Optional rules I'm playing with, none of which has been implemented so don't freak out!

So this area is my “drawing board”. Here you’ll find things that I’m kicking around but have not decided on implementing at this time. Either because they would mean large changes to the mechanics of how things work or simply because I’m concerned they would only complicate the system further, etc. I’m open to feed back on any of these if you’d care to share.

~ Lazlo ~

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Class Defense Bonus

Advanced DungeonMaster’s Guide
by: Owen KC Stephens
Published by: Green Ronin Publishing LLC

Class Dodge Bonus
Each class gains a dodge bonus based on level. Just like other class-based numbers, a multiclass character adds his bonus from each class to gain his total dodge bonus. This system works well for GMs who want their players to simply get better at avoiding damage as they gain levels, thus having greater survivability even in plain clothes.

To prevent this system from being too unbalancing, a slight change is made to how dodge bonuses, Dexterity bonuses to AC, and armor interact. A character’s total dodge bonus is his dodge bonuses from all sources (dodge bonuses stack, unlike most bonus types), plus his Dexterity modifier. A suit of armor’s maximum Dexterity bonus is changed to its maximum dodge bonus. Thus, a character with a 14 Dexterity and a 3 dodge bonus is considered to have a total dodge bonus of +5 (2 Dex, 3 dodge). If wearing hide armor, however, he is limited by its maximum dodge bonus of +4, giving him an AC of 18 (4 armor, +4 dodge).

Numerous things change when you add class dodge bonuses. First and most obviously, characters become harder to hit in combat. Combats take longer, and ranged touch attacks are much harder to pull off.

Second, armor becomes less critical to character success. Lightly armored fighting concepts, such as swashbucklers and savages, become more survivable. Fights that occur when characters are unarmored (such as nighttime attacks and fights in prisons or gladiatorial arenas) are less deadly, as characters aren’t as penalized by a lack of armor. Since fewer characters will wear heavy armor, physical skill checks (those made with skills that suffer an armor check penalty) will be more easily made. Characters will generally be more mobile, with higher land speeds and better ability to make Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks.

Items providing an additional armor bonus without a higher maximum dodge bonus become more valuable as well. A ranger might be more interested in bracers of armor +6 than a wizard, and light armor with magic enhancements to AC become more useful than mundane armor with the same total AC bonus. A paladin with a high Dexterity is better off wearing a +3 breastplate than
masterwork full plate.

The chart below gives the dodge progression for every standard PC and NPC class, as well as classes found in Green Ronin’s Advanced Player’s Manual and the Master Class series. If using a class not listed here, give it the progression of the class with the closest concept or role.

For example, most classes dependent on their divine spellcasting abilities will have fair dodge progression, while warriors with heavy armor will have good and warriors proficient with only light or medium armor will have amazing dodge progression.

Remember a good dodge progression is as much about having the time to practice combat as it is about being nimble. Of course, every character wants to have as big a dodge bonus as possible, but fi ghters simply have more time to learn to avoid weapon blows than clerics. Rogues, though less effective in a fair fight, are equally likely to learn avoidance from the school of hard knocks.

Barbarians and rangers not only fight on the front lines, they often do so without the benefit of heavy armor. Wizards also lack heavy armor, but do have defensive spells that both protect them and take up time needed to study and meditate.

Altering which progression a class gets is another way of changing the dynamics of a campaign. The assigned progressions are designed to change the roles each class
plays as little as possible — fighters are still front-line combatants and bards are less likely to get into close combat than rogues. If you want to run a game with fewer front-line fighters or with a preponderance of arcane spellcasters, give better progressions to those classes you want to see more of. You could also design a new core class or a prestige class that grants a class dodge bonus even if other classes don’t. This should always be a good progression at best, as good and amazing progressions are too unbalancing in a game with only a few classes gaining them.

Dodge Progressions By Class
Progression Class
Amazing Barbarian, duelist, ranger

Good assassin, blackguard, cavalier, fighter, holy/unholy warrior, monk, paladin, rogue, scout

Fair Aristocrat, Arcane archer, bard, druid, dwarven defender, cleric, eldritch
knight, expert,

Poor Adept, arcane trickster, archmage, commoner, loremaster, mystic
theurge, sorcerer, wizard

The same dodge bonuses should be given to NPCs as well. Those with class levels figure their dodge bonus just like PCs. Characters with multiple HD gain a dodge bonus based on their type, as noted below. Creature types that frequently wear armor (humanoids, giants, monstrous humanoids, and outsiders) have the same restrictions as PCs — limiting their maximum dodge bonus by armor
type. Other creature types (aberrations, animals, constructs, dragons, elementals, fey, magical beasts, oozes, plants, undead, and vermin) are often balanced with natural armor. Th ese types may not gain a dodge bonus greater than their Dexterity modifi er before bonuses and/or
penalties. Thus, a dire wolf, with a +2 Dexterity bonus, cannot gain more than a +2 dodge bonus from its Hit Dice, no matter how many Hit Dice it has.

Dodge Progressions By Creature Type
Creature Type Dodge Progression

Amazing
Dragons, magical beasts,outsiders

Good
Aberrations, constructs,elementals, giants,monstrous humanoids

Fair
Animals, humanoids,oozes, plants, vermin

Poor
Fey, undead

Table 2-1: Class Dodge Bonuses by Progression

Level/HD Amazing Good Fair Poor
1st +0 +0 +0 +0
2nd +1 +0 +0 +0
3rd +1 +1 +0 +0
4th +2 +1 +1 +0
5th +2 +1 +1 +1
6th +2 +2 +1 +1
7th +3 +2 +2 +1
8th +3 +2 +2 +1
9th +4 +3 +2 +2
10th +4 +3 +2 +2
11th +4 +3 +3 +2
12th +5 +4 +3 +2
13th +5 +4 +3 +3

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Bushwhacking Rules / Coup de Grace

current status – Implemented
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Signature Spells

current status – rejected as unbalancing
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Combat / Magic

This is one area I’ve given alot of thought.

AC / To hit / damage / DR:

1) take the average value of any weapon dice (IE: a D12 = 6, D4 = 2, etc)
2) add all your damage bonuses normally & divide by 1/2.

This becomes your “base damage value” or BDV.

3) Roll your D20 and see if you hit the AC value.
4) For every point over the AC (up to your max wpn dmg -MxWD + Full bonuses) you deal 1 additional point of damage. EX: AC 10, you roll a 15 with a BaB of 3 + 5 Str (16 Str w/ 2 handed grip) = you would deal BDV + 3 damage.

In the event of a missed AC.

5) For every point that you miss the AC, minus 1 pt of damage (to a Minimum WPN Damage based and assumed die roll of 1 + bonuses). EX AC 10 you roll a 7 = BDV -3.

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For Spells:

At first glance this may work well for spells as well. BDV is of course based on the damage of the spell + your SpellCraft check (up to a max of your level) or a Caster Level Check (which ever mechanic works easier for you). This becomes the DC, which is resisted with a normal save in order to mitigate some of the damage. This actually allows for an easy address of one of the long standing problems with the D&D spell system: Low level spells do NOT scale well. A level 40 caster will still only hit just as hard with a Magic Missle as a level 9 mage. Of course with spells like Magic Missle, i’d simply rule that BDV is based off the total damage of the spell. While the top end tier will likely not be quite as high with spells like Fire ball and meteor swarm, the fact that your saving throws are not “all or nothing” in regards to save or fail (or even save = 1/2 value), this will likely still result in damage that is very comparible. (For spells that do not deal direct damage like Charm or Hold Person simply resolve them normally.)

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Critical Hits:

So then what about crits? If you roll within your threat range, simply reroll the dice and ADD it to the original value. This should happen about as often as a regular crit now, and when you compare it to the odd 36 pts that a Great Axe can deliver currently (plus feats, magic and STR bonuses) the damage output should be comparible. Granted this will make crit more common however as confirmation is basically assumed. Large weapons which only crit on a Nat 20 but have a X3 “Crunch” Crit simply loose the x3 and the threat becomes a 19 – 20. The pay off for a large weapon is of course in that the base dice for such weapons tend to be larger.

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Spell Point System

current status – rejected due to unnecessary additional complexity
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Exotic Weapons
I’ve based my concept on Exotic & Master Work weapons by comparing the Dwarven War Axe to the Battle Axe & the Bastard Sword to the Long Sword, and came up with the following:

  • Exotic Weapons increase the base dice by one step, this should result in a 2 damage range (1 damage on average). In some cases such as 2h wpns like the GreatSword and GreatAxe this will mean using two types of dice (1d6 + 1d8). The Exotic Weapon advances one size category unless used with the Exotic Weapon Feat (light becomes 1h, 1h becomes 2h), and if not used with the Feat incurs a -4 attack penalty.
  • +150gp Base Cost

Master Work

  • Crit or Threat Range may be advanced by +1 (to a max of 18-20 threat or x3 crit)
  • Must be constructed of at least Steel
  • +300gp Base Cost

Examples of Exotic / Masterwork Weapons

  • Bastard Sword
    Type: Exotic
    Base Weapon: Long Sword
    Cost: 165gp
    Stats: 1d10 – 19-20/x2
  • Dwarven War Axe
    Type: Exotic
    Base Weapon: Battle Axe
    Cost: 160gp
    Stats: 1d10 – 20/x3
  • Exotic Rapier
    Type: Exotic
    Base Weapon: Rapier
    Exotic Advancement: treated as a light weapon if used in the off hand.
    Cost: 160gp
    Stats: 1d6 18-20/x2
    NOTE: The Rapier is a Finesse weapon, unlike most Finesse weapons it may be used with Power Attack per core rules.
  • Elven War Blade (Katana)
    Type: Exotic, Masterwork
    Base Weapon: Long Sword (Bastard Sword)
    Exotic Damage Advancement: 1d10
    MasterWork Advancement: Threat Range to 18-20
    Cost: 350gp
    Stats: 1d10 – 18-20/x2
  • Elven Thin Blade
    Type: Exotic, Masterwork
    Base Weapon: Rapier
    Exotic Damage Advancement: 1d8
    MasterWork Advancement: Crit Advancement x3
    Cost: 465gp
    Stats: 1d8 – 18-20/x3
    NOTE: See exotic Rapier above, may not be used in a 2h grip.
  • Dwarven Broad Sword
    Type: Exotic, Masterwork
    Base Weapon: Long Sword
    Exotic Damage Advancement: 1d10
    MasterWork Advancement: Crit Advancement x3
    Cost: 465gp
    Stats: 1d10 19-20/x3
  • Kukri of the Red Mantis
    Type: Exotic, Masterwork
    Base Weapon: Kukri
    Exotic Damage Advancement: 1d6
    MasterWork Advancement: Crit Advancement x3
    Cost: 468gp
    Stats: 1d6 18-20/x3
    NOTE: This is a favored weapon of assassins. It is a finesse weapon, treated as light if used in the off hand, and is usable with power attack.
    (A must cheaper way to build a very similar weapon how ever is to simply use the Falcata. 18 gold gets you a medium weapon with 1d8 base damage, 19-20 threat, & x3 crit as medium sized exotic weapon which can be masterworked and enchanted as normal.)

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Damage Reduction from Armor
DR is based on the weight class of the armor. Light is DR1, Medium DR2, Heavy DR3, Full Plate DR4 NOTE: Some effects completely bypass the DR values of armor. Critical Hits, Magic, elemental attacks like fire, or smoke. Drowning, poison, disease, any attack which scores a Natural 20 and a spear which has been set vs charge. Like wise a Prone or Helpless Defender does not benefit from Armor DR.

Exotic

  • Base Cost: +30%
  • Improves value by 1 to each of the following: AC, Max Dex, reduces Armor check penalty.

MasterWork

  • Base Cost: +100%
  • Arcane Failure: Light -5%, Medium -10%, Heavy -15%
  • +5 Movement for Medium & Heavy Armor (Full Plate does NOT get this effect)

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shields
Exotic

  • Base Cost: + 200%
  • +1 AC per Weight Catagory

MasterWork

  • Base Cost: +500%
  • +1DR Light, +2DR Heavy, +3 DR Tower

Exotic Weapons
I’ve based my concept on Exotic & Master Work weapons by comparing the Dwarven War Axe to the Battle Axe & the Bastard Sword to the Long Sword, and came up with the following:

  • Exotic Weapons increase the base dice by one step, this should result in a 2 damage range (1 damage on average). In some cases such as 2h wpns like the GreatSword and GreatAxe this will mean using two types of dice (1d6 + 1d8). The Exotic Weapon advances one size category unless used with the Exotic Weapon Feat (light becomes 1h, 1h becomes 2h), and if not used with the Feat incurs a -4 attack penalty.
  • +150gp Base Cost

Master Work

  • Crit or Threat Range may be advanced by +1 (to a max of 18-20 threat or x3 crit)
  • Must be constructed of at least Steel
  • +300gp Base Cost

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Optional System on Mass Combat

  • Ambidexterity – requires feat: Two Weapon Fighting. Allows a player to reduce the 2wpn fighting penalties by -2 on both hands
  • Weapon Finesse: The use of DEX to determine you To Hit roll is already included with this rule set, as such Weapon Finesse now allows the DEX modifier to be used as a Damage modifier and is treated as Precise Damage. Normal restrictions for this Feat apply, such as the requirement that the weapon is small or light. Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes.

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Dexterity = to hit bonus, Weapon Finesse, Damage for Ranged Weapons, and Ranged Touch attacks.
Strength= melee dmg and thrown weapon damage

Current Status – implemented

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Armor

  • Armor and Shields may be enchanted to increase DR. This requires a prereq of AC bonus equal to the DR value. Meaning if you want a + 3 DR added to your shield, it has to be a +3 shield to qualify first.
  • Max Dex from Armor also applies vs Ref Saves. It is simply harder to dodge out of the way in heavier armors.

Shields

Light +2 AC / DR1
Heavy +3 AC / DR2
Tower +4 AC / +2 Ref (full cover) / DR3

Optional rules I'm playing with, none of which has been implemented so don't freak out!

Lazlo COS Pathfinder lazlo_campaign