House Rules for Pathfinder

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House Rules for Pathfinder

Post by Xelissa » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:48 pm

These are the house rules that I'm planning on running (or thinking about running) for our Pathfinder sessions. If you have a dispute with any of the rules, you're welcome to discuss it with me, or here. If you have any input I'd love to hear it, too.


1) Disabled/Dying Monsters are DEAD
NPCs and Monsters obey the same rules of disabled/dying that players do - meaning that they don't officially "die" until their HP drops to a negative amount equal to their CON score or lower; however, I'm planning on just counting all monsters/NPCs as dead at 0 HP UNLESS there's another monster/NPC on the map that has a heal that they could use on them to bring them back to consciousness.

2) Encounter loot/chest loot is handled as a pool - it's up to the PCs to decide how to divide it
When an encounter is over and one or all of the PCs declare that they are looting the bodies, I will give a list of what the PCs find. It's up to the PCs at how they want to divide the loot.

3) PCs can decide they want to try to "steal"/"pocket" some of the gold or one small item (e.g. a potion, a scroll, etc.)
A PC can decide to roll their Sleight-of-Hand, Stealth, or some such similar skill that they can convince the GM would be a worthy check to attempt to "steal" or "pocket" gold or one small item from the loot pool after an encounter. They must declare what item they are trying to steal/pocket. They cannot steal or pocket items from players at any other time. The DC is the highest other PC's Perception. Further difficulty to this Perception check may apply situationally.

On a success, they successfully pocket/steal the item or a portion of gold (the GM rolls 2d10 to calculate which percentage of the gold they take without notice). The other PCs must act as if they don't know that the stealing/pocketing has taken place. REMEMBER, it's the character that's doing the stealing, NOT the player! No grudges against people doing what they think their character would do!

4) Any loot gained specifically from a check (e.g. a successful Diplomacy check rewarding an item) goes to the player who made the check.
For a check like a disabling a trapped chest, since in most cases everyone COULD have opened it, loot is still treated as a pool; however, it might be considerate of the party to remember if anyone made any particular successful checks that made getting the loot possible/easier and allocate loot accordingly.

5) PCs can take a loot handicap to try to catch up in XP
If a PC is at least one whole level behind the lowest other PC in the party, they can elect to take a loot handicap to catch up in XP for that session. Not everyone is going to be able to make every session, and we don't want people to fall behind past the point where they can be valuable to the party; however, there should be a bit of a handicap.

If they take the loot handicap, the following conditions apply:
* They can receive up to 50% more XP for THAT session (up to GM discretion, and they cannot pass the next lowest level character in the party that has NOT taken an XP handicap)
* They have no claim over loot items that drop during the session. If the other PCs want to allocate any loot to that player, that's their decision; however, the player cannot demand a right to any of that loot.
* They cannot receive ANY gold for the session from either loot OR players EXCEPT to buy absolute necessities (e.g. food/water, ammunition if they use a ranged weapon, etc.). This includes BEFORE or AFTER that session. At the beginning of the next session, this is removed provided they do not take the loot handicap.

6) PCs won't try to kill town NPCs when it's clearly not an encounter
When the PCs are exploring town/shopping/etc., they won't try to kill innocent NPCs. The OOC reason for this is that I'd have to make characters for ALL the NPCs the PCs would encounter, and there's simply not enough time. The IC reason for this is because if the Heroes go around kililng town NPCs, they won't be welcome into town again, and everything would become aggressive to them. Similarly, PCs won't try to steal items from houses/shops when it's clearly not intended. Now, if it's a combat encounter, or clearly some kind of encounter where it seems that the NPC's stats are planned out, go nuts.

7) You can't roll lower than half your hit die for HP on a level-up
We'll be rolling for HP on level-ups; however, I'm adding a house rule that will prevent characters from getting gimped HP. If you roll lower than half the highest value on your hit die when you're rolling for a level-up (e.g. you get 3 on a d8 ), round up to half the value (e.g so a 3 would automatically round up to a 4, since that's half of 8 ).
Last edited by Xelissa on Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Post by Xelissa » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:49 pm

These are the house rules that I am currently considering. Please let me know if you have any input.


1) Hero Points

The following is taken from the Advanced Player's Guide; these are the Hero Point Rules that I am considering incorporating:
Link here: ... Rules.html

Awarding Hero Points
Each character begins play with 1 hero point, regardless of her level. In addition, whenever a character gains a level, she earns an additional hero point. Aside from these basic rules, awarding additional hero points is up to the GM. The following options are just some of the ways that a GM might award additional hero points.

* Character Story: GMs can award a hero point for the completion of a written character backstory. This reward encourages players to take an active role in the history of the game. In addition, the GM can use this backstory to generate a pivotal moment for your character concerning his past. When this key event is resolved, the GM can reward another hero point. Alternatively, the GM might award a hero point for painting a miniature or drawing a character portrait in the likeness of your character, helping the rest of the group visualize your hero.
* Completing Plot Arcs: The GM might award a hero point to each of the PCs who were involved in completing a major chapter or arc in the campaign story. These hero points are awarded at the conclusion of the arc if the PCs were successful or advanced the story in a meaningful way.
* Group Service: The GM can award hero points for acts outside the game as well. Buying pizza for the group, helping to clean up afterwards, or even hosting the game for a night might be worth a hero point. This sort of hero point should be given out of generosity, not as a payment.
* Heroic Acts: Whenever a character performs an exceptionally heroic act, she can be awarded a hero point. This might include anything from slaying an evil dragon when the rest of the group has fled to rescuing townsfolk from a burning building despite being terribly wounded. It does not have to be related to combat. Convincing the reticent king to send troops to help with a bandit problem or successfully jumping a wide chasm might earn a character a hero point, depending on the circumstances. Note that a hero point should only be awarded if the PC involved did not spend a hero point to accomplish the task.
* Return from the Dead: When a character dies, she does not lose any hero points she has accumulated. If she died with no hero points remaining, she gains 1 hero point when she is brought back from the dead through powerful magic, such as raise dead or resurrection.

Maximum Hero Points
Characters can have no more than 3 hero points at any one time. Excess hero points are lost.

Using Hero Points
Hero points can be spent at any time and do not require an action to use (although the actions they modify consume part of your character's turn as normal). You cannot spend more than 1 hero point during a single round of combat. Whenever a hero point is spent, it can have any one of the following effects.

* Act Out of Turn: You can spend a hero point to take your turn immediately. Treat this as a readied action, moving your initiative to just before the currently acting creature. You may only take a move or a standard action on this turn.
* Bonus: If used before a roll is made, a hero point grants you a +8 luck bonus to any one d20 roll. If used after a roll is made, this bonus is reduced to +4. You can use a hero point to grant this bonus to another character, as long as you are in the same location and your character can reasonably affect the outcome of the roll (such as distracting a monster, shouting words of encouragement, or otherwise aiding another with the check). Hero points spent to aid another character grant only half the listed bonus (+4 before the roll, +2 after the roll).
* Extra Action: You can spend a hero point on your turn to gain an additional standard or move action this turn.
* Inspiration: If you feel stuck at one point in the adventure, you can spend a hero point and petition the GM for a hint about what to do next. If the GM feels that there is no information to be gained, the hero point is not spent.
* Recall: You can spend a hero point to recall a spell you have already cast or to gain another use of a special ability that is otherwise limited. This should only be used on spells and abilities possessed by your character that recharge on a daily basis.
* Reroll: You may spend a hero point to reroll any one d20 roll you just made. You must take the results of the second roll, even if it is worse.
* Special: You can petition the GM to allow a hero point to be used to attempt nearly anything that would normally be almost impossible. Such uses are not guaranteed and should be considered carefully by the GM. Possibilities include casting a single spell that is one level higher than you could normally cast (or a 1st-level spell if you are not a spellcaster), making an attack that blinds a foe or bypasses its damage reduction entirely, or attempting to use Diplomacy to convince a raging dragon to give up its attack. Regardless of the desired action, the attempt should be accompanied by a difficult check or penalty on the attack roll. No additional hero points may be spent on such an attempt, either by the character or her allies.
* Cheat Death: A character can spend 2 hero points to cheat death. How this plays out is up to the GM, but generally the character is left alive, with negative hit points but stable. For example, a character is about to be slain by a critical hit from an arrow. If the character spends 2 hero points, the GM decides that the arrow pierced the character's holy symbol, reducing the damage enough to prevent him from being killed, and that he made his stabilization roll at the end of his turn. Cheating death is the only way for a character to spend more than 1 hero point in a turn. The character can spend hero points in this way to prevent the death of a familiar, animal companion, eidolon, or special mount, but not another character or NPC.

Additional Hero Point Rules
Since hero points themselves are an optional rules system, other mechanics that go along with hero points have been included here to avoid confusion in the rest of the book. The following feats, spells, and magic items all have to do with hero points in one way or another.

Hero Point Feats
The following feats enhance your ability to store and gain hero points.
Blood of Heroes
You have a sense of destiny about you and always seem to succeed, even when the odds are against you.

Prerequisite: Hero's Fortune.

Benefit: Whenever you gain a level, you gain 2 hero points instead of 1.

Normal: Whenever you gain a level, you gain 1 hero point.
Hero's Fortune
Even at the start of your career, it was clear that you had a chance at greatness, and your legend continues to grow with every adventure.

Benefit: You gain a hero point. The maximum number of hero points you can have at any one time is increased to 5.

Normal: You can have no more than 3 hero points at one time.

Special: NPCs who take this feat receive 1 hero point and can have up to 3 (not 5).
Hero Point Spells
The following spells grant temporary hero points or prevent characters from using hero points.
School evocation; Level alchemist 2, bard 2, cleric 2, paladin 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF, M (diamond dust worth 100 gp)
Range touch
Target creature touched
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance no
This spell grants 1 hero point to the target. This hero point must be spent before the duration expires, or it is lost. The bonus hero point is spent before any other hero points the target might possess.
School evocation; Level bard 4, cleric 5
Components V, S, DF, M (diamond dust worth 1,000 gp)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets one or more creatures, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
This spell functions like heroic fortune, except as noted above.
Last edited by Xelissa on Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by Xelissa » Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:49 pm


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