House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

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House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Oblivion on Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:44 pm

I've been meaning to do this for some time but you guys know me, always distracted by one thing or another Wink

This is going to be a central repository for our group's house rules, as well as a place where new rules can be suggested and considered by the group. Anything that makes its way into this post has been agreed upon by the group for use; anything mentioned further below, or notated otherwise, is under discussion and consideration.

I'm starting with the ones I know off the top of my head that we've agreed on or used regularly in the past, and will try to keep this updated as much as possible.

Dice and Rolls
Critical Hit and Critical Fumble decks may be in play unless there is significant player request otherwise or the current GM does not wish to use them.

Character Creation
Characters who desire so may begin with a single item - magical, rare, anything - of their choice (subject to GM approval) for free, under the stipulation that the item carries some kind of curse. The character is unaware of this curse, and the nature of the curse is at the GM's discretion, though it will always be considered proportional to the item’s power. Will need at least a short explanation of how the item was acquired as part of the character's backstory.

Classes
Monks, unarmed Swordsages, fighters and barbarians with unarmed-focused archetypes, and similar characters get Versatile Strike (3.5 Player’s Handbook 2, page 85) for free.

Clerics and other characters with Domains may spont-cast their Domain spells by sacrificing memorized spells, just like Clerics do with Cure/Inflict spells and Druids do with Summoning spells.

Paladins and Rangers gain Orisons. Paladins use the Cleric list for both available spells and progression of Orison slots. Rangers do the same using the Druid list. Any spells on their normal spell list that are Orisons on these additional lists are moved to 0 level.

Spontaneous full casters (IE. Sorcerers, Oracles, Wilders, etc.) are treated as one level higher for purposes of Spells Known and Spells Per Day, except at levels 19 and 20. This brings them on par with prepared casters for spell advancement. (We'll work something out for psionics if we need to.)

If your character has a significant backstory reason for not using one of your class’s class skills - for example, a character in the desert having Swim - feel free to speak with the GM about negotiating a swap for a skill more suited to the character’s story.

Magic
Cure and other healing spells have been moved to the Necromancy school.

Breath of Life is called Cure Deadly Wounds; classes that automatically receive Cure spells also receive Breath of Life, and it can be spont-cast by clerics as if it were a Cure spell. If necessary, a Negative counterpart will be created.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Ladybug on Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:48 pm

Some I've seen on the other forums that seemed neat:

Witches are Wis-based to better match their fluff. (This also sets up a nice mental stat triad for both arcane and divine [Wizard/Archivist Witch/Druid/Cleric Sorcerer/Oracle]).

All classes/all non-Int classes get a minimum 4+Int skill points. Seen that one both ways.

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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by belladonna on Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:27 pm

Since discussion has started in this thread, I shall continue it. (Bad Bella.)

I dislike the Versatile Strike being given for free. If houseruled, I would allow a change in damage type at the usual -4 penalty. Otherwise, these characters are able to pick up the feat (to deal the different damage with no penalty) or an appropriate weapon. Just my two cents.

I'm extremely hesitant about the extra skill points for classes, especially when it penalizes int-based characters (specifically psions and wizards) by not giving them the same increase as others. Low-skill point classes have other goodies that those with higher skill points do not. I like having the trade-off.
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Oblivion on Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:57 pm

Since discussion has started in this thread, I shall continue it. (Bad Bella.)
Not bad at all, that's why I made the thread =)

I dislike the Versatile Strike being given for free.
Pretty sure I've had this one in place since the beginning of Savage Tide with Aszimar's monks, so I'm a little curious why this is only being brought up now, or if we all just forgot =)

Regardless. Maybe a compromise - an unarmed character picks a damage type when they get Improved Unarmed Strike (either via class or taking it as a feat), and can do the other two types at the -4 penalty, then can pick up Versatile Strike if they want more?

Low-skill point classes have other goodies that those with higher skill points do not.
.... eeeeeeh, I'd disagree very strongly. Fighter comes first to mind, most of all. GODS does Fighter need more skill points, or at least SOMETHING to give them more out-of-combat capability. Having fairly recently cobbled together a Paladin, I'd say they're in the same boat, as are Clerics. INT is one of their least-necessary stats for both classes, but they have a lot of skills they can (and generally are expected to) contribute into - at least two Knowledges (generally Religion and Planes, but Nobility, Arcana, Nature, and/or Geography can also come up depending on the religion in question), plus social skills (at the very least Diplomacy and Sense Motive, but sometimes Intimidate for the Paladins at least), plus Spellcraft, and those are just the starters and we're already at 5 skills minimum - and very few points to spread around unless you're human or make a point of giving yourself high INT.

I'm 100% behind bumping up Psions and Wizards and any other INT-based classes also to 4 points/level minimum, though.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Ladybug on Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:45 pm

I'm fine with either variation on the skill point increase, tbh. I'd love to give more skills to everyone; I'm a total junkie for skills. But I know some people aren't, and I'm trying to be fair to other views on that. I've seen that one written on separate occasions as both "Everyone gets 4+INT minimum" and "Everyone who isn't INT-based gets 4+INT." Whichever one more people like is fine by me.

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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by belladonna on Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:39 am

As someone who has played both a knight (fighter based skill points), a cleric, and so on... I actually strongly disagree.  Pathfinder did away with the number one reason I would recommend giving them more skill points--the double cost for non-class skills.  Skill points are meant to be at a premium for those classes.  There is already a LOT of overlap between "oh hey, now everyone can do everything."  Skills are one of the few perks (from a pure numbers stand point) that rogues, rangers, and bards get.

Fighters aren't really meant to have much "skill" outside of combat, which is why their bonus feats are even limited to combat feats.  

Clerics get casting, spont curing, spont domains, domain powers, etc to the point where they had to have less of SOMETHING so the skillpoints, hd, and bab tradeoffs seem fair.  (Not to mention that they CAN cast spells to learn anything of a knowledge skill, get spells to bypass needing most of the physical skills, etc.) And the only skills that they NEED are Knowledge Religion, Heal (usually) and Spellcraft.

One of the few reasons to play a barbarian instead of a fighter, beyond roleplay flavor, is the skill point boost.  Ditto with druid over cleric.

And to put it bluntly, you two are a little biased.  You love your skills/skill monkey-ish characters. Wink
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Ladybug on Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:57 am

Fair enough. And I called myself a skill junkie. Razz 

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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Oblivion on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:14 am

I still disagree, but as the change isn't going anywhere if we don't get at least a majority agreeing to it, it's fairly moot.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Journeyman on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:44 pm

I'm all for 4+ Skill points minimum for all classes. Having just enough points to meet the minimum requirements for your class i.e. Cleric needs Knowledge (Religion, Planes) just to be familiar with their own God and his heralds, much less handle the day-to-day services of an established church (Diplomacy for preaching, Heal for triage, Spellcraft for identifying magic items, etc). That doesn't leave much scope for individuality to the character. Fighter is another example. Yeah, he's not meant to be a major player off the field of combat, but even many combat feats have skill prereqs. Picking a fighting style shouldn't require genius IQ just to avoid being cookie-cutter. Hell, even wizards get kind of screwed. There's 6 primary knowledges just to handle monster ID duty, plus Spellcraft. That means that it takes a starting Intelligence of 20 (or 18+human) just to cover the Wizard's traditional skill slot, much less have any points left over for non-monster Knowledges like History/Nobility/Architecture (and God help the poor Wizard who would like a decent chance to stay on his horse at the start of a random encounter).

To Sum: More skills, in all the parties I've played with, lead to more variety of skills taken, more interesting/fleshed out characters, and more opportunities for characters to grow organically. I call this a good thing. It's an absolute must for games like Savage Tide where a given skill (i.e. Swim) is a matter of life and death for all characters.

On Free Versatile Strike... Given that you still only hit with one damage type at a time, I don't have any balance problems with it. If a nerf is preferred, how about just granting one extra damage type for free (piercing or slashing)? That would at least put the unarmed stylist on par with the user of a Morning Star or similar dual-damage type weapon. Generally speaking, these guys can't apply most of their class features to an actual weapon (and they certainly can't afford to pay/find appropriately enhanced weapons while maintaing unarmed prowess, definitely not while maintaining a backup weapon for ranged combats), so the spare weapon approach really doesn't work for them as a fix. Requiring the feat itself is a feat tax, because no martial character can contribute reliably over a full campaign without the ability to bypass common DR. Mechanics aside, I'd grant piercing at least for free. It's just a function of the surface area of the striking surface. Anyone who spent enough time learning martial arts to deal this kind of damage unarmed should theoretically know at least a few strikes that concentrate the force (i.e. one-knuckle punch, elbow jab, heel kick, etc). Have 'em call the damage type with the roll and move on.

BTW: Is Bag of Fate still around or did that tradition get dropped?

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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Oblivion on Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:46 pm

BTW: Is Bag of Fate still around or did that tradition get dropped?
It's available for those who want to use it, but I didn't use it in Kingmaker. I might bring it up later in other games.

That's more a game event than a house rule though.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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Re: House Rules: Consolidation, Suggestion, and Discussion

Post by Oblivion on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:49 pm

Despite the earlier argument, it was eventually agreed to bump all classes up by 2 skill points/level.

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Luminiere Solas wrote:i don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval european.

you have medieval knights wearing rennaiscane era armor, wielding roman era falcatas, worshipping greek gods, traveling with native american shamans wearing the hides of saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs who are accompanied by modern japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa Era Daisho and Wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient firebreathing spellcasting reptiles and sentient jello.
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