Tabletop Discussions: House Rules I Plan to Implement for a Possible Pathfinder Game

in gaming •  7 months ago 


A bit of fun, I've been slowly developing a Pathfinder Campaign (First Edition) and have been working on the rules of the game, basically house rules and allowed books and all that. So, I thought I'd share the current set up and my reasoning behind it, and possibly give other DM's some ideas of things they could do in their Pathfinder Game, or just comment on my own ideas and offer suggestions of their own, maybe share some House Rules you've used or want to use.

1.) The Summoner must be Unchained, less restrictive Alignment for Eidolons

I really like Summoners, but the early game they are just an absolute headache for a DM to have to deal with, especially if you allow Synthesis Summoners in-game. You basically have a character who out-tanks a Barbarian at first level, and a few levels to come. I like Unchained Summoner cause it kind of reduces the crazy a bit, while still allowing for a lot of fun and versatility, but I also dislike how strick the Alignments are in relation to what you are summoning.

Overall it also prevents the selecting of two Summoner Archetypes, Master Summoner, and Synthesis Summoner. The short version of Master Summoner is that playing the class as it was intended, spamming the field with monsters, drags the pace of the game down an incredible amount. Synthesis summoner makes him an even more obnoxious tank early levels with good mental saves, meaning finding a way to challenge him that isn't going to stomp over the rest of the party can be a major hassle that's not worth going through on a regular basis. Even allowing a regular summoner, these two archetypes I wouldn't allow for the good of the game.

2.) No Leadership Feat

I did a full write up on this a while back, but the short version here is I hate that the existence of this feat implies that characters, through use of their skills, can't build up a following without this feat. Most things this feat allows you to do I feel are things that should be doable via Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, and any other relevant social skill as well as the actions you take as a character.

The follower you get to take into battle with you can slow down gameplay in the hands of an inexperienced player, or in the hands of a veteran can be massively powerful, and now we have a single feat that makes the DM has to take into consideration the party has an additional spell list to draw from. It's a single feat that has the potential to force a DM to completely rethink an encounter, and that is far too much for a single feat I feel.

3.) Each Player starts with 1 Rank in a chosen Profession, and it ranks up automatically as they level.

I really like Professions, but rarely will a player chose one because as a skill it's kind of worthless. It doesn't help with adventuring enough to justify spending your skill points. They don't help with combat, and they very rarely come up in out of combat situations. Even with the expanded profession's rules in some Pathfinder rule books (I forget which one) they just don't compare with the other skills, it just makes them less of a hindrance to take.

But I like that they add a bit of background to your character. So by giving my players access to expanded profession use as well as a free profession, it gives them a small bit of additional utility, though circumstantial, it makes them think a bit more about who their character is, and it's nothing that is going to break the game or give the Dm a headache trying to deal with it.

3.) Elephant in the Room in Effect

The article is currently down, but the idea is many feats have been 'Condensed'. Feat Taxes are the idea that some feats you take just for the sake of getting later feats, and that they themselves aren't that useful. Or, in some cases, so fundamental to a build that it may as well be a core class feature. Dodge and Mobility are, on their own, just kind of okay. You'd really only take them as a melee build to get up to later feats, but the amount you have to invest makes it a very underwhelming endeavor.

But by combining Dodge and mobility, you end up with a feat that is actually pretty good, while allowing you to get to those higher up feats and be able to make a more viable build.

It's overall a boost to mostly your combat-focused characters, allows them a bit more room to expand what they can do, but at the same time, it's not going to come close to letting them outshine the casters or setting up a situation that causes the DM some pretty annoying problems.

Likely I won't be using all things 'Elephant in the Room', but I will certainly be making use of many of its ideas like the above.

4.) Increasing the potency of Toughness and Endurance.

Toughness now grants an additional 2 hitpoints at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level. Toughness is a feat that is great early levels, but kind of becomes a bit 'meh' at earlier levels. If you take the game all the way up to 20, this feat nets you 20 hit points. This doesn't entirely change this, but it works out to an extra ten hitpoints by the twentieth level. Still not great, but the boost should be enough to make it a viable option, especially with 'Elephant in the Room' being in effect, essentially freeing up a couple of additional feats for certain builds.

Endurance increases the negative HP required to kill you by 4, as well as Non-Lethal Damage to knock you out becomes your current HP +4. These are in addition to the normal effects of endurance. Endurance is another feat that you'd essentially only take for another feat, Diehard, but honestly, there really isn't anything you could roll this into to make it all that handy. It is, typically, a worthless feat in all but a few circumstances, and the characters who would benefit the most from being able to sleep in heavy army likely don't have many feats to spare for this. The solution I feel is to add a couple of additional benefits to it that seem to fall in line with the theme of the feat, but nothing major. Just a couple additional bonus's to help out in a couple more situational circumstances.

5.) Cantrip Modifications -

Cantrips work more as they did in Dungeons and Dragons third edition, and you have a limited number of Cantrips per day. Wizards start with all core cantrips in their spell book and can prepare four per day starting at first level. At tenth level, they can prepare a fifth.

Sorcerers may cast six a day at first level, seven at tenth.

6.) Modified Automatic Progression

Automatic Progression is an optional rule was introduced in one of the Pathfinder Books to automatically progress your character's power by granting them 'Enhancement Bonuses' to stats, armor, and saving throws. They are Enhancement Bonuses, and not stat buffs because they do not stack with the enhancement bonus's from stat or save enhancing items.

The inevitable problem with magic items is that your class abilities are tied to your stats. If you are a wizard, there is no headband magical item that will benefit you more then the one that boosts your intelligence, and if there is one that good it is clearly way to powerful.

Moreso, I think, is it is a lot more limiting in creating some fun characters. There are so many fun and unique items you could be equipping, but when they all pale in comparison to the most boring ones that just boost your stats, I think we have a bit of a problem. That said, the Progression Chart used by Paizo I feel is a bit too strong, so I've put together an alternate one that will pretty much free up your cloak, headband, and belt magic slots for more interesting items.

Modified Automatic Progression
3rd Level: Resistance +1
6th Level: Mental Prowess
7th Level: Physical Prowess
10th Level: Resistance +2
15th level: Resistance +3
18th Level: Resistance +4

Resistance: The Bonus listed acts as an Enhancement Bonus to all Saving Throws.

Mental/Physical Prowess Progression:

3rd/4th Level - 6th/7th Level - 9th / 10th Level - 13th/14th Level – 16/17th Level

+2 - +2/+2 - +2/+2/+2 + 4/+2/+2 - +4/+4/+4
+2 - +4 - +4/+2 - +4/+2/+2 - +6/+2/+2
+2 - +4 - +4/+2 - +4/+4 - +6/+4/+0

7.) Cantrip Modifications -

Cantrips work more as they did in Dungeons and Dragons third edition, and you have a limited number of Cantrips per day. Wizards start with all core cantrips in their spell book and can prepare four per day starting at first level. At tenth level, they can prepare a fifth.

Sorcerers may cast six a day at first level, seven at tenth.

One thing I dislike is the infinite access of pathfinder spell casters to Light and Detect Magic. It takes away, at least to a degree, some of the perilous aspects of adventuring in the wild. Light is never a problem, even if you have few characters with darkvision and you pretty much always know when magic as at play. Furthermore, the additional abilities added by Bloodlines/Domains/Schools all give a lot more options to your casters, so there isn't really a need to give them unlimited 0 level spells to make sure they can consistently participate in combat and matter.

8.) Situational Resurrection.

I hate how easy it is to revive party members in these games if someone dies, and does a lot to drain the tension out of a game when you can just cast a spell to revive someone. I bar any spell that can revive a character, though I am not averse to character revivals based off a story or narrative reasons. For the most part, a character dies I am fairly committed to them remaining dead.

Anyway, however long off it is before I can finally run a Pathfinder Game again, these are the house rules I am considering implementing to develop an overall better experience (Hopefully).

Also, don't forget I am running a Fan Art contest with 35 Steem in prizes, the theme being Fan Art of any games that made my Top Ten of the Year. Assuming I get entries, I plan to do one focused on my Games of the Decade and anime of the year as well, but that won't be for some time. So if you are a Steem Artist, feel free to check out the contest and submit an entry! I'll include a link for both the Steemit and Steempeak pages depending on which front end you prefer.

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