PDA

View Full Version : 3.5 Just the Basics: Seeking Constructive Criticism on First Time Homebrew



lucky9
2013-12-28, 04:12 AM
So after a long and deep lurk I've decided to return, seeking the Playground's input on my house rules. While I typically use quite a lot of variants in my game this is my first attempt at actually writing out a coherent list of house rules. For the most part my player's enjoy this system but I'd like to get your impressions. What to improve, what to remove, what to implement? So without further ado:

Races, classes, and creatures receive all the traits outlined in the Playerís Handbook and/or Monster Manual unless specifically indicated. All rules are normal except as follows:
Races
Races no longer have a limited selection of bonus languages; anyone can learn any language, other than secret languages. Races no longer have a favored class, further details ahead.
Elves
Elves, including all subspecies with a base land speed of 30ft., instead have a base land speed of 35ft. They also receive the Two-Weapon Fighting feat automatically, provided they meet the prerequisite Dexterity at level 1, and they belong to a subspecies that receives a +2 bonus to Dexterity. They are not automatically proficient with rapiers or shortbows, including composite shortbows.
Gnomes
Gnomes receive a +2 bonus to Intelligence and a -2 penalty to Wisdom, not +2 to Constitution and -2 to Strength. Gnomesí innate spells are Intelligence based, not Charisma.
Half-Dwarves
Half-Dwarves are medium-sized creatures. Their base land speed is 30ft. even when wearing medium, but not heavy, armor or when carrying a medium load. They receive a bonus feat at level 1. Half-Dwarves consider dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgoshes to be martial weapons, rather than exotic. They receive a +2 bonus on checks made to resist being tripped or bull rushed when standing firmly on the ground. They also receive a +1 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells and spell-like effects. They receive the Dwarven Blood racial feature. For all effects related to race, Half-Dwarves are considered Dwarves. Their automatic languages are Common and Dwarven. Half-Dwarves have approximately the same lifespan as Halflings, and are approximately the same height and weight as Half-Elves. Demographically they replace the Half-Orc race.
Half-Elves
Half-Elves receive a bonus feat at level 1. They receive automatic proficiency with longswords and longbows, including composite longbows and a +1 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells or effects, not +2. They do not receive a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy or Gather Information checks.
Halflings
Halflings are treated as if wearing shoes even when barefoot.
Half-Orcs
No Half-Orc race.
Humans
Humans receive a +2 bonus to an ability score of their choice at level 1.
Classes

Dual and Multi-Classing
As races no longer have favored classes, any character who wishes to take levels in a second class may not advance any further in their previous class. If a character wishes to advance in two classes simultaneously, the gestalt rule variant as outlined in Unearthed Arcana shall be in effect. Such characters will receive a 40% experience penalty. Characters may choose to stop progressing in one or both of their two gestalt classes, begin a new gestalt class at any level up, or continue progression in one class while in a gestalt with various other classes. However only two classes may ever be in a gestalt at once, abandoned classes may not advance any further levels, and gestalt characters receive a 40% experience penalty for as long as they are progressing in two classes at once.

For example: A character begins play as a Thief and advances to level 2. He then wishes to switch classes to Fighter. He becomes a level 2 Thief/ level 1 Fighter and may never become a level 3 Thief. At the next level up the character wishes to continue advancing as a Fighter but also wants Mage levels. Therefore, he begins to advance, with a 40% experience penalty, as a gestalt Fighter/Mage and become a level 2 Thief/ level 2 Fighter/ level 1 Mage. The character advances to level 2 Thief/ level 4 Fighter/ level 3 Mage and then wishes to take Cleric levels and so he starts a Mage/Cleric gestalt. He may therefore never become a level 5 Fighter and continues to advance as a Mage/Cleric. Once the character becomes a level 2 Thief/ level 4 Fighter/ level 5 Mage/ level 4 Cleric he decides to advance simply as a Cleric, abandoning the Mage class. The 40% experience penalty is lifted, the character may never become a level 6 Mage, and becomes a level 2 Thief/ level 4 Fighter/ level 5 Mage/ level 5 Cleric.

As per the rules for gestalt characters outlined in Unearthed Arcana: Characters may not advance in two prestige classes at once. They may however advance in a gestalt prestige/ full class, with the 40% experience penalty.
Spontaneous Divine Casting
The spontaneous divine casters rule variant as outlined in Unearthed Arcana shall be in effect. Divine casters may choose between prepared or spontaneous casting.
Barbarians
Barbarians no longer receive the illiteracy class feature at level 1.
Bards
Bards do not cast spells spontaneously, as a Sorcerer, but must prepare spells as a Mage with a spellbook. A Bard must study his spellbook each day to prepare spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook including Read Magic. Bardsí spells are Intelligence based, not Charisma. They may learn and cast any spells available to Mages and Sorcerers, except Mage only spells, within their level restrictions. In the case of spells appearing on both spell lists, go with the lower level. A Bard begins play with all 0-level Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer spells in his spellbook. At each new Bard level, he gains an additional spell of any level he can cast for his spellbook. At any time, a Bard may also add spells from scrolls and other spellbooks to his own; just as a Mage but it takes him a number of hours equal to the spell level plus two, not plus one. Disregard the Bard Spells Known chart in the Playerís Handbook. Bards do not qualify for any effect related to spontaneous casting such as feats, prestige classes, magic items, etc. They do however qualify for effects relating to prepared arcane casting, provided they meet all other prerequisites. Bards may not specialize in a school of magic. A gestalt Bard/Mage only receives the spells per day progression of the Mage and may only learn two spells at level up, not three as may be expected. Bards may take the Silent Spell feat. They receive the Summon Familiar class feature at level 2. The familiar functions the same as a Mageís or Sorcererís familiar. The following spells are no longer on the Bard Spells list, and thus cannot be learned by Bards, Mages, or Sorcerers: Resistance, Cure Light Wounds, Undetectable Alignment, Animal Messenger, Animal Trance, Calm Emotions, Cure Moderate Wounds, Delay Poison, Enthrall, Cure Serious Wounds, Speak with Animals, Cure Critical Wounds, Freedom of Movement, Neutralize Poison, Repel Vermin, Speak with Plants, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Animate Objects, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Heroes Feast.
Clerics
Clerics may opt to use the planar banishment rule variant as outlined in Unearthed Arcana.
Druids
Druids must be True Neutral, failure to act upon this alignment results in them becoming ex-druids.
Fighters
Fighters receive a bonus feat every level, not every second.
Mages
Mages who have at least one level in a class that grants heavy armor proficiency may cast free of failure chance when wearing light armor. They may learn and cast any spells available to Bards within their level restrictions. Specialist Mages receive Spell Focus in their chosen school as a bonus feat.
Monks
Monks receive the good base attack bonus. Their armor class bonus is equal to their Monk level, when unarmoured. They add their Wisdom modifier, to a minimum of 0, to attack and damage with unarmed strikes. Monks receive Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at level 1. They may choose each round whether to add their Strength or Dexterity modifier to attack and damage rolls when using unarmed strikes or special Monk melee weapons. Their slow fall ability prevents all falling damage from level 4, when within armsí reach of a wall. They receive the empty body class feature at level 12, not level 19. Monks may use their quivering palm attack once per day, not once per week.
Paladins
Paladins must worship a Lawful Good deity. They receive as bonus feats: Mounted Combat at level 7, Ride-by-Attack at level 11, and Spirited Charge at level 16. A Paladinís mount never returns to the Celestial Realm unless it dies; it regains health and vitality by resting. Paladins also receive the good base Will save bonus.
Rangers
Rangers may switch between combat styles as they advance through them, but always start at the first feat for that style. For example: A Ranger selects archery at level 2 and receives the Rapid Shot feat. The Ranger then selects two-weapon combat at level 6 and receives the Two-Weapon Fighting feat. At level 11, the Ranger decides to go back to archery and receives the Manyshot feat.
Sorcerers
Sorcerers who have at least one level in a class that grants heavy armor proficiency may cast free of failure chance when wearing light armor. They may learn and cast any spells available to Bards within their level restrictions. Sorcerers may choose to consume a higher level spell slot in order to cast lower level spells more often each day. A spell slot of any given level is equal to two slots of the previous level. For example: A level 14 Sorcerer may choose to consume one of his level 7 spell slots in order to cast two additional level 6 spells that day, or four additional level 5 spells, and so on. Additionally, at level 10, they may use the ability granted by the Heighten Spell feat, but they do not gain the feat itself, see ahead. They may only manipulate their Sorcerer spell slots in these ways. Sorcerers may not use these class features with spell slots added by prestige classes that grant bonus levels of existing spell casting classes. At level 20 they also gain the ability to cast metamagic spells in a spell slot of one level lower than would normally be the case.
Theives
Thievesí sneak attack progression begins at level 2, not level 1. Their trap sense progression begins at level 1 and ends at level 20.
Commoners
Commoners receive the illiteracy class feature at level 1.
Feats

The feats that grant a one time +2/+2 bonus to skill checks instead grant a +1/+1 bonus every three levels. This bonus to skill checks is also received retroactively for previous levels.
Blind Fight allows the character to completely ignore the miss chance granted by concealment. It has a prerequisite of Wisdom 13.
Combat Casting grants its +4 bonus to all Concentration checks that involve spell casting, not just when casting defensively.
Every character with an Intelligence of 13 or higher may use the ability granted by Combat Expertise as a special attack. It is no longer a feat.
Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Whirlwind Attack no longer have Combat Expertise as a prerequisite.
No Dodge feat.
Whirlwind Attack, Mobility, Spring Attack, and Shot on the Run no longer have Dodge as a prerequisite.
No Diehard feat, further details ahead.
No Eschew Materials feat, further details ahead.
Exotic Weapon Proficiency grants proficiency with all weapons of a certain type, not just a single weapon. I.e. one-handed bludgeoning or ranged piercing.
Great Fortitude, Iron Will, and Lightning Reflexes grant a +1 bonus to saving throws every third level, not a one time +2 bonus. This bonus to saving throws is also received retroactively for previous levels.
Improved Turning grants +2 levels on turning checks, not +1.
No Point Blank Shot feat.
Far Shot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and Shot on the Run no longer have Point Blank Shot as a prerequisite.
Every character with a Strength of 13 or higher may use the ability granted by Power Attack as a special attack. It is no longer a feat.
No Cleave feat.
Great Cleave no longer has Power Attack or Cleave as prerequisites. It is called Cleave.
Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, and Improved Sunder no longer have Power Attack as a prerequisite.
Skill Focus grants a +5 bonus to skill checks, not +3. This effect stacks with the +1/+1 bonus to skill checks granted by other feats.
Spell Focus grants +2 bonus on save checks in a school of magic, not +1.
Greater Spell Focus grants a +2 bonus on save checks in a school of magic, not +1.
Toughness grants +1 hit point every level, not a one time +3 bonus. These bonus hit points are also received retroactively for previous levels. This feat may no longer be taken multiple times.
Two Weapon Defense grants a +2 shield bonus to armor class, not +1.
Weapon Finesse allows the character to add their Dexterity modifier, not Strength, to damage rolls with light weapons, as well as to attack rolls.
Weapon Focus grants a +1 bonus to attack rolls with the selected weapon every three levels, not a one time +1 bonus.
Weapon Specialization grants a +1 bonus to damage rolls with the selected weapon every other level, not a one time +2 bonus.
Greater Weapon Focus grants a +1 bonus to attack rolls with the selected weapon every other level, not a one time +1 bonus. This retroactively replaces the bonus granted by Weapon Focus.
Greater Weapon Specialization grants a +1 bonus to damage rolls with the selected weapon every level, not a one time +2 bonus. This replaces the bonus granted by Weapon Specialization but is not retroactive.
No Heighten Spell feat.

General Rules

Upon character creation players may roll 18d6 and divide the total into the six abilities. When distributing these points no ability score may be less than 5 or greater than 18. Point distribution is done before adding racial modifiers. As normal, if the sum of a characterís ability modifiers is 0 or lower, or if their highest score is 13 or lower, they may reroll.
The automatic hits and misses rule variant as outlined in the Dungeons Masterís Guide shall be in effect. However, the variant applies to all dice checks not just attack rolls.
Nothing can ever cause a character to lose experience points. Any effect with an experience point cost, such as a spell or item creation, instead costs the character 5gp per experience point that would normally have been lost. Characters that die and are brought back to life do not lose a level of experience. They instead receive a permanent -2 penalty to Constitution as would normally be applied to a level 1 character that died and was raised. This penalty is incurred each time the character is raised by an effect that would normally have resulted in a lost level of experience. Characters may however still be level drained and receive negative levels.
Characters die if they reach 0 hit points. There is therefore no need for the Diehard feat.
The sized based massive damage rule variant as outlined in the Dungeon Masterís Guide, and the hit dice based massive damage threshold rule variant as outlined in Unearthed Arcana shall both be in effect. Therefore, a medium creatureís massive damage threshold is equal to 25+2 per hit die, whereas a small creatureís threshold is 15+ 2 per hit die.
Creatures may move into and share spaces occupied by another creature two or more size categories larger or smaller than them, not three. Monsters with the Snatch feat may grab creatures two or more size categories smaller than them, not three.
Listen and Spot skills take a -2 penalty at each new age category that a character reaches.
Skill synergies grant a +1 bonus to other skill checks for every five ranks in the skill that grants a synergy, not a one time +2 bonus.

Magic and Spells

It shall be assumed that spellcasters have all the necessary spell components costing up to 5gp on hand, including divine focuses. There is therefore no need for the Eschew Materials feat.
When casting a spell a character must use their flat-footed armor class, they may not cast defensively, and they do not threaten adjacent squares until the casting time has ended.
No casting defensively rule.
Spells with somatic components require that the caster have both hands free; they may not wield a weapon, hold a buckler, etc. in either hand.

Protection from Normal Missiles
Protection from Normal Missiles: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 3, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time one standard action, range personal, duration 5 rounds. This spell grants complete immunity to all non-magical projectile weapons of up to large size.
Stoneskin
Stoneskin: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 4, abjuration, verbal component, casting time one swift action, range personal, duration 12 hours. This spell grants complete immunity to a number of successful physical blows equal to the caster level times two, up to a maximum of ten blows, regardless of damage. While this spell may prevent tremendous amounts of damage, such as a boulder falling on the caster, the caster would still suffer the other repercussions of the blow, such as being pinned under said boulder. Furthermore, because the spell does not discriminate against the amount of damage dealt by incoming blows, it may be easily consumed by several small blows, such as an enemy throwing a handful of pebbles. This spell replaces the Stoneskin spell in the Playerís Handbook.
Breach
Breach: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 5, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time 1 full round action, range 25ft. + 5ft./level, duration instantaneous, no save, no spell resistance. This spell instantly dispels all magical protections, but not buffs, created by spells of up to level 6 currently in effect on a single target.
Lower Resistance
Lower Resistance: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 5, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time one full round action, range 100ft. +10ft./level, duration 1 round/caster level, no save, no spell resistance. This spell immediately lowers the Spell Resistance of a single target by 10% +1%/ caster level.
Protection from Normal Weapons
Protection from Normal Weapons: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 5, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time one full round action, range personal, duration 1 round/level. This spell grants complete immunity to all non-magical melee weapons of up to large size.
Protection from Magical Weapons
Protection from Magical Weapons: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 6, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time one standard action, range personal, duration 4 rounds. This spell grants complete immunity to all magical melee and projectile weapons of up to large size.
Pierce Magic
Pierce Magic: Bard/ Mage/ Sorcerer 6, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time one full round action, range 25ft. +5ft./level, duration instantaneous, no save, no spell resistance. This spell instantly dispels the single highest level protection spell, but not a buff spell, up to level 9 currently in effect on a single target.
Spell Trap
Spell Trap: Mage/ Sorcerer 9, abjuration, verbal and somatic components, casting time two full round actions, range personal, duration 24 hours. This spell will absorb the next 30 levels of spells targeted directly at the caster, but not spells with an area effect directed near the caster. It also absorbs friendly spells targeted directly at the caster, but not spells with a range of personal. It may be dispelled by Pierce Magic.
Monsters

Dragons
All True Dragons receive the Flyby Attack, Hover, and Wingover feats upon becoming young adults. The flight maneuverability column on every chart shall be reversed. Dragons become better flyers with age.
Drow
Drow may cast Levitate at will when underground. However, their version of the spell has a range of personal only and they may attack without becoming unstable. They may also cast Darkness and Faerie Fire at will, not once per day, both with a range of close. They may not cast Dancing Lights once per day. They receive low-light vision. Their automatic languages are Drow, Drow Sign Language, and Undercommon not Common, Elven, and Undercommon.
Liches
All Liches are able to cast arcane spells up to level 9. The spellcaster must be able to cast level 9 arcane spells before becoming a Lich. With every increase in hit dice after becoming a Lich, they gain a +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class. If they take levels in a prestige class that grants the same feature, the effects do not stack. Their challenge rating is 21, not 11.
Mind Flayers
Mind Flayers receive a +16 bonus to Intelligence not +2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, or +8 Intelligence.

Jallorn
2013-12-28, 04:57 AM
Going through the Races:
Elves are a bit stronger, but not too much, TWF isn't that good, except for Rogues, who already like the Dex boost, so lots more Elf Rogues.

(Side note: the increase to medium speed only is... not one I would have done. Leaves Small characters (and Dwarves) even slower, and makes bigger things not quite as much faster. It just feels unnecesary, speed isn't really something that needs to be changed.)

Changes to Gnomes feel like more of a character interpretation, sounds like you like the crazy inventor-type Gnomes. No real balance problems here, though.

Half-Dwarves are not too terribly distinct from Half-Elves given your changes to them (which I'll get to next) which makes the both of them rather boring (to be fair, I've found Half-Elves rather boring for a while now). Mechanically they're decent. They make pretty good fighters, between the bonus feat, which is always strong, and their ability to wear Medium armor without a speed drop (hello Mithril Full Plate). Their other traits are boring, but practical. All around a pretty solid race design actually, hitting a nice balance.

Half-Elves receive a much needed and appreciated power boost. That said, they're boring, much more so than the Half-Dwarves who have the speed modifier. I'd almost be more inclined to give them the skill bonus of humans instead of a feat and leave the racial bonus on saving throws at +2. They still need something more to compete with the Half-Dwarves who get a bonus to saves against all spells instead of just enchantments, and the skill boost is definitely weaker than a feat, but I like the Half-Dwarves as a balance point, so I don't want them trading their feat for skill points, so I'd rather see something added to the Half-Elves to bring them up to snuff.

I have nothing to say about Halflings. It is rarely relevant that the character is or is not barefoot, and this tweak is altogether something I care little to nothing about.

Mechanically there's nothing to say about the lack of Half-Orcs. As a setting choice, I also have to problems with it. It is too bad to lose the only core race with a Str boost, but then, it sounds like you use non-core sources as well, and there's enough out there, so not really an issue.

Humans are so completely superior to every other race though now. Not only do they have a bonus feat and an extra skill, but they get a net boost to the ability stats while everyone else is still playing a 0 sum game, and they get it wherever it is most useful. Wizard? Have some Int. Rogue? Have some Dex. Cleric? Have some Wis. I admit that I like the flexibility in this design, but unless the other races are getting a net boost as well, at least counter it with a -2 to another stat. Though if you allow them to customize the stat they penalize, well, that leaves us with a min-max problem, and doesn't really alleviate things too much.

That's all I really have time or energy for tonight.

lucky9
2013-12-30, 03:11 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Jallorn! It's very much appreciated.


(Side note: the increase to medium speed only is... not one I would have done. Leaves Small characters (and Dwarves) even slower, and makes bigger things not quite as much faster. It just feels unnecesary, speed isn't really something that needs to be changed.)

Mostly added for flavour. Elves are the 'quick' race and it's only 5ft. Still I see the point about leaving the little guys behind. Especially given some of my other changes.. Starting to rethink some things...


I'd almost be more inclined to give them the skill bonus of humans instead of a feat and leave the racial bonus on saving throws at +2. They still need something more to compete with the Half-Dwarves who get a bonus to saves against all spells instead of just enchantments, and the skill boost is definitely weaker than a feat, but I like the Half-Dwarves as a balance point, so I don't want them trading their feat for skill points, so I'd rather see something added to the Half-Elves to bring them up to snuff.

As far as the +1 instead of 2: I figured their complete immunity to a certain effect, and low-light vision would be balance enough. Seeing as how the Half-Dwarf gets a saving throw boost but no immunities, and is blind as a Human. Not enough in your opinion?


I have nothing to say about Halflings. It is rarely relevant that the character is or is not barefoot, and this tweak is altogether something I care little to nothing about.

Purely flavour addition.


Humans are so completely superior to every other race though now. Not only do they have a bonus feat and an extra skill, but they get a net boost to the ability stats while everyone else is still playing a 0 sum game, and they get it wherever it is most useful. Wizard? Have some Int. Rogue? Have some Dex. Cleric? Have some Wis. I admit that I like the flexibility in this design, but unless the other races are getting a net boost as well, at least counter it with a -2 to another stat. Though if you allow them to customize the stat they penalize, well, that leaves us with a min-max problem, and doesn't really alleviate things too much.

As you can probably guess, my thinking here was that giving another core race a bonus feat would make the Humans entirely irrelevant. Is there any way to save them without something so huge as a free ability boost while still keeping the versatility? That is to say: another 'choice' race feature and not a flat +2 to such and such? Or would you say that they don't need saving?

Again thanks for the help.:smallwink:

nonsi
2013-12-30, 09:42 AM
Characters die if they reach 0 hit points.

This is terrible on so many levels.

Passive Pete
2013-12-30, 12:19 PM
If I can rephrase Nonsi's esteemed comment, which I feel needs to be done. . .

So, if they die at 0 hit points, how is one knocked unconscious? 3 hit points? 5 hit points? That doesn't seem right. That would make the average 1st level wizard permanently unconscious. :smallconfused: 0 hit points is the needed barrier in between life and death, not just death. There's a reason 0 hit points isn't the death point.

Ziegander
2013-12-30, 02:48 PM
I've long thought that negative hit points is a silly sacred cow that is entirely unnecessary for any reason. That being said, players do, I feel, need some mechanism through which they characters, in-game, can clear away the abstraction of hit points and realize, "crap, I'm dying over here."

A Bloodied condition would work well here, I think. Give everyone +10 hit points, utilize a Bloodied condition at or below 50% HP (with some meaningful repercussions) and you're fine.

How is one knocked unconscious? Fall to 0 hit points because of nonlethal damage. Fail your save against something that causes you to fall unconscious, such as massive fatigue or whathaveyou. Or how about this as an alternative?

Hit Points, Damage, and Dying
A creature is Bloodied when the total lethal damage dealt to it meets or exceeds 50% of its maximum hit points. Until a creature becomes Bloodied, at least half of all damage dealt to it is considered non-lethal damage (some effects deal only non-lethal damage). Aside from effects that specifically deal non-lethal damage, damage dealt to a Bloodied creature is always lethal damage.

Every minute a creature is not Bloodied, it regains 1 hit point from non-lethal damage. Every minute for a Bloodied creature 1 point of nonlethal damage it has suffered is converted to lethal damage.

When a creature falls to 0 hit points, if any of the damage dealt to it has been non-lethal, the creature is merely unconscious. If all damage dealt to such a creature is lethal damage, the creature is dead. An unconscious creature that is at 0 hit points is still considered Bloodied and will eventually die when all of its non-lethal damage is converted to lethal damage. When a creature at 0 hit points is dealt lethal damage, instead convert that amount of non-lethal damage it has suffered into lethal damage.

Xefas
2013-12-30, 02:57 PM
Gnomes receive a +2 bonus to Intelligence and a -2 penalty to Wisdom, not +2 to Constitution and -2 to Strength.

My god, these are some ludicrously muscular gnomes*. To compare, if you brought them up to human size (Medium), they'd have a base Strength of 14 - on par with Orcs. I can't stop imagining gaggles of 'roided up Oompah Loompahs. It's kind of magnificent, really.

*Not a sentence I ever thought I'd have the opportunity to say.

lucky9
2013-12-30, 05:30 PM
So, if they die at 0 hit points, how is one knocked unconscious? 3 hit points? 5 hit points? That doesn't seem right. That would make the average 1st level wizard permanently unconscious.


How is one knocked unconscious? Fall to 0 hit points because of nonlethal damage. Fail your save against something that causes you to fall unconscious, such as massive fatigue or whathaveyou.
Exactly this.^


This is terrible on so many levels.

0 hit points is the needed barrier in between life and death, not just death. There's a reason 0 hit points isn't the death point.

Would you please enlighten me as to what that reason is? I personally never understood why anyone is allowed the chance to cling to life.


I've long thought that negative hit points is a silly sacred cow that is entirely unnecessary for any reason. That being said, players do, I feel, need some mechanism through which they characters, in-game, can clear away the abstraction of hit points and realize, "crap, I'm dying over here."
100% this.^

Yes my variant makes things difficult at low levels but you're the one who decided to make your fortune by trying to kill things twice your size with magical powers. You have to be lucky, clever, and/or down right cowardly but before long you'll be past the point of ever needing to think about the negative hit point system. The majority of the time, characters easily make it to a point where they rarely get below 10% health. This is especially true for those characters on whom this variant has the greatest impact: casters. They learn very quickly to hide behind the meat shield and use their spells to try to take down the enemies fast. Actually, it seems that it's usually just Thieves who die young. That makes a certain kind of sense to me. An unlucky, stupid, or foolhardy Thief, is a dead Thief.

All in all, I find it's just a tedious mechanic to have to keep track of, if and when it does come up.

nonsi
2013-12-31, 04:37 AM
Exactly this.^




Would you please enlighten me as to what that reason is? I personally never understood why anyone is allowed the chance to cling to life.


100% this.^

Yes my variant makes things difficult at low levels but you're the one who decided to make your fortune by trying to kill things twice your size with magical powers. You have to be lucky, clever, and/or down right cowardly but before long you'll be past the point of ever needing to think about the negative hit point system. The majority of the time, characters easily make it to a point where they rarely get below 10% health. This is especially true for those characters on whom this variant has the greatest impact: casters. They learn very quickly to hide behind the meat shield and use their spells to try to take down the enemies fast. Actually, it seems that it's usually just Thieves who die young. That makes a certain kind of sense to me. An unlucky, stupid, or foolhardy Thief, is a dead Thief.

All in all, I find it's just a tedious mechanic to have to keep track of, if and when it does come up.

Just one thing to say: IT'S A F**KING GAME!!! (I needed that :smallbiggrin:)

Now seriously:
1. HP are an abstraction - a simplification of endless details.
2. There's nothing sacred or right about keeping things only of the positive side of numeric values.
3. The game at low levels is gritty enough as it is. Don't make it even grittier.
4. Any neg-HP workaround will require extra bookkeeping and come at the expense of everyone's gametime without really accomplishing anything beyond satisfying the "ruler's" whim. One's whim is a bad reason for houseruling - because houserules are there to make the game more fun, not more cumbersome.