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Your opinions on possible rules.

Posted by GMFor group 0
GM, 81 posts
Sat 12 Jan 2019
at 10:26
  • msg #1

Your opinions on possible rules

Mobile fighter:
As you know, fullround attacks are not the friend of pathfinder so this variant rule (I didn't come up with this) is basically paizo borrowing from 5e as follows: you are allowed to move before or after a fullattack (but not in-between attacks unless you have the spring attack feat) however doing so imposes a -5 attack penalty per 5ft moved (beyond the first 5ft, because 5ft-step can't die) to the next attack. You can use acrobatics to reduce this penalty by up to 2 per 5ft moved. Spring attack reduces the penalty by 4, plus no Aoos.

Greater importance to initiative (greyhawk variant rule):
If there are any final fantasy tactics fans among you then you know where I'm coming from with this. Initiative has been the least appriciated aspect of dnd since the game was invented (especially in the higher levels). I mean think about it, combat is suppose to be so chaotic and unpredictable, yet not only is initiative static but it can also be adjusted after the initial roll via delaying or readying actions, and these adjustments remain for the rest of the encounter. The greyhawk initiative system solves this problem and it's twice as useful for pbp roleplaying because you don't have to wait for the player who's turn it is (who could take days to post) before the rest of the players post. It works like this:
Each action type has an associated initiative die to it.
-Swift action = 1d4
-Move action = 1d6
-Standard action = 1d8 (1d10 for spells; 1d4 for ranged attacks. A variant rule to this is the initiative die being equal to the weapon's damage die)
-Free/immediate/attack of opportunity actions don't have an initiative die.

So how it works is each round each player (and enemy in secret by the GM) decides how many and which actions he wants to do on his turn, rolls the initiative dice, adds them together and that tells you who goes first (the smaller the number the better).
For example: Magus #1 wants to use swift action to power up his weapon with his arcana and then attack (standard action) the adjacent orc. So he rolls a 1d4 and a 1d8. He gets 2 and 5, which means his initiative for this round is 7. If there are other allies/enemies that have a smaller initiative (ether because they rolled low or took fewer actions) they get to act before he does. So it is possible that something might happen before he gets a chance to which would foil his plans (such as an ally killing the orc before he does), in which case his attack could go to waste that round if there are no other enemies within reach.

Now personally I'd like to add a little flavor to this system (mainly having Dex mod and other initiative related stuff such as the Improved Initiativecfeat be subtracted from the final initiative result) but for the most part I like it and I think it would do the job. What are your thoughts on it?

Equipment durability??? (the no sunder house rule):
As a person who practices with a sword and knows a lot about this stuff, I find it riddiculess that in dnd you can go around cutting through flesh, bone, hide, wood(?) and metal(!) yet your weapon remains undamaged (I can give a pass to magical weapons but ordinary ones...) or your armor remains untouched yet you're getting thrown around like a rag doll by giants and dragons and shit every other day however if some guy decides to attack your weapon WHILE IN YOUR HAND or your armor specifically (what?!) the thing falls apart even if magical. Dude you just need to slacken the grip on that thing and it will simply batter aside harmlessly because there's no resistance, it's basic physics. In real medival combat bladed weapons lose their edge very quickly. With that being said, I want a propose a house rule where sunder isn't a thing (unless a situation specifically calls for it) but instead equipment suffers wear and tear gradually over time based on how often it's used and how little it's maintained (yay fot camp activities). I basically divised a complicated formula which I won't bore you with unless you want to see it, but suffice to say it has predictable tendencies. The better quality of the equipment (normal > masterwork > enchanted 1~5), the less brute force applied (power attack, high Str, 2 hands, ect), the material, weight and type of weapon, precision (called attacks), parrying weaker enchanted vs stronger enchanted, ect... In short just common sense. If you don't want to bother with the calculations yourself I will notify players periodically of the condition of their equipment.

Vigor, wounds and wound threshold (paizo variant rules):
Following my common sense preferences I'd like to implement these rules. You can check them out at paizo, but the gist of it is, vigor represents your characters calm under pressure, his focus, his luck, quick thinking, his ability to ignore pain and sustain light damage. When he levels up it's not like his body grows tougher and a blade cuts him less,
it just means he's quicker on his feet, he's gained experience, better motor reflexes (as a martial artist I can attest to this) so when someone tries to stab him he'll twist away faster and be less ratled by the near death. The more he's under pressure the more he loses vigor though and he's likely to slip up his defences. Real, mortal lethal damage is represented by wounds. A stab to the gut is a stab to the gut regardless if you're lvl 1 or lvl 20.

In game terms, wounds is like the negative hp in pf. Attacks decrease vigor first and When Vigor runs out (same as normal hp) any further damage decreaces Wounds (same rules as negative hp/dying applies, so your Constitution = Wounds). So you might be asking "If it's the same then why bother making it more complicated?". Well that's because critical hits influct vigor AND wounds damage, and there are other ways to bypass vigor as well. This breaks the illusion that high lvl characters are immortal/invulnerable because they have massive HPs ("meh, a thug has a knife to my throat, hah, that thing only does 1d4 dmg").

The wounds threshold rules basically state the more injured/rattled you are the less effective you become (haven't you ever found it weird that enemies on 1 HP, on the brink of death, still fight as hard as when in perfect health?). Whenever your vigor/wounds drop by 1/4 your atk, checks and caster lvl decrease by 1.
This message was last edited by the GM at 13:58, Wed 16 Jan 2019.
player, 1 post
Sat 12 Jan 2019
at 16:26
  • msg #2

Your opinions on possible rules

Initiative seems rather complicated, I find the dm Auto translating who goes where in combat using starting initiative as a guide has worked well in Cory's game.

I'm ok with initiative being tweaked based on the action behind the scenes, or rerolled every round. Every posts their stated actions and the gm reposts everyone actions as it actually works out.

Mobile fighter, more flexible move actions, no 5ft step.

Reworking this would constantly provoke the need for house rules.

Making 5ft step incompatable with standard action+/full round casting as it requires a careful withdral. This leaves swift and quickened abilities open, but rules out full rounds like summon X # spells. This makes casting defensively more relevant.

The feats step up and vital strike would like to stay hi, vital strike has potential as a free feat to full BAB classes.

I see no reason to impose a -5 bab for moving to full attack if you dislike vital strike. This was a quality of life change in 5e

0 or -1 per 4 levels is enough, with spring attack allowing you to bounce between targets if you wish.

Equipment damage doesn't have to be complicated, you taking a damage above it's hardness should imposed damage to gear along pathfinder's broken rules, with adjustments as needed and enchanting increases bkth by default.

If a greataxe crits you, you probably need new leather armor.

Sunder as a action should be a focused act that lowers item hardness allowing you to directly deal damage to worn or environmental objects.

E.G. swordsmen cutting steel chains with a single slash.

Weapon damage should work off the damage inflicted modified by hardness aswell, though possibly with a bonus.

Both these give you a incentive to upgrade your materials in weapons and armor.


Vigor/Wounds system is one I've looked at but not given much thought.
GM, 82 posts
Wed 16 Jan 2019
at 13:45
  • msg #3

Your opinions on possible rules

It's true having 1 initiative roll and the gm allocating actions is simpler and easier, but it also takes away control from the players and shifts the game more towards luck rather than skill (both of which I'm a fan of). Under the normal system you roll 1d20 no mater what you do even if it's a single move action while the enemy uses a fullround sacred geometry buffed spell + arithmacy as a swift action. When using greyhawk you roll 1 die per action you take. Is it possible for the spellcaster in question to cast before the guy with only with 1 move action? Yes, if the guy rolls high on his 1 initiative roll and the spellcaster rolls low on all 3 of his dice, but it's far less likely to happen which makes this form of initiative more skill and strategy based.

I'm not saying 1 system is supperior to the other, I'm just saying it comes down to preference. Do you want less control and more luck based outcome or more control and skill based outcome? I'm with you ether way.
So far that's 1 vote for the classical system.
In hindsight perhaps enacting so many changes would be counter productive and straying away from a system you guys are undoubtedly used to. Nevermind the move action thing (like I said, 3rd party feats to the rescue for those that are interested), and 5ft step will remain as it is with 1 small alteration:
You can't use it if you are within an enemy's threatened area but he's not within your threatened area (such as if he has a reach weapon or is larger sized or you are unarmed) In such cases then you have to use acrobatics as usual if you don't want to provoke an Aoo.

The way I interpret a 5ft step is that you're keeping your enemy at bay with your own weapon (basically lingering the threat of "if you attack me you'll be exposing yourself") while backing away or stepping sideways. You can't do that if you can't even reach him so he'd have no reason to fear dropping his guard in order to attack.

And to tie in this with spellcasting, spells that require somatic components make you effectively unarmed because you can't make handgestures for spells and keep your enemy at bay (so no 5ft step for you!). I'm guessing this is where defensive casting comes into play (casting with one hand while threateningly brandishing a weapon with the other). It would explain why you'd need a concentration check to pull it off. Plus this makes Still Casting more useful because lets face it it's one of the most underappriciated metamagic feats ever. And yeah, I think it would be reasonable to give quick abilities and spells (swift action stuff) an exemption to this rule.
The Mobile Fighter variant rule and the penalty to iterative attacks are 2 separate issues so I'll tackle them as such.

1st the iterative penalty. The solution is very simple, the 3rd party feat called Follow up attack. It reduces penalties to attacks after the 1st by a cummulative +2 bonus (so instead of full bab being 0, -5, -10, -15, it becomes 0, -3, -6, -9 instead and it works with TWF too). I'm not too keen with doing away with iterative penalty altogether like 5e because keep in mind 5e doesn't have the potential to grant as many attacks nor as much damage per attack as PF does (especially with spheres as PoW). I'm not ganna budge on this unless all players desire it unanimously.

As for the mobile fighter rule...I know about the step up and vital strike feat trees, the point was that they don't give TWF a fair shake, nor take the spheres of might and Path of war stuff into account (which by their very nature make combat very dynamic, having enemies move around during your turn and such so that they simply become out of reach rather than just worry about their AC). Like I said, the mobile fighter isn't a house rule, it's a paizo variant rule and won't require any additional house rules. I'm guessing they put the -5 atk penalty for moving more than 5ft to make jumpy-agile-low armor TWF fighters and feats (such as spring attack obviously, whirlwind attack and combat patrol) more important. Can you imagine a 220 lbs guy in fullplate adamantium armor with negative acrobatics moving all over the place and attacking while suffering only -1 penalty to his attacks and then applying the same rules to the lithe monk guy that does all the flying kicks, sommersaults, flips, spins and pirrouetts?

While this rule helps characters with high number of attacks it still allows Step up to be viable (especially for heavy armor characters with low acrobatics and for interupting enemy movement during their turn) as well as Vital strike since it makes debilitating blows from called shots and massive damage easier to do (something you can't do with a high number but each with low dmg attacks).
Anyway, the biggest issue with equpment damage is that even at lvl 1, a 2-handed weapon character can average around 15 dmg per attack (and it only goes up from there). Most weapons and armor have around 5 to 10 hardiness and HP, which means 1 solid hit is enough to destroy them. Magical enhancement only increases the hardiness by 2 and 10 hp per enhacement (meaning lvl 1 characters can destroy magical gear in 3 hits! In real life you can't do that with normal weapons let alone supposedly magical ones). This all or nothing approach to gear wearband tear is more than broken but thankfully players don't generally bother with sunder to take advantage of this and most gms know better than to use it against players (when he does there's always sour grapes afterwards). Increasing those values per enhancement only treats the symptoms not the underlying problem. Everyone seems to keep forgetting that when you bash metal against metal both objects get damaged. Yes, the swordsman may cut throug chainmail, but in what condition is that ganna leave his sword in?

Gear damage usually happens slowly but steadily (extreme circumstances not withstanding) which is why I suggest instead of subtracting hardiness from the damage, you divide the damage by hardiness like so:

Damage + own Hardiness × spc.Mod

*Damage refers only to weapon damage + Str + power attack. Other types of damage (such as precision dmg from sneak attack) don't apply.
*spc.Mod stands for special modifier. Something about the circumstances that would alter the outcome such as having a weapon with high crit multiplier (or x2, x3 and x3 if light, medium or heavy armor), plus 1 if a blunt weapon (because they don't have an edge to lose this are tougher), plus 1 for critical hits, tricky and challenging called shots with a slashing weapon (because soft tissue), plus 2 for critical and challenging called shots with piercing weapons, minus 1 if parrying/blocking, plus the difference in enhancement bonus between the attacking and defending weapon/object.

For example: John attacks Bob with a dagger (10 hardiness, 2 HP) and it pierces through Bob's leather armor (2 Hardinesd, 5 HP). Rolls 4 on a 1d4+2 roll.
4/10=0.4 dagger
4/3= 1.3 armor
Bob takea 4 dmg, the dagger takes 0.3 durability dmg and the armor takes 1.3 dmg.

Had he attacked with an axe (like in your example, and rolled 4 damage on the attack), it would have caused 2.6 damage to the armor because axes are intended for cutting things down (they have a ×3 crit multiplier).

The purpose of this suggeation is to give more realism, obviously, but also to encourage players to do gear maintenence when camping and inveast in craft/profession skills that could help maintain and repair damaged gear. As well as go for other materials.

What do you think?
player, 2 posts
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 00:13
  • msg #4

Your opinions on possible rules

Rolling every round, + action modifier based on difficulty is still the simplest form of implementing initiative to me. Lowering the D20 to a D12 or D15 since it's virtual could help make initiative positives and negatives more impactful.

Initiative: 1d20 - action modifer each round.
  Immediate: -2 to your action, or -4 to your next action(along with disable your next swift action).
  Swift action: -4 to your action
  Standard and Move action per round. +/- 0
  Standard/Move Action left over. +4
  Trading a standard action for two move actions. -2
What is the Impact of simply allowing TWF to make a standard attack with both weapons(against the same target) whenever they could make a normal standard attack?

Allowing a pair of weapons to be enchanted jointly for 30% more then cost of one with the condition they have to be wielded(held) together for their enchants to function properly. You'll be a +1 behind everyone price wise, as you'll be paying for some benefit while remaining relevant. Most dual wielders have a secondary damage boost they utilize in the form of sneak attacks or favored enemy, while the archers have reasonable-ish feat chains that make them quite powerful naturally.

100% +100% = 200%
(100% -30%) + (100% -30%) = 140%
magic item creation for restrictive use guideline, "Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use: Even more restrictive than requiring a skill, this limitation cuts the price by 30%."

Quest to local and rejoin a enchanted weapon to it's pair, or a enemy could steal one triggering a story arc, or a lord as insurance to keep your word.


Where do Touch attack spells fall, do they threaten when cast or only after when held?

I like the spell combat and still spell usage here.

Magus is a armed caster by default, so how does that interact with their class which allows them to TWF with spells casting. It should allow for a 5ft step before or after casting, and makes sense because they are martial caster skilled in thier weapon


Equipment wear and tear falls under dm privilege, and only adds to the game when used reasonably. I'm cool with you running a damage system in the background and randomly telling us when we loose weapon  or armor hit points for us to keep track of, or just waiting until it starts showing signs of wear and tear like a chip in a blade we should fix soon, or a sizable tear in the armor starting.

Mending spell and black smiths should be part of this decision. It could also fall under life style upkeep rules, With meaningful repairs, like when a car or computer part needs to be replaced occuring as we go along.


Gunslingers, Do they exist, Are they rare?
If they are rare, do spells that affect arrows generally affect bullets?

Alchemy, How wide spread is it?  could anyone have a few tinder twigs in their home via peddler, or only those that know a local or traveling alchemist?

Wonderous items consume exp, so generally they are rare, expensive and treasured? Would +3, +4 weapons be well known in literature when used, often national treasures?

How much  Boat travel is there in game, could unknown invading kingdoms invade by boat or is most of the water ways known.

I liked the cartographer, and the doctor npc in your previous game, and would like to see reincarnations of their goals. Perhaps a up coming group could inherit one of those ideals, such as a bard college that commisions regional maps and surveys for a/the kingdom with the intent on making a detailed masterwork map of the known world. Octopath Traveler touched on the theme of traveling apothecaries with one of it's characters and their arcs. I'd like to see the druid order have members function in this way through rural areas giving insight into their problems and tending to those that are sick. Perhaps actual druids are rare usually low level and rangers function as druids often.

How active are the goverment(s)/organizations in affairs? I have a mental image of a segemented kingdom with multiple self governing regions. One true lineage, multiple ruling noble lineages. The Main Goverment is generally more concerned with stability and external threats, usually turning a blind eye to the interior squabbling.

I can't Vouch for these but they come recommended by redit.
Map Generators
Webpage looks nice, if cartoonish, if you decide it's worth persuing i can foot the $$.
Sounds like it might be nice,  Hex Grids work better for overworld imo.

Option 2, Find a nice regional area map and adapt it to be the known world. A Google Earth map of Langkawi for example.
This message was last edited by the player at 05:22, Thu 17 Jan 2019.
player, 5 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Thu 17 Jan 2019
at 05:53
  • msg #5

Your opinions on possible rules

I like the concept of only Allowing Players and Really Important Npcs accesses to sphere classes or path of war classes and abilities, but feel that no one should double on those systems unless what they are doing is unhealthy, unholy, and/or unnatural.

  The idea of them potentially one of them being a something normally limited to royalty or "insert type, clan, heritage, linage" could be something to tinker with. Bloodlines could have diluted over time and allow for rare manifestations of natural talent or genetics among anyone, while structured or cultural training could allow some styles to pass on through time.

The chances of you having a sphere(natural affinity) and a path of war(noble style from a early age) would be exceedingly rare (naturally).

Minor Npcs of some note could be allowed to have access to core classes, both giving a reasonable outline for their limits and leaving them lesser but not defenseless. The mayor of random town, could be a 3rd level rogue(mostly face skills) who listens well and helps smooth over any arguements and is well liked. The captain of it's guard a bard of the 4th level with perform marching orders the guards they train aren't much but perform well under direction, and the tavern owner be a 2nd level investigator allowing for access to poisons(not exactly unwanted ones) and a eye for spotting trouble.

Just by putting a few ideas forward, not even from a optimized perspective you can use the base options to quickly put together a quirky individual and have a clear idea of their abilities, strengths, weaknesses and even a combat gimmick they might perfer.
This message was last edited by the player at 05:58, Thu 17 Jan 2019.
player, 1 post
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 18:57
  • msg #6

Your opinions on possible rules

Eclipse is dynamite, might have some workarounds worth considering.

My main concern is how casting might work? With the actions I think having a dagger and gadget throwing nimble badass could be insanely broken. Just focus on initiative and acrobatics and you are basically untouchable.
player, 6 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Sun 20 Jan 2019
at 20:35
  • msg #7

Your opinions on possible rules

Thats a overhaul, but atleast it's comprehensive. A lot of reading in in shades of grey though.

Acrobatics is rolled against each AoO attack, with cumulative penalties in pathfinder.

At best, you leaving yourself open to a charge attack by playing keep away, the melee your kiting isn't the enemy isn't reduced to single attacks with a move and full atttack implementation.

Pathfinder is quite  adept at 2 things, allowing you to specialize, and never letting you cover most situations. Be it from various combat manuevers or style of fighting.

No one is lapping anyone initiative wise, so your not breaking the situation by going first each turn.
GM, 84 posts
Thu 24 Jan 2019
at 11:57
  • msg #8

Your opinions on possible rules

My responce to players with broken characters is always the same. "I can always copy your build, give it to an npc, buff it up, then throw it back at you".

Anyway, to respond to the points Irfan made.
Hmmmm...I like that idea. It stays true to the spirit of the system (having how much or little you want to do affect your initiative) but reduces the number of dice needed to be rolled. I'd like to hear what the other players have to say (in case using mods insead of dice is more difficult for them).
There are already 3rd party feats, a universal martial archetype and spheres of might that allow you to do that. No need for houserules on that front.

We'll cross the bridge of crafting magic weapons prices if and when we get to it.
Touch attack spells threaten after the act of spellcasting (which is just silly hand flailing and finger waggling when you get down to it). Meaning, you can 5ft step AFTER casting the spell (assuming all enemies that threaten you are also inside your threat range) but not before.

BTW, if you cast a touch spell but don't or can't touch attack someone immediately (meaning you're holding the charge) you can deliver that spell as an attack of opportunity if an enemy provokes an Aoo.

A Magus has a 1 handed casting tradition as opposite to the 2 handed casting tradition of most other classes (see Spheres of Power Casting Traditions boons and drawbacks for more info, it's explained very well). He is litterally casting a spell with 1 hand while simultaneously fighting with the other so he is allowed to 5ft step before, after and inbetween attack/spellcasting (again, provided all enemies that threaten him are also within his threatened area). He can also benefit from Still spell metamagic since doing so would allow him to wield his weapon with both hands and gain that sweet sweet +50% Str mod bonus to melee attack dmg.
I concur that durability damage should not be something players should be boggled down with, just be aware that it is happening. I'm trying to implement as much as I know about it in real life. We'll see how it goes.
Guns and gunslingers do exist but only very recently (as a responce to the Klift incident) and only as special ops of the Kwon-Yuu Reagency (unless some guy who only just retired traded and/or trained some guns/people in secret for some reason to spite the government). It's a new technology (one project among many) that has yet to prove itself to be effective, reliable and economically viable to be mass produced (armor and swords are cheap, easy and quick to make and can be repaired ad infinitum with Mend, and arrows litterally grow on trees but guns...).

Speaking of technology, keep in mind this game takes place in the past and the way I see it there's a adversary relationship between magic and technology/science. The more magic the world has the less need for science there is, and right now, in this time period, there's a lot of magic to go around. It's not mundane, but still pretty common. Any technology that you do see is only there as a support for magic, a 20/80 amalgamation. For example, if you see a car then it's probably a box with wheels that's enchanted with magic to move. Guns might not even be black powder based (find out more in-game).

Alchemy, being partially magical, is widespread as the poor man's magic alternative (so yeah, a tindertwig wouldn't be out of place) and peddlers would sell it, but there isn't any real push to develope it (so don't expect to see a lot of "professional/dedicated alchemists"). Irfan might be a one of the few trailblazers in this regard if you take the alchemy sphere.

Wonderous and other magical stuff are not rare, and a +3 or +4 weapon wouldn't the special/reknowned by virtue of its enchantment level alone. Exp can be used as substitute for gold when crafting (it's part of a greater "Training" system I'm hopping to pitch to you guys.

As for boat know when Luffy and co. sailed to Wano? That.
I'll explain more in the setting topic.

This takes place in the past so you can only have progenitors to the cartographer and doc, not progeny. And speaking of maps, due to the nature of The Exhalted, important people would give their right arm for any recent map of anywhere (especially the Regeancy and a naval path to it).

About govenments, yup, you hit the nail on the head. But the main government (on both sides) is not to be trifled with for they conduct their business with iron gloves with anyone that allows their squabbling to affect the Main Government's bottom line.


About PoW and Spheres. I'm sure you're aware of my personal lvl milestone rule guideline, right? It was inspired by the lvl 6 gestalt concept. Basically, a character's level represents his life's experience and achievements, a testament to his ability to face adversity in whatever form and overcome it, how much of a person he is that "acts when the call is given". Great people don't happen in a vaccum after all.

*Level 1 characters are your rookie soldiers, the apprentice mages, the peasants who haven't experienced hardship yet, ect.. (They are very common)
*Lvl 3 are your average soldiers who've never seen anything worse than a bar fight or a chase theough town or a small skirmish, your average mage that just routinely peddles his craft, the older peasant or just one who's faced a harsh winter or 2, seen and lived through a bad harvest ect... (also very common, usually  at the rate of 1 for every 10 level 1 character in the world, in peaceful times)
*lvl 6 are veteran soldiers. They're usually higher ranked (though not necessarily) and have survived a campaign. Mages who take magic as more than just an easy ticket/tool through life. A village elder, an especially gifted individual that simply never cultivated his genius or at least a peasant who's seen some real shit and lived to tell the tale and now knows better. (Lvl 6 are uncommon, usually  at the rate of 1 for every 10 level 3 character in the world)
*lvl 8 are your local celebrities. Gifted people who are "cut above the rest", a pillar in the society, a stranger that makes evey head in the bar turn around to regard him when he enters. (Lvl 8 are rare, about 1 for every 10 lvl 6 in the world).
*lvl 11 are your national celebrities. The kind of people bards sing about or names are wispered of in dark corners. (Lvl 11 are extremely rare, about 1 for every 10 lvl 8 in the world)
*lvl 16 are living legends and you'd be hard pressed to find any place on the planet that hasn't heard of them.
*lvl 20 are the kind of people you don't believe exist unless you see one. They are children's stories and the exaggirations of bards for the sake of some extra coin or as a hyperbolic symbol to inspire people.

Now why did I post all this and what does it have to do with PoW and Spheres? Well, in my opinion levels shouldn't necessarily reflect ones actual power. Am I to believe that every single one of the king's elite guards is a former dragon slayer? A famous adventurer that chose to retire as a guard??? That a scholar who was part of an epic quest is stronger than a monk that spent his life training in obscurity behind his monastery's walls?

No. That's where PoW, spheres and basically any class/feat combination/specialization comes in. An average lvl 6 guard won't be as strong as a lvl 6 elite guard (who has PoW and/or Spheres) even though they're both lvl 6 (just as one lvl 6 gestalt won't be as strong as a more experienced lvl 6 gestalt that used the extra exp to buy a bunch of extra feats and abilities).

Here are links to spheres of might and power
I also recommend you read the spellcasting traditions, it's a good read.
GM, 86 posts
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 03:31
  • msg #9

Your opinions on possible rules

How do you guys feel about Laying Waste criticals?

Basically, when you roll a critical, it automatically does maximum weapon damage, then instead of a "confirm critical" roll you roll to see how "severe" the critical was (meaning whether it did any additional damage or penalty onto the enemy, and if yes then how bad). The second roll uses a 1d20 + the difference between the atk roll of the 1st attack and target's AC + anything else that normally applies to a confirm critical roll (such as the +4 bonus from the critical focus feat).

Roll   Critical Hit Type
DC <20     Minor Critical: max damage, No Additional effect
DC 20      Light critical: max damage, Light Wound effect
DC 30      Moderate critical: max damage, Moderate Wound effect
DC 40      Severe critical: max damage, Severe Wound effect

Weapons with a higher critical multiplier increase the bonus on the severity check and potentially do extra damage like so:
Modifier    Severity Bonus
x2         +0 bonus
x3         +4 bonus
x4         +8 bonus

Bonuses to "confirm critical hit" also apply to save throws you make when you roll to avoid the effects from a Fumble (a natural 1 attack roll).

Effects that say "take bonus damage instead" or "plus bonus damage" it refers to this chart:
Modifier    Bonus

x2          1d6
x3          2d6
x4          3d6

Size between attacker and target applies a -2 or +2 penalty/bonus to severity check per size difference.
player, 7 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 03:55
  • msg #10

Your opinions on possible rules

I was fine with laying waste in the last game.

 My general crit homebrew
Confirmed(rolled again, fail to hit) crit failured = dm's sitational or generic effect.

Roll 20, positive minor effect for attack at dm's choice, confirmed( roll again against enemy ac) crit damage + negative effevt for enemy.

A free called shot effect, environmental interact (slipped or drop something off cliff, random bird decided your face was tasty), or free confirmed dirty trick are my baselines.
GM, 87 posts
Tue 29 Jan 2019
at 05:45
  • msg #11

Your opinions on possible rules

Well those are kinda included in the wound effects. Stacking a wound effect with a dirty trick or a called shot would be overkill, especially when you consider all the critical feats that can already add aditional effects.

BTW, I gave your idea of removing the iterative attack penalty some more thinking and I'm on board with it. It should give stationary fighters more import over mobile ones and balance things out.
player, 8 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Thu 31 Jan 2019
at 02:58
  • msg #12

Your opinions on possible rules

It was mostly your idea, but in a more defined fashion with a bit of K.I.S.S principle applied. All i did was apply it to the system, Basically Roll initiative each turn to spice things up, and then applied circumstance modifiers +4 is generally a large one, and +2 is a small one. Circumstance modifiers are great and highly under used because they are hard to rules-lawyer, and often invisible to the players.

Improved Initiative is the baseline i used, A person trained or naturally gifted with clarity could accomplish two things in the time a normal person did one in combat, while still being faster if only doing on thing, and i carried over rules governing the interaction between Swift and Immediate Actions to try and keep it in line with standard rules.
I was just throwing out how critical rolls work in my mind, they represent the good luck (20) and bad luck (1) influence things more then just extra damage, when they come up something just happens that can't be accounted for by skill. Confirming gives a chance for you to prevent or take advantage of it, but the effect is created and dicated by the dm to the situation. The extra effects(mostly for fighters) on crits from feats represent something else entirely to me, and function off the weapon critical range.

I feel that laying waste accomplishes something similar and adds spice (and possibly humor) to the game, but will never be able to adapt to the situation like a on the spot dm judgement.
Classes and Levels

"An average lvl 6 guard won't be as strong as a lvl 6 elite guard (who has PoW and/or Spheres) even though they're both lvl 6 (just as one lvl 6 gestalt won't be as strong as a more experienced lvl 6 gestalt that used the extra exp to buy a bunch of extra feats and abilities)."

On this subject i'd like to keep PoW and Spheres Away from being something your likely to encounter multiple users of in a battle field. Somewhere along the lines population wise of
500 Commoners Classes : 80 Player Classes : 5 PoW/SoP : 1 Gestalt

Commoners have little impact on the story individually, unless players take the time to investigate or develop them, or they have some importance to a more important thing.

Player Class: are named individuals or faceless foes that the player characters may encounter depending on their actions, not helpless but usually not specialized or deadly on their own.

PoW/SoP: both represent a increase in base power and abilities over PC classes and are much more likely to be specialized. These individuals would be highly likely for PC's to encounter and have at-least some backstory. I'd like to keep this limited to players, recruitable npcs, and significant enemies.

Gestalt: Represents a prodigy, a significant increase in character abilities and skills, they are someone with more natural or developed power then the Players and are going to be very important Npcs to the story and the region, possibly with plot armor at times. That old dwarf that would beat up anyone that used spells above the 6th level and no one wanted to mess with for example, Exceptional quality + lots of levels.

Generally i'd use levels to differentiate between a elite fighter rather then class, a better trained or experience soldier would have more exp. You used Armingers as a form of shock trooper in the last game, they represent the player class  albeit on the specialized end, and therefore could be mass produced. A inexperienced arminger on his first battle field would be a level 3 or 4, but a veteran would be closer to 5 or 7.

A group or special unit may have fancy classes but levels are how good they are.

Conservation of Ninjutsu I guess is the most accurate way of saying what I mean by this, I'd like to keep the PoW/SoP as something a cut above what can normally be learned or trained for. Anyone can become Amazing, some just have to work far harder at it.

In times of extended peace you'll probably have the same classes, but have lower average levels, in times of crisis you'll have the same classes but with higher levels.
GM, 88 posts
Thu 31 Jan 2019
at 03:28
  • msg #13

Your opinions on possible rules

I get where you're coming from, but there are 3rd party feats and PoW stuff that grant extra actions (or take away enemy's actions kinda like "slow"). My approach to things is "if it ain't broken don't fix it". I will give it some more thought on how to incorporate that in the circumstance stsytem and try them both out, then see which the party likes best.

You used Armingers as a form of shock trooper in the last game...

Ahhhh, good times, good times...

Maybe some of the other players might wanna try that one out while playing this one.

BTW, I am working on the setting. Progress is slow since I can't do propper research for the names with spotty internet but I have made significant progress even if I haven't shown it yet (gatta keep the surprises for in-game).

I'm done with all the heavy hitters and the Exhalted. The main plot hook as well as your own character's plot hooks are in place. The history needs fine tunning but the main template is in place. I'm sure you'll notice the refences to the last game.
player, 9 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 03:49
  • msg #14

Your opinions on possible rules

Major Cities of the known world, and famous(possibly wrong or partial) characteristics general directions, general direction, how many regions/states/cities.

None human races? The thought of elven lineage as a wise ruling long lived king race strikes my fancy.

Halfings as a sea faring nomad race.

Subvert uncivilized barbarian orcs? Skill laborer/craftsman race, wood and metal working?
GM, 89 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 04:03
  • msg #15

Your opinions on possible rules

You will be disapointed on the elven front. If you recall my previous game, elves did not rank very high in the global political scene. In all honesty, the popular Tolken version of elves has always annoyed me. All haughty and sooooo better than everyone at, well, everything.

I much more prefer the Dragonlance version of elves. Much more believable.
This message was last edited by the GM at 10:51, Sat 02 Feb 2019.
player, 10 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 04:09
  • msg #16

Your opinions on possible rules

In reply to GM (msg # 15):

Was thinging more Tolkien's line of human kings (of gondor)

There is an (american) mtv trash series called shanaria chronicles based off a book series.

nuclear holocaust -> humans into dnd races.

Elves there are haughty and have normal life spans.

Just was throughing thoughts out there
GM, 90 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 05:02
  • msg #17

Re: Your opinions on possible rules

Anyway, back to the actual topic of this thread, there is 1 final house rule I want to implement. And unlike all the other ones which are just variants of existing rules, this one is truelly unique so I'm not sure if it will sit well with you guys.

Premise: It's always annoyed me how on one hand you have these old NPC who only became archwizards or weapon masters after decades of study and training and hardship, yet on the other hand you have a bunch of (often) teenagers or very young adults who start out with only knowing the absolute basics of magic and next to no training, yet after only a few months to a year of "adventuring" they rise up to the level of archwizards and weapon masters. What??? Where did they pull all those spells from, their ass? And don't get me started on understanding the nature of magic itself (remember, wizards are first and foremost sages, their spells being merely the final external manifestation of their knowledge). Do sorcerers hit magic puberty when they start adventuring and have a growth spurt? Do swordsman just come up with techniques on the fly?

To this effect I propose that Retraining be treated as Training. Meaning, you can gain new feats (using gold, exp or both, depending on circumstance) rather than just replacing existing ones. There is a limit though. The "free" feats you get have to be part of the same "feat tree". 1st you have to have a starting feat (a root or seed or a base upon which you build upon) for which you have to
 use a feat slot. For example, the Crane Style feat. Then, once you meet all the feat prerequisites for Crane Wing, instead of using another feat slot you can train (spending time and money/exp) to gain the feat. Same with Crane Reposte.

If you have a root feat with multiple possible feat trees (like Point Blank shot for example) and you want to pursue 2 or more of then you'd have to spend another feat slot on the 1st feat that branches off (even if normally you could get it for free by training). Here's an example:

Main feat branch:
Point Blank shot
 > Precise shot > Rapid Shot > Many Shot

2nd feat branch:
Point Blank shot
 > Precise shot > Improved Precise Shot > Pinpoint targetting

The point is, you have to spend at least 1 feat slot per feat branch. If there's a feat you can take multiple times (like Weapon focus for example) you can train it for free as many times as you want.
player, 11 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 06:54
  • msg #18

Re: Your opinions on possible rules

At the root, 1st edition DnD, you could only gain 1 level per in-game year to the best of my knowledge. Clever use of downtime could help pad this to counteract super powered teenagers and allow plots to grow, Season alone have historically played large roles on when wars could be waged, and what actions had to be taken to survive. (Summer/Winter, Planting season/Harvest season, Monsoons season, ect). Limiting and hindering sone actions or requiring other actions to prevent a diaster. Small time skips could help make things seem more fluid and natural.

-Re- Training: To gain new feats at each level you have to spend an amount of downtime practicing as if using the retraining system. It is possible to gain feats outside(ahead of?) the normal feats per level limitation by (finding, convincing, and) training with a skilled instructor, spending money, and downtime. Limited by your abilities at dm's digression.

Partially trained feats may be attempted, but are liable to fail or more likely backfire.

Story additions: Meta-magic training mishaps plot hooks, Hunt the beast quests, Personal side quests, master's grocery errands, obscure book hunting, waterfall training, field trips, vision quests, rare ingredients foraging.

Implement a aspect to differentiate between combat feats and none combat feats, and encourage a balance between them, Background skills alternative system comes to mind to help form a structure.

Downtime was underutilized last game by warren, and could be used story wise as well as character wise, It gives a bit of chance for the player to be in the drivers seat and develop themselves and their environments.

The aspect of having to dedicate downtime as a govermemt official last game had a lot of potential, a great addition all around.
This message was last edited by the player at 08:06, Sat 02 Feb 2019.
GM, 91 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 10:55
  • msg #19

Re: Your opinions on possible rules

I'm hoping to make this game a bit more traditional adventure (no giant armies clashing with the players at the head) but we'll see how the game natueally evolves.

I'm glad you like this training feats thing. I wasn't too keen on awarding free feats willy nilly like Elephant in the room suggested (even though it raised a good point).
player, 2 posts
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 15:36
  • msg #20

Re: Your opinions on possible rules

This makes me want to build out a warlock using the chameleon prestige class and then dip into effigy master.
player, 12 posts
Scholar, Spheres of Might
Sat 2 Feb 2019
at 17:15
  • msg #21

Re: Your opinions on possible rules

I'm suggesting it take a story role, and training for extra feats follow retraining costs. Having a npc required helps gate it naturally, the more feats you amass the harder finding a strong enough teacher will be.

It could be awesome or it could be a disaster depending on how far it it is allowed to grow. Archery fighters are pretty powerful and barely gated as is by feat tax.

I could see fighting trained solders with a extra feat or two above their hit dice as a result of intense training. Teamwork feats could use a little love here where superiors can give atleast one teamwork feat to their subordinates. Be tgat a army, bandits, thieves, sailors, merchants or goverment officials.

I wouldn't want to run into too many powerful, optimized npcs running this system, though Tomo may drive you to create a strong (e.g. Pirate captain level) enemy in groups to challenge him and force him to defend others.  Perks of having a strong dedicated player. He may even need a nemesis as part if the plot, a rival apprentice he feels is evil and dangerous perhaps.

Elves I can see often having more feats then their level due to lifespan, probably spread out instead of concentrated in one area, while dwarfs would probably be concentrated in an area of expertise. Humans would probably have to undergo extreme conditions to learn multiple feats this way.
Don't need wars to do a bit of kingdom building, simply expanding the known world with a outpost or managing a region could work.
This message was last edited by the player at 20:11, Sat 02 Feb 2019.
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