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View Full Version : Variant Rules for you to consider (comments please)

arkanis
2008-03-31, 02:16 PM
Average Saves Variant
Many classes suffer from the need for an average save just as there are good, average, and poor BAB. Classes like Paladin should have average Will saves and not poor will saves because of their focus in spiritual strength and classes like Cleric should have average Fort instead of good fort since they are not warriors but priests and classes like Rogue may sometimes have average Will or Fort depending. Having averages would definately add more flexibility to balancing a class.
Good = (1/2 x Level) +2; Average = (2/5 x Level) +1; Poor = (1/3 x Level) +0
Level | Good | Average | Poor
1st |+2 |+1 |+0
2nd |+3 |+1 |+0
3rd |+3 |+2 |+1
4th |+4 |+2 |+1
5th |+4 |+3 |+1
6th |+5 |+3 |+2
7th |+5 |+3 |+2
8th |+6 |+4 |+2
9th |+6 |+4 |+3
10th |+7 |+5 |+3
11th |+7 |+5 |+3
12th |+8 |+5 |+4
13th |+8 |+6 |+4
14th |+9 |+6 |+4
15th |+9 |+7 |+5
16th |+10 |+7 |+5
17th |+10 |+7 |+5
18th |+11 |+8 |+6
19th |+11 |+8 |+6
20th |+12 |+9 |+6

Corrected Spell Imbalance
PROBLEM:
Most 1st-level spellcasters find themselves relatively useless and most high level casters find they're able to cast more 1st-level spells than 0-level spells, which is an obvious oddity and imbalance in the spellcasting classes.

SOLUTION:
Give spellcasters a number of bonus 0-level spells per day equal to the ability modifier they use to cast them (minimum +0). The low levels gain more spells per day and thus are not utterly useless although they only gain level 0 spells which inevitably does not make them much more powerful and becomes obsolete at higher levels (but still keeps them in balance so they don't have more 1st level spells per day than 0-level ones).

Lifeforce Variant
Some games focus on magic-sources being one's own life force. For this, casters can lose HP or take nonlethal damage when casting spells instead of having spells per day. Prepared casters still can only prepare an amount based on their maximum HP.
Level 0 spells cost 1 nonlethal while all other spells cost Spell Level d6 nonlethal damage. This is only good for settings lacking divine magic.

Simple Spell Points
The SRD online has a variant spell point system which seems too complex. Instead, a character can just have an amount of spell points accordingly:

Ranger/Paladin: Level x (1 + casting ability modifier) x 0.5
Bard: Level x (1 + casting ability modifier)
Cleric/Druid/Wizard: Level x (1 + casting ability modifier)
Sorcerer/Favored Soul: Level x (1 + casting ability modifier) x 1.5
Each spells costs a number of points to cast equal to (spell level + 1) x (spell level + 1 x 1/2)
Spell Level | Cost
0 | 1
1st | 2
2nd | 5
3rd | 8
4th | 13
5th | 18
6th | 25
7th | 32
8th | 41
9th | 50

Vitality [General]
Benefit: Character gains 3 extra spell points to use per day.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times, its effects stack.

Dying Variant
DYING
Negative hit points is a ridiculous idea. It doesn't make sense. Instead, anytime a character reaches 0 HP, any damage they take beyond that is dealt as temporary Constitution damage. No living creature is dead until their Con = 0. Anything temporarily increasing a creature's Con still functions, but their effects are negated if damage exceeds their bonuses. Anyone near death takes a long time to recover.

BLEED OUT
Characters take 1 point of damage every time they attempt a strenuous activity while their HP is below their current HD.

STABILIZE
Stabilization is not a 10% chance on a d100 but instead a DC20 Fortitude save. Most all high level heroes always stabilize while low levels people often die.

KNOCKOUT
Whenever a character's nonlethal damage equals or exceeds their current HP or their HP is 0, they must make a Fortitude save DC10 + nonlethal damage exceeding their HP or DC20 + number of rounds they've been at 0 HP every round or fall unconscious, not waking up until they are healed. The Diehard feat allows a character to automatically pass this save whenever they choose to, though they are still treated as staggered if they remain conscious.

NONLETHAL
Whenever a character's nonlethal damage equals their maximum HP, any further nonlethal damage beyond that point is taken as lethal damage until they are healed.

MASSIVE DAMAGE
Any time a creature takes an amount of damage from one blow which exceeds their massive damage threshold (Constitution score + Hit Dice), they must make a Fortitude save DC10 + damage which exceeded their massive damage threshold or be instantly knocked unconscious. The character does not awaken until they've healed the damage dealt by the massive attack (not including damage taken while unconscious).

Improved Massive Damage Threshold [General]
Benefit: Character doubles their massive damage threshold so that it is now 2 x (Con score + HD).

Ignore Massive Damage [Epic]
Prerequisite: Level 21st, Improved Massive Damage Threshold, Con 20.
Benefit: Character becomes immune to the effects of Massive Damage.

Consistent Skill Points Variant
SKILL POINTS
Skill points are no longer gained with the (# + Int mod) x 4 at 1st level.
Instead, each number is increased by 2 and gained the same equivalently at each level.
Example:
Barbarians gain (4 + Int mod) x 4 skill points at 1st level and 4 + Int mod skill points at every level thereafter.
Barbarians under this variant would just gain 6 + Int mod skill points at every level. This is good for medium level campaigns (lvl 5-15).

MAX RANKS
Change to 5 + Hit Dice (half this for CC).

Quicken Skill [General]
Select a number of skills equal to 3 + character's Int modifier.
Prerequisite: 1 rank into each selected skill.
Benefit: The character can perform the selected skills in half the time if it requires more than a full-round action to perform. Skill uses requiring a full-round action are reduced to standard actions while skills requiring standard actions are reduced to move actions. Skill uses requiring move actions cannot be quickened.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time it is taken, it applies to a new set of skills.

Skill Focus [General]
Select one skill which you have at least 4 ranks into.
Prerequisite: Selected skill 4 ranks.
Benefit: The character gains a +4 bonus to the selected skill and can now take 10 with the skill even when threatened or endangered.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time it is taken, it applies to a new skill.

Kizara
2008-03-31, 02:36 PM
1) Fine enough, Star Wars Revised Core uses these if you need a referance.

2) Just expand the ability mod table to include cantrips, that way you keep the system the same without making an exception but still achieve the desired benefit.

3) You say they can only prepare spells up to your maximum hp, but you say that spells cost 1d6 hp/level, so how do you adjucate that? If I'm a 1st-level wizard with 7 HP, how many spells may I prepare? What if I'm a 3rd-level wizard with 22 HP? When you realize how hard it is for you to answer that consisely, you should see the problem of this variant.

Overall, not bad though, just needs polish.

4) No comment, not familiar with the current spellpoint rules. Your rules seem simple enough at least.

5) I just do the following:
Death occurs when a character has a number of negative hit points equal to their Constitution score. Thus, a character with a 14 constitution dies at -14.
Stabilization is achieved via a Constitution Check (DC= 10 + amount in negatives). A heal check can substitute for this save (using the same DC).
Regaining a negative HP is achieved in the same fashion.

Characters naturally heal their HD + constitution modifier wroth of hit points per day.

6) Don't like this variant, but I do like your feats. *swiped*

arkanis
2008-03-31, 05:30 PM
1. I didn't know that. I've never really placed Star Wars RPGs but they always looked cool.

2. Yes, that works too but only helps a little. Lots and lots of cantrips I find to be more appropriate since they are far weaker to 1st level spells than 1st level spells are to 2nd level spells.

3. Noted. Fix: Assume a roll of 3.5 for every dice, then round up once all the dice are calculated.

5. No, the point was to get rid of negative hit points which are kind of a silly idea in themselves. Now healing HD + Con mod per day is a good idea. I'm going to add that in. Thanks.

6. Okay cool, have fun.

I'm still a bit worried about the different casting systems. If anyone can find holes or makes suggestions I'd be very grateful.

Narmy
2009-12-11, 08:21 PM
Average Saves Variant, I like the idea, and it seems very good, but I probably won't use it unfortunately.

As for corrected spell imbalance. One of my first houserules when I began playing DnD was the exact same thing basically, eventually I just up and moved to indefinite casting of orisons and cantrips within reason.

Lifeforce variant, I'm not into, and I'm not really going to comment on, sorry.

Simple Spell Points... To be honest, I don't even know what the original spell point variant system is, I'll have to go and read it, and I currently don't know which I'll prefer, but. I have been thinking about a spell point system. Whether or not I'll actually implement such a system into my games. I don't know.

Dying variant. The first few sentence or two hooked me. As for the rest, didn't really read it, but if it's as good as the first few sentences. I'll be using it most likely. Thank you, great idea.

As for the Consistent skill point variants, I like the idea very, VERY much. However, I shall not use it for the following reasons, I've moved on from just pure D&D 3.5, and I now play pathfinder. I LOVE the pathfinder skill system. However, I may yoink that last feat.

Thank you very much, and you truly do amazing work.

Surgo
2009-12-11, 08:33 PM
Simple Spell Points resembles the spell points variant in the SRD. While it's substantially better than the one in the SRD by virtue of the fact that you described it in 2 paragraphs and I was able to read and understand it in about 15 seconds (something that is quite an accomplishment for any rules text), it still suffers from the problem that the SRD spell point system does -- it's really not cool to be able to set your lower-level spells on fire in order to get extra top-level magic mojo.

I don't really think you can fix that problem in a spell point system that's as condensed and simple as yours though, so I have to give it my recommendation anyway.