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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I would like to have a serious discussion with him about fantasy litterature and the underlying themes in it, but I suppose it doesn't really matter for the discussion at hand whether he was wrong or right, just whether his attitude was a common one or not.
    Right. My only point was "here's another datapoint from a D&D-related publication discouraging evil-aligned PCs". Right or wrong, it wasn't uncommon.

    Personally, I've ditched alignment altogether. You can write whatever you want (or even nothing). The world will react based on what you do and who you ally yourself with. And there's no racial alignment either, not for anyone (outsiders very much included). There is evil and there is good, but there isn't Evil and Good. I'd say, in fact, that much more of the fundamental struggle is between order and chaos, in fact.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    "Ease" is a part of better-ness. The best rule is to have no rules at all, but simply to make the best call in every situation as it arises. But we understand that doing so isn't possible (let alone reasonable), so we have rules that will sometimes produce a less-than-ideal outcome and follow them because we know that they are better in practice than simply making judgment calls.

    This is exactly what I mean by acceptable "Evil" PCs not being worthy of capital-E evil. "I would sacrifice anything to save my family" is not a trait I would call "Evil". That's a Neutral character. "Evil" does not mean "if someone made a movie about you it would be rated R", it means "if someone made a movie about you you would be the villain". Moash pursuing a personal vendetta at the potential cost of ending the world is Evil. Adolin killing someone who is threatening his family and playing games with the survival of civilization outside a sanctioned duel is not.
    Difference in opinions, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Right. My only point was "here's another datapoint from a D&D-related publication discouraging evil-aligned PCs". Right or wrong, it wasn't uncommon.

    Personally, I've ditched alignment altogether. You can write whatever you want (or even nothing). The world will react based on what you do and who you ally yourself with. And there's no racial alignment either, not for anyone (outsiders very much included). There is evil and there is good, but there isn't Evil and Good. I'd say, in fact, that much more of the fundamental struggle is between order and chaos, in fact.
    And that too. Alignment isn't really needed-maybe in 3rd, but not in 5E, which is what I'm usually playing.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    And that too. Alignment isn't really needed-maybe in 3rd, but not in 5E, which is what I'm usually playing.
    I've yet to see a system where it is, in my opinion. (Well, aside from very specific cases like "this spell only affects Evil" or whatever).

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I've yet to see a system where it is, in my opinion. (Well, aside from very specific cases like "this spell only affects Evil" or whatever).
    3.5E got way too tied up in alignment effects, so I don't think that you could divorce it without a lot of houserules, unfortunately.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I've yet to see a system where it is, in my opinion. (Well, aside from very specific cases like "this spell only affects Evil" or whatever).
    IMO, the issue is more that D&D alignment is just singularly bad. You can't have an interesting debate between "Good" and "Evil", because "Evil" is just a word for bad (or rather, to the degree that you can, it's by pointing out how simply labeling something as Evil doesn't make it so). But there are alignment systems that aren't like that. For example: MTG's color wheel. It's hard to argue for Evil over Good, but it's pretty easy to see how people could reasonably align philosophically with either Green-White or Black-Red (not having to declare certain philosophical positions "Evil" also sidesteps the possibility of pissing off part of your fanbase when you declare that Deontology or Utilitarianism is True Good). Even within D&D, having alignment key off the planes themselves, rather than the two-axis system directly, would be a big improvement.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    3.5E got way too tied up in alignment effects, so I don't think that you could divorce it without a lot of houserules, unfortunately.
    You can do it with two, or three if you want to avoid nerfing paladins:

    1. Whenever an alignment appears as a prerequisite, that prerequisite is removed.
    2. Whenever part of an effect would be limited to a particular alignment or range of alignments, it only applies against Outsiders from corresponding outer planes.
    (3. Paladins must worship a specific deity. The Smite ability and alignment detection abilities of the paladin class target creatures who are enemies of the deity, either individually declared or by way of general declaration of principles 'all thieves are our enemies', and the accuracy of this discernment is limited according to the domain sense ability of the deity in question)

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Honestly, from a balance perspective you could just let Paladins smite whoever and it would be fine. That class is in no danger of breaking the game. Just require them to swear to a personal set of ideals (the Radiant Ideals from The Stormlight Archive are reasonable templates) and have done.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    Honestly, from a balance perspective you could just let Paladins smite whoever and it would be fine. That class is in no danger of breaking the game. Just require them to swear to a personal set of ideals (the Radiant Ideals from The Stormlight Archive are reasonable templates) and have done.
    Which is basically how 5e paladins work.
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    3.5E got way too tied up in alignment effects, so I don't think that you could divorce it without a lot of houserules, unfortunately.
    Eh, only if you overthink it.

    At my table we ignore alignment more or less without actualy making any effort to remove them from the game.

    Whenever there is a mechanical interaction that requires the alignment of subjects, we do the following:

    1. If it's a NPC/monster we use whatever is printed on it's statblock
    1. a) When creating NPCs from scratch I think for at most 3 seconds about which alignment to pick and go for whatever comes into my mind first - again without overthinking it.
    2. If it's a player character we determine what makes sense in the particular case - which is actually rather easy most of the time.

    This way we have effectively removed alignment for characterization and roleplaying without the hassle of actually trying to remove it mechanically.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Which is basically how 5e paladins work.
    For all the complaints I have about 5e, it certainly has the best alignment handling of any edition. Though I will admit a certain fondness for 4e's willingness to admit that Lawful Good just means "more Good" and Chaotic Evil "more Evil".

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    If I was doing a new version of D&D, I'd say the alignments only exist for supernatural creatures and their servants (divine casters, basically), with maybe occasional exceptions for a mortal whose acts are so wicked that he attains an Evil alignment despite having no explicit association with demons or the like. For everyone else, they don't have alignments, and just do whatever they do.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RexDart View Post
    If I was doing a new version of D&D, I'd say the alignments only exist for supernatural creatures and their servants (divine casters, basically), with maybe occasional exceptions for a mortal whose acts are so wicked that he attains an Evil alignment despite having no explicit association with demons or the like. For everyone else, they don't have alignments, and just do whatever they do.
    Out of curiosity, what would be the reason for keeping those parts? I guess I can sort of see it for clerics and the like (though I would prefer some sort of "loyal to X" mechanic) but what would be the point of the extra wicked becoming Evil? Just so paladins can smite them?

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Out of curiosity, what would be the reason for keeping those parts? I guess I can sort of see it for clerics and the like (though I would prefer some sort of "loyal to X" mechanic) but what would be the point of the extra wicked becoming Evil? Just so paladins can smite them?
    I'd keep Good and Evil mainly because I just like the aesthetics of the Good vs. Evil tropes of vampire movies, and the similar stuff in D&D. (Not sure about Law and Chaos - there's enough fun stuff to keep them around, and nobody uses them much for this sort of thing anyway - when was the last time you saw someone use anarchic water, for instance?)

    The "extra wicked" caveat actually comes from a plot point I really liked from another vampire movie - of all things, Santo y Blue Demon vs. Dracula y El Hombre Lobo. There's a MacGuffin magical dagger in the movie that will destroy a vampire if it touches one (doesn't even need to pierce the heart or anything.) Like many fictional vampires, Dracula has a longtime servant to get around the vampire rules (do stuff in daytime, etc.) This guy ends up stealing the dagger, and because it only harms vampires, he's perfectly safe... except he isn't. He managed to do so many evil deeds that he became as evil as Dracula, at least for the dagger, and it destroyed him as soon as he touched it. At least in that particular movie, God hates rules lawyers.

  14. - Top - End - #134
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordante View Post
    Non of the parties I play in use XP. At a certain point the DM decides it's time to level up. Anything above level 15 takes at least a few years to reach.
    A few years, IRL? Of playing how often?

    Quote Originally Posted by RexDart View Post
    "not-being-a-wizard" tax
    That's the truth. What do you think of the experience progression of 1st/2nd, where different classes leveled up at a different rate? Makes sense that a martial will get better with a sword quicker than wizards can pretend to be a deity/demigod.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    - Rangers and Druids trade animal companions.

    - Add Pun-Pun as an over-deity of Cheese, Exploits, and Metagaming. Pun-Pun is aware that he is a god in a fictional gaming world. Anyone that slips something past me in an attempt to break the game will bring down his wrath. He is jealous of his ultimate power, and will personally act to prevent any player/character from approaching it.[/SPOILER]
    Is the animal companion swap meant to be a druid nerf, ranger boost, or both?
    For some reason I'm not a fan of the pun, but I do like the idea of knowing who Lord Ao is subject to...I might have to adapt that!

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeNapalm View Post
    I still allow players to bind wounds after a fight (gaining back D4 hp), which is an old but common house rule from 1e (I seriously thought it was RAW but apparently just widely used).

    Oh, and above all, have fun and don't be a @#$%.
    Good pull on the bind wounds (house)rule, I thought it was standard too. And your last comment really deserves its own post lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnia View Post
    Heal skill check or can anyone just do it?
    If we're talking binding wounds, anyone should be able to stop the bleeding or apply a bandage to slow it (based on the severity of the wound if the table wants to go down that road.) Getting HP back? Sounds like a use for the heal skill, DC 10+damage maybe?, doesn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by lylsyly View Post
    HD: every class gets one die size increase except for barbarians.

    BAB: all classes have their BAB moved up one level.

    Rangers get animal companions at 1st level and ALL animal companions and familiars scale by character level NOT class level.
    HD-What about other classes that get d12?
    BAB-How does that work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post
    Btw, I also have a large list of custom-made prestige classes for my players, and a long list of modified/fixed official PrCs. Most of the time I find it's easy to "fix" a PrC that is thematically fitting but not at the power level I'd like it to, has excessively slow progression/uninteresting upper levels or prohibitive entry requirements. Some are simple, such as giving a class spellcasting progression or its own spell lists, others are more complex and turned into basically complete reworks.
    Have you ever made a thread about those fixes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorddenorstrus View Post
    It's a lot of work I guess collecting all the local players that don't want to play with a moron.
    Shouldn't that be easy?

    As far as my own house rules, the main one I use is in character creation. Adapting from my dad's simplification, my table can roll 7 d8's, dropping the lowest. Put a 1 (add 10) in front of the remaining numbers and you have your stats. Who wants single-digit stats anyway? lol No worries about having to roll handfulls of dice, rerolls, minimum total bonuses, etc. Simple.
    Last edited by RNightstalker; 2021-09-19 at 05:56 PM. Reason: forgot some stuff

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Glad my comment sparked that discussion. I had a feeling we were headed that way when I made it.

    I have one thing to say to fallensavior - you can't force immersion. I've been deeply immersed in games with tons of meta talk, and failed in games that were effectively improv theater plays.

    There's a ton I'd argue on the "no-brainer" options, but I shan't bother.

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    Have you ever made a thread about those fixes?
    I share the same sentiment as silly, and if you're interested you can check my sig for a few of the classes.
    To expand on that sentiment - I also don't think I'm hot sh*t as a game designer and I always look at what other people have done. For example:
    * Instead of bumbling my way in an effort to "tier up" rogues, fighters and the like, I use the Pathfinder versions (unchained rogue, monk, fighter with free stamina, etc).
    * Instead of trying to fix the paladin I simply imported the following classes:
    - Dawnblade(offensive): http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...lade-s-paladin
    - Knight-paladin(defensive): http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...Knight-Paladin

    I do have a few other reworks worthy of posting, but I'm not sure anyone would ever use them to be worth the hassle of bothering to format a forum post properly.
    Last edited by martixy; 2021-09-19 at 10:51 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    Have you ever made a thread about those fixes?
    Not here, as most of those fixes have been due to "necessity" of me wanting to use one or my players expressing frustration. I could post some stuff in the Homebrew forum if you are interested, though.

    A quick list of the stuff I've modified off the top of my head, probably missing something:

    - Arcane Archer (DMG): +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class at every even level
    - Arcane Trickster (DMG): ACTUAL +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class at every level (RAW, the arcane trickster only gets an increase in spells per day, does not gain spells known, because sorcerers aren't allowed things apparently)
    - Dwarven Defender (DMG): complete rework
    - Dragon Disciple (DMG): lose the bonus spells, gain +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class at every level except 3rd and 9th
    - Shadowdancer (DMG): complete rework
    - Bladesinger (CWar): can qualify via Weapon Focus (rapier), +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class at every level except 3rd, 6th and 9th, Song of Celerity can be used 1 + Int modifier times per day
    - Invisible Blade (CWar): Removed Far Shot and Point Blank Shot as requisites, substituted by Quick Draw
    - Knight Protector (CWar): complete rework
    - Elemental Savant (CAr): loses caster levels at 4th and 8th instead of 5th and 10th (this is actually a thing I suggest doing for most caster PrCs that don't gain caster levels at their cap - just switch the loss to an earlier point)
    - Wild Mage (CAr): reworked the Wild Magic class feature so that it actually, you know, fits the idea of wild magic
    - Blighter (CDiv): Accelerated spellcasting progression up to 9th level spells, similar to Ur-priest
    - Shining Blade of Heironeous (CDiv): Compacted to 5 levels instead of 10, full spellcasting progression
    - Warpriest (CDiv): +1 level of existing divine spellcasting class at every level except 3rd, 6th and 0th
    - Dragonslayer (Drc): Own spell list, DR/- progression increased to 2/4/6
    - Book of Vile Darkness: reworked most Disciple and Thrall PrCs

    As far as my own house rules, the main one I use is in character creation. Adapting from my dad's simplification, my table can roll 7 d8's, dropping the lowest. Put a 1 (add 10) in front of the remaining numbers and you have your stats. Who wants single-digit stats anyway? lol No worries about having to roll handfulls of dice, rerolls, minimum total bonuses, etc. Simple.
    Sounds fun! Although I think players are often too averse to having evene a -1 to a stat that's not Charisma, despite it being perfectly playable. Do you assign in order, or let players choose what stat goes where? I've found that assigning in order can be fun, makes people think about their character's strength and weaknesses a bit more.
    Last edited by Silly Name; 2021-09-20 at 05:32 AM.

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    The house rule I always use is "cantrips are at-will". I also scale them with level and make players roll d4s instead of non-existant d3s.

    For Skills, I give a 1 month downtime between levels, where the skills are gained organically through RP. At least when the story allows it.

    I'm not a fun of resurection, so I only allow Revivify and True Resurection to work. However I don't use the -1 level rule (as I don't like it), I instead consider the target of a resurection to be at the same level they were, with 0 xp.

    Finally, I use a Hero Point system, where by paying 1 Hero point, they can perform a game braking mechanic with a duration of 1 minute. Otherwise, Planar Binding an Efreet for Chain wishes ALWAYS goes wrong, without paying a Hero Point (for example). You gain a Hero point Uppon Leveling and as a Special Reward for outstanding RP.

    "Summon a Strong Monster, and you're good for an encounter. Learn how to Planar Bind a Strong Monster, and you'll never have to worry about an encounter for the rest of your Adventuring Days."

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    A few years, IRL? Of playing how often?
    Before Covid we played between once and three times per month. I joined the group in 2017 we were level 15 at that time, in 2019/2020 we became level 16. Some people in the party started in their early 20s in this group and are now late 30s early 40s and still play the same character.

    I think this party is not really what most people would consider and normal party. They spend I think close to a year IRL to prepare for a huge battle. The battle itself took for 7 to 10 sessions to finish. After the battle the loot we gained was: honour, we saved the city, a pat on our back and 1 level.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    I have one thing to say to fallensavior - you can't force immersion.
    I agree. I can't force immersion. But I can facilitate it.
    "Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul!"
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    So reading this thread, and my experiences playing PF and PF 2, this is what I came up with for 3.5 (short version):

    Regular feats as Pathfinder
    Skill-based feats at even levels (to improve non-combat ability)
    Three different stats are boosted every fourth-level (if a stat is under 16, it gets a +2, if it's 16 or more, +1)
    The weaker martial classes (Tier 4 and lower) get bonus feats as a Fighter. There are a few exclusions here like characters with Wildshape, and Mystic Ranger.
    Pounce is a Fighter feat
    Casters can spend a feat to pick their casting stat (INT, WIS or CHA)
    Weapon Finesse is free
    Two-Weapon Fighting automatically improves

    Haven't yet tried this but this is the short version of the rules I'll trial for the group's next campaign

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    But just because those areas can not overlap doesn't mean it isn't worth banning one. "Disruptive" is not well-defined, and very few people will intentionally set out to play a disruptive character (and most of the people who do won't be fun it play with even if they aren't being disruptive). "Has an Evil alignment", on the other hand, is very precise, and much easier to ban. IME, there are very few characters that A) have good reason to be Evil (as opposed to just being Evil because they want to be a Necromancer or something) and B) are good for the game. Even most villain protagonists aren't out there doing stuff that is capital-E evil, and those that are are generally not something I want to talk about in a social setting. Most "Evil" characters that I would be okay with having in a group are just kinda selfish ****s, and I think calling that "Evil" cheapens the term.
    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    "Ease" is a part of better-ness. The best rule is to have no rules at all, but simply to make the best call in every situation as it arises. But we understand that doing so isn't possible (let alone reasonable), so we have rules that will sometimes produce a less-than-ideal outcome and follow them because we know that they are better in practice than simply making judgment calls.



    This is exactly what I mean by acceptable "Evil" PCs not being worthy of capital-E evil. "I would sacrifice anything to save my family" is not a trait I would call "Evil". That's a Neutral character. "Evil" does not mean "if someone made a movie about you it would be rated R", it means "if someone made a movie about you you would be the villain". Moash pursuing a personal vendetta at the potential cost of ending the world is Evil. Adolin killing someone who is threatening his family and playing games with the survival of civilization outside a sanctioned duel is not.
    I'm really confused trying to grasp your stance. Are you really trying to say that you prefer the concise, precise, highly inaccurate "no evil", that prevents the Necromancers and "kill to protect family" evils that you would allow, over the more verbose method of explaining and exemplifying what constitutes disruptive behavior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    The house rule I always use is "cantrips are at-will". I also scale them with level and make players roll d4s instead of non-existant d3s.

    For Skills, I give a 1 month downtime between levels, where the skills are gained organically through RP. At least when the story allows it.

    I'm not a fun of resurection, so I only allow Revivify and True Resurection to work. However I don't use the -1 level rule (as I don't like it), I instead consider the target of a resurection to be at the same level they were, with 0 xp.

    Finally, I use a Hero Point system, where by paying 1 Hero point, they can perform a game braking mechanic with a duration of 1 minute. Otherwise, Planar Binding an Efreet for Chain wishes ALWAYS goes wrong, without paying a Hero Point (for example). You gain a Hero point Uppon Leveling and as a Special Reward for outstanding RP.
    And just Binding an Efreet for *1* Wish?

    Like the at-will Cantrips, and that's all the resurrection I'll ever need.

    So… how does your skill system work? When Quertus (my signature academia mage for whom this account is named) compiles his notes, collects experimental data from his Simulacra, works on writing more of the books people read to get their Knowledge skills, attends a book signing / paid speaker event, delivers the stipends to the shopkeeps who run his "operates at a loss" spell component shops, chats with adventurers/allies/his Naga companion, and does spell research (as time allows(hooray fast time plane)), how would this affect his skills?
    Last edited by Quertus; 2021-09-20 at 08:24 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Flumph

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    I'm surprised you've found Heavy Fortification to be prevalent as an option taken by PCs. It's a +5 property - even at high levels where the cost isn't an issue, it's still competing for space with all the other armor properties you might want (like Soulfire). Do you feature a lot of enemies with Sneak Attack?


    As far as evil goes - I think not wanting evil characters is a totally valid preference. It's not just about being disruptive or not, that's an orthogonal thing. It's that I'm not really interested in exploring the story of a bunch of bastards screwing over people. If you want to do so, feel free ... in a game that I'm not running.

    Now sure, there's characters that count as evil (either just technically or sometimes legitimately) that aren't like that. Most of those characters can be played just fine as "Neutral" instead. If a character needs to be Evil, that's probably not one I want.

    As far as "evil for mechanical reasons" - I'd much rather alter pre-requisites than the whole style of the game.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-09-21 at 04:56 AM.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Artificers specifically can really gey some value off of heavy fortification. It has a cost, but it's available to them at level 5 - which means that with some knowldge of combat ahead, they can really break a criminal-world adventure.

    Not that I think this justufies banning it, but any "immunity to blank" that's readily available on demand is a strong tool to have.

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm really confused trying to grasp your stance. Are you really trying to say that you prefer the concise, precise, highly inaccurate "no evil", that prevents the Necromancers and "kill to protect family" evils that you would allow, over the more verbose method of explaining and exemplifying what constitutes disruptive behavior?



    And just Binding an Efreet for *1* Wish?

    Like the at-will Cantrips, and that's all the resurrection I'll ever need.

    So… how does your skill system work? When Quertus (my signature academia mage for whom this account is named) compiles his notes, collects experimental data from his Simulacra, works on writing more of the books people read to get their Knowledge skills, attends a book signing / paid speaker event, delivers the stipends to the shopkeeps who run his "operates at a loss" spell component shops, chats with adventurers/allies/his Naga companion, and does spell research (as time allows(hooray fast time plane)), how would this affect his skills?
    He would gain skill points according to his downtime activities. If they have leftover skill points, they would need to practice during rests.

    "Summon a Strong Monster, and you're good for an encounter. Learn how to Planar Bind a Strong Monster, and you'll never have to worry about an encounter for the rest of your Adventuring Days."

  25. - Top - End - #145
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    I'm surprised you've found Heavy Fortification to be prevalent as an option taken by PCs. It's a +5 property - even at high levels where the cost isn't an issue, it's still competing for space with all the other armor properties you might want (like Soulfire). Do you feature a lot of enemies with Sneak Attack?
    It can also go on shields. Which means pretty much anyone can strap a +1 Heavy Fort buckler on their arm that doesn't compete with any other item slot. Super easy to get 0% ASF. Even if you use both both hands for weapons, it is just -1 to hit. You can take Improved Buckler Defense if you want the AC out of it, but you still get the Fortification even if you are giving up the shield bonus every round.

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    As far as "evil for mechanical reasons" - I'd much rather alter pre-requisites than the whole style of the game.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I'm really confused trying to grasp your stance. Are you really trying to say that you prefer the concise, precise, highly inaccurate "no evil", that prevents the Necromancers and "kill to protect family" evils that you would allow, over the more verbose method of explaining and exemplifying what constitutes disruptive behavior?
    I would not consider "kill to protect family" evil. Self defense and all. Might even be good-aligned.

    But this is probably truncated from an earlier argument? Was it "kill [innocents] to protect family"? The selfishness of it seems prima facie neutral. But it could be evil, since the circumstances that would enable an actual situation of "kill [innocents] to protect family" seem so outlandish that I don't think I could take a dilemma of whether or not to kill [innocents] to protect family seriously with more information. If "kill [innocents] to protect family" turns out to be more like "[preemptively] kill [innocents] to protect [reputation of] family [from potential embarrassment]" then I'd say we're in evil territory.
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  26. - Top - End - #146
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by fallensavior View Post
    I would not consider "kill to protect family" evil. Self defense and all. Might even be good-aligned.

    But this is probably truncated from an earlier argument? Was it "kill [innocents] to protect family"? The selfishness of it seems prima facie neutral. But it could be evil, since the circumstances that would enable an actual situation of "kill [innocents] to protect family" seem so outlandish that I don't think I could take a dilemma of whether or not to kill [innocents] to protect family seriously with more information. If "kill [innocents] to protect family" turns out to be more like "[preemptively] kill [innocents] to protect [reputation of] family [from potential embarrassment]" then I'd say we're in evil territory.
    Consider e.g. a character who is in love with someone born with a mark indicating their role in a doomsday prophecy. The character never strikes pre-emptively, but when anyone threatens their love they are willing to kill anyone, destroy any organization, build armies and war with any country in order to protect their love, even if everyone says the world will burn because of it and even if that organization or country contains innocents who did not directly make the threat. They don't care at all about collateral damage, rules of warfare, etc, and are 100% about 'stop the threat' rather than acting justly or correctly judging responsibility - if they can protect their lover's life with an 80% chance without innocents being involved, or a 99% chance but thousands will starve or suffer, they will go with the 99%. But they do not go out of their way to pre-emptively seek out potential threats, and they don't 'bait' attacks. So e.g. living out in the middle of nowhere, but if a church templar comes knocking to find the doomsday mark, they'll come out of isolation, plot to destroy the country that is hosting that church and undermine their deity's power, and then peacefully go back to living in isolation if allowed to.
    Last edited by NichG; 2021-09-21 at 01:59 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #147
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    I think I'll chime in here, seeing as I've been mentioned plenty.

    As a preliminary point, I'd love to agree with people who would abolish alignment as a mechanical feature, or at the very least limit it to extraplanar beings. D&D's alignment system is stupid and arbitrary, I've said it before and I'll say it again. That said, it's really, really hard to do - alignment is extremely baked into D&D as it stands, and you're unlikely to be able to excise everything.

    I'd also like to address the "fantasy literature doesn't like Evil characters" argument. Simply put: It's wrong. Objectively. Fantasy literature does sometimes give Evil characters a happy ending. Sometimes it's because they redeem. Sometimes they don't redeem, but they're also not the biggest, baddest Evil in the room, and that's enough. For those who say, "Evil means you're the villain of the story" - also not true, because there can easily be a bigger villain. And often is.

    Let's not forget that the "lovable rogue" archetype is, at its heart, a bad guy. He's a bad guy with some style and some rules, and he works well enough with the protagonist - at least for awhile - so we forgive him his little foibles. You know, like the time he murdered a guy in a bar in front of everyone and didn't bat an eye. Or the fact that he regularly consorts with murderers and criminals, not out of necessity, but because that's his job and they're his coworkers. This is an Evil character and we accept him as part of the heroic canon.

    Now, onto the most recent points.

    Quote Originally Posted by fallensavior View Post
    I would not consider "kill to protect family" evil. Self defense and all. Might even be good-aligned.

    But this is probably truncated from an earlier argument? Was it "kill [innocents] to protect family"? The selfishness of it seems prima facie neutral. But it could be evil, since the circumstances that would enable an actual situation of "kill [innocents] to protect family" seem so outlandish that I don't think I could take a dilemma of whether or not to kill [innocents] to protect family seriously with more information. If "kill [innocents] to protect family" turns out to be more like "[preemptively] kill [innocents] to protect [reputation of] family [from potential embarrassment]" then I'd say we're in evil territory.
    It's a question of degree. Anyone would fight to protect family, loved ones. But how far would they go? Would they fend off the invading horde? Sneak into the enemy camp under cover of night and assassinate the general? Poison the water of the enemy castle? Make the enemy king watch as they flay his family alive in front of him, one at a time?

    Good characters protect people, or at least avenge them. Evil characters leave a trauma on the world as a reminder to never touch what is theirs. (Ooh, look, purple text is back!)

    I love doing this with my Evil characters. Letting people in, letting them open up to others, is a sort of weakness from the perspective of Evil. A weakness that others may exploit. This will not end well for those who try it. Or anyone they've ever loved, for that matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    Consider e.g. a character who is in love with someone born with a mark indicating their role in a doomsday prophecy. The character never strikes pre-emptively, but when anyone threatens their love they are willing to kill anyone, destroy any organization, build armies and war with any country in order to protect their love, even if everyone says the world will burn because of it and even if that organization or country contains innocents who did not directly make the threat. They don't care at all about collateral damage, rules of warfare, etc, and are 100% about 'stop the threat' rather than acting justly or correctly judging responsibility - if they can protect their lover's life with an 80% chance without innocents being involved, or a 99% chance but thousands will starve or suffer, they will go with the 99%. But they do not go out of their way to pre-emptively seek out potential threats, and they don't 'bait' attacks. So e.g. living out in the middle of nowhere, but if a church templar comes knocking to find the doomsday mark, they'll come out of isolation, plot to destroy the country that is hosting that church and undermine their deity's power, and then peacefully go back to living in isolation if allowed to.
    This strikes me as somewhat middling, to be honest. On the one hand, yes, the disproportionate retaliation does reek of Evil, and I dig it. But on the other, the self-imposed isolation - absent some other kind of motivator - strikes me as a tad off-brand. Living away from others to avoid the hassle I get; doing it to spare them of being in the presence of the Doomed One seems like a level of self-sacrifice that doesn't quite fit.

    Now, on the other hand, the John Wick approach, I am 100% behind. And let's be clear: yes, killing a dog-murderer is an Always Good action, because dog-murderers are the absolute worst, but John Wick's murder spree is pretty objectively Evil. He's not doing it to be tough on crime, or to help the city, it's all revenge - all of it - and most of it against people who had nothing to do with what happened to him. They may be protecting the person responsible, but in many instances they're just in the way, and that's enough. By D&D terms, that's pretty Evil.

    But take a step back, and here is a person whose isolation is a combination of retirement, love, and sadness. I could see a character - even an Evil character - withdrawing from the world over that. And if approached, if antagonized, I could see that character raining unholy fire on the entire world until he feels mollified, and then returning to his solitude.
    My headache medicine has a little "Ex" inscribed on the pill. It's not a brand name; it's an indicator that it works inside an Anti-Magic Field.

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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    With Red Fel trying to do justice to the topic, I am reminded of a great show on youtube called Trope talks, which anyone wishing for more of what Red Fel gave you a taste of should watch.

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    With Red Fel trying to do justice to the topic, I am reminded of a great show on youtube called Trope talks, which anyone wishing for more of what Red Fel gave you a taste of should watch.
    I am a big fan of OSP, so I definitely approve the link. (Although I disagree with some of their interpretation of mystery plots in their recent The Detective clip.)

    That said, and bringing it back to the point, it's not about tropes. Any house rule is, or should be, about the Rule of Fun - you're making a rule specific to your table because either (1) it makes life just a little easier for the DM, which makes things a little more fun for everyone; (2) it prevents a problem that either has happened or is likely to happen, which makes things more fun for everyone; or (3) it just directly makes things more fun for everyone. An example of #1 is a DM banning, say, Dragon Magazine material, on the grounds that said DM does not have access to it or a photographic memory. It's a lot to go through, so if you can reduce your DM's work by just a bit the DM might be in a slightly friendlier mindset. An example of #2 is a DM saying, say, "Steve does not get to play Frenzied Berserkers anymore. You know what you did, Steve." And an example of #3 is a DM saying, say, "You know what? It would be awesome if the spell worked that way. I'll allow it." These are all perfectly valid reasons to house rule something and I totally get why you would.

    In the more immediate conversational context, if you have a house rule at your table that bans Evil PCs, I understand that. I disagree with it, because I think you're limiting your fun, but maybe you have your reasons. In my case, I don't like limiting my fun, or my players' fun. Now, I will take players aside in specific instances. If a player takes things too far, I may take them aside and say, "This was too far, rein it back in." And if they don't, I will explain to them that they need to retire the character - I'll give them a nice scene to depart - and replace them with a new character. But I'm not going to just ban an entire alignment.

    No, not even CE, tempting as that is.

    One final thought on the subject before I put it to rest. Several people have posted quotes from people who contributed to the game's design back in the day. And that is fair - the game was meant to be a story of heroes, not of villains. But here's the problem:

    This is a thread about house rules.

    House rules exist because the rules are insufficient, or at the very least un-fun, at your table. An argument about the game designers' original intent rings hollow when the point of the conversation is "and this is how the game designers got it wrong, and why I'm changing what they wrote." You can't simultaneously rely on the people who wrote the game as the canon Word of God source of the rules and also explain in complete candor why the rules must be changed.

    So, yeah. Yes, that is a reference.
    My headache medicine has a little "Ex" inscribed on the pill. It's not a brand name; it's an indicator that it works inside an Anti-Magic Field.

    Blue text means sarcasm. Purple text means evil. White text is invisible.

    My signature got too big for its britches. So now it's over here!

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: 3.5E house rules?

    Well, it is a little bit about tropes. Since we were discussing alignment and how broken it by default, and ways to fix it via house rules, knowledge about narrative structure and elements definitely seems helpful. Now, I have not watched the entire series yet, so I can't comment on the latest (I'm about 80%).

    In my efforts I tend to think of myself as quite moderate - I like to show deference to the RAW, and the designers who get actual money to write this stuff - right up until the point it stops working for me in some very obvious manner. Then I start changing things and looking for alternatives by other homebrewers.

    I probably mentioned this already, but over time I've collected an enormous amount of house-rules, but I still go into it with a distinct reluctance to change anything, because I do not wish to add complexity, unless the alternative is that much worse.

    So, yeah. :D
    Last edited by martixy; 2021-09-23 at 12:51 PM.

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