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37

How do I tell the players "This house rule sucks and we shouldn't do it anymore?" That's exactly how you do it! Say, "This house rule sucks and I think we shouldn't do it anymore." If they object, well... then they don't mind the paperwork. If they agree, then you don't have a problem. Either way they don't feel cheated, because they're part of ...


19

D&D 3.5 actually has rules for this sort of thing: Unearthed Arcana's character traits and character flaws systems. Traits give you a small bonus for a small penalty. For example, for a fey who can't lie, you might use the Honest trait: +1 Diplomacy, -1 Bluff and Sense Motive. Flaws give you a bonus feat in exchange for a significant non-story penalty. ...


16

Abstractions Before you tweak the combat system, make sure you understand how its abstraction works. A single attack roll is not necessarily a single swipe of a character's sword. Rather, it represents your character trying hard to kill his opponent for the round. It could be a single slash, or it could be a lengthy clash of steel-on-steel coupled with ...


15

Some solutions: Give everyone a free level adjustment of +1 to +3. If they want to play a standard race, they can have an equivalent number of levels in their racial paragon class. Apply templates to the core races to raise their level adjustment. For example, all elves from a certain plane have the half-celestial template. Or, just allow PCs free level ...


14

From the perspective of a Game Designer, there is no difference between an official version of the game and homebrew rules. Pathfinder is nothing more than a homebrew itself from the point-of-view of the people who created it (it is a mod of 3.5, the way that the people who crafted it thought would be better). Do not hold the creators of published worked ...


14

I want rid of the constraints of virtually costless material components So basically, you want to get rid of the metagamey excel calculations of how many chicken feathers and sulfur is still left. That's great and a very common houserule. Most of the rounds I know don't even give a feat for this. It's simply ruled that non-costly materials do not have ...


13

It doesn't need to be. Paranoia already has that play mode baked in. Choose to play Paranoia (xp) "Straight / Dark" and make sure that they start with a higher security clearance, such that they're not the designated punching bags of the complex. By taking inspiration from The Prisoner and playing the computer as competent and not at all slapstick, the ...


13

Since you are doing away with a feat because you feel like the benefit of the feat should be the default, you can look at "mundane" feats that you feel should be the default behavior. Some feats that that in my opinion fit the criteria: Improved Unarmed Strike. You really need a feat to effectively punch someone in the face? What kind of a Barbarian can't ...


12

Alignment is a description of how you have acted in the past, NOT a restriction on how you act in the future There can be no penalties because alignment is not a straitjacket. This was one thing that 4e absolutely got 100% right (though I prefer the 9 alignments to the 5). Playing out of alignment may anger others who share your alignment, may draw the ...


12

Fate Worlds: Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie You might find what you want in Fate Worlds Vol.1, specifically "Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie" (KV). It is a mod/campaign where PCs are WWI pilots. Their planes are stationed on a giant flying aircraft carrier, the eponym Kriegszeppelin Valkyrie. Change "planes" to fighters and "flying aircraft carrier" to "capital ship", and ...


11

The short of it is that, mathematically: Whether attacker or defender rolls against a flat target makes no difference. None. An opposed roll changes the probability distribution, making it more swingy. About the second point: In d20 you normally replace the target of 10 + mods with 1d20 + mods. So you had a 50% chance of succeeding before hand, ...


11

The best design is to minimize the impact of “setness” Sets are a neat idea, but ultimately you run into real design problems if their full power depends much at all on having multiple items in the set. You want flavor and fun from the set bonuses more than you want power. Ideally, each item on its own is, or very nearly is, worth its cost, and ...


10

The simplest is to simply use the Sorcerer instead of Wizard - you get a small list of known spells, and a number of spells, and nothing else changes. Slightly more effort, but more easily used for all classes... Spell Points Allow the usual numbers of known spells. Each spell costs spell points equal to twice it's level, with zero levels being treated ...


9

What is the purpose of not allowing tests for advancement to be converted to less difficult tests, and what would change if I removed this rule? Burning Wheel's general design philosophy is built on tugging the protagonists between heroic action and realistic vulnerability. The requirement for tough tests pushes players to either seek out difficult ...


9

To answer the question rules-as-written: Wherever the DM thinks appropriate. There appears to be no answer beyond that (especially nothing as specific as a table of default destinations) using official 3.5e materials - 3PP d20 material or earlier editions may be another matter. For a more useful answer, we need to go beyond rules-as-written (which after ...


8

Approaches modifying skills You could leverage the mechanism of skills modifying other skills but, in this particular case, approaches modifying skills. Each character would have their set of skills plus the basic six approaches. Whenever a skill is used the one who uses it has also to select one of their approaches which modifies their roll. When Sneakily ...


8

As to the question, I think if your motives are honest there's nothing "unfair" about it, no. If I was your DM I'd worry most about your place in the party. With a relatively more powerful character and a bunch of traits that, if role-played honestly, could easily drop the rest of the PC's right in it, how popular do you think your character is going to be ...


8

Well, if you're using the default Pathfinder setting of Golarion and the Adventure Path material, they focus a lot on "human" race and culture. Golarion is a deliberately humanocentric world - elves and dwarves tend to keep to themselves and halflings are often just a slave race. There's a host of human ethnicities (Chelaxian, Keleshite, Kellid, Vudrani, ...


8

Don't give the feat away. Just note that it's assumed that spell component pouches are refilled when passing through interesting places and will only run dry if explicitly called for in the story. Given that the spell component pouch explicitly says this thing: A spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all the material components and ...


8

You do not have a problem, you just think you do... In my not so humble opinion, party balance is a myth, and power gamers will game any system no matter what house rules you use. So, my advise is do not even try. In Numeneria, the recommended way is to split the XP pool but that is just that: a guideline. Any player should be free to use the XP in ...


8

As you know, source books don't talk about the possibility of an intended human-made AI. Now, if you are a GM and one of your players want to go that way, here are some things to consider : The birth of an AI Most of them were born during Crash 2.0, evolving from programs or reaching self-awareness during the years since the Crash, but there are ...


8

How to Use Skill Points The maximum number of skill points a character can put into a skill is equal to his current level +3. Each skill point buys 1 rank of a class skill or 0.5 ranks of a cross-class skill. Anyway, I suspect if the ranger has too many skill points he's not putting the maximum number of skill points in his skills. Sample Skills for a ...


8

Give them something better. If you're removing the rule because it's not worth it, why not just replace it with something that is worth it? That way they won't feel cheated. Like, every two levels, pick an ability score. Roll 3d6, and if it's higher than your current score, it goes up by one. Lets you improve your crappy scores, but prevents you from ...


7

There is actually a Paragon Path that can help with this. Specifically, its utility power "Ride the Giant Down": Ride the Giant Down Daily ✦ Martial Move Action           Melee 1 Target: One Large or larger creature Effect: You move into the target’s space, provoking opportunity attacks as ...


7

Can't hurt to ask. It's not bad form per se to ask for dispensations, tweaks to the rules, etc., it's common practice. GMs vary in style widely, however. The response to a query like this could be anywhere from an enthusiastic "Oh yeah and you steal people's teeth at night too, +1 to Intimidate but you've got to steal a tooth a week or yours start falling ...


7

I would actually vote for feats. Using feat chains or trees lets you retain the standard class system, saving you a lot of work, as well as balancing advancement in "Guild" benefits and abilities. Dragonmarked Houses from the Eberron campaign setting use feats in a very flavorful was and they are very similar to the Ravnica Guilds. Some members of certain ...


7

Numenera is a game that is fairly resistant to the effects of party imbalance, so it isn't too much of a problem once your players realize that experience spent on short-term benefits can mean the difference between life and death (or at least unconsciousness), and you realize that setting difficult encounters can sometimes be a good thing. You will learn ...


6

I don't believe there is a magic system in 3.5 with the guidelines you're specifically looking for. Spell selection limitation is at the heart of many factors of balance within 3.5. Take the sorceror/wizard contrast for instance. The sorceror has access to a handful of spells throughout their career but gets more per day than the wizard, who can ...


6

I dont think there is much issues with this, unless your group disagrees. It is true that fire is the most commonly resisted element, and is easy to find defenses against. However, cold immunity is not all too much more rare (think all the undead). The breath weapon is not all that overpowered anyways, so I dont think it should be a problem. Unless you ...


6

Fire is the most commonly resisted type in the Monster Manual, but cold is close behind. So you're gaining a little bit out of this, unless you happen to be fighting cold immune stuff all the time. You might have to change a couple of other minor things, like changing the Frost Breath breath effect to Fire Breath. All in all I wouldn't worry that you're ...



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