Monday, May 6, 2013

Alternate Rules Compilation

So here is a list of rules and such that I want to add to future versions of the campaign book, and also why I want to include them. These are bigger and broader rules that affect a lot of different things. I have a dozen or two lying around in my notes, but they're mostly small stuff like Psychic Warriors should have good Will saves like every other hybrid warrior caster class and (almost) every other psionic class.

  • Armor as damage reduction as described here.
    • As I've said before, because armor doesn't make you harder to hit, and representing it that way is confusing and stupid, and saying "The blow doesn't necessarily miss, but if it does strike the enemy, it isn't a well placed enough strike to do damage, or wear down any of whatever hit points are supposed to represent." is just annoying.
  • Corruption, as described in pages 63-65 of 3.5 Heroes of Horror, except that it has no good or evil implications and is merely the fleshwarping effects of prolonged use of sorcery. There are also some other rules I've established to offset the fact that a spellcaster casts spells far more often than the taint system of Heroes of Horror indicates a character would be exposed to "evil." 
    • Because sorcery in Hekinoe is completely unreliable and warps the flesh of living creatures that use it and this should be represented by more than a series of feats with completely positive effects that no one ever willingly takes. 
  • Defense bonuses from class, as described here, but a little different than how they are implemented in those rules. For instance, why does the Fighter get the highest defense bonus from class? That's retarded. The character most accustomed to using armor and with the most training in armor gets the highest bonus when unarmored while the Monk gets the lowest? Go home 3.5 Unearthed Arcana, you're drunk. The way I'll implement it will be that each player gets to choose whether they gain the class defense bonus to armor class or the normal armor proficiencies of their class when they create their character. All classes will get the lowest defense bonus (+2-8 over twenty levels, just like Unarmored Combatant's first tier. Hmmm, now how did I come up with the AC bonuses for the Unarmored Combatant feats?) and the defense bonus will follow the same rules as the Monk AC bonus in that you can't be encumbered too much and you can't get the bonus while wearing armor and so on.  The Monk will use the defense bonus instead of his normal Monk AC bonus, in addition to gaining their Wisdom modifier. Classes with no armor proficiencies, like the Wizard and Sorcerer, will gain no defense bonus from class, but I will add a feat that allows a character to gain a defense bonus from class or improve on the one they have. 
    • Because I like this system for implementing people being accustomed to dodging around during firefights better than the Unarmored Combatant feats and the Unarmored flaw. 
  • Finesse weapon quality for weapons. This weapon quality would allow certain melee weapons to automatically use Dexterity for making attack rolls, instead of having the option to via the Weapon Finesse feat. 
    • Because, as Jason said the other day, there is no mechanical difference between the way a character uses a military pick and a rapier, and that is not right. 
  • Trapfinding alteration. I'm going to rule that trapfinding cannot be used to detect or disarm wholly magical traps that have no physical presence. 
    • Trapfinding is a fairly overpowered ability. It encompasses aspects of the spells detect magic and dispel magic while being a 1st level ability (in most cases) and has no limits or restrictions on how often it can be used. It literally allows a character to undo magic with his lockpicks or see invisible things without using magic. There are plenty of tricks and smart things you can do to find an invisible character, but picking out their exact spot with Perception is not one of them. 
  • Wounds and Vigor, as described here with some minor additions from here.
    • With critical hits dealing damage directly to wound points, they become a lot more interesting than just inflated damage. This system is a little bit more gritty and "realistic" and a better interpretation of representing physical durability than just piles and piles of hit  points that make you immune to throat slashing and heart stabbing via a coup de grace attack. Part of me would like to accompany this with a called shot system, but Pathfinder's called shot system is stupid and relies on dealing critical hits or doing at least 50+ points of damage on the attack to do anything more than -2 penalty on attack rolls. Yup, 49 points of damage (depending on your normal hit point total) dealt squarely to your hand by squashing it with a warhammer or bisecting it with a greataxe won't impact your ability to fight any more than being a little nervous during a fight (the shaken condition). Because abstract. Sigh.
So most of those are about bringing Pathfinder closer to what I think combat and such should be like. The majority of the rules naturally add more complexity to the game, which is sort of a risk when tweaking and prodding rules till you like the way they work. Pathfinder kind of runs the middle of the road when it comes to complexity, which is smart and safe. Means fewer people are going to be put off by the rules of the game and most are going to find it to be an easy system to use. GURPS makes me simultaneously wet my panties and get a raging nerdboner, but there's a lot to manage in that system, so I'm the only one in my group that really likes it, and that's only after extensive research and combing those fucking books picking through dense text walls for information like a monkey digging for lice in its mate's hair. 

Hmmm, that analogy says weird and somewhat creepy things about my relationship with my RPG books. Oh well. 


  1. Fighters get the highest defense bonuses because they are the most accustomed to fighting. Their entire career is based around combat training and if they were brought up as unarmored fighters that's how they would learn to fight and would have that level of capability. They know how to move in armor and maintain agility in combat. The Soldier class in Star Wars D20 is the only class that has the highest tier of defense bonuses. They also have all armor proficiencies.

    Jedi and Sith, who are quite clearly more agile fighters than the soldier class, don't have very high base defense bonuses because they have class abilities that give them additional bonuses similar to the way Monks do.

    Monks don't need the higher bonus because they already have it with their dexterity modifiers and the boost from Wisdom. I think you can even keep the built in AC bonus for them and it keeps them balanced with (if not exceeding) Fighters Defenses.

    1. But the problem is that if they were brought up as unarmored Fighters, they wouldn't have been brought up as heavily armored Fighters. One of DnD's guiding principles is that no one gets to do everything well. If you want to be a Fighter/Wizard, you can, but you won't be as good at Fightery or Wizardy stuff as a Fighter or Wizard, respectively. Fighters are competent with almost all weapons, but they can't take Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, Greater Weapon Focus, and Greater Weapon Specialization with all weapons. They can probably get away with Weapon Focus with several weapons, but then they don't have the feats to get really good with any of them by taking the higher tier feats. It doesn't make sense to me that Fighters and Paladins would have the best class defense bonus and have the best armor proficiency selection in the game as it seems to go against the unspoken internal logic of the game that no one gets to be the best at everything.

    2. Except that we're talking about Fighters and Paladins who are designed to be the best at what they do in that realm. An 8th level fighter, with some very minor specializing and magic equipment should be capable of easily hitting an AC/Defense of 29 or higher without a problem. Dropping their Defense bonus to the low while removing the boost they'd receive from armor by making armor act as damage reduction (which isn't a bad thing and I fully support).

      This difference is even more glaring at the highest levels. A fighter with an AC/Defense under 30 at 20th level is one you pity, but that's what this would essentially create.

      Combat and wearing armor is what these two classes do. Defense represents your ability to be in combat and roll with blows, dodge an attack, and such, the same way AC does, but it removes the requirement of wearing armor in order to be able to stand in combat against things of appropriate levels.

      This doesn't violate the "no one get;s to be the best at everything" rule because this is one of those things these classes are best at and makes them unique compared to the other classes. Yeah, a Cleric can wear the same armor, but the cleric is only wearing it while the Fighter or the Paladin live in it. It is a part of them. It is what defines them.