View Full Version : Opinions on Variants

Neon Knight
2007-07-04, 05:27 PM
I was poking around in the SRD, and found several rules variants that interested me. However, I am horrible at predicting the effects of rule changes, and was wondering if anyone had any experience with these variants in particular:

Wild Shape: Aspect of Nature (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/classFeatureVariants.htm#wildShapeVariantAspectOfN ature)

Standard wildshape is pretty abusable, so I was wondering if this variant was any better.

Damage Conversion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/damageConversion.htm)

This seemed like an interesting alternate take on Armor as DR. Since Armor gets to keep its AC bonus, it seems like it would work out better at higher levels where armor as DR tends to become a disadvantage.

2007-07-04, 05:33 PM
Aspect of Nature essentially changes the Druid from a tank/full caster into a secondary tank/full caster. Damage conversion seems interesting, but I can't really predict how it would effect a game.

2007-07-05, 07:34 PM
Damage Conversion strikes me as being more book keeping than necessary. It's an okay rule, but not one I would be inclined to incorporate over a Damage Reduction Variant.

Beren One-Hand
2007-07-05, 08:23 PM
Although I've never played with the Druid variant, I don't like it. My main problem with it is its lack of versetality. It seems mainly concerned with combat and practically strips away all other benefits of being able to turn into an animal.

Sure you can still fly and swim, but you're no longer able to burrow or climb.
On top of that your size is not mutable, and as described it is more like a mutation on a humaniod instead of actually changing into a different animal-type shape. This means that its stealthy surveiliance benefits are drastically reduced as well as the intimidation factor of morphing into an giant bear is completly removed. (I mean which would you find more scary in an opponent, watching them grow into a bear towering above your or watching their hands turn into claws, their teeth become pointy, and their muscles bulge a bit?)

2007-07-05, 08:31 PM
Aspects of nature, havent looked at them much. Would save a player from having to keep the PHB opened to polymorph constantly. They could just jot the details down on their sheet though. I've never had much trouble with the RAW druid's cheese.

Damage conversion isnt thrilling. I've already houseruled HP healing back faster for less severe injuries.

I do like and use the following variants:

Armor Damage Reduction (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm) I like because it's more ... parsimonious with how armor really works: part coverage, part damage ablation. I use a defense bonus with it (one half BAB as a dodge bonus, like a parrying modifier).

Weapon Group feats (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/buildingCharacters/weaponGroupFeats.htm), allows more personalization to warrior types. Bolsters the Weapon focus feats too by spreading the love across several weapons; couldnt extensive training with a longsword extend to it's bigger cousin greatsword?

Cloistered Cleric (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#clericVariantCloistere dCleric), or simply Priest as I call'em. RAW cleric is made for the Crusades yet based in a polytheistic setting often, seems a mixed message. Let's a Paladin be a true champion more as well by nerfing CODzilla.

2007-07-06, 11:06 AM
My group is currently using the Damage Conversion variant ruling, and no it doesn't add bookkeeping, but it does add about 2-3 extra steps of math.

A benefit of this feature that we have found, is that even though a character will still drop after taking X amount of damage (where X equals his total HP) he isn't necessarily dead, due to the fact that a portion of the damaeg is non-lethal. This means that the cleric (or alternative healer-type) has a better chance of reviving party members that fall. Additionally, since it is stated somewhere (where exactly I don't know since I'm rattling this off the top of my head) that a Cure ___ Wounds spell cures an amount of non-lethal damage equal to the lethal damage it heals, this variant essentially increases the efficiency of healing spells. (ie:a fighter who has taken 10 points lethal and 5 points of non-lethal drinks a potion of CLW for 7 points of healing. He now has only 3 points of lethal damage, and 0 points of non-lethal).

Finally, the last benfit to the damage conversion variant is that non-lethal damage heals at a rate of 1 per hour. This means that even if someone came out of a fight with a few scratches, as long as the next fight is a few hours away, they will have rcovered some. (This aspect, I admit, is by and large mainly useful for those groups who are patient enough to jsut hang out in a dungeon room, waiting to catch their breath)