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abcd_z
2015-02-07, 06:28 AM
I have trouble wrapping my head around standard D&D 3.5, but my friend insisted I run a Pathfinder game for him. So I cut out as much as I could from the system while keeping it interoperable with existing classes and equipment. So far I've run one game with the new rules and it worked out pretty well. The rules are the same as the SRD except for the following changes:

All skill checks and saving throws are replaced with the relevant attribute check. A spot check becomes a wisdom check, a reflex save becomes a dexterity check, etc.

Spellcasters may cast up to (5+spellcasting attribute mod) spells a day. No spell level may exceed half the caster's level, rounded up. Spellcasters don't have to memorize their spells ahead of time, and they can know as many spells as they want.

Instead of spending skill points, skills may either be trained or untrained. Trained skills get a +3 bonus to their roll. The number of trained skills a player may have is equal to the SRD listing for "skill points at each additional level".

Almost every roll is 1d20 + attribute mod + half the character's level.

Attributes (and their related skills) do not increase on level-up. However, every other level they effectively get a +1 bonus from the "half your level" bonus to all attribute rolls.

There's no such thing as touch AC or flat-footed AC. It's all just one AC.

A character may only make one attack on his turn, even if he has an attack bonus (half his level) of 6 or higher.

In combat each character may do exactly one thing on their turn (usually move, attack, or cast a spell). I haven't tested this yet, so depending on how combat goes I may change this to one move and one spell/attack per round.

Feats have been removed. Any extra feats or bonus feats are replaced with a permanent +1 modifier to any one attribute of the player's choice.

Critical hits no longer require confirmation and automatically do max damage.

Instead of a list of weapons that each class may use, classes are proficient in every weapon that does their class hit die of damage or lower. Weapons that do 2 dice of damage count as a single die of double the size. 2d4 counts as 1d8, and 2d6 counts as 1d12.

In combat, the person with the highest dex modifier for each side in combat rolls initative. The side that wins goes first, and any character in that group may act in any order. Once everybody in the group has gone, it's the other side's turn. Combat alternates between groups in this manner until combat ends.

WeaselGuy
2015-02-07, 08:31 AM
A) This seems like it might be better placed in the Homebrew thread.

B) This also seems like an amalgamation of 4e and 5e, especially with regards to a few things.

C) Additionally, this feels to me very "video-gamey", with the change to casting (rpg feel) and combat rounds (rts).

That said, it definitely fits your criteria of "simplified". Although, you did effectively remove the staff from the wizard/sorcerer's weapons list. And I have to say, staves are pretty iconic of wizards. I mean seriously, google a wizard, how many do you see without a staff in hand?

Milo v3
2015-02-07, 08:43 AM
I suggest you just use the free 5e rules.

EyethatBinds
2015-02-07, 08:46 AM
So in other words, you broke the game and called it simpler?

In your system, skill checks are useless by 6th level as they don't scale with the DC. Spellcasters can apparently throw out their highest level spells at all times and wizards are unstoppable as they no longer require spellbooks. You've broken AC if Touch AC is also dropped, which isn't really covered here but seems worth mentioning. Also, rogues now have no reason to sneak about to catch people off guard, further making skills and stealth useless.

Fighter types seem useless if they can only do a single attack, except perhaps leap attack builds. And fighter itself is now completely pointless since feats are now just a +1 bonus to stats. You've actually made fighter just a level dip, if people really want to waste their time.
Also, if people are proficient with any weapons of their HD, how do larger weapons work? How does it work when the player goes up a size category and their weapon increases in size? Can no one use the full blade as that's a 3d6 weapon for medium creatures?

Your initiative change also makes fights much more one sided and reliant on luck.

All told, you've made rogues, fighters, rangers, barbarians, and many other sub classes useless. Also, spellcasters are significantly more powerful in your system to the point of there being no reason for anyone not to be a cleric, wizard, or druid. Granted, that's somewhat encouraged by the rules in 3.5 anyway, but at least fighters make a good basic class for new players and rogues can new neat stuff with UMD and stealth.

In short, your rules are really short-sighted and modeled clearly after the worst parts of 4th edition.

Grod_The_Giant
2015-02-07, 10:08 AM
Most of the houserules you list here only affect the player, particularly during character creation. Why does that matter to you, the GM? (I'm assuming you can trust said friend(s), because if you can't then you have bigger problems than the rules).For example, as long as your friend knows how many spells he can cast/prepare, why should you? You need to be able to play monsters and role-play NPCs-- that's it. If we cut out everything that doesn't matter to you, we get:


There's no such thing as touch AC or flat-footed AC. It's all just one AC.
As long as rogues can still get their sneak attack somehow, fine.


A character may only make one attack on his turn, even if he has an attack bonus (half his level) of 6 or higher.
Removes the two-weapon fighting archetype entirely, and natural weapon users almost entirely. The only really viable build is to use Vital Strike. If you want to do this, I suggest giving bonus damage for every attack you otherwise could have made-- say, roll your weapon die again for every iterative attack/TWF/natural attack the normal rules suggest you can make. Either that or cut HP down by a ton, since this drops damage significantly.


In combat each character may do exactly one thing on their turn (usually move, attack, or cast a spell). I haven't tested this yet, so depending on how combat goes I may change this to one move and one spell/attack per round.
I tried something like that once. Don't do it-- it makes melee characters incredibly unhappy, without bothering ranged guys very much.


Feats have been removed. Any extra feats or bonus feats are replaced with a permanent +1 modifier to any one attribute of the player's choice.
...it's not the worst subsystem to remove, but it does hurt customization. And competence.


Critical hits no longer require confirmation and automatically do max damage.
I never use confirmation rolls either, but why mess with the damage?


In combat, the person with the highest dex modifier for each side in combat rolls initative. The side that wins goes first, and any character in that group may act in any order. Once everybody in the group has gone, it's the other side's turn. Combat alternates between groups in this manner until combat ends.
Fine.

abcd_z
2015-02-07, 01:27 PM
A) This seems like it might be better placed in the Homebrew thread.
Friggin' hell, you're right. I'm not sure how I missed that. I'll report the post and get a mod to move it.


Although, you did effectively remove the staff from the wizard/sorcerer's weapons list. And I have to say, staves are pretty iconic of wizards. I mean seriously, google a wizard, how many do you see without a staff in hand?
Another good point. If a player wanted to use a staff I guess I'd either rule that his staff did d4 damage or I'd just let the wizard use a d6 staff. It's not like dealing melee damage is the purpose of the wizard, after all.



I suggest you just use the free 5e rules.
My friend wants to play Pathfinder? My friend gets to play Pathfinder.



Most of the houserules you list here only affect the player, particularly during character creation. Why does that matter to you, the GM?
I would also like to be able to play it myself.


Removes the two-weapon fighting archetype entirely, and natural weapon users almost entirely. The only really viable build is to use Vital Strike.
No feats, remember? For a two-weapon build, I'd just treat both weapons a a single attack that does damage equal to the more powerful weapon.


If you want to do this, I suggest giving bonus damage for every attack you otherwise could have made-- say, roll your weapon die again for every iterative attack/TWF/natural attack the normal rules suggest you can make. Either that or cut HP down by a ton, since this drops damage significantly.
These rules apply to enemies as well, so it shouldn't be too unbalanced. It might take more rounds to resolve combat, though.


I tried something like that once. Don't do it-- it makes melee characters incredibly unhappy, without bothering ranged guys very much.
So, movement as a mostly-free action, then?


I never use confirmation rolls either, but why mess with the damage?
Personal preference; it's how I handle crits in my other system. It also reduces the differences between weapons, which I see as a good thing for simplifying character creation. Your mileage may vary.

Troacctid
2015-02-07, 01:37 PM
Just say you get up to your speed in movement each round in addition to the action you take. (The additional action could then be to move again if you're really in a hurry.) You can take your action before, after, or during the move. That's how it works in 5e, and it works pretty well.

sakuuya
2015-02-07, 02:24 PM
My friend wants to play Pathfinder? My friend gets to play Pathfinder.

Except that he doesn't; he gets to play abcd_z's Houserules Game (Loosely Based on Pathfinder). There's nothing inherently wrong with heavy houserules, but there's a point where it stops being the base game. Make sure you let your friend know what you're planning, incidentally. If he's expecting regular Pathfinder, he may not be happy with such sweeping changes.

Milo suggested that you should move up to 5e, but I think you should go the other way and try an OSR game--feats and skills were added in 3e, so OSR games don't have 'em, and you consequently won't have to balance for their loss.

Keledrath
2015-02-07, 02:48 PM
Except that he doesn't; he gets to play abcd_z's Houserules Game (Loosely Based on Pathfinder). There's nothing inherently wrong with heavy houserules, but there's a point where it stops being the base game. Make sure you let your friend know what you're planning, incidentally. If he's expecting regular Pathfinder, he may not be happy with such sweeping changes.

Basically this. The change you're making are so sweeping that it fundamentally alters the game.

For example: The only class that can now use Greatswords or Greataxes is the barbarian. If you think this makes sense, remember that the Holy Avenger, THE Paladin weapon, is traditionally a greatsword.

Feats are about 20% of what makes PF or 35 what it is.

There is now no reason to play a skill-focused character, since you changes make skill points almost worthless.

You make TWF completely useless. If you make one attack that deals the damage of the better weapon, you aren't TWF. You're holding a second sword in your off hand and attacking with one weapon.

As others have said, what you are presenting here is significantly closer to 4e or 5e. If you tell your friend that they are playing Pathfinder, and then use these rules modifications, you have undeniably lied to your friend, because this isn't Pathfinder.

Xerlith
2015-02-07, 03:00 PM
I'm sorry, but I'll be blunt. If you can't wrap your head around the Pathfinder game system, don't run Pathfinder game system.
And don't call what you made here "Pathfinder", because it isn't it anymore. You yourself claim having little to no knowledge of mechanics, yet try to somehow change them completely - to the point, as noted above, where it stops being Pathfinder anymore.

Just be honest with your friend and tell him you don't really know the system, so you won't be able to run the game in a coherent and fluid way.
It's easier than throwing away what's basically half the core of the system (skill rolls, feats, AC) and they won't feel cheated when you say it's what they wanted.

You can instead offer to run a game you know and understand.

abcd_z
2015-02-07, 03:00 PM
Except that he doesn't; he gets to play abcd_z's Houserules Game (Loosely Based on Pathfinder). There's nothing inherently wrong with heavy houserules, but there's a point where it stops being the base game. Make sure you let your friend know what you're planning, incidentally. If he's expecting regular Pathfinder, he may not be happy with such sweeping changes.

We talked about it beforehand and he understands that I'll be running a lightened variant of the rules. Like I said in the OP, I ran one session for him already and it went fairly well.


Milo suggested that you should move up to 5e, but I think you should go the other way and try an OSR game--feats and skills were added in 3e, so OSR games don't have 'em, and you consequently won't have to balance for their loss.

I suggested that, but it runs into the same problem. He enjoys the system mastery he already has of Pathfinder, but I can't run rules-medium games. This seemed like the best compromise.

Milo v3
2015-02-07, 07:27 PM
We talked about it beforehand and he understands that I'll be running a lightened variant of the rules. Like I said in the OP, I ran one session for him already and it went fairly well.
But that variant makes the game closer to 5e D&D than it is to Pathfinder.


I suggested that, but it runs into the same problem. He enjoys the system mastery he already has of Pathfinder, but I can't run rules-medium games. This seemed like the best compromise.
System mastery is pretty useless with these rules, since it removes most options of customization and makes the only point of system mastery "Play a wizard, because after 5th level you auto-win more than you ever could before"

Chronos
2015-02-07, 07:35 PM
If you don't understand the rules well enough to DM, then the solution is don't DM. Trying to do it when you don't know what you're doing won't end well for anyone. If you insist on doing it anyway, then have your friend create the houserules instead, since the same lack of understanding that makes the original rules problematic also means that you're going to do a poor job of creating good houserules.

atemu1234
2015-02-07, 10:03 PM
If you don't understand the rules well enough to DM, then the solution is don't DM. Trying to do it when you don't know what you're doing won't end well for anyone. If you insist on doing it anyway, then have your friend create the houserules instead, since the same lack of understanding that makes the original rules problematic also means that you're going to do a poor job of creating good houserules.

I agree with Chronos on this. Learn to play before you DM.

abcd_z
2015-02-07, 10:17 PM
Pfft. If I let a little thing like imperfect understanding stop me, I'd never get anything done.

As a very wise character once said, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

Keledrath
2015-02-07, 10:22 PM
Pfft. If I let a little thing like imperfect understanding stop me, I'd never get anything done.

As a very wise character once said, "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!"

You don't have an imperfect understanding. You don't have an understanding. No one, looking at these rules, would think you were using Pathfinder.

Frostthehero
2015-02-08, 01:37 AM
This is not Pathfinder. This is an abomination. The Pathfinder ruleset is flawed to be sure, but this... This completely bones spellcasters and skill monkeys, not to mention melee characters. This system works really well for characters who use ranged weapons, and have no skills (so, a ranged fighter, who gets so many damn feats ability score increases that nearly anything that dares to f*** with him is screwed). Learn the Pathfinder system. Please. Take the time, it's so worth it. The kind of versatility offered is so fantastic, and limits characters far less.

abcd_z
2015-02-08, 02:23 AM
This is not Pathfinder. This is an abomination. The Pathfinder ruleset is flawed to be sure, but this... This completely bones spellcasters and skill monkeys, not to mention melee characters. This system works really well for characters who use ranged weapons, and have no skills (so, a ranged fighter, who gets so many damn feats ability score increases that nearly anything that dares to f*** with him is screwed). Learn the Pathfinder system. Please. Take the time, it's so worth it. The kind of versatility offered is so fantastic, and limits characters far less.

Why do you say these rules benefit ranged weapon-users over all others? Is there a specific imbalance I'm not seeing that only applies to ranged weapons?

Tohsaka Rin
2015-02-08, 03:57 AM
Basically, a melee-based character will probably be half-dead by the time they close in with a ranged-based character... And will utterly lack the attacks necessary to do anything but trade single attacks until the ranged character chips them to death.

As other posters have said, you've gutted the system so much, it's not very similar any more.

Kind of like if you hacked the legs, stomach, and half the face off of one of your friends. You'd be hard-pressed to recognise them, unless explicitly told "This is Bob/Pathfinder."

Really, if you have trouble using the ruleset, what makes you qualified to alter it?

Can't fly a plane? Don't suggest changing how it works, you'll only crash and burn.

HunterOfJello
2015-02-08, 04:29 AM
Just go play D&D 5e Basic (http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules?x=dnd/basicrules) instead. It's coherent, easy to learn, and was made by people who knew what they were doing. It has lots of things similar to what you're attempting but is wrapped up in a package that will get the job properly.


My advice for new DMs who come in here asking about their own long customized list of houserules is always just plain "don't". There are houserules that almost all tables use, but if your houserule isn't on those then you're going to create massive issues very quickly. I know the game very well and have created plenty of trouble at my table by making very slight rule changes that seemed minuscule at the time and turned into gigantic issues later on.

I can go on to explain the issues inherent in the assumption that simplicity is superior to complexity and all that involves, but the main thing you need to realize is that what you are attempting is not wise, none of the people in this thread (from what I've read just now) think that this is a good idea, and there are alternatives you could pursue quickly and easily that would get you what you're looking for without making a long list of rules that will quickly backfire immediately after character creation.

Download D&D 5e Basic (http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules?x=dnd/basicrules) instead and just use that.

Coidzor
2015-02-08, 04:49 AM
I have trouble wrapping my head around standard D&D 3.5, but my friend insisted I run a Pathfinder game for him. So I cut out as much as I could from the system while keeping it interoperable with existing classes and equipment. So far I've run one game with the new rules and it worked out pretty well. The rules are the same as the SRD except for the following changes:

Why are you using the 3.5 SRD as the basis instead of the Pathfinder one if you're being strongarmed into running a pathfinder game despite not understanding the system? :smallconfused:

Why does your friend want you to run a Pathfinder game when you don't understand the system?

You may want to look at Microlite20 (http://microlite20.net/) if you're really interested in a pared down version of the d20 system for playing D&D. The original couple of pages worth of rules text version should still be around as well, though it seems that there has been some effort to make a version that's not quite as pared down as the original, which may actually be more to your liking anyway.

I also found this Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 lite (https://olddungeonmaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/dungeons-and-dragon-3-5-lite/) retooling that might be up your alley as well, recently, while I was poking around looking for special attack/combat maneuver houserules.


Spellcasters may cast up to (5+spellcasting attribute mod) spells a day. No spell level may exceed half the caster's level, rounded up. Spellcasters don't have to memorize their spells ahead of time, and they can know as many spells as they want.

Well, that's sorta strange for Bards, Paladins, and Rangers, I suppose, but it would boost them by letting them cast sooner.

I suppose that also makes dipping into a spellcasting class more appealing, since a Fighter 1/Sorcerer 1 would have some number of spells per day and automatically learn more of them by leveling up in any class.

Bards would always want to dip Sorcerer or Archivist for an expanded spell list. Actually I think every caster wants to dip Archivist. Or maybe just every dedicated caster wants to have one level of Archivist and one level of Wizard.


All skill checks and saving throws are replaced with the relevant attribute check. A spot check becomes a wisdom check, a reflex save becomes a dexterity check, etc.


Instead of spending skill points, skills may either be trained or untrained. Trained skills get a +3 bonus to their roll. The number of trained skills a player may have is equal to the SRD listing for "skill points at each additional level".


Almost every roll is 1d20 + attribute mod + half the character's level.

That's not an ability check at that point, then.


A character may only make one attack on his turn, even if he has an attack bonus (half his level) of 6 or higher.

That destroys a lot of monsters as threats and eliminates a few character concepts, such as TWFers.


In combat each character may do exactly one thing on their turn (usually move, attack, or cast a spell). I haven't tested this yet, so depending on how combat goes I may change this to one move and one spell/attack per round.

Ranged attacks have an advantage then, so long as they start with sufficient distance, they'll never actually fall prey to their enemies. Mounted archers are the pinnacle of mundane damage dealing as they can move and attack in the same turn and their enemies have no hope of reprisal unless they're also archers or spellcasters.


Feats have been removed. Any extra feats or bonus feats are replaced with a permanent +1 modifier to any one attribute of the player's choice.

So Fighters get a better strength score than a raging barbarian, eh? :smallamused:

What about racial weapon proficiencies granted by bonus feats? :smallconfused: Do Elves (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/races.htm#elves) get a free +4 to their ability scores in exchange for their martial weapon proficiency feats at first level that they can apply wherever and even give themselves a Constitution bonus? Humans getting a floating +1 to any ability score of their choosing is minor but sort of fitting in a way, though a +1 is... a +1.

Pathfinder just let them get a +2 of their choice, though, and that's honestly probably better for you and the players to use the PF base races.


Critical hits no longer require confirmation and automatically do max damage.

Crit-fishing is now the ultimate goal of all characters that use weapons to do damage. The best ranged attacker is someone wielding a crossbow with keen bolts. Kukris, Scimitars, Falchions, and Rapiers are the favored weapon of all melee combatants that want to focus on damage. Daggers retain their place as best sidearm/backup weapon.


Instead of a list of weapons that each class may use, classes are proficient in every weapon that does their class hit die of damage or lower. Weapons that do 2 dice of damage count as a single die of double the size. 2d4 counts as 1d8, and 2d6 counts as 1d12.

Small Fighters are proficient with Greataxes and Greatswords while Medium ones are not.

On the other hand, basically everyone who is a melee combatant is now proficient with spiked chains, which, if attacks of opportunity still exist, are even more god-tier in that it takes an entire turn for enemies to stand up once tripped. So forget what I said about the weapons with a base 18-20 crit range. They're much more attractive than they already were, but now everyone who wants to be in melee is going to want a spiked chain, since as long as their party is able to/willing to move, spiked chain wielders can eliminate any number of melee foes without exposing themselves to any risk.

It'd be slow, but, well, stand in one place, have enemies come by and provoke AoO, one per spiked chain wielder on your side gets tripped and hurt, if your number of spiked chain wielders equals or exceeds the number of foes, then one's foes take a turn standing up which will get another AoO for each of them, once they've started to move adjacent to him, the spiked chain wielders withdraw 10 feet away from their foes and repeat the process, getting two attacks on each enemy via AoOs(plus one normal attack too sometimes) while their enemies get 0.

Otherwise it just takes more movement and longer as their single AoO (without some race or ability that gives some equivalent to combat reflexes without invoking the feat system) means they get to hurt one of their enemies while the rest move adjacent to them, forcing them to withdraw before their tripped foe stands. Granted, any reach weapon could do the same by just choosing to do damage to enemies that try to move up to attack and then withdrawing on one's turn.

Large creatures are proficient with even fewer weapons and the problem gets worse from there, though I suppose that does limit their damage output either by making them eat non-proficiency with large base damage weapons and weapons they can use two-handed or choosing to use lighter weapons that they can use proficiently but have smaller damage dice and can't be used twohanded.

Ranged Rogues prefer to be Small since they can use a Light Crossbow or a (Composite) Longbow proficiently while a Medium Rogue is limited to Handcrossbows, Longbows, Slings, and thrown weapons. Unless they're crit-fishing, melee Rogues also prefer to be Small so they can use spiked chains, though I suppose Medium rogues can use Kusari-gama too for much of the same difference(though they can't get 1.5x strength on attacks)

Weapons that don't deal damage, such as nets are left in a gray area. I guess everyone's proficient with nets and lassos now?

I suppose the whole reach weapon situation just highlights how melee characters have no reason to try to close with one another and instead basically want to act as dragon's teeth discouraging others from attempting to close with their archers or spellcaster support.


In combat, the person with the highest dex modifier for each side in combat rolls initative. The side that wins goes first, and any character in that group may act in any order. Once everybody in the group has gone, it's the other side's turn. Combat alternates between groups in this manner until combat ends.

That can make fights a bit one-sided, though I suppose the difficulties in one-rounding foes makes it a bit less likely that through winning initiative the party can completely mitigate the encounter and only have to mop up.

It does mean that barring magical assistance, mounted archers and reach weapon users are unassailable, so long as they don't have to move into melee distance range with any of their foes for some reason.


For example: The only class that can now use Greatswords or Greataxes is the barbarian. If you think this makes sense, remember that the Holy Avenger, THE Paladin weapon, is traditionally a greatsword.

It's been a longsword since 3e rolled around, so there's that (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#holyAvenger) at least (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons/specific-magic-weapons/holy-avenger).