically implement would be
Automatic Bonus Progression(Generally I tell them to consider themselves two levels higher for it as well)
Skills are consolidated a bit to make some more appealing. We pretty much use background skills 100% of the time now and all classes have a minimum of 4 skill points per level except int based ones.

Some feats are baseline now. Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise and all the -attack/+damage are combat options now and everyone is considered to have them. Some feats(All the maneuver feats) scale to make them more appealing.

Some form of the short rest rules from 5e could be interesting. I think spending Hit Dice as a form of healing is a good way combating the 15 minute adventuring day. The challenge here is that some conditions are so debilitating that they demand stopping early or turning back(Stuff like dying or getting cursed so that you lose 50% of all turns).

I think altering the paradigm of "Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard" is essential to fixing a lot of the core problems of the game. Condition removal being one of the more egregious obvious problems, but also the fact that without a high enough level caster you simply cannot interact with some portions of the game/adventure.


Melkiador wrote:
Keep in mind that the martial vs caster issue is level dependent. At first level, the martial is typically better off than the caster. The caster doesn't start to pull ahead until about 3rd level spells. And the "problem" isn't really noticeable until at least 5th level spells. The issue isn't usually about damage either. Most martials do great damage. The caster issue is mostly about the narrative power they have. For instance, you don't have to worry about your group overcoming some obstacle if you can just dimension door around it.

This is all true, but one of the structural issues behind it is that eventually casters have upwards of 50 "options" spell slots plus feats combined while martials have 20ish and to cap it off, many martial themes are split between so many feats they're 6ish levels to really work, whereas caster theme feats tend to be one offs, or 2 to 3 feats deep in a tree.


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The point is that any solution for martial vs caster disparity needs to focus on the later part of the game. Trying to nerf casters or buff martials for the early levels is completely missing the point. Martials need more options, but they don't actually need them till 5th level at the earliest. And then those options need to come online at a gradual pace. Or alternatively, casters and their spells don't need much nerfing until 5th level at the earliest.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The questions raised in the OP have been percolating for me ever since Starfinder came out and showed me how a tweaked PF1E could work. 1st Edition has a heck of a lot of lumpy mechanics and parts of the system that fall apart in the face of... A) Disparate optimization levels from your players B) High level play or C) Regular play that just happens to involve grappling :>

I think my ideal PF1.5E would have a lot of changes and would probably not be backwards compatible. But some highlights would be:

- Revamped spellcasting, probably using arcanist style casting as a baseline. Widespread spell rebalancing to make spellcasters more appealing at low levels and less soul crushing to GM for at mid to high levels.
- Reworks for all classes to incorporate great ideas from Unchained, as well as to give each class neat individual tricks and playstyles.
- Massively trim back on all the bonus stacking optimization via equipment, spells, feats and features. The game falls apart at high levels thanks in part to how the math broadens depending on each player's esoteric rulebook knowledge and AoNprd-searching diligence.
- Make sure every class has a good array of skills (4+ Skills/level minimum)
- Clean up all the nightmarish rules bogs: grappling, vision and detection, etc


I think removing or expanding some of the very narrow abilities is a good idea. Abilities that only work on a certain type of creature, or in a specific environment, are at risk of being useless and are frequently leveraged by flexible classes who can pick up the right one for the specific encounter.

Many feats need to be made baseline or tied to skill rank prerequisites. For instance, tying things like improved disarm and dirty tricks to sleight of hand would seem appropriate.

Spells need to be thinned out, reducing the number of spells that do identical things. Some spell effects aught to be tied to skill ranks as well, so that a caster needs a larger investment to take over a niche.

There's a few abilities with identical names that aren't identical. Their names should be different. Weapon training for instance could be the fighter ability, the rogue talent, the eidolon ability or the swashbuckler ability.

I think I'd want DR made to apply to all damage done in a turn rather than per attack. I'd probably also take a pass at two weapon fighting leaving the off hand as a means of making more beneficial main hand attacks or improving defense rather than allowing additional attacks.


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Speaking of Starfinder, just replacing the 9th level casters with 6th level versions would probably help a lot. It does crowd the design space a bit though. Magus and wizard could be merged into one class with different styles. The same for warpriest and cleric.


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Making all casters 6th level casters would help with balancing a bit, but it would really weaken the game's explanatory power. The gap between monster narrative potential and PC narrative potential drifts so far over to monsters at that point, that I think it would hurt long term player engagement.

Martial classes have dealt with that forever, and I wouldn't want to waste a chance to improve martial narrative power versus monsters by instead weakening all player narrative power.


There aren’t that many high level monsters to deal with narrative-power-wise. You could bring them down to 6th level too


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There's a few lower level creatures with high narrative threats, but I think that's not really the point, those could be removed too. It seems like you'd risk making the threats more mundane narrowing the scope of what type of stories you could tell with the game.

A wide scale reshuffling of attacks and counters would be needed, such that repairs and protections were much more obtainable than the threats. But then, rather than reintegrating the threats, you're making them more trivial.

I think it'd be better to start from scratch for a change like that.


Wyran Tegus wrote:
We also maxed HP like 2E. Combats last longer and are less rocket-taggy.

I did that, too, but there are some issues with it. It weakens Con, Toughness and the HP FCB (relatively), it boosts some monsters more than others (golems get about +70% HP and it shows) and it's not enough on high level. Still it helps a lot.

Currently I consider double standard HP for both sides, with increasing to triple later. Means more time to react, more importance of debuffs and in general a more tactical play, with less randomness. Of course glass cannons have a harder time and battlefield control becomes even more attractive (you might have to ban / nerf several things).

Fragile PCs work well for survival horror (like AD&D dungeons), but they are not really suited for heroic fantasy.


SheepishEidolon wrote:
Wyran Tegus wrote:
We also maxed HP like 2E. Combats last longer and are less rocket-taggy.

I did that, too, but there are some issues with it. It weakens Con, Toughness and the HP FCB (relatively), it boosts some monsters more than others (golems get about +70% HP and it shows) and it's not enough on high level. Still it helps a lot.

Currently I consider double standard HP for both sides, with increasing to triple later. Means more time to react, more importance of debuffs and in general a more tactical play, with less randomness. Of course glass cannons have a harder time and battlefield control becomes even more attractive (you might have to ban / nerf several things).

Fragile PCs work well for survival horror (like AD&D dungeons), but they are not really suited for heroic fantasy.

Yknow I'm kind of ok with golems being tougher and generally a little under CRed


Here are some of the complaints I'd been kicking around (I'd made a more comprehensive list somewhere, but I don't have it on me):

* Self-sufficient classes/builds - Some classes or builds don't depend heavily on feats in order to function correctly. Others must use every feat available in order to make the build workable (often, these aren't the most powerful builds). If the class is supposed to do something (Cleave, Power Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, Dex to Damage), that should be included in the class, and not rely on an external package.

* Meaningful feats - Why should anyone spend a feat on getting a +2 bonus against being mind-controlled by aberrations? Why should necessary mechanics (like Power Attack) be locked away in a feat? I want feats to be meaningful and powerful customization options that are distinct and separate from my class. I'd even be willing to sacrifice multiclassing if spending feats would allow me meaningful but limited access to other class' abilities.

* Build target - How strong should my character be? How powerful is too much? Monsters don't have a power-target per CR (well, they do, but it's ignored). Consequently, players don't have a target to build to. If we had some idea of what is supposed to be normal, we could try to achieve it. This is related to...

* Useless/Godly Dichotomy - This takes two forms. The first is when a class is completely useless in most situations and completely trivializes other encounters (like a mid-level Gunslinger in combat/non-combat). The second form is where you can either build your character to be overpowered or build him to be weak (like low levels with a Fighter when a player has designed his build so he will be survivable at higher levels). This is related to...

* The Come Online Problem - This is when a class or a build doesn't accomplish what it's intended to accomplish or can't contribute meaningfully for a few levels. Gunslinger and Investigator are two examples that come to mind. I've also seen some builds or archetypes take until mid-levels to get to their flavor abilities.

I'm sure I had a few more complaints written down, but these are the ones that come to mind.


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The investigator comes online at level 1 as a skill monkey. It’s the secondary role of damage that waits till level 4. It’s like complaining that bloodrager doesn’t come online as a spell caster until level 4. That’s not really what it’s meant for.


I really like tying some of the feat-tax stuff to skills or other metrics (like BAB, or attribute prereqs). Making them freebies that you can also take as a feat feels like the correct choice for me.

There's also probably some amount of cleanup that can be done with archetypes, the question is whether to retool it properly or to just adjust each set of archetypes. (Then you also have to ask how to adjust them, should they be the norm or a way to do something very specialized, should they be balanced compared to each other or the base class or should they be balanced with exectuting their concept foremost in mind, that kind of stuff).

Cleaning up swift actions is also gonna be important I think, either by reducing the bloat on them, or by switching to a more even action system like Unchained action economy or PF2 (though I'd like a bit more granularity than PF2, so you can actually put weaker and cheaper actions in the game). One of the biggest proof of powercreep in the system IMO, is the concern of whether or not allowing a move action to be degraded to a swift action would break game balance.


Melkiador wrote:
The investigator comes online at level 1 as a skill monkey. It’s the secondary role of damage that waits till level 4. It’s like complaining that bloodrager doesn’t come online as a spell caster until level 4. That’s not really what it’s meant for.

I would say that every member of the party needs to be able to contribute to combat since the Challenge Rating system the entire game is predicated upon depends on it. It is ultimately why there is such an obvious disparity between classes since it is overwhelmingly clear that a 20th level Wizard is so much greater of a threat than a 20th level Fighter. Early D&D this was less obvious since the Fighter DID get to level faster than Wizards could, but has since been changed.

In my Ironfang Invasion game, this becomes exemplified due to the primary antagonists lacking proper counters to a party containing spellcasters.


Melkiador wrote:
The investigator comes online at level 1 as a skill monkey. It’s the secondary role of damage that waits till level 4. It’s like complaining that bloodrager doesn’t come online as a spell caster until level 4. That’s not really what it’s meant for.

Combat is a large part of the game that takes up a significant amount of gameplay time when it occurs. If your character can't meaningfully contribute for the first 10 sessions or so, you're both being deadweight in a situation where you should be helping and boring yourself.

* * * * * * * *

To switch gears...

To address the Useless Feats problem, I saw someone with a houserule to have useful feats on odd levels and "flavor" feats on even levels. That would probably warrant a list of "Useful" and "Flavor" feats, though, but I liked the idea.

* * *

At the end of this, are we wanting to start a list of proposed and/or existing solutions?


I like the 6-level caster maximum idea, though it wants a bit of work with replacements for the condition-fixing spells (whether those become healing herbs, or occult rituals/incantations, or whatever.) 6-level spellcasters and below have more room for flavour class features.

On scaling feats, some people (Frank & K) trying to fix D&D 3.5 made a bunch of those but afterward came to the conclusion that it wasn't a great selling point - people prefer a lot of frequently selected things like feats to selecting a very few and having them slowly get better. Kitty's house rule just above may be a better idea.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like how all the "PF1 is perfectly fine, it just needs a couple of small tweaks" threads inevitably end up with people proposing wildly different and mutually exclusive ideas for these "small tweaks", ranging from changing Improved Initiative to be +2 instead of +4 and calling it a day to removing Vancian and getting wordcasting instead.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love how you think PF2 is so amazingly awesome but continue to lurk in the PF1 threads.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm running two PF1 campaigns, what was your point again?


Gorbacz wrote:
I like how all the "PF1 is perfectly fine, it just needs a couple of small tweaks" threads inevitably end up with people proposing wildly different and mutually exclusive ideas for these "small tweaks", ranging from changing Improved Initiative to be +2 instead of +4 and calling it a day to removing Vancian and getting wordcasting instead.

Some people do it because they think those are small tweaks, some don't believe small changes are meaningful, and some just want to participate in something.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Yknow I'm kind of ok with golems being tougher and generally a little under CRed

Oh, it was indeed nice to see golems getting some respect.

Gorbacz wrote:
people proposing wildly different and mutually exclusive ideas for these "small tweaks", ranging from changing Improved Initiative to be +2 instead of +4 and calling it a day to removing Vancian and getting wordcasting instead.

To be fair, a group of professional game designers would start at the same point.


One re-evaluation I'd like to see if of the gold piece economy. I'm not asking for an elimination of the loot focus of the game (as much as I'd like to), but......well, it feels weird to tie so many different things to the same point-source that has no cap.

Like, the whole "Wizards can pay money to add new spells" feels like it should have some kind of limitation other than gp to make it commensurate with having to carry around bulky items.

Also more limits on how many spells prepared casters can have in their repertoire.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
glass wrote:
OTOH, it also shoots backward compatibility in the head.
Could you explain this? I don't have the rules-savvy to figure it out myself.

Every extant statblock, every class with a bonus feat list, and probably a bunch of other things I am forgetting, would need to be rebuilt to suit the new feat paradigm, or you lose the main benefit of backward compatibility; being able to use the great masses of stuff that exists out there for PF1 (and D&D 3e).

I will admit my choise of language in describing that effect was perhaps a touch over-dramatic.

Melkiador wrote:
Keep in mind that the martial vs caster issue is level dependent. At first level, the martial is typically better off than the caster.

That's true for certain combinations. OTOH, it is very much not true for a Fighter or Rogue alongside a Druid, for example.

ETA:

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Like, the whole "Wizards can pay money to add new spells" feels like it should have some kind of limitation other than gp to make it commensurate with having to carry around bulky items.

Wizards' paying money to add new spell literally has a limitation of having to carry around bulky objects (your spellbooks). Which is admittedly not much of a limitation thanks to handy haversacks and bags of holding, but it isn't for anyone else either.

The broader point about being able to turn gold into personal power without limit is a good one, though. It implies that spending money on things that do not do that (like opera tickets, or a nice house to live in) is a fools errand. Obviously playstyle dependant, but I suspect it negatively affects many campaigns.

_
glass.


glass wrote:
The broader point about being able to turn gold into personal power without limit is a good one, though. It implies that spending money on things that do not do that (like opera tickets, or a nice house to live in) is a fools errand. Obviously playstyle dependant, but I suspect it negatively affects many campaigns.

The quite easy way to deal with that is to split mundane money and character power into two pools which you can't mix.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The cap on money is the cap the GM institutes. If the GM is handing out too much loot that’s a GM problem, not a system one.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I like how all the "PF1 is perfectly fine, it just needs a couple of small tweaks" threads inevitably end up with people proposing wildly different and mutually exclusive ideas for these "small tweaks", ranging from changing Improved Initiative to be +2 instead of +4 and calling it a day to removing Vancian and getting wordcasting instead.
Some people do it because they think those are small tweaks, some don't believe small changes are meaningful, and some just want to participate in something.

In a game where every mechanic is interconnected, there are no small changes; only simple write-ups.


-Max HP per Level
-At 4th(and every 4 levels after 4th) you get a +2 increase to 3 stats.
-Add 1/2 your character level to your AC(regular, touch, and flat footed)
-All skills are class skills
-Combat maneuvers are built into combat rules, do not provoke, need at least a +1BA.
-Weapon finesse is built into combat rules, no feat needed, the feat(weapon finesse) now adds Dex to damage with one chosen weapon.
-No CMD, just use AC.
-No Amulets of Natural armor, Cloaks of Resistance, and stat boosting items.
-All level based properties of magic items are based on character level(except artifacts, constructs, and consumable items like potions and scrolls)
-Magic armor, shields, and weapons' enhancement bonus is based on the character's level(except artifacts)
-Magic armor, shields, and weapons always have a special ability of some kind and gain additional abilities/powers based on your level and/or the story.
-Maybe still have rings of protection(+2Deflection to AC/+2 resistance bonus to saves, plus maybe other defenses like endure elements, feather fall, energy resistance, etc.)
-Maybe have Belts of Giant strength and Gauntlets of Ogre Power but as minor artifacts.
-Anyone can use a wands.
-Anyone with casting ability can use any magical staff.
-MP rules(character level + highest mental stat)
-You use your MP(1 point per spell level) to use wands, staves, and similar charged(no more charges).
-Get rid of item creation feats(except constructs, potions, scrolls)
-Other magic items no longer have a cost.
-Magic items(not constructs, potions, scrolls) can still be created but through the story.
-Artifacts are static level 20(or higher) regardless of who uses them.
-No more magic item shops(except potions, scrolls, spell components, and maybe a few other things)


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Gorbacz wrote:
I like how all the "PF1 is perfectly fine, it just needs a couple of small tweaks" threads inevitably end up with people proposing wildly different and mutually exclusive ideas for these "small tweaks", ranging from changing Improved Initiative to be +2 instead of +4 and calling it a day to removing Vancian and getting wordcasting instead.
Artofregicide wrote:
Also, please be civil and constructive. Thanks!

Your previous comment was helpful. This one not so much.

This thread isn't a "PF1 is perfectly fine, it just needs a couple of small tweaks" thread. I don't know where you got that from.

And guess what? Difference of opinion is good and specifically invited.

Please be civil and constructive or find a different thread.

Thanks.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
glass wrote:
The broader point about being able to turn gold into personal power without limit is a good one, though. It implies that spending money on things that do not do that (like opera tickets, or a nice house to live in) is a fools errand. Obviously playstyle dependant, but I suspect it negatively affects many campaigns.
The quite easy way to deal with that is to split mundane money and character power into two pools which you can't mix.

We have different definitions of the word "easy". Apart from being a bunch of extra effort for the GM, that has two issues that I can see:

1. What the hell does it look like in-universe? "Sorry, you're money's no good here. Oh wait, you got some of the other money; why didn't you say so?"

2. It creates the opposite problem. If you lug a dragons hoard back to town, but you cannot spend all that gold on magic items, what do you spend it all on? There are only so many operas to buy tickets for....

Rysky wrote:
The cap on money is the cap the GM institutes. If the GM is handing out too much loot that’s a GM problem, not a system one.

The problem isn't that the total look is uncapped, it is that there is no cap on the amount of total wealth that can be spent on personal power. Which has the problems already expounded upon.

_
glass.


Rysky wrote:
The cap on money is the cap the GM institutes. If the GM is handing out too much loot that’s a GM problem, not a system one.

Wealth by level is a tool to help balance the game, and much like CR, it's less science than art. A highly optimized party will do more with each gp than a highly unoptimized party.

I've had parties who would sell every item they find and use the gp to craft and basically double WBL. I've also had parties who kept all their cool loot whether it was useful or not.


glass wrote:
1. What the hell does it look like in-universe? "Sorry, you're money's no good here. Oh wait, you got some of the other money; why didn't you say so?"

I don't honestly know: I long ago got very tired of having to justify every game mechanic with in-world fluff.

glass wrote:
2. It creates the opposite problem. If you lug a dragons hoard back to town, but you cannot spend all that gold on magic items, what do you spend it all on? There are only so many operas to buy tickets for....

Don't have dragon hoards. Or make them smaller. I don't know: I never really cared for that aspect anyway.


glass wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
Keep in mind that the martial vs caster issue is level dependent. At first level, the martial is typically better off than the caster.

That's true for certain combinations. OTOH, it is very much not true for a Fighter or Rogue alongside a Druid, for example.

The unchained rogue does fine, I think. Though a melee class with a bad fortitude save does seem like bad design.

I think you're underestimating the level 1 fighter though. Even a min-maxed druid will have trouble matching the average damage of a decent fighter at first level. The potential maximum damage of the animal companion can be slightly higher, but its accuracy is bad and it doesn't have pounce yet, so won't be able to deal full attack damage as often as you'd like.

Let's assume an 18 strength fighter. Give him proficiency and weapon focus in a butchering axe. That's an attack bonus of +4, it'd be +6 if you could start with 19 strength, and 3d6+6 damage on hit, with a x3 critical. The druid isn't going to do better average damage per round than that. The problem with the fighter is in the utility. Outside of combat, it just doesn't have much to offer. This will be helped somewhat by the typical suggestion to increase the skill ranks to 4. But adding changes to increase the base damage of the low level fighter is not necessary or desired in my opinion.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Artofregicide wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The cap on money is the cap the GM institutes. If the GM is handing out too much loot that’s a GM problem, not a system one.

Wealth by level is a tool to help balance the game, and much like CR, it's less science than art. A highly optimized party will do more with each gp than a highly unoptimized party.

I've had parties who would sell every item they find and use the gp to craft and basically double WBL. I've also had parties who kept all their cool loot whether it was useful or not.

The former is on you for allowing that downtime and all the merchants, if that situation is something you didn’t like.


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personal pet peeve: Go through all the spell lists, especially for all the non-core casters (witch...), and fix them. Especially pay attention to the classes (ie non-core spellcasters) that got forgotten when they were adding spells later in development...

The rules could use a thorough balance review. There are also a lot of rough patch rules that could use review (stealth - and anything else where mass opposed rolls come into play, mounted combat, (mundane) crafting ... the list goes on).

I would consider moving all the casters onto an arcanist model of casting. I'm not quite sure that this would work in practice though.


* For HP, I think using Racial/size based bonus hit points similar to constructs helps a lot specially at lower levels. It specially helps with casters who typically have way too low HP. Similarly using, "roll dice keep highest or average round down" works well to set a minimum health score without devalueing Toughness or Con. Finally to help with high level "insta kill", negative HP needed to die can become a scaling value: This ensures that even if you take a massive hit you wont die (unless you were very unlucky).

* For feats, you can grant bonus skill and/or racial feats at even levels. This allows classes to have considerably more spread out, and helps prevent the problem of hyper focused characters. Along with this some feat changes would help to make the overall feat pool and trees smaller.

One example is merging the effect of Dodge and Mobility into Dodge, this frees Mobility to be used for a different effect, like increasing speed for the round.

* For items I actually think they are fine, although weapons/armor need to be rebalanced to make them more interactive, expresive, and in a few cases realistic. Weapons should have a more involved ttait system that gives clear benefits to the different weapons. Meanwhile, Armor could use some reworking to make things other than breastplate and chainmail useful. Ex: different armor types could grant different DR and have different traits.

* Finally Spells. Damage spells are not so much a problem as its has always been a question of efficiency vs survivability. However, many out of combat and save or suck spells need to be reworked to make them less overpowering. For things that replace a Skill, the easiest way is to instead give a sizeable bonus when using said skill, much like how Invisibility gives a +20 to stealth when standing still; these bonuses would ofcourse need to be reeled in to a max of only +10 to make it so the Spell is not needed, but highly helpful.

For save or suck, one potentialnway to do it is to give them critical effects. Effectively, save or suck spells work like reverse critical hits; When a target gets a nat 1 they must roll again to confirm, if they didnt roll nat 1 or confirm the spell has some smaller effect, but on a nat 1 with a confirmed rolls the target gets the full effect. By doing this spells those spells become less of a problem, while still allowing for the occasional "enemy got sent to another plane after rolling a nat 1".


glass wrote:

We have different definitions of the word "easy". Apart from being a bunch of extra effort for the GM, that has two issues that I can see:

1. What the hell does it look like in-universe? "Sorry, you're money's no good here. Oh wait, you got some of the other money; why didn't you say so?"

2. It creates the opposite problem. If you lug a dragons hoard back to town, but you cannot spend all that gold on magic items, what do you spend it all on? There are only so many operas to buy tickets for....

1. The Goods, Labor, Magic, Influence system works if you require that magic items be bought with a certain amount of magic, that influence buys political favors, etc. Fluff-wise, this means that the materials you need to make the items you want aren't just laying around available for purchase, but that you supply them. Rules-wise, this adds a layer of complexity and bookkeeping that may not be worth it.

2. That's a good question. If the response to "I buy a house" is "Okay, now you own a house" and that's the end of it, I'm a lot less likely to buy a house.


I think the strong control spells could work more like poisons or diseases, where you have an onset time and maybe secondary saves.

For instance, Flesh to Stone might start with a slow effect and a save to end further effects. If you fail the save, the next round you gain a nauseated state and another save to prevent further effects. If you fail the next save, then you are petrified. Different spells could have different onsets and ramp up times.

This general idea should help lower the "rocket tag" aspect of the game.

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