PDA

View Full Version : Tweaking 3.5 to my tastes



Inquisitor Tremayne
11-05-2009, 03:26 PM
Well, I am gearing up to try my hand at running a 3.5 game (again) and set in Forgotten Realms no less!

and I have been thinking about trying to tweak 3.5 into something more streamlined.

I DO NOT want this to be an edition war thread so get out of here if you are simply gonna praise or bash one edition over the other.

I also am not interested in switching to Pathfinder because I do not like the power creep (no matter how slight it might be) so try to restrain yourself from suggesting I save myself a lot of work and just make the switch.

So, to begin...

I am first attempting to to tweak the classes, give the 3.5 classes a little bit more umph but not as much as they are given in Pathfinder (Pf). Saying that, most of this stuff I have stolen directly from Pathfinder, but whatever.


First off is a boost to starting hitpoints. I like how much you get in SW Saga edition but feel that it is way too much for 3.5. So I have come up with the following:

Starting hitpoints equal Con + max class + Con mod


or:


Starting hitpoints equal half Con + max class + Con mod


I think this is generous yet not overpowering and it is similar to how 4e does it, IIRC. Thoughts, suggestions?


Now onto the classes:


Tweaked classes
Bards get Well Versed (from Pathfinder) at 2nd level (+4 on saves vs. other bardic music, sonic and verbal affects)


Its not much for the Bard but it is something and all the other Pf stuff felt too much for my tastes.



Cleric’s gain 1st level Channel Energy (+1d8, +1d8 for every 5 levels after the first, 30 ft. radius healing or undead damage)


I REALLY like this ability and I think it would be an excellent and reasonable addition to the 3.5 cleric. Although I have changed it so it heals d8 instead of d6 and it maxes at +5d8 by 20th level.



Fighters gain: 2nd level Bravery (+1 vs. Fear that increases over 20 levels), 3rd level Armor Training (+1 Dex bonus, -1 acp), 7th level Improved Armor Training (+2 Dex bonus, -2 acp), 17th level Armor Mastery (DR 5/-), 1st level Weapon Focus, 4th level Weapon Specialization, 9th level Greater Weapon Focus, 13th level Greater Weapon Specialization, 15th level Weapon Mastery (gain Improved Crit and Power Crit), 18th level Weapon Supremacy (PHB II)


Fighters see the most additions! I really like the Bravery ability, that is a nice touch. I felt the Weapon and Armor Trainings in Pf were too generous and sort of uber so I reigned them in and added in feats a fighter is likely gonna take anyway. It gives a character that sticks with fighter for 20 levels a boon to selecting a single weapon to focus on while also letting that fighter be potent with a selected weapon should they choose to PrC. Is this too generous? Compared to the Pf fighter and the feats that a 20th level fighter would normally receive I think this is a nice addition and not to off balance.



Paladins gain 8th level Aura of Resolve (immune to enchantments, allies within 10’ gain +4 to saves vs. enchantments), 17th level gains Aura of Righteousness (DR 5/evil), 20th level gains Holy Champion (DR 10/evil, +4 bonus on Smite attack rolls, +4 to saves vs. spells and spell-like abilities with the evil descriptor)


Still not sure how I feel about all of this stuff for the Paladin. Also not sure that Holy Champion is good enough either...



Rangers gain 1st level Track (add half level to Survival skill to track), Wild Empathy (Supernatural ability to cast Charm Animal, 1/day, +1 use every 4 levels), 12th level Quarry (1/encounter gain +2 AC, +2 to attacks and +4 to confirm crits against a single target)


Since I rolling Track into the survival skill rangers will now add half their level to the skill checks. I always felt Wild Empathy was a waste except for at low levels where you are more likely to encounter animals that you can use it on. I think Charm Animal is MUCH more effective and better overall. I kinda stole that from DDO. Quarry I think is pretty cool and sort of fitting with any ranger. I think 1/encounter could be changed to 1/day though.


Rogues gain 1st , 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th levels Rogue Talent (see pathfinder)


I like the fact that these talents make the Rogue a much more versatile combatant or can be used to flesh out various aspects of an individual rogue. However I scaled it back to only 5 talents over 20 levels instead of 10. Seeing how there were only like 13 to choose from I think a rouge having almost all of them is a bit much.



Socerers gain Eschew materials, Bloodlines (7th, 13th, and 17th gain a Bloodline Feat, Bloodline spells at the acquired level, Class skill and Arcana at level 1)


I think Eschew Materials is a no-brainer. It has long been a house rule in our 3.5 games. I have always liked the idea of giving them a Bloodline also but I think the PF Bloodline Powers are too much and unneeded. The bonus feats, spells, class skill, and Arcana are a-ok though.



Wizards gain Arcane Bond with an object of power in addition to a familiar.


Arcane bond just seems to make sense to me for a wizard. I mean where is the archetypal wizard with his staff (that isn't a quarterstaff) in 3.5? I also don't think it should replace the familiar either, but I do think either one should be optional.




So what do you guys think? How would these things affect the balance of the game through 20 levels? I have very limited experience of high level 3.5 play, highest I have gotten was 13th level.


I am also going to consolidate the skill lists. Not make any sweeping dramatic changes to the way skills work and maybe even keep the same skill points across the board... here is the list:


New skill lists:
Acrobatics (Escape Artist, Jump, Tumble)
Appraise
Athletics (Climb, Ride, swim)
Craft
Deception (Bluff, Disguise)
Persuasion (Diplomacy, Intimidate)
Disable Device
Heal
Knowledge
Linguistics (Speak, Read/write)

Perception (Spot, Listen, Search, Sense Motive)
Perform
Profession
Sleight of Hand (Could be rolled into Deception)

Spell Craft
Survival (Track, Handle Animal)
Use Magic Device


The only thing I am iffy on is the Athletics skill. I was always against it when Saga was being released and was against it when 4e was released, I have only included it to get some impressions. I think Swim, Ride, and Climb are such varied different skills that they shouldn't be rolled into one. YET one can make the same claim for the other consolidated skills so it kind of becomes moot I guess.


So what do you guys think so far?


I think there is very little concerning players and combat that I will change aside from these things. I hear Pf's trip, grab, and grappling rules are pretty awesome, may import those in. But otherwise I might leave everything the same. how do you feel these would impact a standard 3.5 game?


Thanks

outrider
11-05-2009, 05:46 PM
I have been doing some of this in my campaign. Hit points for first are con score +con modifer.

I gave the fighters armor training from pathfinder.

The paladins got the resolves

I didnt go with the channeling for the clerics. For turning its a will save for the undead.

Gave the wizards arcane bond.

allowed some of the blood lines for the sorcerers.

I didnt consolidate the skills.

I added items from the experimental book of might from Malhavoc.

One of them was to give up hitpoints to make another move, or a bonus on a skill check, or some other thing. I thought this worked better than action points. There was some sacrifice involved in the decision.

There are more things that I did but in general they seem to be working for the players and I. The group is around 8th level at this time.

yukonhorror
11-05-2009, 05:58 PM
I like the consolidation of the skills.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-05-2009, 07:50 PM
I have been doing some of this in my campaign. Hit points for first are con score +con modifer.

I gave the fighters armor training from pathfinder.

The paladins got the resolves

I didnt go with the channeling for the clerics. For turning its a will save for the undead.

Gave the wizards arcane bond.

allowed some of the blood lines for the sorcerers.

I didnt consolidate the skills.

I added items from the experimental book of might from Malhavoc.

One of them was to give up hitpoints to make another move, or a bonus on a skill check, or some other thing. I thought this worked better than action points. There was some sacrifice involved in the decision.

There are more things that I did but in general they seem to be working for the players and I. The group is around 8th level at this time.

How have these been working out for you? Any balance issues?

Since you mentioned action points, I think I might add them in, maybe. I think it would be fine without but it might be fun to have, just to add to attacks and skill checks. I dont know, maybe not.

Dytrrnikl
11-06-2009, 03:30 AM
First off is a boost to starting hitpoints. I like how much you get in SW Saga edition but feel that it is way too much for 3.5. So I have come up with the following:

Starting hitpoints equal Con + max class + Con mod


or:


Starting hitpoints equal half Con + max class + Con mod


I think this is generous yet not overpowering and it is similar to how 4e does it, IIRC. Thoughts, suggestions?

Give double max hit points plus con mod at 1st level, if think still makes Wizards a bit too weak, change Rogue HP to d8 and Wizards to d6.
Now onto the classes:


Tweaked classes
Bards get Well Versed (from Pathfinder) at 2nd level (+4 on saves vs. other bardic music, sonic and verbal affects)


Its not much for the Bard but it is something and all the other Pf stuff felt too much for my tastes.

Port in some of the Talents from the Star Wars Saga Noble class, specifically those of the Influence and Lineage Talent Trees


Fighters gain: 2nd level Bravery (+1 vs. Fear that increases over 20 levels), 3rd level Armor Training (+1 Dex bonus, -1 acp), 7th level Improved Armor Training (+2 Dex bonus, -2 acp), 17th level Armor Mastery (DR 5/-), 1st level Weapon Focus, 4th level Weapon Specialization, 9th level Greater Weapon Focus, 13th level Greater Weapon Specialization, 15th level Weapon Mastery (gain Improved Crit and Power Crit), 18th level Weapon Supremacy (PHB II)

Why not just port over the Weapon Training and Armor Training from PF, and then allow them the following:

Favored Weapon
Prereq: 6th level Fighter, Weapon Spec, Weapon Training, Weapon Focus
Description: Pick a single weapon. With that weapon you deal an additional die of damage Long Sword deals 2d8, Great Swords deal 3d6. Unlike Sneak Attack, this extra die counts when determining damage dealt from a Critical Hit.
This feat may be selected only once. Once selected it may not be changed.

Improved Favored Weapon
Prereq: 12th level Fighter, Weapon Spec, Weapon Training, Weapon Focus, Greater WEapon Focus, Greater WEapon Specialization
Description: Deal an additional die of damage with your Favored Weapon. The extra die of damage stacks with that gained from Favored Weapon and counts when determining damage for a critical hit. Long Sword deals 3d8 (or 6d8 on a crit), Great Swords 4d6 (or 8d6 on crit).
This feat may be selected once and must be applied to your Favored Weapon.


It may seem like overkill considering the Fighter gains up to 4 attacks a round, however, I personally think it allows them to be as frightening as a seasoned wizard.


Rogues gain 1st , 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th levels Rogue Talent (see pathfinder)


I like the fact that these talents make the Rogue a much more versatile combatant or can be used to flesh out various aspects of an individual rogue. However I scaled it back to only 5 talents over 20 levels instead of 10. Seeing how there were only like 13 to choose from I think a rouge having almost all of them is a bit much.

I might go this route for with this, gain talents at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th.


Socerers gain Eschew materials, Bloodlines (7th, 13th, and 17th gain a Bloodline Feat, Bloodline spells at the acquired level, Class skill and Arcana at level 1)


I think Eschew Materials is a no-brainer. It has long been a house rule in our 3.5 games. I have always liked the idea of giving them a Bloodline also but I think the PF Bloodline Powers are too much and unneeded. The bonus feats, spells, class skill, and Arcana are a-ok though.

I'd probably just use the Bloodlines as shown in the Unearthed Arcana, without having to expend a level to gain the benefits.



So what do you guys think? How would these things affect the balance of the game through 20 levels? I have very limited experience of high level 3.5 play, highest I have gotten was 13th level.

I think even if you stick with what you have as written, you won't over balance the characters, while providing a definate little extra oomph to their capabilities.



I am also going to consolidate the skill lists. Not make any sweeping dramatic changes to the way skills work and maybe even keep the same skill points across the board... here is the list:


New skill lists:
Acrobatics (Escape Artist, Jump, Tumble)
Appraise
Athletics (Climb, Ride, swim)
Craft
Deception (Bluff, Disguise)
Persuasion (Diplomacy, Intimidate)
Disable Device
Heal
Knowledge
Linguistics (Speak, Read/write)

Perception (Spot, Listen, Search, Sense Motive)
Perform
Profession
Sleight of Hand (Could be rolled into Deception)

Spell Craft
Survival (Track, Handle Animal)
Use Magic Device


The only thing I am iffy on is the Athletics skill. I was always against it when Saga was being released and was against it when 4e was released, I have only included it to get some impressions. I think Swim, Ride, and Climb are such varied different skills that they shouldn't be rolled into one. YET one can make the same claim for the other consolidated skills so it kind of becomes moot I guess.
I'd stick to the 3.5 skill list. However, I'd maybe also add in the Saga set-up of adding 1/2 class level to skills, maybe only to class skills even if no skill points are put into the skill.

Irregardless of my suggestions, I like the direction you're going with things.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-06-2009, 03:09 PM
Give double max hit points plus con mod at 1st level, if think still makes Wizards a bit too weak, change Rogue HP to d8 and Wizards to d6.

I've been creating some 1st levels and found that I really like the half Con + max class + Con mod formula. I'm not interested in increasing the hit die for any of the base classes, don't really see a reason why.

If you made a barbarian with a 14 Con using my rules you get 21 hp at 1st level (7 Con + 2 Con mod +12 max class). Using your suggestion that same barbarian gets 26 starting hitpoints (2x12 HD + 2 Con mod). 21 seems just right for me. On the flip side a Wizard with a 12 Con would have 11 starting hitpoints (6 Con + 1 Con mod + 4 max class). With your formula that wizard would get 13 max hitpoints, assuming increasing the hit die to d6.

I am still open to other formulas though.


Now onto the classes:



Port in some of the Talents from the Star Wars Saga Noble class, specifically those of the Influence and Lineage Talent Trees

Why? Does a Bard REALLY need more ways to bolster his allies? Is Bardic music not enough?

However, individual talents I will look into, just the ones that I can readily think of seem not to fit, like Inspire Confidence or Born Leader. But some of the higher tier talents might make good higher level abilities.

I will look into this!



Why not just port over the Weapon Training and Armor Training from PF, and then allow them the following:

Cause I do not like WT or AT as they are. I am much more inclined to give fighters things they are normally going to get anyway.


Favored Weapon
Prereq: 6th level Fighter, Weapon Spec, Weapon Training, Weapon Focus
Description: Pick a single weapon. With that weapon you deal an additional die of damage Long Sword deals 2d8, Great Swords deal 3d6. Unlike Sneak Attack, this extra die counts when determining damage dealt from a Critical Hit.
This feat may be selected only once. Once selected it may not be changed.

Improved Favored Weapon
Prereq: 12th level Fighter, Weapon Spec, Weapon Training, Weapon Focus, Greater WEapon Focus, Greater WEapon Specialization
Description: Deal an additional die of damage with your Favored Weapon. The extra die of damage stacks with that gained from Favored Weapon and counts when determining damage for a critical hit. Long Sword deals 3d8 (or 6d8 on a crit), Great Swords 4d6 (or 8d6 on crit).
This feat may be selected once and must be applied to your Favored Weapon.

I do like these however! I will find some way to fit these in.



It may seem like overkill considering the Fighter gains up to 4 attacks a round, however, I personally think it allows them to be as frightening as a seasoned wizard.

Which I have not seen what the classes are like beyond 13th level so I wouldn't know. But I would assume that a fighter if he manages to get all of his attacks in would be as deadly as a seasoned wizard.



I might go this route for with this, gain talents at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th.

Why? What is more appealing about 7 talents vs. 5 (other than just having 2 more talents)? Considering that a straight rogue is still going to get their special abilities on top of these talents.



I'd probably just use the Bloodlines as shown in the Unearthed Arcana, without having to expend a level to gain the benefits.

I didn't know those were in there I will have to look them up!




I think even if you stick with what you have as written, you won't over balance the characters, while providing a definate little extra oomph to their capabilities.

Cool! that is what I am going for!



I'd stick to the 3.5 skill list. However, I'd maybe also add in the Saga set-up of adding 1/2 class level to skills, maybe only to class skills even if no skill points are put into the skill.

I thought about adding in the half level to skills thing but then I thought about my 7th level rogue/ranger and her +15 to Disable Device, +19 to Tumble and thought that she really doesn't need to have an extra +3 thrown in on top of all that. Also, considering I am consolidating the skill lists means characters are going to potentially have more skill points than they have class skills (potentially) so they can max the ones they want and take more cross-class skills.

Yes Able Learner just got all the more appealing!


Irregardless of my suggestions, I like the direction you're going with things.

thanks!

I also realized that I left out a bunch of skills so here is the new skill list! Along with the classes redefined class skill lists!

New skill lists:
Acrobatics (Balance, Escape Artist, Jump, Tumble)
Appraise
Athletics (Climb, Ride, swim)
Concentration
Craft
Deception (Bluff, Disguise)
Heal
Persuasion (Diplomacy, Intimidate)
Knowledge
Linguistics (Speak, Read/Write, Decipher Script)
Perception (Spot, Listen, Search, Sense Motive)
Perform
Profession
Spell Craft
Stealth (Hide, Move Silently)
Streetwise (Gather Information, Sleight of Hand)
Survival (Track, Handle Animal)
Thievery (Forgery, Disable Device, Open Lock,)
Use Magic Device
Use Rope


New Skill lists for the classes:


Barbarian skill list = Athletics, Craft, Persuasion, Perception, Survival, Use Rope

Bard skill list = Appraise, Acrobatics, Persuasion, Concentration, Craft, Linguistics, Deception, Streetwise, Knowledge, Perception, Perform, Profession, Spell Craft, Use Magic Device

Cleric skill list = Concentration, Craft, Persuasion, Heal, Knowledge, Profession, spell craft

Druid skill list = Concentration, Craft, Persuasion, Survival, Heal, Knowledge, Perception, Profession, Athletics, Spell craft

Fighter skill list = Athletics, Craft, Persuasion, Profession, Streetwise, Use Rope

Monk skill list = Acrobatics, Athletics, Concentration, Craft, Persuasion, Stealth, Knowledge, Perception, Perform, Profession

Paladin skill list = Concentration, Craft, Persuasion, Survival, Heal, Knowledge, Profession, Athletics

Ranger skill list = Athletics, Concentration, Craft, Survival, Heal, Knowledge, Perception, Stealth, Profession, Use Rope

Rogue skill list = Athletics, Acrobatics, Appraise, Craft, Linguistics, Persuasion, Streetwise, Deception, Stealth, Thievery, Knowledge, Perception, Use Magic Device, Use Rope

Sorcerer skill list = Concentration, Craft, Deception, Knowledge, Profession, Spell Craft, Streetwise

Wizard skill list = Appraise, Concentration, Craft, Linguistics, Knowledge, Profession, Spell craft


All classes would keep the same number of skill points and in some cases have extra skill points that they can then use to buy ranks in cross class skills! I think this kills 2 birds with one stone, more skill points to spend on other skills AND a consolidated skill list! Win!

WhiskeyFur
11-09-2009, 05:48 PM
May I suggest something for wizards and clerics?

Require them to have a wand or a holy symbol in spellcasting, BUT, also extend the option to enchant said wand or symbol. A +5 wand could translate right into +5 to spell DC's or other enhanced effects if you so please.

Enchanting them would be the same cost as if you were enchanting a sword or dagger, 2000 * plus * plus.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-09-2009, 06:16 PM
May I suggest something for wizards and clerics?

Require them to have a wand or a holy symbol in spellcasting, BUT, also extend the option to enchant said wand or symbol. A +5 wand could translate right into +5 to spell DC's or other enhanced effects if you so please.

Enchanting them would be the same cost as if you were enchanting a sword or dagger, 2000 * plus * plus.

Well the Arcane Bond for wizards is something similar. It lets them cast a spell from their spell book x/day. I can't recall at the moment if they have to have it prepared or not.

Could do something similar with Clerics but make it a healing spell only? In addition to their Channel Energy power?? Could be interesting. I will be emphasizing clerics brandishing their holy symbols in order to turn for sure!

WhiskeyFur
11-09-2009, 06:24 PM
Not familiar with arcane bond, but that wasn't the point of what I was aiming for anyways.

A +5 wand could give the user +5 to his spell DC's, which could make all the difference when dealing with those high SR creatures. The corroly would be a fighter picking up a +5 sword to deal with a foe whose in full plate armor.

d-_-b
11-09-2009, 06:33 PM
If I remember it correctly there are already wands available that increases you spell casting abilities, but to make it a requirement that spell casters have a wand or an equivalent is a bit too Harry Potterish for my taste.

WhiskeyFur
11-09-2009, 07:07 PM
@d-_-b
Maybe.. but how many high fantasy stories do you know where the mage doesn't use a staff or a wand?

Not many.

And given that a mage's staff is a double ended weapon, enchant one end to be a +5 spellcasting, the other end to be a +5 atk and damage, and now you got yourself a weapon worthy of any mage.

BTW.. Harry Potter is a wuss.

@Inquisitor
A set of rules I've seen used before, that I like, is being able to constantly improve a weapon or item. Say you shell out 2k to get your masterwork bow to be a +1, and then advance a few levels. Often, I see it where you have to discard the +1 and pay the 8k to get a +2, or find one.

An alternative to that is you pay the difference to improve the weapon instead. that +1, pay out 6k more, it's now a +2. This allows magic items to grow with the character, perhaps as a signature item so to speak.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-10-2009, 07:27 AM
@d-_-b
Maybe.. but how many high fantasy stories do you know where the mage doesn't use a staff or a wand?

Not many.

And given that a mage's staff is a double ended weapon, enchant one end to be a +5 spellcasting, the other end to be a +5 atk and damage, and now you got yourself a weapon worthy of any mage.

BTW.. Harry Potter is a wuss.

I am all about wizards using a specific item, wand or staff (favoring staffs actually). But I think allowing it to add to the DC is a bit too much seeing how there are plenty of other ways to boost save DCs. I really like the ability to cast another spell from the item x/day. Allows wizards a bit more versatility.


@Inquisitor
A set of rules I've seen used before, that I like, is being able to constantly improve a weapon or item. Say you shell out 2k to get your masterwork bow to be a +1, and then advance a few levels. Often, I see it where you have to discard the +1 and pay the 8k to get a +2, or find one.

An alternative to that is you pay the difference to improve the weapon instead. that +1, pay out 6k more, it's now a +2. This allows magic items to grow with the character, perhaps as a signature item so to speak.

Is this not already built into the magic item 3.5 rules? Our current characters in the game I play in intend to do this with our characters weapons. I never noticed anything to the contrary...?

And I would totally allow it in my game.

WhiskeyFur
11-10-2009, 10:07 AM
Only a few games I've been in ever allowed for that. More often, we would find a replacement instead of having to make it so the opportunity never came up.

If it is indeed in the rules then ignore what I said.

DMMike
11-13-2009, 01:34 PM
Yes, 3.5 allows for weapon improvement. Finding a wizard to do it for you is a whole different story.

I like the idea of orbs as magical tools: use them both for divination and for improving the accuracy of rays, or possibly raising reflex DCs (due to their focusing/refraction properties).

The armor bonus for fighters: you have to stop and thing about what hit points are. They're not actual damage, just an abstract indicator of how close to death one is. Point being, high level fighters express their ability to avoid getting hurt not so much through high armor class, but through having the hit points to postpone death for a long time.

With that in mind, any bump to first level hit points basically says to PCs: the angry tavern patron with a knife (or broken mug) has worse odds of killing you than you do him, just because the DM says so. It's like getting a luck bonus just for trying to be a hero. If this is your style: fine. If not, your PCs are going to start behaving in a manner that reflects their free gift.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-13-2009, 02:30 PM
The armor bonus for fighters: you have to stop and thing about what hit points are. They're not actual damage, just an abstract indicator of how close to death one is. Point being, high level fighters express their ability to avoid getting hurt not so much through high armor class, but through having the hit points to postpone death for a long time.

With that in mind, any bump to first level hit points basically says to PCs: the angry tavern patron with a knife (or broken mug) has worse odds of killing you than you do him, just because the DM says so. It's like getting a luck bonus just for trying to be a hero. If this is your style: fine. If not, your PCs are going to start behaving in a manner that reflects their free gift.

So are you suggesting to drop the Armor improvements for a fighter or to drop the starting hitpoints thing?

DMMike
11-13-2009, 05:26 PM
Both, really. Armor improvements aren't really necessary (at high levels armor shouldn't matter much anyway - significant enemies should go after weak spots like ability scores, low saves, or the PC's family...). And being fragile at low levels increases the sense of superiority at higher levels.

"Man! Did you see how I squashed that orc berserker? He woulda made dogmeat out of me three levels ago!"

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-16-2009, 03:05 PM
Both, really. Armor improvements aren't really necessary (at high levels armor shouldn't matter much anyway - significant enemies should go after weak spots like ability scores, low saves, or the PC's family...). And being fragile at low levels increases the sense of superiority at higher levels.

"Man! Did you see how I squashed that orc berserker? He woulda made dogmeat out of me three levels ago!"

Interesting.

I want there to be less dependence on trying to have all the necessary roles covered in a party. So that a party of 1st level adventurers won't get completely obliterated without having a cleric. More hitpoints increases that chance. Similarly having a cleric with Channel Energy further increases that survivability.

The Armor Mastery bonuses aren't really all that special. I mean -2 to armor check penalty is nice but its nothing huge. But gaining DR 5/- is a nice benefit. So its a minor tweak that is nice to have and pays off at the higher level for DR.

DMMike
11-16-2009, 09:00 PM
On complete obliteration:
3.5 added healing to the bard (at second level), paladins get hand-laying at 2nd, and druids can choose cure spells as well.

You could make sure the party has access to potions of healing, or scrolls could even be used by 1st level non-clerics.

My last reason to not give low-level characters too many hit points: it might make them think about fighting defensively, full defense, ready (panic), and using shields (instead of greataxes).

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-23-2009, 11:08 AM
My last reason to not give low-level characters too many hit points: it might make them think about fighting defensively, full defense, ready (panic), and using shields (instead of greataxes).

What is wrong with using these combat options? Are you saying the more hit points they have the more likely they are to use these options? Or vice versa?

Sascha
11-23-2009, 12:09 PM
What is wrong with using these combat options? Are you saying the more hit points they have the more likely they are to use these options? Or vice versa?
I think it's the other way around.

DMMike
11-24-2009, 01:56 PM
...it might make them ignore...

d-_-b
11-26-2009, 05:00 AM
I run my game with standard starting hp: max die + con bonus. I have had 1st. level characters die by the hand of a stray Orc because they didn't think about tactics and I have had 1st. level characters slay an Ogre because they did think about tactics. My point is that in the worlds of D&D most adventurers do not live to ripe old age. In fact most of them probably never get past 1st or 2nd level. I think this is okay.

I believe that it is the player's own responsibility to consider the circumstances under which he or she enters into a fight with a potentially lethal adversary. I don't think GM's should try to solve the problem of low level character deaths by giving them more hit points as this, which I think DMMike was trying to state, is not going to make the players think any harder about how or indeed if they should enter into a fight in the first place.
If as a GM you want to increase the lifespan of the party's characters you should instead learn how your player play their characters and scale your game appropriately thereafter. In the process hopefully the players will learn how to stay alive longer.

tesral
11-26-2009, 10:45 AM
My biggest tweek, the skill system (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/05_Manual_Skills.pdf) annoys me no end. Skills are made important, then you don;t GET any. Fighters can't be anything but slope browed killers, and more.

Why? Most classes get two skill points and the cross class thing.

I ditch cross class entirely. Having X profession should not make learning something else more difficult.

Second I hand out 5 skill points per level, but keep the 3 over level limit. The idea being you will have more skills.

I reorganized the skills themselves and added skill packs that are race or culture based.

DMMike
11-26-2009, 11:08 AM
My biggest tweek, the skill system (http://phoenixinn.iwarp.com/fantasy/fantpdf/05_Manual_Skills.pdf) annoys me no end. Skills are made important, then you don;t GET any. Fighters can't be anything but slope browed killers, and more.

Totally subjective but...

There are a couple catchall skills that allow fighters (and wizards with 2 skill points) to be more than slope-browed killers: Craft and Profession. For one skill, you can reach professional status (>+4) in something other than fighting.

Intelligence is a major factor here - lots of skills are things you can learn by having a well-functioning brain. So I see the extra skill points from INT being useful.

Also, having a class skill (or even cross-class) oftentimes isn't permission to use the skill; it's just permission to get heroic/epic in that skill. Lots (most?) skills can be used untrained, and you get ability score bonuses to these. Take 10 (or 20), and you're doing as well as Joseph Average should be doing in that skill. Get the class skill (even one or two), and you can make your performance in those skills as spectacular as your fighting skill.

Inquisitor Tremayne
11-27-2009, 11:50 AM
Its the reason why I consolidated the skill list yet kept the skill points the same. You get more bang for your buck by investing in a skill like Perception yet still have a point or two to invest in a skill.

Now that I am thinking about it, I think I might add in a skill training feat that gives you 2+Int mod in skill points.

You still max out skills at level+3 but you then gain more skill points for other things.

And going that route I will do away with the multiclass penalty, that has never made sense to me. And maybe even give someone who takes a level in another class the skill training feat to account for gaining some new skills.

Needs tweaking.

Dr.Dead
11-27-2009, 04:10 PM
I think if your classes and characters are going to have a increase in health I think you should do the same for the NPC, and Monsters because it would seen it would be a bit over powered and there is no challenge into it. And for the cleric chaneling thing is a bit weak unless its like a super heal but if is like cure moderate wounds it would take way to long before the spell is done and in that time I would not be attach the dude getting healed I would be attacking the dude doing the healing. For example you had 2 dudes and I had 2 dudes and you had a cleric and a fighter. and I had a Cleric and a fighter My cleric would be casting spells to harm your cleric, and your cleric is taking all day to heal 2d8 plus hit points, and by the time your done healing you would be dead. and whats left my fighter injured from your fighter and my cleric fully healed, and now my cleric is now killing your fighter.

But hey dont mad or anything your the DM bro:D