Aid DC


Homebrew and House Rules


Hello Community.

I am curious what people think about the suggestion in the Core Rulebook that Aid default to DC 20.

↺) Aid

I am considering instead making the default Aid DC to be either 2 or 5 points lower than the DC of the primary check.

What do you think might be the consequences of such a change, comparing the two?

Cheers.


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Aid is strange.

It is almost unusable at really low levels. You are pretty likely to do nothing and it ends up being a waste of an action to prepare for it and the reaction to make the check. It also has a noticeable chance of resulting in critical failure and being a hindrance rather than a help.

It also scales strangely.

At some point, getting the success result becomes fairly reliable, but it only results in a +1 bonus.

And at some farther point, getting critical success becomes more likely. And that is the only time where the character's proficiency comes in to play.

-----

Lowering the DC by 2 or 5 would only change the points where these happen. It could make Aid usable at early levels and reliable a few levels earlier. You could even get the +2 bonus from critical success at earlier levels. It wouldn't really change when you get the +3 or +4 bonuses because those are dependent on character proficiency.

As a simple fix for low level play, that would probably be fine.

For a more complicated fix, I would rather see something that scales with proficiency more along the lines with how Treat Wounds works. If you have a higher proficiency, you can attempt a higher DC check and get a better bonus on success.

Sczarni

Aid is super nice, when you focus on it. If you're GMing for a group who only occasionally rolls to Aid, however, I think lowering the DC could be a nice houserule. Just make it clear not to take advantage of it.

I have a Halfling Bard focused on Aid. I haven't played him at 6th, yet, but during 5th level he was pretty consistently Critting his Aid check (+18 to Aid, using One-For-All and Cooperative Nature).

By 9th level he'll pick up Helpful Halfling, while still providing his Bard buffs. It'll probably be a bit nuts. If this was for a homegame (he's a Society character), it might trivialize a lot of encounters and checks.


I'm running my group through the Beginner Box adventure using the full rules now.
I Did 2 things with Aid for testing purposes.

1) I removed the requirement to prepare your Aid reaction and instead treat it strictly as a normal reaction.

2) Aid DC generally depends on the explanation of how you will help.
I usually just set it using simple DCs and adjusting as needed.

So far this has working out great.


I'm very not restrictive with Aid but I change the DC always!
In exploration mode, to help others I usually uses the alliy's skill who you want to help as DC! I know this maybe a little brutal but Aid action too flexible and strong.
When It's DC's is fixed aids is little harder to use at low levels but brutally effective at higher levels, it's works to give circumstance bonus to everything not mattering how it is, including you can use Assurance to always success a skill check since level 6, and to critical success since lvl 14.

Using the ally skill's DC instead I assure that Aid is easier in earlier levels keeps equilibrated while a players skill still as good as the skill he/she want to help during all game progression. This also creates interesting interations between skill diferences between chars reflecting. For example a lower skill proficiency or stat player trying to help a better profficient player has a lesser chance to help than inverse inverse. In this way a legendary skilled char can easily Aid a trained allied that's in a harder situation and a trained only char have more difficult to help an experienced legendary ally.

In combat I usually only requires that player select an skill or weapon/unarmed ability that makes sense to help the ally and give some excuse explaining it.
For example, a bard can use it's performance to inspire even more an ally, a spellcaster can use it's arcana, nature, ocultism, religion and even lore to point a weakpoint of a creature relative to the skill, crafting can be used in same way for constructs and objects, deception/diplomacy/intimidation can do lesser feint that gives an ally an circumstance bonus instead of debilitate the opponent, medicine could be use to point a weak spot in an living opponent, survival and society could use the ambient knowledge in their favor (like reflect the sun in opponent eyes), thievery could be used to temporally weak an opponent armor part. I accept any other creative ways to use skills in their favor but it has to make some sense. For weapons things like an that's providing lesser cover could to give some base to a bow/xbow to be more stable to shot, or can provide the approximated wind speed and direction to help the shooter to correct it's aim or in melee I char can use it's martial abilities to point an exposed weakness in opponent stance.
There's no lack of "excuses" to use as Aid I just ask to give or select one. But the DC in this combat situation that I use is little different it's the ally level DC. Once again this represents the diference of the training and abilities to easier o difficult the test.


LordVanya wrote:

I'm running my group through the Beginner Box adventure using the full rules now.

I Did 2 things with Aid for testing purposes.

1) I removed the requirement to prepare your Aid reaction and instead treat it strictly as a normal reaction.

2) Aid DC generally depends on the explanation of how you will help.
I usually just set it using simple DCs and adjusting as needed.

So far this has working out great.

Well, given the fact most of the times characters end up without using their reaction, in addition to not having to expend an action in advance to prepare ( resulting even in a normal stride + strike *2 ), seems reasonable that giving away such power for free worked out great for players :d

As using simple DC, do you mean a simple DC task for the level ( difficulty classes table) or just 20 DC as normal ( unless specific situations that may require a little more)?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
rainzax wrote:

Hello Community.

I am curious what people think about the suggestion in the Core Rulebook that Aid default to DC 20.

↺) Aid

I am considering instead making the default Aid DC to be either 2 or 5 points lower than the DC of the primary check.

What do you think might be the consequences of such a change, comparing the two?

Cheers.

At low levels, that would make it easier, but at higher levels, that would make it harder. The CRB version keeps the DC at 20 always, even though main checks are gonna go up to DC 30-40 at some point. So that's when it becomes much more likely that you get critical successes.

A variant I'm more inclined towards myself is saying the DC of Aid is up to 20, but no more than the DC of the main check. Because it seems strange at level 1 that it takes a 20 to aid a DC 15 main check.


Ascalaphus wrote:
rainzax wrote:

Hello Community.

I am curious what people think about the suggestion in the Core Rulebook that Aid default to DC 20.

↺) Aid

I am considering instead making the default Aid DC to be either 2 or 5 points lower than the DC of the primary check.

What do you think might be the consequences of such a change, comparing the two?

Cheers.

At low levels, that would make it easier, but at higher levels, that would make it harder. The CRB version keeps the DC at 20 always, even though main checks are gonna go up to DC 30-40 at some point. So that's when it becomes much more likely that you get critical successes.

A variant I'm more inclined towards myself is saying the DC of Aid is up to 20, but no more than the DC of the main check. Because it seems strange at level 1 that it takes a 20 to aid a DC 15 main check.

That's IMO a very good idea.

Or, given then at some point there will be even skills that critical succeed on a success, and for more bonuses ( +3/+4 ), the DC could be even lower, in order to slightly increase the more the game proceeds.

To maintain the odds equal regardless the level.

Or even just a flat check with standard odds:

Critical success: 11+
Success : 6+
Failure : 2-5
Critical failure: 1

Preventing power creep at higher levels, while making things smooth at lower ones.

Sovereign Court

I dunno if it's power creep at higher levels. I think it might be baked into the game balance that you'll be getting bigger and bigger Aid on some checks some of the time, justifying somethings kinda high DCs found in AP minigames. Compare how you're also getting higher and higher bonuses from heightened Heroism.


Maybe power creep was not the right term there.

But on the other hand, we can assume for sure that a party is going to have heroism ( or that would want to use it).

It's like making assumptions that every party is going to have a hard with synesthesia + inspire heroics + inspire courage by lvl 9.

My point was merely that aid works in a strange way from lvl 1 to lvl 20.

At early levels, we have

- hard chance to succeed
- small bonus
- extremely hard chance to critical succeed.

At higher levels, we have

- automatic critical success
- up to double the bonuses

And this is a circ bonus, which is the most broken we have in the game ( second to just untyped) as it always has its effect, given the fact there are only a limited number of circ bonuses.

Against some bosses, it's going to be quite strong, as the secondary attack is not going to land that often ( a boss can go from +2 to +4 ), but maybe it's just a fair trade, confronted with other reactions.

Anyway, my only concerns are that by low levels it's not so reliable ( even the success), as well as having it granted at higher levels.


HumbleGamer wrote:
LordVanya wrote:

I'm running my group through the Beginner Box adventure using the full rules now.

I Did 2 things with Aid for testing purposes.

1) I removed the requirement to prepare your Aid reaction and instead treat it strictly as a normal reaction.

2) Aid DC generally depends on the explanation of how you will help.
I usually just set it using simple DCs and adjusting as needed.

So far this has working out great.

Well, given the fact most of the times characters end up without using their reaction, in addition to not having to expend an action in advance to prepare ( resulting even in a normal stride + strike *2 ), seems reasonable that giving away such power for free worked out great for players :d

As using simple DC, do you mean a simple DC task for the level ( difficulty classes table) or just 20 DC as normal ( unless specific situations that may require a little more)?

Well, don't forget that the opponents also benefit from this house rule. The Kobolds in particular benefitted quite a bit from aiding each other in this way.

I meant the simple DCs table, not the standard 20.

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

Here's another idea for the DC as a simple alternative.
Aid DC equals half the primary DC.
This makes sure that the Aid DC scales with the task difficulty, is always easier than the primary task itself, but isn't completely trivialized at higher levels.


Making it half would result in a granted critical success anyway, even if trained + items + 2 attribute points.


Forgot I started this thread!

To clarify, I'm proposing basing the Aid DC on the Primary Check DC, but lowered by -2 or -5, to represent that Aiding is easier than Doing.

This replacing the standard DC 20 default.

This means that low level characters might be able to Aid their fellows with level appropriate DCs like 15 or 18 (instead of 20).

And that higher level characters might be able to Aid their fellows with level appropriate DCs like 25/28 (instead of 30) or 35/38 (instead of 40).

I know GM essentially has full discretion to make these judgements.

I'm just wondering the long-term impact of making lower-level Aiding easier and higher-level Aiding harder!

Because it "feels" like an okay move, unless I am greviously overlooking something unintended!

Cheers.

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