Actions

Dissolution House Rules

From DivNull RPG

Revision as of 21:59, 8 April 2014 by imported>Wordman

House rules for the Dissolution campaign.

Basic Conversion

Since Ptolus is a 3.5 production, some basic conversion to Pathfinder was required.

Classes

We add some unofficial classes:

  • Elemental Druid - a variation of the druid class, based on the four elements instead of animals and nature.
  • Arcane Hierophant - a divine/arcane prestige class lifted and mutated from 3.5.
  • Spellsword - a gish prestige class lifted and (severely) mutated from 3.5. After using it for a while, we ditched it.

Experience

Progression

This is a really casual game that doesn't meet very often. So, we are using the "fast" experience table.

Ding!

Along the same lines: we follow a more video game style of advancement. As soon as you gain enough XP to level, you immediately do so. In addition, you regain all hit points and gain and benefits as if having taken a full rest (spells refresh, etc.). There are campaigns where things like training and safe zones and such matter; this isn't one of them.

Sneak Attacks and Ranged Weapons

Just a clarification to the standard rules on sneak attacks:

  • Sneak attacks can be made with ranged weapons, so long as the rogue is within "point-blank" range (30').
  • Sneak attacks are allowed if the target is denied a Dex bonus, or if the rouge flanks the target.
  • You cannot normally flank a target with a ranged weapon.

So, as practical matter, the only way you can typically sneak attack with a ranged weapon is by denying the target a Dex bonus (or by using Furtive Shot, below). Targets lose their Dex bonus to AC in any of the following situations:

Touch Attack Effects

Not sure if this is actually a house rule or just a clarification. Certain powers require a successful touch attack. For such powers that have a limited number of uses per day (e.g. produce flame, chill touch, the touch power from the Evil domain, etc.) we allow these powers to activate on standard natural or unarmed attacks as well. (If the user is willing to expend a use of the power, why not?) Further, if the user has several of these effects available, they can activate as many of them as they like on the same attack (provided they expend a use of each power, of course). Such activations can also be stacked on top of "always on" effects of a touch attack (e.g. a lich's paralyzing touch, a spectre's energy drain, etc.).

None of these effects can be used during attacks of opportunity.

Note that this rule tends to be much more useful for monsters than it does for PCs.

Bloodline Attacks

Many of the sorcerer bloodlines bestow a standard action minor attack as bloodline power at first level, usable a limited number of times per day, but not really scaling well with level (apart from a very minor damage bump, usually). These powers are intended to give a first level sorcerer a bit more firepower, but they quickly become useless as the sorcerer levels, having better things to do with a standard action. This makes them significantly worse (and more boring) than some otherwise equivalent bloodline powers that do scale well with level.

We change these powers to scale the timing of the minor attack with level. This still keeps them in the realm of small utility benefits, but turns these powers into something a rational sorcerer might actually have a reason to use at any level. These powers gain the following text: "At fifth level, this ability may be used as a move action. At tenth level, this ability may be used as a swift action. At fifteenth level, this ability may be used as an immediate action."

This ruling effects at least the following powers (bloodline): acid ray (shaitan), acidic ray (abberant), electricity ray (djinni), elemental ray (elemental), fire ray (efreeti), frost ray (marid), heavenly fire (celestial), horrific visage (accursed), minute meteors (starsoul), wasting ray (dæmon)

Critical hits

When you roll within your critical range, you have a choice:

  • You may roll for a critical hit, as per the standard rules.
  • You may automatically just take max weapon damage. (If your critical multiplier is ×3, you deal two times max weapon damage. At ×4, you deal three times max damage.)
  • You may roll for a critical hit, and on confirmation, draw a card from the Critical Hit deck, doing what the card says. If your critical multiplier is ×3, you add one to the multiplier mentioned on the card. With a ×4 multiplier, you add two.
  • You may roll for a critical hit, and on confirmation, draw a number of cards from the Critical Hit deck: ×2 multiplier draws one card, ×3 draws two, ×4 draws three. You then select one of the cards and do what it says exactly (i.e. no adjusting the multiplier).

This is a bit of a trade off. All attacks deal three types of damage, and each choice deals with them differently:

Type Weapon damage Bonus damage Ancillary damage
Description the base dice damage of the weapon fixed damage from strength, magical plusses, etc. sneak attack, vital strike, added energy damage, etc.
Standard rules Make to-hit roll again. If you would hit, damage calculated a number of times equal to your critical multiplier (usually ×2) Applied only once, even if critical succeeded.
House rule No additional roll needed. Damage roll treated as if highest number came up on each die. If multiplier is ×3, multiply the result by 2. If multiplier is ×4 multiply the result by 3. Applied only once

To use abilities that trigger off of critical hits (such as critical feats), you must make the confirmation roll to determine if they take effect; however, you can still elect (prior to rolling) either damage option. For example, if someone with the Bleeding Critical feat rolled within their critical range, they could take the max damage, then roll a confirmation to see if the bleeding crit triggers, or they could roll the confirmation and, if successful, roll extra damage and the bleeding crit triggers.

In most cases, the house rule will result in a lower average damage, but is reliable (i.e. you don't need to make the confirming "attack" roll). Some examples, always assuming a critical actually happens:

Damage Roll No crit Standard crit (if achieved) House rule
Situation Weapon Bonus Ancillary Crit range Min Average Max Min Average Max Min Average Max
Lostwhite w/ +1 flaming flail 1d8 +9 +1d6 fire ×2 1+9+1=
11
4.5+9+3.5=
17
8+9+6=
23
2(1+9)+1=
21
2(4.5+9)+3.5=
30.5
2(8+9)+6=
40
8+9+1=
18
8+9+3.5=
20.5
8+9+6=
23
Lostwhite w/ +1 greatsword 2d6 +11 ×2 2+11=
13
7+11=
18
12+11=
23
2(1+11)=
24
2(7+11)=
36
2(12+11)=
46
12+11=
23
Lostwhite w/ +1 battleaxe 1d8 +7 ×3 1+7=
8
4.5+7=
11.5
8+7=
15
3(1+7)=
24
3(4.5+7)=
34.5
3(8+7)=
45
2(8+7)=
30
Caralaria w/ fist and vital strike 1d10 +6 +1d10 ×2 1+6+1=
8
5.5+6+5.5=
16
10+6+10=
26
2(1+6)+1=
15
2(5.5+6)+5.5=
28.5
2(10+6)+10=
42
10+6+1=
17
10+6+5.5=
21.5
10+6+10=
26
Scoffney w/ +1 rifle 1d10 +1 ×4 1+1=
2
5.5+1=
6.5
10+1=
11
4(1+1)=
8
4(5.5+1)=
26
4(10+1)=
44
3(10+1)=
33
Scoffney w/ +1 rifle and sneak attack 1d10 +1 +3d6 ×4 1+1+3=
5
5.5+1+3(3.5)=
17
10+1+3(6)=
29
4(1+1)+3=
11
4(5.5+1)+3(3.5)=
36.5
4(10+1)+3(6)=
62
3(10+1)+3=
36
3(10+1)+3(3.5)=
43.5
3(10+1)+3(6)=
51
Oreni's scorching ray 4d6 ×2 4(1)=
4
4(3.5)=
14
4(6)=
24
2(4(1))=
8
2(4(3.5))=
28
2(4(6))=
48
4(6)=
24

The moral of all this is that if you have a decent chance to hit, you will likely do more damage using the standard rules, but if you need a good roll to hit, you are better off with the house rule. Also, the larger your bonus damage is, the more advantage you will get from using the standard rule.

Feats and Such

Reach Spell

Warning: this house rule is broken (you can tell because it is hard to imagine any caster that wouldn't take this feat). It also changes magic a bit (particularly for clerics and other healers). We know. We don't care. It's fun.

This one started as a mistake, but was active for long enough to make us keep it. Reach Spell is no longer a metamagic feat. It is a standard feat that lets the caster cast any touch spell as a ranged touch attack if within "point blank" range (30').

Intensified Spell

Since, as written, intensified spell applies to such a small number of spells, we allow it to extend the level caps for certain spells beyond just damage dice. It now explicitly applies to spells that generate a level capped number of items per casting, including magic missile, scorching ray and call lightning.

It also applies to spells with damage formulae such as "2d8 + caster level (max x)", increasing x by five (i.e. most cure spells, produce flame, fire shield, etc.). This change is not all that useful in most cases (e.g. healing spells), as often you are better off casting a higher level spell instead of adding paying the one level metagmagic penalty. Might be worth it for druids casting heals or when using a metamagic rod. This feat still does not apply to non-damage formulae of this form (e.g. ray of enfeeblement).

Vital Strike

From the look of the errata, looks like we read this one wrong as well, but we're keeping it too. We allow any attack to be declared (post attack roll) as a vital strike, but only once per round.

Arcane Strike

Alchemists count as "arcane casters" for the purposes of qualifying for this feat. This may or may not be "official"; depends on who you ask. (Hero Lab does it this way, for example).

Arterial Strike

This is a new feat, adapted from (but a bit more flexible than) the feat of the same name in Complete Warrior.

Prerequisite: Sneak attack ability, base attack bonus +4.
Benefit: If you hit with a sneak attack, you may choose to forgo one or more +1d6 of extra sneak attack damage to deliver a wound that won't stop bleeding. For each die forgone, the target takes 1 bleed. Bleed from multiple arterial strikes stacks with each other, but not with other bleed effects that deal damage.

Close Shot (Combat)

This is a new feat, which extends "point blank" range.

Prerequisite: base attack bonus +3.
Benefit: Any effect which specifically only works within "point blank" range may be used from an additional 30' away. That is, "point blank" range becomes 60'. Situations that benefit from this feat include:

  • Using Point Blank Shot.
  • Sneak attacking with ranged weapons.
  • Using the Reach Spell feat (see above).
  • Casting touch spells from wands (see below).
  • The Furtive Shot rogue talent (see below).

Normal: Point blank range is normally 30'.

Furtive Shot

This is a new rogue talent:

Furtive Shot (Ex): If within point-blank range of a target that is flanked by two or more of your allies, you may sneak attack that target with a ranged weapon.

Magical Items

Pearl of Power

Spontaneous casters can use a pearl of power to restore a spell slot, with one restriction: that slot can only be used to cast a specific spell that the user has already cast that day (specified when the perl is used). Also, anyone using a pearl must spend a full action to do so.

Wands

We treat wands as if they all have the Reach Spell feat (see above). That is, if they cast a touch spell, they can do so as a ranged touch attack from 30 feet away.