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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [3.5]My House Rules

    A list of my house rules. Some of these have been played with, while others are waiting to be used. The intended power level is for Tier 1 & 2.

    Would you be interested in playing a game with these rules? What types of abuse & cheese immediately come to mind with these variants?

    ---

    Edit: I wanted to explain the main reason behind these rule changes.

    While the rules would allow heavy optimization, that's not the intent I have for it. The main idea behind the rule changes (Recharge Magic & Gestalt, primarily. The rest are more mundane, I think.) is to promote a different style, or feel for the game.

    Instead of characters having a set amount of daily abilities (spells) that determine when they have to stop and rest, the pace of the adventure is dependent on the story. By removing the need to arbitrarily stop in the middle of a dungeon or after encounters of adventuring, the characters can continue on with the game. By changing the focus of the adventure from the expenditure and management of resources to the continuation of the story, the mechanics of the game will hopefully take more of a backseat.

    Changing the three feats to combat options frees up the mechanics of a characters build. Instead of people being forced to take Power Attack if they want to be effective in combat, anyone can Power Attack and the melee character can focus on improving more important aspects of the character.

    The Dodge bonus makes not wearing Armor a plausible option without having to dip into specific classes for rare abilities that allow a person to not wear armor and be a melee combatant.

    The increased number of feats let people acquire specific abilities earlier, like combat feat trees or fulfill prestige class requirements while still having other feats to use on other parts of their character.

    In general, the purpose of the changes is to allow characters to be designed more fluidly by not restricting people to strange or unwieldly builds until a certain power level. So while the impression and effect may be that it increases a characters power, the intent is to make effective characters easier to build and easier to play, thereby hopefully reducing the importance of having a really tight build or optimization.

    General


    Combat Options
    • Combat Expertise: 1:1, take feat 2:1.
    • Power Attack: 1:1, two-handed 2:1. No feat.
    • Weapon Finesse: Any light weapon. Take feat, choose any weapon.


    Feats
    • Two Weapon Fighting: Gain subsequent off-hand attacks when you gain multiple attacks (BAB +6, BAB +12, BAB +16).
    • Point Blank/Precise Shot. Combined into one feat: Precision Shooting. Benefits of PBS & PS.


    Magic
    • Spontaneous Metamagic: Applying metamagic effects to spontaneously cast spells does not increase their casting time.


    Fighter
    Spoiler
    Show

    {table=head]Level|Special Ability
    1 |Combat Focus & Weapon Focus
    2 |Dodge
    3 |Combat Stability
    4 |Weapon Specialization
    5 |Blind-Fight
    6 |Combat Defense
    7 |Close-Quarters Fighting
    8 |Greater Weapon Focus, Melee Weapon Mastery or Ranged Weapon Mastery
    9 |Combat Vigor
    10 |Improved Critical
    11 |
    12 |Combat Awareness & Greater Weapon Specialization
    13 |Armor Specialization
    14 |Crushing Strike, Driving Attack, Slashing Flurry, or Penetrating Shot
    15 |Combat Strike
    16 |
    17 |
    18 |Weapon Supremacy
    19 |
    20 |[/table]
    The Fighter gains each feat at the indicated level. He does not need to meet any ability score prequisites for these feats. These are in addition to the Fighter's normal bonus feats.

    I know it's not a full re-write and very patchwork. These are what I consider advanced combat abilities that a Fighter should get.
    Last edited by Chambers; 2010-07-01 at 09:58 PM.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Your suggestions all hurt melees power, rather than helping it. More feats makes fighter redundant (although making up for it by giving fighters yet more feats might help), masx HP makes direct damage more worthless, and 1/2 BAB as a dodge bonus makes melee less likely to hit in general.

    None of your suggestions, however, hurt wizards.

    Also, the tier list is based on what the class can do; giving melee classes more feats and some numeric bonuses will never do anything but possibly bring some from tier 5 to tier 4; getting from t3 to t2 means going from "I can be very good at doing a few things of my choosing" to "I can be amazing at anything" and T1 is "I can be amazing at everything."
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-06-29 at 06:05 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith View Post
    Your suggestions all hurt melees power, rather than helping it. More feats makes fighter redundant (although making up for it by giving fighters yet more feats might help), masx HP makes direct damage more worthless, and 1/2 BAB as a dodge bonus makes melee less likely to hit in general.

    None of your suggestions, however, hurt wizards.

    Also, the tier list is based on what the class can do; giving melee classes more feats and some numeric bonuses will never do anything but possibly bring some from tier 5 to tier 4; getting from t3 to t2 means going from "I can be very good at doing a few things of my choosing" to "I can be amazing at anything" and T1 is "I can be amazing at everything."
    Emphasis mine.
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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    Emphasis mine.
    Yeah, I meant to write that, but screwed up. Editing now.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    It's D&D. Unless you do a huge overhaul casters are still going to have the nicer things. Gestalt is there to balance that somewhat by giving everyone the ability to be some kind of caster.

    The Max HP is a maybe. I've used it before, mostly for lower level games when one or two bad HP rolls can really hurt a character. Usually I do max at first, then half HD+1 after that.

    Regarding Fighters, I would love to see a version that gives them useful class abilities. The feats I added are a band-aid, giving some, but not all, needed abilities at no cost. Adding it up, a 20th level Fighter has 21 free feats and 18 specific feats (the ones on the table).

    Ideally the Fighter would be an Initiating class.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    I like what you've done with Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting, and Point Blank & Precise Shot. Consolidation of martial-only feats is something that helps martial types out.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Updated the first post with an explanation for the changes.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by unnamedhero View Post
    It's D&D. Unless you do a huge overhaul casters are still going to have the nicer things.
    Actually it's very easy to nerf casters. But most people just don't like it.

    Something like a percentile dice roll every spell to see if it actually works. The only one who really benefits from this is sorcerer who has spells per day to spare. But for the rest, it's very frustrating to watch a spell get squandered and waste an action.

    What that percentage is should be based on factors like the spell level, and components. I'd get rid of matirial components and other crap, and simply make it effect a simple math equasion. The rest is left for fluff.

    {table=head]Spell Factors | Spell Percentage Failure
    Level | +1% per spell level (starting at 1)
    Somatic Components | +10% per hand that isn't free
    Verbal Components | +10%
    Matireal Components (Cheap) | +10%
    Matirieal Components (Moderate) | +20%
    Matirieal Components (Expensive) | +30%
    XP Cost | +40%
    [/table]

    So eschew matirials now relieves you of "cheap costing matirials" percentage penalty. Using alot of those down time spells doesn't sacrifice XP or cost like it did before, but I'd get rid of those anyway and save those rules only to apply for spells that are actually playable.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    Actually it's very easy to nerf casters. But most people just don't like it.

    Something like a percentile dice roll every spell to see if it actually works. The only one who really benefits from this is sorcerer who has spells per day to spare. But for the rest, it's very frustrating to watch a spell get squandered and waste an action.

    What that percentage is should be based on factors like the spell level, and components. I'd get rid of matirial components and other crap, and simply make it effect a simple math equasion. The rest is left for fluff.

    {table=head]Spell Factors | Spell Percentage Failure
    Level | +1% per spell level (starting at 1)
    Somatic Components | +10% per hand that isn't free
    Verbal Components | +10%
    Matireal Components (Cheap) | +10%
    Matirieal Components (Moderate) | +20%
    Matirieal Components (Expensive) | +30%
    XP Cost | +40%
    [/table]

    So eschew matirials now relieves you of "cheap costing matirials" percentage penalty. Using alot of those down time spells doesn't sacrifice XP or cost like it did before, but I'd get rid of those anyway and save those rules only to apply for spells that are actually playable.
    There are easier ways to constrain casters without making your players refuse to play them. Also, the spelling you're looking for is 'material.'


    A few examples:
    • Recharge metamagic with minor adjustments for particular spells is one way.
    • 4e style save again every round against status effects (blind, hold, daze, confused, whatever) is another.
    • Full-round casting times for anything that is save-or-suck, with normal casting times for damage-based spells that aren't inherently unbalanced.


    Magic as a whole is not the issue, so it doesn't make sense to nerf the whole lot of it.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Corporate M View Post
    Actually it's very easy to nerf casters. But most people just don't like it.

    Something like a percentile dice roll every spell to see if it actually works. The only one who really benefits from this is sorcerer who has spells per day to spare. But for the rest, it's very frustrating to watch a spell get squandered and waste an action.

    What that percentage is should be based on factors like the spell level, and components. I'd get rid of matirial components and other crap, and simply make it effect a simple math equasion. The rest is left for fluff.

    {table=head]Spell Factors | Spell Percentage Failure
    Level | +1% per spell level (starting at 1)
    Somatic Components | +10% per hand that isn't free
    Verbal Components | +10%
    Matireal Components (Cheap) | +10%
    Matirieal Components (Moderate) | +20%
    Matirieal Components (Expensive) | +30%
    XP Cost | +40%
    [/table]

    So eschew matirials now relieves you of "cheap costing matirials" percentage penalty. Using alot of those down time spells doesn't sacrifice XP or cost like it did before, but I'd get rid of those anyway and save those rules only to apply for spells that are actually playable.
    There's a difference between "nerfing spellcasters" and "stealth banning them." This is stealth banning them. You're not making the caster any weaker, you're just imposing a random "screw you" mechanic so they can't actually be relied on. This would be akin to, if melee classes were overpowered, making them trip every third attack. Does it make them hit any less hard? No, it just makes them less fun to play and completely unreliable.

    The reason people don't like "simple" nerfs to spellcasters is that they tend to be the kind of "simple" nerfs that stealth ban them; the examples are generally "summons some creature from another plane at night depending on spells used" which leads to a recursive loop, "high failure chance" which is your example, tedious micromanagement of spell components, or making all spells take extra time, generally something like one full round action per spell level or three full round actions for the highest level you can cast. All of those are basically saying "You aren't meant to be played" not "I want spellcasters to be reasonable."
    Last edited by Milskidasith; 2010-06-30 at 08:43 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Agree with Milskidasith. I don't think the solution would be introduce a heavy fail mechanic just for using your class abilities. That doesn't seem like fun to me.

    ---

    I had a thought last night as I was going to bed regarding spellcasters. The basic idea is to make spellcasters work like martial adepts. I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to have this idea, so if there's a homebrew revision already out there, please share a link.

    In brief, all 3 Martial Adept classes are Tier 3. I think this says something of the relative balance of the system used for those classes abilities. By changing spellcasting to a system of Spells Known / Spells Readied and limiting the number of spells known I think spellcasters would have their power brought down to manageable levels.

    Of course they are still going to be able to go all day with their spells, which is the intention. In effect it would make the spellcasters choose which spells are important and use them.

    The idea of how to deal with disposable magic items that duplicate spells becomes an issue (wands, scrolls, and staffs). I don't think potions are as much of an issue. Perhaps keep wands and staffs but change the function of scrolls to the function of the martial scripts. Instead of carrying 10 or 20 scrolls and pulling off a spell, they instead allow a spellcaster to ready that spell. Thoughts?

    Also, in discussion with others about the proposed changes I think I'll drop the gestalt, at least for a possible test. Gestalt lets characters shore up their weaknesses and I will want to see where the new weaknesses are by using these rule changes.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by unnamedhero View Post
    Regarding Fighters, I would love to see a version that gives them useful class abilities.
    Here's my version of the Fighter-Remake.
    Entries 195 & 197 (here) add the necessary final touch.

    Please let me know if one of your players tried it out and what his/her impressions are of it.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Re: ensuring survival at low levels, I've had good success using the Vitality Point system from Unearthed Arcana. A simpler variant (which I've also used and been satsified with) is to simply give all characters bonus hp like so:

    {table=head]Creature Type,Bonus hp equal to
    Living creature, up to Large size,Con score
    Living creature, up to gargantuan size,Con score x2
    Living creature, colossal size,Con score x4
    Undead,Construct of equal size
    Construct,double normal construct hp bonus[/table]

    The bonus hp make low-level characters much less fragile, and low-level combat becomes much less flukey. It slightly reduces the value of direct damage, but frankly it's very easy to optimize damage output in 3.5 and rather difficult to optimize hit point totals.
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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    An idea I had for spellcasters (and I'd love Milski's input): Most spells become full-round actions. Some (primarily blasty type spells) remain Standard, and most Swift or Immediate spells remain as such because they don't really work any other way. Casting defensively, however, ups the casting time one notch - full-round actions become 1 round casting times, standard becomes full-round, swift becomes standard.

    Then do something to allow martial types to handle 5 ft. steps, and give them a way to get iteratives on a standard action (I like having standard action attacks being the current full-round, and full-round attacks having all attacks take at most one iterative penalty, not cumulative)

    This means that spellcasters either risk an AoO on their spells, which might get them disrupted, or they risk that someone's going to spend an action disrupting it while they cast. It should still be playable, I'd think, and it might lead to an interesting situation where the melee actually has to protect the casters while they cast spells.

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    Default Re: [3.5]My House Rules

    Made a new thread to discuss the magic revision: [3.5] Magic Variant - Known / Readied Spells
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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