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17

Stat jumps are really important to the game, and can easily and accidentally introduce imbalances to the system. In light of that, I suggest one of these pre-existing mechanics: Traits (UA 86) and Flaws (UA 91) Unearthed Arcana introduced these mechanics. Traits give a small mechanical bonus while also imposing a complementary penalty (Near-Sighted gives a ...


15

Certainly, there’s no reason why you couldn’t describe a spiked chain this way. Disarming is a kind of niche tactic; it might simply never come up, at which point there’s no real need to mechanically “back up” the description. But ultimately disarming could happen and as a DM, I’d rather not feel like I “shouldn’t” disarm you even though mechanically you ...


13

Here's what I think: If you expect to diminish kick-in-the-door - kill-first-ask-questions-later mindsets by presenting beneficial tactical options alone, it's not gonna work. If the players put their mind into optimizing, they will create insane combos and deal crazy amounts of damage, unless of course you greatly limit their building choices while ...


11

To open, an amusing comic. As a philosopher, this question is extremely difficult. In order to make a philosophically sound system that actually has any kind of utility (D&D 3.5 makes me sad or giant frog.) In order to roll your own, I'll suggest a few simple toggles that you can configure for your game. First toggle: Relativism? Are these alignments ...


11

My first thought was two words: "Tucker's Kobolds" ... you can read the original article in your old copies of Dragon magazine (issue 127 ... you have Dragon going back 20+ years, right?) or with a sufficient amount of google-fu (here's the DnD wiki writeup). I read that editorial when it first came out and it was a "WOW!" experience. Monsters that think ...


10

First and foremost, that bodak's mount doesn't look like it is a special mount or fiendish servant or something. Just a cool construct, bound to him by a property of the construct, not by a class feature or feat. As for special mounts, let's take a look what DMG says. PALADIN COHORT MOUNTS At the DM’s option, she may allow a paladin or other ...


7

The page that you linked has a copyright notice that reads "Section 15: Copyright Notice - Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Combat". It looks like these rules are in Ultimate Combat, which is not part of the core rulebook. This is a typo in the original printings that has been officially errata'd: In the Called Shot Feats sidebar, in the Normal ...


7

I think enforcing gender differences in a mechanical way is a recipe for disaster and hurt feelings, and I also think that @BESW’s answer probably indicates the best way to do it if you insist. I’m just going to note here that there are a (very small) handful of cases where sex matters in 3.5. In most cases, these favor women, as it turns out. ...


7

There is no official rule for mechanical differences in gender in D&D 3.5. In fact, I'm not aware of any rule from any source that introduces such a rule, probably because it's so divisive. In any case, using stat jumps is probably not the way to go, as BESW states. Another way to go that might be more appropriate is to use skills. This works ...


6

If you have presented them with situations where using their current tactics would kill them, and they still kept the same tactics, then I can't see how rules variants would make much difference. You could, however, introduce situations in which the primary goal of combat isn't to kill something. They could be defending a fairly large area where they ...


6

Make Heal DDI checks. Even if a character has no healing surges left, any other character can try a Heal check (DC15) to Stabilize him. If successful, no further death saves need to be made. If they do have a healing surge left, it is a mere DC10 to allow them to use their Second Wind DDI. Both of these checks are very makeable for even 1st level ...


6

I know you're looking for rules, but I would make an arguement against such counters "instant death". My thought is that having monsters and spells with such abilities forces a party to be prepared. If your cleric/wizard are using 100% of their prepared spells for offensive/buffing, then why should they be rewarded for not preparing their spell lists ...


6

Short answer: You already have exactly what you're looking for! Players are free to explain their stat allocation via fluff, which has no effect on gameplay and will likely lead to much fewer hurt feelings and a more diverse cast of characters! Let's operate under the assumption that as a rule, women are better at some things and men are better at other ...


6

Start with pre-made Characters By which I don't mean generic characters that could be in any fantasy story, but by creating a character specifically for each of your children. These characters should be based around the characters from movies and TV shows they each seem to be drawn most toward. It's not the perfect fit that character creation is, but it can ...


5

Disclaimer: I only played with them three sessions with combat, and we were different levels each time 2,6,& 10. Positives: Combat feels more Epic, when you get to just mark off Vigor, and know you'll have it all back the next day even without magical healing. Combat feels more Gritty, when you can't avoid those few points of Wounds. Healers felt ...


5

Well, the problem is that Wizards (understandably, I reckon) doesn't try to innovate outside the bounds of how they've set their game up much. The closest "Wizards official" thing is Action Points, initiated in Eberron but then used by every campaign I've been in since. They're weak, not rerolls, just a +1d6 (or, at higher levels, best of +multipled6) and ...


5

How hit locations are determined is covered in detail on pages 398–401, "Hit Location". To summarise: Every controlled attack must be aimed at a hit location, with a default of the torso if no declaration is made. Hit locations aren't optional rules – Rule Zero notwithstanding of course. Every hit location carries a penalty to hit, although the default ...


4

One approach is to go down the Epic6 route for Pathfinder. The basic idea is to have character levels capped out at 6, with further XP going towards new feats, not new levels. The main result of this is that hit points, too, are capped, not reaching into the insane triple digits of high-level characters. This means that a monster with high damage can pose ...


4

I know that you are specifically asking for rules to fix your problem, but I submit that adding some tactical rules with the intent that it will change your player's mindset probably isn't going to work. The PCs will cleverly substitute the most suitable new tactical options for the ones that you are already tired of seeing and then repeatedly use those ...


4

I recommend the economic theories explored in this series (read the economicon first). In their prior works of Tome of Necromancy and Tome of Fiends*, they explored the ramifications of what amounts to XP as currency in the "liquid pain" and "ambrosia" sense. (BoVD, BoED) Concentration (the neutral) version is described in the Book of Gears which is very ...


4

Any feat that improves saving throws improves death saving throws. Use Disciple of Death: Disciple of Death Prerequisite: Wisdom 13 Benefit: You gain a +5 feat bonus to death saving throws. Or Resilient Focus: Benefit: You gain a +2 feat bonus to saving throws. Also, look at Revenants for very hardy characters.


4

The best link I've found is to Unearthed Arcana which talks about adjusting saves for massive damage. It should be possible to extend that system to insta-death saves for other things as well. The only other solution I would recommend is to back-port some rules from 4e, where conditions worsen over multiple saves. While it isn't a formalized 3.5 thing, it ...


4

I think the article you are looking for is "Transversed Arcana" in Dragon #357, Pages 88-89. Impromptu Metamagic Chose a metamagic feat each day. You can use that feat for free & spontaneously a certain number of times: 5 - metamagic level adjustment. You will not have to decide on which spells you apply it during preparation, but on the fly just before ...


4

I would check out the personality mechanics from Pendragon. The specific ten pairs of opposing traits can be adapted to the setting and genre, but the basic mechanic of your actions affecting the balance of those pairs, vs making rolls against those traits when you want to act particularly cleverly/piously/worldly/etc. is one that could probably work for ...


4

If you liked some elements of the Humanity system in Vampire, you can use the Morality system found in the World of Darkness for the Storytelling System — it modifies the chart for use with ordinary humans and applies it to other creatures in the World of Darkness games. If you're hoping for a system more like alignments in D&D, I recall that the ...


4

Touch attacks are generally used by spells and the such as they would bypass the armour, affecting the person whether they have hit their armour or flesh. For anything else I think it would depend on the situation and you would need to look at the specific intent behind the perk and try apply that in a real world situation. That should help figure out how to ...


2

I don't know of an official "system" for this, but the concept of reputation used in many games seems to fit well here. Reputation can be split into individual ratings between different groups of people if that's what your campaign requires, or a general reputation observed by all common factions in your world (this would be more of a fame concept). Think ...


2

I don't think there can be a "generic" answer to this. Morality systems are designed to have a specific outcome, a specific effect on the game. There's the "good/evil axis" D&D alignment kind of stuff that is purely a descriptive result of play. There's Pendragon virtues, which are something you often roll against. There's ablative meters like Call ...


2

I'm really not a fan of the critical hit system. It leads to a perfectly good character being offed by a series of lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective) rolls. I don't find that they add a lot of heroism to the game either. If your characters are fighting a monster where they have to rely on a critical hit to kill it, then they're better off ...


2

This is all about setting expectations. It sounds like your players expect encounters to be calibrated to their characters' abilities. Thus, they expect to be able to fight everything, and when their characters are killed, it's a problem with the encounter (ie "too hard"). My advice: run a sandbox campaign. There are loads of resources out there on how to ...



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