Lazlo COS Pathfinder - Low Magic
* Attack rolls (both ranged & melee) are modified by the attackers Dex modifier. Weapon Finesse allows for Dex to modify damage for Small / Light / Finesse weapons.
NOTE: This means that a high Dex will allow for more hits to land, but generally do less damage due to an average loss to Str (and damage being absorbed by Armor DR), where as a high Str build will land less often (do to an average loss of Dex) but hurt more when it does. This also incentives high Str melee characters to wear heavier armor, as they have less to loose from armor penalties and will likely be hit more due to a lower Dex. This counter balances well against the Class Defense Bonus chart for which classes are wearing heavier armor, vs who has greater HP.
Scaling Damage by level
Add 1/2 BAB as bonus damage for attacks that surpass the needed AC. Example: Bob the Barbarian has a BAB of + 10 and attacks his foe. Should Bob beat the AC by up to 5 points, those points convert directly to additional damage similar in type to that of a Power Attack. This additional damage is multiplied on a critical hit.
The Critical Hit
* A Natural 20 attack roll is an automatic hit which grants max weapon damage. Should a critical hit be confirmed, the damage is rolled normally with a minimum result equal to the max weapon damage.
Example: a long sword is a 1d8 weapon, and on a natural 20 attack roll the full 8 points are granted automatically. If a critical is confirmed this will result in double damage. Roll the damage normally but should the total result be less than 8 (say if a 3 were rolled on the d8), it is automatically bumped to 8.
* Two Natural 20’s (a 20 attack, with a critical confirmation of a 2nd natural 20) adds a + 1 to the critical damage multiplier. NOTE: if using the shield sacrifice maneuver (below) this type of critical instantly destroys the shield regardless of how many hits it would have had left. This is due to the rarity of a double natural 20 critical hit.
* Three Natural 20 attack rolls are an instant kill. NOTE: this attack can not be absorbed with a shield sacrifice like a normal critical hit.
* Natural 1 = Fumble! Make a REF Save against the AC of the original target of the attack.
* Successful REF Save: dramatic miss with no special effect.
* Failed REF Save: provoke an attack of opportunity from the foe the fumble was scored against.
* Fumbled REF Save: attacker hits self, or an adjacent ally, and provokes an attack of opportunity from all adjacent foes.
Class Defense Bonus & Armor as DR
The Class Defense Bonus rewards classes which are lightly armored making them much harder to hit. However when they are actually struck, they tend to be more seriously injured due to their lower hit points and lack of Armor DR. Heavily armored characters on the other hand, are hit much more frequently but suffer less from the injury due to higher HP and greater DR from their armors.
The defense bonus applies to Armor Class, and stacks with all other bonuses to AC, including the character’s shield bonus, dodge bonus, luck bonus, a Monk’s class bonus, the fighting defensively combat maneuver and so forth.
Like bonuses from Dodge, a class defense bonus improves a character’s AC against touch attacks, but not against flat footed AC.
Table: Defense Bonus by Class & Level
1. Use column A for cloth wearers (mage, sorcerer, etc)
2. Use column B for heavy armor types (fighter, paladin, and cavalier).
3. Use column C for medium armor (barbarian, monk, cleric, ranger, & druid).
4. Use column D for light armor (rogue, bard, etc)
|1st||+ 2||+ 3||+ 4||+ 6|
|2nd||+ 2||+ 3||+ 4||+ 6|
|3rd||+ 3||+ 4||+ 5||+ 7|
|4th||+ 3||+ 4||+ 5||+ 7|
|5th||+ 3||+ 4||+ 5||+ 7|
|6th||+ 4||+ 5||+ 6||+ 8|
|7th||+ 4||+ 5||+ 6||+ 8|
|8th||+ 4||+ 5||+ 6||+ 8|
|9th||+ 5||+ 6||+ 7||+ 9|
|10th||+ 5||+ 6||+ 7||+ 9|
|11th||+ 5||+ 6||+ 7||+ 9|
|12th||+ 6||+ 7||+ 8||+ 10|
|13th||+ 6||+ 7||+ 8||+ 10|
|14th||+ 6||+ 7||+ 8||+ 10|
|15th||+ 7||+ 8||+ 9||+ 11|
|16th||+ 7||+ 8||+ 9||+ 11|
|17th||+ 7||+ 8||+ 9||+ 11|
|18th||+ 8||+ 9||+ 10||+ 12|
|19th||+ 8||+ 9||+ 10||+ 12|
|20th||+ 8||+ 9||+ 10||+ 12|
UNDERSTANDING THE CHART:
Category A) Cloth Armor users, have the worse category as they are simply bad at physical combat.
Category B) Heavy Armor users, rely on their Armor DR and higher HP to mitigate injury. These classes are less worried about avoiding the hit, and more capable of simply surviving it.
Category C) Medium Armor users, and those who tend to be “light / fast warrior” types like the barbarian, ranger, & monk.
Category D) Light Armor users, for those who have lower HP and exclusively use light armors. These classes are the opposite of warriors in that they rely on their ability not to get hit at all.
Armor categories are changed by any archetypes, feats or multi-classing which grant access to heavier armor proficiency as it reflects the trade off the character is choosing to make between harder to hit and resisting more damage. For classes whose Armor Type changes as they level (such as the Magus) adjust their chart at the appropriate levels to reflect their heavier armor classification.
THE MULTICLASS DEFENSIVE BONUS
For a multiclass character, the bonuses across different armor categories are tracked separately depending on what is currently being worn. For example, Bob the 2nd Level Fighter gains a level of rogue (becoming a 2nd-level Fighter/1st-level rogue), and is wearing studded leather. His defense bonus increases to + 6 to reflect his skills in the rogues 1st level fighting style. Should the character later don full plate armor his armor class would be + 4 due to his proficiency as a 2nd level fighter. But why would his AC go DOWN with the heavier armor? Because Bob just picked up 9 points of DR which is more than enough to protect him from most blows.
MONSTER DEFENSE BONUS
When calculating a monster’s defense bonus to AC divide their Natural Armor in half and allocate 1/2 to DR and 1/2 to AC as a bonus. Such as Natural Armor 10 would convert to Armor DR 5 / – and AC bonus of + 5. Treat their level as equal to their HD, and their armor type as one which is comparable to their armor rating. IE; DR 5 would be comparable to chainmail, DR 7+ would be heavy armor, etc.
If the creature possesses no Class Levels but is listed as wearing specific armor, treat them as having class proficiency with the armor listed and their HD as their level, unless their description indicates a Natural Armor bonus higher. In which case base AC / DR as noted above.
If a creature possess Class Levels, use their armor proficiency per normal to determine their Defensive Bonus.
Armor as DR
The value of armor being physically worn (or any natural armor) translates directly to Armor Damage Reduction. Enhancement bonuses to armor add directly to its Armor DR value for heavy armor, and AC for light armor. Medium is split 50/50 alternating between the two values of AC & DR.
Creatures with natural armor may not stack additional worn armors on top in order to create very high DR values. Armor DR does however stack with class features such as from a Barbarian or Fighter class abilities. Spells which grant DR need to be reviewed closely by the DM to avoid the creation of characters that can’t be harmed by anything. NOTE: within the low magic context of an LCM campaign this will be less of an issue than in standard Pathfinder campaigns.
How to overcome high DR values?
The following effects completely bypass Armor DR: Confirmed Critical Hits, Challenging Called Shots (Ultimate Combat), and a successful Bushwhacking attack. Likewise a Helpless Defender does not benefit from Armor DR nor Class Defense bonus, and a prone defender is reduced to 1/2 their normal Armor DR. Additionally the high DR character is still just as vulnerable to normal hazards such as being poisoned, set on fire, drowning, CMD attacks (grapple, bullrush, trip, etc).
The bushwhack rule applies only when a target is flat-footed, completely unaware of an attack against him, and the attacker has 3 rounds to quietly prepare a single attack. If the attack is successful it is considered to be an automatic critical hit, which bypasses Armor DR as per normal for a Critical Hit. Creatures immune to critical hits or sneak attacks are immune to bushwhack attacks.
NOTE: this attack can be used even at long range for tactical sniping from a rooftop, etc. If the attacker has a class ability for sneak attack or precision damage determine the attack normally and then apply sneak / precision damage. This damage is still applied at long range for sniping. Bushwhacking can be surprisingly deadly with snipers or hidden rogues, especially when combined with the rules for Massive Damage, and adds a tremendous amount of combat realism.
Range penalties for Bushwhacking are the same as for a ranged sneak attack attempt; double range penalty of the weapon, and additional – 2 if outside of the 30ft “point blank range”.
Called Shots may be used as part of a Bushwhacking attempt. If successful the Called Shot Bushwhack attack is preformed as a full round action (instead of requiring 3 rounds of concentration). Such a called shot is always considered “challenging” and is resolved against the targets flat footed AC + any Armor DR + 10 for the attack roll.
When used in combat, a full round Called Shot may be attempted to surpass a targets Armor DR / – as a Challenging shot. This attack roll is resolve against the targets normal AC + Armor DR + 10.
Magic effects like True Strike can be used normally with Called Shots.
Range penalties for Called Shots are the same as for a Bushwhacking attempt (double range penalty, and additional – 2 if outside of the 30ft “point blank range”).
Called shots are always full round actions, as such called shot feats are modified as noted:
Improved Called Shot: Normal, + 2 to attack roll
Greater Called Shot: adds + 4 to the attack roll, and + 2 towards any critical confirmation
NOTE: precision damage such as vital strike and rogue sneak attack damage are allowed with called shots, as these still reflect a well placed shot and thus stays with the concept of the called shot.
Bows & Crossbows
The treatment of Bows and Crossbows is one area where the LCM definitely diverges from the canon D20 PF rules. Essentially the Crossbow under the LCM becomes an extremely accurate short range weapon with bad reload times a high damage and high critical hit damage. Bows on the other hand have a comparatively longer range, faster rate of fire and a critically hit more often. Several of the feats have been redefined to apply to only one or the other type of weapon to better illustrate them filling the aforementioned roles.
Armor DR / – is more effect vs bows than Xbows due to higher single point damage vs multiple shots over time.
The “repeating” quality and the “Mighty” qualities are now aspects of crossbow masterwork weaponry and thus do not require an Exotic weapon proficiency.
Mounting a scope (crossbow only – cost: 150 gold) allow you to fire within the first 3 increments with no penalty and 2 range increments less for anything greater. When using with ranged sneak attack the first 2 RI have no penalty, next 3 have penalties reduced to a – 2 and beyond that are treated as normal. Scopes allow Range Increments out to 12.
Arcing shots (Bow) allows an archer to extend their range out to 15 range increments, however at that range it is only possible to hit a square vs an individual target. At this range 11 – 15 squares, critical shots only happen on an unmodified roll of a 20 as it is random luck at that point.
Deadly Aim (Bow & Crossbow) when applied to a heavy crossbow acts like Power Attack w/ large weapon.
Vital Strike (Crossbow)
Martial – L. Bow @ 120 range – 1D8 / 19-20 / x2 / 40 gold
Simple – Short Bow @ 90 Range 1d6 / 19-20 / x2 / 25 gold
Recommended Feats: Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot
Simple – H. XBow @ 100 range – 1d10 / 20 / x3 / 100 gold (Repeating: Martial 400 gold)
All heavy Crossbows are equipped with a bipod, and can mount a scope.
Simple – Light Xbow @ 60 range – 1d8 / 20 / x3 / 65 gold (Repeating: Martial 250 gold)
Recommended Feats: Rapid Reload, Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot (*Rapid Shot not being allowed for H. XBow due to the specific reloading time requirements. Repeating Crossbows allow for rapid shot, as would a Light XBow w/ Rapid Reload as a Prereq.)
Repeating XBow (MW) as Martial / Extended Mag = 8 + 1 bolts
Repeating XBow – Rapid reload to move action. Repeating with Rapid Reload allow for full attacks per round, this now replaces Crossbow Mastery.
Crossbow Mastery – requires repeating crossbow, move action to reload
So a mithril or darkwood crossbow that has extra hardness (assuming less flex) is possible unlike a mitheril or darkwood bow.
Loaded Xbow = + 4 initiative for the first round of combat
Prone XBow = bonus to AC, REF Save, & Stealth
Guns: Enormously loud (especially in small indoor areas like dungeons), and cost prohibitive compared to most bows / xbows
Vital Strike: rewritten to simply double the base (dice) damage. Imp VS, Grtr VS, continues in the same vein.
Spellstrike + Crossbow (Bard / Magus)
Mighty CrossBow 1-5 for + 100 gold per tier (places it on par with the composite longbow)
This would be a form of MW upgrade.
Rapid Shot – Bow only
Vital Shot – CrossBow only
Crossbow Mastery – Banned
Shields – overhauled!
What follows is a rework of the typical D20 pathfinder shield using the current stats as a base line, and historical records for size, weight, etc. The objective is to re-envision shields to allow them to be more useful than the typical + 1 AC (and the loss of the off hand for more powerful swings).
+ 1 Light Shield – mostly wooden – weight about 8 lbs – cost: 3 gold – arcane spell failure: 5%. This is the only shield which may be used with Acrobatics to augment the Total Defense combat maneuver.
+ 2 Medium Shield – typically wood / metal reinforcements – weight about 15 lbs – cost: 12 gold – arcane spell failure: 10%
+ 3 Heavy Shield – layered wood & leather with metal cover – Example Spartan hoplon / aspis 36 – 40" diameter – weight about 25 lbs – cost: 20 gold – arcane spell failure: 15%
+ 4 Tower – These are huge! – mostly used on open battle fields – offers Cover – mostly wood with metal cover – 3′ × 4 1/2’ – weight about 45 lbs – cost: 30 gold – arcane spell failure: 50%
Additional augmentations could be used with these shields such as making them from a lighter wood (Darkwood) or a lighter metal (mithril), alternately adding reinforced metal bands would add both weight and additional durability.
NOTE: shields take an enormous beating and should frequently be repaired or replaced, especially true of wooden shields.
Shields can be sacrificed to counter a critical hit. This option can be used once for each weight category for the shield, once it reaches the maximum crits absorbed wooden shields are destroyed and metals ones are considered broken and too damaged to use as a shield until repaired. A reinforced shield adds + 25% weight, and 50 gold to its cost, and adds one additional crit absorption (adds 2 additional crits for heavy and tower shields).
Note: if a light shield is sacrificed this way it does NOT stop the attack, but simply cancels the fact that was a critical, resolve the attack normally. This tactic is best used against a larger weapon whose critical hits can be deadly.
Total Defense (or Total Defense Expert) Combat Manuever and the benefits from Combat Expertise stack under the LCM Ruleset. When used with the Total Defense combat maneuver the AC bonus for shields doubles.
Multiple Attackers and Flanking
A defending creature gains a cumulative – 2 penalty to AC for each enemy, beyond the first, that currently threatens it in melee combat. Foes must be on different facings to grant the flanking condition, such as in front and to the right (vs the traditional D20 RAW ruling of being on opposite sides). Once the status of “flanked” has been achieved the defender is considered flanked from all attacks (such as a ranged attack by a rogue).
NOTE: The nature of flanking is such that the defender is taking damage from multiple angles which makes it much harder to defend against. This is an ancient tactic which is still used today by modern militaries and can even be seen in nature (wolf pack tactics).
Touch Attacks Melee and Ranged Touch attacks gain a +6 bonus to hit on the attack roll.
Simplified Action Economy
The Types of Actions have been simplified to the following 4 types: Standard Action (includes Iterative attacks from high BAB), Move Action, Double Move, and Free Actions. Typically 1 free action, 1 standard action and 1 move action, are allowed per round w/ a few exceptions such as Combat Reflexes. Double moves are considered to be a standard action + a move action (IE; moving twice). For conversion purposes: Swift Actions, Free Actions, Immediate Actions, etc are all now classified as a "Free Action". NOTE: This rule puts melee combatants on a more even footing when compared to a full BAB archer, or spell-caster for action economy.
Characters which receive multiple attacks from high BAB do NOT suffer a penalty to attack rolls (unless they are using the Two Weapon Fighting Style). IE: at BAB + 6 a character would simply get a second attack with a + 6 bonus on the first attack, and a + 6 bonus on the second attack.
Massive Damage Threshold (MDT) and Results
Massive Damage Threshold (MDT): 1/2 Con Score + (LvL x 2)
Fort Save vs MDT: Fort Save DC 15 + 1 / 3 pts dam taken. Success results in a Serious Injury but a Fort Save Failure = unconscious and Bleeding Out at -1 HP, regardless of total HP possessed before failing the save.
A character who has taken damage equal to their MDT (but successfully made their Fort save) has suffered a Serious Injury, and will lose one Hit Point every round (or every minute if out of combat) due to bleeding until they receive a minimal of First Aid care.
Toughness, Endurance and Die Hard feats modify the Massive Damage Threshold (MDT) and Massive Damage Fort Save by +2 for each feat taken (see skills and feats). Barbarian Rage increases the MDT while raging (due to increased Con with Rage).