LWC – House Rules

When I started thinking about running a campaign using the PFBB, I came up with a grocery list of things about Pathfinder I didn’t like and wanted to change, including porting over a number of concepts from 5th Edition (such as Advantage/Disadvantage).  But as the list grew, I realized that I’d basically be rewriting the game, which completely undermines the idea of running a PFBB campaign “out of the box.”  A massive rewrite of the rules would also effectively be a bait-n-switch on the players, who’re expecting a Pathfinder-based game, and would eliminate the utility of 3rd-party resources, such as Hero Lab.

Instead, I decided to keep everything on the player’s side of the screen by-the-book, with only a couple of minor changes.  One of these changes is implementing an inventory slot system for encumbrance (as PFBB has no rules for such), and another is eliminating critical hit confirmation rolls (to help speed up the game a bit, and make combat more lethal – I want this to be a dangerous world, after all).

On my side of the screen, however, I plan to change a quite a bit.  These changes should be largely transparent to the players, and include things such as altering some of the monsters a bit, adding the missing iconic monsters (gnolls, bugbears, trolls, etc.), and substitute certain magic items (some of the PFBB magic items are just lame – Ring of Swimming, lookin’ at you).

To later to talk...maybe they should run

Too late to talk…maybe they should run?

The biggest change, however, will be in encounter building.  I plan to simply toss PFBB’s encounter building rules in favor of the old school approach of GM discretion and random generation.  This is not a perfectly symmetrical world where the challenges rise incrementally with the PC’s experience.  It’s a wide open sandbox, and it is entirely possible (indeed, probable…even desirable) that the party will run into something they can’t handle, and then they’ll have to either talk their way out, or run for it.  I’m angling for a style of play that challenges the players, and not just their character sheets.

The other significant change, mentioned in earlier posts, is making most magic items unique in the world.  Which is why I’ll be substituting certain items.  A unique Ring of Climbing (+5 to climbing checks) seems underwhelming to me.  You probably wouldn’t risk your neck for something so lame.  But replace that with a unique Ring of Invisibility and now you’re talking.  The ‘One Ring’ indeed!


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3 Responses to “LWC – House Rules”

  1. The Bane Says:

    Wow, i want to play in this world you speak of! The concept is hitting all my tingly bits! Especially the ‘throwing balance out the window’ idea. I never understood why I never seen anything higher than what was appropriate for my level. Made me think; where were these monsters, what were they doing, who was fighting them, why weren’t they running amok if we weren’t there to stop them!?

    Anyway, hope you get to run this and hope you will share the experience if you do!


  2. Tiorn Says:

    In the last game I ran, I had the PFBB booklets and printouts of your conversions at the table during the sessions. We handwaved the confirmations on natural 20 rolls, but if weapons threatened on an 18 or 19 roll, we confirmed those. We even used critical hits and misses charts that I had found that were compatible with the game’s own crit system. I encouraged them to use the d20pfsrd in down time for whatever they needed (one even used the older d20srd site for their spells).

    On the GM’s side, I used the encounter generator linked from the d20pfsrd and opened links to encountered monsters (I used a laptop at the game table). I just set the level difficulty in the generator and went with the results. If I built an encounter on my own, I set the difficulty level for the encounter in two steps: 1) determining the highest monster CR possible and 2) what the encounter XP budget was. We had a fairly large party, so I ended up throwing some epic encounters at them. The slowest part of the sessions was looking up stuff on the laptop. Everything else went well, except for some player behavior problems. lol

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