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View Full Version : Five Quick Rules for Fixing 3.5



Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-02, 11:41 AM
There are, of course, innumerable attempts at improving the balance of 3.5e, ranging from the most rudimentary houserules to elaborate overhauls (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?329161-Giants-and-Graveyards-Grod-s-collected-3-5-revisions). And in truth, I think a lot of the issues have been solved, in one way or another-- look long enough and you can find homebrew replacements for just about everything, all carefully tailored to power levels of your choice. But... at that point you're playing another system. I love my Giants and Graveyards rules, but I'll be honest-- they're pretty much never going to be used outside of my table.

So here I wanted to do something a little bit different. How high a ratio of effect to houserule could I get? How many classes could I rebalance with a few lines of text? How much could I fix... with five quick rules?

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Rule 1: To Curse A Caster
Classes normally capable of casting 9th level spells instead are limited to 7ths, following a "Bard+1" progression-- they get one more spell per day and spell known than a Bard one level higher. Classes with a low BAB get an additional two spells known and spells/day.
Note: Yes, this turns prepared casters into spontaneous.
Note 2: It wouldn't be unreasonable to give Bards the same progression, just to keep everything symmetrical.
Note 3: Manifesters should use a "Psychic Warrior +1" progression instead. With, say, half again as many power points.

Rule 2: To Delight a Dabbler
Classes normally capable of casting 4th level spells instead follow the Duskblade progression for spells known and spell/day. They draw 5th level spells from whatever class list is most appropriate (Druid for Ranger, Cleric for Paladin, Sorcerer/Wizard for Assassin and Hexblade, etc).
Note: Yes, this turns prepared casters into spontaneous

Rule 3: To Maximize a Mundane
When taking levels of a class without a magic system, all static bonuses (that is, things that aren't "+Cha" or "per level") granted by their class features doubled, all daily use limits on their class features are changed to hourly limits, and, when first entering the class, you can pick one "1-2-3" upgrade to apply to all levels of said class you might take: increase the class' BAB by one step (to a maximum of full), its HD by two steps (to a maximum of 1d12), or add three skills to their list of class skills and increase their base skill points/level by 3. In addition, any character with at least 6 levels of non-casting classes gains the ability to take an extra move action each round.
Note: You miiiight want to exclude the Barbarian from the "double bonuses" bit; they're one of the few classes that actually gets reasonable numberic combat-boosts

Rule 4: To Save our Skills
Characters get a minimum of 4+Int skill points (x4 at first) at each level-- before applying their 1-2-3 upgrade-- and cross-class skills only cost 1 point per rank. If you qualify for a skill trick, you automatically gain it and may use it at will.

Rule 5: To Cure Our Combat
Upon hitting BAB+1, characters get two free Fighter bonus feats and no longer provoke attacks of opportunity for attempting combat maneuvers.

The Optional Rule 6: Sacrificing Spells
Any spell, class feature, feat, and so on that gives open-ended access to monsters (say, Wild Shape or Planar Binding), that grants extra actions (other than Rule 3 above; say, Celerity or Contingent Spell), or which reduces the cost of metamagic (say, Divine Metamagic or the Incantatrix feature), is banned. Either find an ACF, import a replacement from Pathfinder, or deal.
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So... what do ya'll think? I know it's not going to do much for high-op tables, but my hope is that it drastically improves things for mid-op and low-op groups.


The "Bard+1" rule is particularly useful here, I think; it gives you 1st and 2nd level spells right on time, then starts slowing down right about when spell power starts increasing. 3rd are only a level late; 4ths two levels behind, 5ths three, and so on. Thus, the effect on low-level casters is minimal, while the higher you are the more trouble it makes.
The Paladin and Ranger lists are rock-solid, just... too late, and without enough spells/day to be meaningful. The Duskblade, on the other hand, is all about spamming low-level effects. Now the other gish-casters can too.
This is, perhaps, a bit more complicated than the other rules, but I think it's a really solid universal low-tier fix. Doubling bonuses and making things hourly tends to rescue a lot of marginal abilities-- the Ninja, for example, can spam their ki abilities instead of having to hoard them; a free move action makes full attacks a nonissue, and the 1-2-3 upgrade lets you fix... pretty much whatever happens to be holding you back. Take the Monk; they now have a full BAB, can tumble around the battlefield with ease, can self-heal a ton, can teleport with passable regularity. The Ninja can spam ki powers like they're going out of business, and patch up their skill list or their HD. The Fighter gets to invest in some solid skills to go along with their combat. Even something as bad as the Soulknife sees major improvement-- with a full BAB, a double-strength Mind Blade, and free Psychic Strike every round, they can dish out serious pain.
The boosts to skills make things easier, and mean that the poor 2+Int classes can actually do something with their lives. The skill tricks are even more important; they give otherwise bland mundane characters a set of interesting options in and out of combat
Making low-level characters really sucks, mostly because it seems like every combat style requires a thousand feats before it becomes useful. This helps make sure that everyone gets off to a good start without having to go Human (and opens the potential to start with less combat-focused feats). Making combat maneuvers easier to attempt opens up new options in combat, which is another big plus.
The optional 6th rule clears out a lot of the most problematic spells

JNAProductions
2017-09-02, 12:09 PM
It seems woefully inadequate to truly fix 3.5.

That being said! It seems like a great small fix. Obviously Wizards are still going to blow Fighters out of the water at high optimization levels, but it makes Fighters viable for significantly more levels of optimization, relative to Wizards and the like.

Good work.

Jasdoif
2017-09-02, 12:42 PM
3. This is, perhaps, a bit more complicated than the other rules, but I think it's a really solid universal low-tier fix. Doubling bonuses and making things hourly tends to rescue a lot of marginal abilities-- the Ninja, for example, can spam their ki abilities instead of having to hoard them; a free move action makes full attacks a nonissue, and the 1-2-3 upgrade lets you fix... pretty much whatever happens to be holding you back. Take the Monk; they now have a full BAB, can tumble around the battlefield with ease, can self-heal a ton, can teleport with passable regularity. The Ninja can spam ki powers like they're going out of business, and patch up their skill list or their HD. The Fighter gets to invest in some solid skills to go along with their combat. Even something as bad as the Soulknife sees major improvement-- with a full BAB, a double-strength Mind Blade, and free Psychic Strike every round, they can dish out serious pain.I was thinking about the Barbarian, myself. Even at first level you're getting +20 speed, the extra move; and the ability to rage twice an hour for +8 Str, +8 Con, and +4 to Will saves (and -4 AC). You've got a much better chance of actually reaching whatever you're wanting to beat the crap out of, and actually beating the crap out of it when you get there.

rferries
2017-09-02, 08:17 PM
They all seem logical enough. Rule 5 is nice (but fighters might be annoyed that you can dip in them without even dipping :D), but Rule 4 is my absolute favourite! Both the increased skills and the 1 skill point = 1 rank even for cross-class skills are great interpretations.

Seerow
2017-09-02, 10:00 PM
What happens to Rule 3 if you multiclass? Most notably the bonus move action, because I can think of few casters who wouldn't dip a level of fighter for a bonus move action per round. But even the other boosts like skill points or doubled static buffs and hourly recharges... as someone else already noted this makes a Barbarian dip pretty attractive, do you keep those benefits if you then move on into a caster class? If not, how do you justify suddenly becoming much weaker and less skilled after gaining a level?

Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-02, 10:17 PM
What happens to Rule 3 if you multiclass? Most notably the bonus move action, because I can think of few casters who wouldn't dip a level of fighter for a bonus move action per round. But even the other boosts like skill points or doubled static buffs and hourly recharges... as someone else already noted this makes a Barbarian dip pretty attractive, do you keep those benefits if you then move on into a caster class? If not, how do you justify suddenly becoming much weaker and less skilled after gaining a level?
Hmm; I should probably move the bonus move action back to 6th level, where it was in my previous draft of these rules-- that way it comes online about when full attacks do. The other benefits should only apply to the noncaster classes.

Barbarians... Barbarians are big winners here (and conversely, Healers lose big time). I'm not sure what the best way to go would be to keep them from benefiting quite so much without increasing complexity...

Agrippa
2017-09-14, 04:26 PM
I'm definitely yoinking your "To Curse a Caster" and "To Delight a Dabbler" rules. They're just too good to pass up. To be more precise I'm using the first rule for the psion class. Thank you very much.

King of Nowhere
2017-09-14, 04:52 PM
I don't like cursing casters and at the levels of optimization I play that's not really necessary; plus I prefer to leave the more powerful spells on the table for the worldbuilding part if nothing else. All the rest is sound, though, and it fixes most problems. I am however worried that it may end up removing a lot of strategical thought if you can spam all your skills instead of reserving them for the right time.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-14, 05:17 PM
I'm definitely yoinking your "To Curse a Caster" and "To Delight a Dabbler" rules. They're just too good to pass up. To be more precise I'm using the first rule for the psion class. Thank you very much.
Thanks! I forgot to include it before, but you should probably up the PsyWar's pp for the Psion and Ardent, at least-- keep the whole "weaker powers, but now fewer powers" thing in place.


I don't like cursing casters and at the levels of optimization I play that's not really necessary; plus I prefer to leave the more powerful spells on the table for the worldbuilding part if nothing else. All the rest is sound, though, and it fixes most problems. I am however worried that it may end up removing a lot of strategical thought if you can spam all your skills instead of reserving them for the right time.
I shoot for a Swordsage/Psychic Warrior/Bard level of balance, generally speaking; if your preferred mode of play is all-out-full-casters, then obviously an overhaul aimed at a lower level will displease you. I figure that the low progression/extra spells thing means that you can still cast and blast all day and feel like you're playing a proper caster, while also stretching the time that the classes are more-or-less on the same page.

The reason I capped the casting where I did is that 7th level spells make excellent capstones. Look at the sorts of things that appear: Blasphemy et al, Control Weather, Finger of Death, Forcecage, Limited Wish, Mage's Magnificent Mansion, Prismatic Spray, Resurrection, Simulacrum, Greater Teleport, Wind Walk, Earthquake (via domain, at least)... powerful, iconic, archmage-y spells one and all.

I presume by "spamming skills" you mean skill tricks? I'ma have to disagree with you there. Having more options available makes things more interesting, not less. It's not like tricks are particularly powerful game-changers. They're more fun if you can use them more often, not to mention that they provide a new (somewhat) interesting set of options to classes that might otherwise be lacking.

King of Nowhere
2017-09-15, 05:27 AM
I presume by "spamming skills" you mean skill tricks? I'ma have to disagree with you there. Having more options available makes things more interesting, not less. It's not like tricks are particularly powerful game-changers. They're more fun if you can use them more often, not to mention that they provide a new (somewhat) interesting set of options to classes that might otherwise be lacking.

No, I mean limited use stuff like stunning kick or barbarian rage or paladin's smite evil. I'm afraid if one can use them virtually every round from low levels it may upset some balance. Especially at the expences of fighters and rangers, who lack those tricks.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-15, 06:48 AM
No, I mean limited use stuff like stunning kick or barbarian rage or paladin's smite evil. I'm afraid if one can use them virtually every round from low levels it may upset some balance. Especially at the expences of fighters and rangers, who lack those tricks.
Exactly how limiting "per hour" is depends somewhat on the structure of your game-- it'll be a lot more of a problem in a dungeon crawl where you have repeated fights in short order than in a travel-adventure when your combat encounters are spread out over an entire day. Still, even with the hourly limit, "virtually every round from low levels" is an exaggeration for... most things, at least.

Stunning Fist is a bit strong, in that a mid-level Monk can make heavy use of it all day long... on the other hand, you're also a Monk. Even with a full BAB and a free move action, you're not terribly strong. Throwing out a save-or-stun every round at least gives you a neat control niche.
Rage isn't a big deal-- a Barbarian who isn't raging is basically a warrior. Plus, most Barbarians are already raging every combat; Extra Rage can be nabbed at 1st level, and 3-4 rages will last you a full adventuring day no sweat.
Smite is unaffected; Paladins have magic. They get Duskblade casting instead. If you trade away your casting, it's still not great, because it's still only going to be, like, once or twice a fight at the levels most people play at, maybe three times; a little extra damage a few times isn't going to matter much.

Looking at other classes with daily abilities...

Bardic Music is unaffected; Bards have magic.
Turn Undead is unaffected; Clerics and Paladins both have magic.
The Factotum's stuff is unaffected; Factotums have magic. (Actually, almost all these changes miss them due to their wonky casting mechanic, though the free feats from Rule 5 help a ton)
Initiators... I actually count that as a magic system, and should probably mention that.
Grant Move Action isn't worth using as a standard action regardless of how many uses you get. (Adrenaline Boost becomes a bit more decent, but +lv temporary hit points for a minute still isn't a great use of a standard)
The Ninja's will eat their Ki in a heartbeat regardless of how much they get. At best, you get a few more Sudden Strikes in a lot levels-- hardly a concern, when the damage is the same as Sneak Attack (which is easy to get)
The Knight's Challenges become... somewhat better? You also have to worry about that stupid code-breaking penalty less if you get more.

nonsi
2017-09-15, 10:39 AM
.
Hey Grod,

Your suggestion as a whole seems great. No flaws that I could put my finger on.

Just 2 things:
1. Don't boost Bard spellcasting. Leave something in the hands of fullcasters where the Bard doesn't have a foothold.
2. This still should go hand in hand with the bans and tweaks that have accumulated over the years (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?490409). Just to prevent broken stuff from ruining your day. Disregard the "Base classes" and "Houserules" sections. They're irrelevant for this discussion.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-16, 12:09 PM
1. Don't boost Bard spellcasting. Leave something in the hands of fullcasters where the Bard doesn't have a foothold.
Eh, 'twas an option. It bugs me to have one class left out with its own weird progression. I don't think a Bard would be very far off a Druid or Cleric with comparable casting.


2. This still should go hand in hand with the bans and tweaks that have accumulated over the years (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?490409). Just to prevent broken stuff from ruining your day. Disregard the "Base classes" and "Houserules" sections. They're irrelevant for this discussion
My optional rule 6 cuts out an awful lot of the nastiest stuff-- no shapeshifting, no planar binding, no persistomancy, no celerity, no contingencies... there are certainly plenty of overpowered options remaining, but they're easier to pick out. I don't want to include a big ban list because these are meant to be quick houserules-- ones that are easy to remember and implement. A big list of bans doesn't do much for that.

HisHighestMinio
2017-09-17, 04:33 PM
I think between comprehensiveness and likelyhood to actually be used, this is the best 3.5 fix out there. It's not like a huge list of houserules you have to constantly check, you have to check it maybe every level up and you can mark everything down on your character sheet. Plus it fixes the fundamental problems of 3.5 better than many giant-list-of-houserules fixes.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-09-17, 04:45 PM
I think between comprehensiveness and likelyhood to actually be used, this is the best 3.5 fix out there. It's not like a huge list of houserules you have to constantly check, you have to check it maybe every level up and you can mark everything down on your character sheet. Plus it fixes the fundamental problems of 3.5 better than many giant-list-of-houserules fixes.
:smallredface:
Secret message of thanks!

Caelestion
2017-12-09, 04:00 PM
Hmm, I like the idea of "To Curse a Caster", though there would be zero point playing a sorcerer over a wizard. It compliments the +2 skill points a level well too.

As for the extra move action for martial characters, wouldn't it be easier just to have iterative attacks not take a full action?
Good BAB martials (fighters and barbarians) would be limited only by level; medium BAB martials and good BAB casters (monks, paladins, rangers and rogues) could make up to two attacks; everyone else (bards, clerics, druids, sorcerers and wizards) would get no iterative attacks at all.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-12-09, 04:13 PM
Hmm, I like the idea of "To Curse a Caster", though there would be zero point playing a sorcerer over a wizard. It compliments the +2 skill points a level well too.

As for the extra move action for martial characters, wouldn't it be easier just to have iterative attacks not take a full action?
Good BAB martials (fighters and barbarians) would be limited only by level; medium BAB martials and good BAB casters (monks, paladins, rangers and rogues) could make up to two attacks; everyone else (bards, clerics, druids, sorcerers and wizards) would get no iterative attacks at all.
Mmm... different casting stats, different class-specific splatbook options, and one could certainly argue that Wizards still prepare spells, they just have a spellbook of limited size...perhaps I should include that as a note. Given that both will jump into a PrC as soon as they can anyway, it's a price I can live with.

The extra move action for martials plays more nicely with existing rules, and does give slightly more flexibility. But more importantly, including it as a 6th level ability means that it's really, really hard for a gish to pick up. You have to dedicate yourself to being a Fighter if you want to move and full attack, basically.

Caelestion
2017-12-09, 04:21 PM
Well, given that you noted that essentially all casters would be spontaneous, expecting wizards etc. to prepare their spells whilst still having very limited spells known would make them significantly worse off.

The other reason I suggesting limiting iterative attacks by class is that then you actually have something that makes martial characters genuinely better than casters.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-12-09, 07:05 PM
Well, given that you noted that essentially all casters would be spontaneous, expecting wizards etc. to prepare their spells whilst still having very limited spells known would make them significantly worse off.

The other reason I suggesting limiting iterative attacks by class is that then you actually have something that makes martial characters genuinely better than casters.
Preparing spells out of a spellbook has one major advantage: metamagic doesn't increase casting time. Plus, there are a bunch of PrCs that require it...

I think I didn't read your iterative attack proposal carefully enough the first time, sorry. It's not a bad idea-- that's sort of how 5e does it, making your iterative attacks a class feature-- but I think implementing it would be too tricky for one of these quick rules (much less as part of a single quick-rule). You'd need guidance about which of the 30-odd base classes and literal hundreds of PrCs fit what progression, you'd need to figure out how multiclassing would work (the 5e paradigm radically alters the 3e-vintage urge to dip around a bunch of full-BAB classes, for instance), and I'm positive there would be major systematic implications you'd need to think about. "Bonus move action at 6th" offers a major boost to mundane types without messing with too much.

Caelestion
2017-12-10, 05:09 AM
Hmmm. I'd have done it by collating class levels, such that eleven total levels of fighter and knight would give you three attacks per round or six total levels of ranger and duskblade would give you two attacks, but you're probably right that there are unforeseen considerations.

Wizards get hurt the most by still preparing spells. Druids know summon nature's ally at each level, clerics get all the cure or inflict light wounds spells, plus both of their domain spells at each level, and both sorcerers and wizards get two per level for having poor BAB. At the very least, specialists should get a additional known spell per level from their school, with generalists getting to pick a third one instead.

roko10
2017-12-10, 05:16 AM
What happens if you increase the BAB of a class that already has full BAB? Or increase the HD of a Barbarian by two steps?

noob
2017-12-10, 06:05 AM
If you increase the barbarian hit dice by two steps it goes the following way: D12,D20,D100
It is not really wrong but if you are lucky you can get 100 hp at level 1.
I think spontaneous cloistered clerics that dips into prcs that gives extra domains and use substitute domain to swap their domain list would be the winners of the system.(preparing spells under the form of picking domains)

Caelestion
2017-12-10, 06:19 AM
What happens if you increase the BAB of a class that already has full BAB? Or increase the HD of a Barbarian by two steps?

The obvious answer would be "you can't: don't be silly".

noob
2017-12-10, 06:33 AM
The obvious answer would be "you can't: don't be silly".

It is not: there is dices above 12: the D20 and the D100.
And a bab faster than full bab of one step would simply be a bab that goes to 25 at level 20.
since slow is 10 at level 20
medium is 15 at level 20
Fast is 20 at level 20
so by continuous progression a bab stronger than full bab would be 25 at level 20.
It would be simply full bab but at each level that is a multiple of 4 you would get 1 more point of bab.

Caelestion
2017-12-10, 09:53 AM
There's also a d30, but that doesn't mean that either of your ideas are remotely sensible to use.

Deepbluediver
2017-12-10, 09:54 AM
I don't see anything particularly objectionable, it just seems that the issue here will be the same issue with all band-aid fixes: a really high-op group can work around it anyway if they want, and in my experience low-op groups usually play fine without a fix. The big issue with magic is that it's not the magic system that's inherently unworkable, but individual spells that are horribly imbalanced and can't ever be made to work without overhauling them 1 by 1.
A lot of the rest of it though mirrors things I'm trying to do with my own homebrew fixes though.

For my homebrewed setting I start all adult humanoids at 3HD- that's baked into the setting. Children are 1 HD, Adolescents are 2 HD, Adults are 3+ (babies have an HP pool of "it's dead, you monster"). Starting at 3rd level fixes a lot of common problems IMO, such as having enough spells to last more than 1 encounter, mostly moving out of 1-hit-death territory, and giving room for classes to have more interesting abilities without needing to frontload everything at level 1. It also gives the sense that if you spent your childhood learning wizadry you reach a certain level of competence, and anyone who decides to dabble in it later won't reach the same degree of mastery in a single level that you spent years practicing to get.

I approve of the improvement to skill points- the distribution I use is 4/7/10.
I approve of the increase in feats- I award all melee classes a bunch of extra "combat style feats" again in the 4/7/10 arrangement, with the 4 & 7 distributions slightly front-loaded. (that distribution is great for a lot of things IMO, including areas where it implies a 0/4/7/10 group, too)

The only thing I'm not sold on is making all casters spontaneous- what about this as an alternative: You retain spontaneous and prepared spellcasting, with the change that applying metamagic doesn't increase casting time for spontaneous casters. The nerf to prepared casting is that ALL prepared casters have to learn spells one by one, like the wizard. No more of this "Clerics and Druids have access to the entire spell-list, including 800 different splatbooks" stuff. Keep the "2 new spells per level" thing, and then add in rules for learning spells beyond that. I like the "1 day per spell-level" as a base rule, with the caveat that any spell-book using class can copy from other spellbooks at a rate of 1 hour per spell-level. So spellbook based classes are slightly more at risk from losing their equipment, but can trade knowledge much faster than Druids and Clerics and their ilk, every one of which has to pray and meditate and practice entirely on their own.

I've never been thrilled with the way spells are prepared either, but I don't know if this is getting outside of your goal of "keeping it simple", and it's also kind of a buff. Rather than having to prepare every spell slot individually, I like to say that casters can prepare 2 spells of each level known, plus a number of spells of any level equal to their Int bonus. That way rather than preparing 2 copies of burning hands, 2 copies of magic missile, and 1 copy of ray of enfeeblement, you can just prepare each of those spells and use them as needed. It means you really only have to track how many spell-slots of each level you used, rather than which specific spells.



and conversely, Healers lose big time). I'm not sure what the best way to go would be to keep them from benefiting quite so much without increasing complexity...
Healing, as both the class and the tactic was sub-optimal for the system in the first place. The class wasn't great because Clerics were originally designed to be healbots, even if they weren't optimally played like that, so you were basically one part of another core class. And mechanically there wasn't any penalty to running around at 1HP, so as long as you weren't in danger of dying from a hit it was better to take the enemy down fast and heal up later. Objectively this used less resources (as long as no one died).

From what I've read, 4e's "bloodied" rule wasn't very popular, but from my (admittedly limited) experience, decreasing someone's combat effectiveness as their HP drops is a good way to incentive them to make use of in-combat healing. I'm not sure if it was the rule itself that was disliked or simply it's association with an unpopular edition, but I'd love for anyone else to weigh in with comments on it.

Caelestion
2017-12-10, 09:59 AM
The only thing I'm not sold on is making all casters spontaneous- what about this as an alternative: You retain spontaneous and prepared spellcasting, with the change that applying metamagic doesn't increase casting time for spontaneous casters. The nerf to prepared casting is that ALL prepared casters have to learn spells one by one, like the wizard. No more of this "Clerics and Druids have access to the entire spell-list, including 800 different splatbooks" stuff. Keep the "2 new spells per level" thing, and then add in rules for learning spells beyond that. I like the "1 day per spell-level" as a base rule, with the caveat that any spell-book using class can copy from other spellbooks at a rate of 1 hour per spell-level. So spellbook based classes are slightly more at risk from losing their equipment, but can trade knowledge much faster than Druids and Clerics and their ilk, every one of which has to pray and meditate and practice entirely on their own.

Even if you reduce the full casters to Bard+1 casting, you've then made spontaneous casters more powerful, nerfed druids and clerics and left wizards alone. Why?

Deepbluediver
2017-12-10, 10:05 AM
Even if you reduce the full casters to Bard+1 casting, you've then made spontaneous casters more powerful, nerfed druids and clerics and left wizards alone. Why?
If you just make all casters spontaneous, isn't that a buff to Wizards, Druids, and Clerics anyway? Or did I misunderstand about how Grod's rules work?
I wasn't really trying to offer a buff or a nerf as compared to what was presented, just an alternate way of doing things. As someone else pointed out, there wasn't really a lot of difference between the Wizard and the Sorcerer any more. The Druid and Cleric tend to have other class features they can fall back on, while the Sorcerer and Wizard are really only a pile of spells.

Caelestion
2017-12-10, 10:14 AM
That someone else was me. :smallsmile:

5th Edition does a mixture of spontaneous and prepared casting, where you prepare a set number and then spontaneously cast those spells whilst you have slots remaining. Making the divine casters spontaneous means that they have bardic spells known as well, which as you've noted is a dramatic nerf, as it is for the wizard who no longer has a near-unlimited spell-book to fall back upon. By also knowing your bonus spells as a preparation caster, you do at least ensure that the sorcerer is not simply the best caster with this change.

Deepbluediver
2017-12-10, 10:25 AM
That someone else was me. :smallsmile:
Oh, sorry- I was being to lazy to go and look it up.



5th Edition does a mixture of spontaneous and prepared casting, where you prepare a set number and then spontaneously cast those spells whilst you have slots remaining. Making the divine casters spontaneous means that they have bardic spells known as well, which as you've noted is a dramatic nerf, as it is for the wizard who no longer has a near-unlimited spell-book to fall back upon. By also knowing your bonus spells as a preparation caster, you do at least ensure that the sorcerer is not simply the best caster with this change.
Like I said, I'd keep the ability for prepared casters to learn more spells if/when they have down time. So it sort of plays out for what kind of game you're running. A Sorcerer would be the best choice for a one-shot, but for a longer campaign the Wizard would have more potential. I don't really see anything wrong with that though- I wouldn't pick an Artificer for a one-shot either.


Edit: The PHB says "A sorcererís selection of spells is extremely limited"- limited when compared to what? A 20th level Sorcerer knows 43 different spells. A 20th level Warlock, by comparison, only knows 12 different Invocations. Now, IMO 12 Invocations is too limited and the Warlock should get more, but if you feel this makes a Sorcerer to powerful, you could always tweak the number of spells they know. For example, give the sorcerer fewer spells overall but allow him to replace more lower level spells with higher level ones so he can better alter his loadout as the game progresses.

noob
2017-12-10, 10:33 AM
The bard in dnd 3.5 did not get ninth level spells:
it capped to sixth level spells.
Those balance changes use the term bard in the context of 3.5 but if we change it to 5e then we need to base it on another class.(because in 5e the bard is a full caster)


There's also a d30, but that doesn't mean that either of your ideas are remotely sensible to use.
Can you tell me in which dnd manual the D30 is mentioned?
Also getting 5 more points of bab would break nothing to the game.
Yes you would hit more after level 4 but some people let players have a scaling version of weapon focus that grows every four fighter levels and yet it is not considered op.
Do not forget that bab over 20 does not gives bonus iterative: it is explicitly written and monsters follows that rule.
We are talking about dnd 3.5 which does not have a balance remotely similar to the one of dnd 5e: in dnd 3.5 it is often considered normal to make full round attacks at the end of a charge and deal 200 damage with each attack of that full round attack.
And we have monsters that fly,can teleport at will, and cast blasphemy at will for auto disabling non evil adventurers.(and can summon monsters and are super tanky)
Or scorpions which have at cr 12 a grapple check so huge a level 12 fighter with 50 strength and improved grapple still automatically fail against it.

Grod_The_Giant
2017-12-10, 11:28 AM
What happens if you increase the BAB of a class that already has full BAB? Or increase the HD of a Barbarian by two steps?
I'll add a note about capping BAB/HD at full and d12, respectively. Grumble grumble.


I don't see anything particularly objectionable, it just seems that the issue here will be the same issue with all band-aid fixes: a really high-op group can work around it anyway if they want, and in my experience low-op groups usually play fine without a fix.
No band-aid fix will ever be as good as a comprehensive overhaul, sure. I've got one of those as well. This was one part thought exercise, and one part "houserules that are practical to use." That's a big reason for the emphasis on simplicity-- I want something that feels light and easy to remember, rather than a giant binder full of rules... In general, I think I've managed to narrow the range of practical optimization. The Bard+1 casters can still happily blast away, especially the low-BAB ones who get extra slots (I've done the math; spells/day work out similarly). Boosting low-tier classes is fun for newbies and experiend players alike. At higher power levels, rule 6 becomes more important, and it cuts off a lot of mid-to-high op strategies before they can really get rolling.

I'm in a game right now with a group that ranges from moderate-op (me) to very-low-op (our Barb and Dragon Shaman). And I'm really missing these houserules, because the Psion is doing more damage than most of the rest of the group combined, while the Dragon Shaman can't do **** and no-one other than me can really do anything with skills. A little judicious tri

Bard+1 casters (at least the low-BAB ones) can blast about as well as they could before; meanwhile, the mundane rules should make playing a Fighter or something a much more rewarding experience.


The only thing I'm not sold on is making all casters spontaneous- what about this as an alternative: You retain spontaneous and prepared spellcasting, with the change that applying metamagic doesn't increase casting time for spontaneous casters. The nerf to prepared casting is that ALL prepared casters have to learn spells one by one, like the wizard.
A previous draft had prepared casters getting limited to 5 spells known/class level-- Clerics and Druids would have to pick them when they leveled up, and Wizards and Archivists had their spellbook size capped. I could bring something like that back, at the cost of complicating things slightly?

Deepbluediver
2017-12-10, 05:07 PM
I want something that feels light and easy to remember, rather than a giant binder full of rules... In general, I think I've managed to narrow the range of practical optimization.
Then in that sense it seems to work fine- personally I'm always fighting back and forth between over-complicating things and over-standardizing them. I know at some point you have to draw the line and say "this works for me and my group, and anyone else can homebrew it further, if they want".


A previous draft had prepared casters getting limited to 5 spells known/class level-- Clerics and Druids would have to pick them when they leveled up, and Wizards and Archivists had their spellbook size capped. I could bring something like that back, at the cost of complicating things slightly?
It's up to you really. I was explaining the way I did it in case you wanted an alternative that allows you to keep the differentiation between prepared and spontaneous casters. That methodology for preparing spells is very similar (or maybe identical?) to what the Spirit Shaman uses AFAIK.

Having something to differentiate them is really only important to the Wizard and Sorcerer I think- other prepared/spontaneous pairs like the Cleric and Favored Soul have other class features that make the classes moderately distinct.

Caelestion
2017-12-11, 02:21 AM
Perhaps you could reintroduce your fixed lists for the former preparation casters, particularly the cleric and druid. That would remove the issue with formerly being "all spells known" casters.

Khaibit
2017-12-11, 12:31 PM
I really like these actually. Where would something like a warlock fall with these rules though?

Grod_The_Giant
2017-12-11, 02:52 PM
I really like these actually. Where would something like a warlock fall with these rules though?
They'd get the benefits of rules 4 and 5, bumping their skill points up to 4+Int and giving them a pair of free Fighter bonus feats. Otherwise, most of the magic/nonmagic changes miss them, which is not the end of the world-- they're circling somewhere around the right level of power and options, at least if they go for a glaive. Grabbing a pair of feats like Weapon Finesse and Combat Reflexes would certainly help with that.