Posts Tagged ‘Pathfinder’

Weapons Break

September 15, 2016

brokenblades-sword

Something Pathfinder (or most fantasy RPGs, including D&D) doesn’t touch on is the frequency with which Medieval weapons broke.  My research indicates weapons, especially swords, broke frequently, primarily due to the poor quality steel most blacksmiths had to work with during the Medieval period.  But even weapons made of high quality steel could still break with ‘robust’ use.

It bothers me that, barring unusual circumstances, RPG characters can often use the exact same weapon purchased at creation all through their adventuring careers, when history suggests it was actually fairly rare for a weapon to be used so long, let alone be passed on to one’s heirs.

brokensword

To reflect this, I am considering using the following rules next time I run a game:

  • Standard weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1 or 2.
  • Masterwork weapons break on a natural attack roll of 1.
  • Magic weapons have a percentage chance of breaking on a natural attack roll of 1:
    • +1 weapons have a 5% chance of breaking
    • +2 weapons have a 4% chance of breaking
    • +3 weapons have a 3% chance of breaking
    • And so on

The purpose of these rules is to further complicate the logistics side of the game, to encourage players to carry multiple weapons (for backup), hopefully discourage the tendency of Pathfinder characters to hyper-specialize in a single weapon, thus injecting a touch more verisimilitude in the game.

If these rules seem unduly harsh to you, you may consider having normal weapons break on a natural 1, masterwork weapons having a 50% chance of breaking on a natural 1, and magic weapons break only under extraordinary circumstances.

Cheers.

Long Winter Campaign is…Go?

May 7, 2016

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Looks like I might finally have a chance to run the Long Winter Campaign in a couple of weeks.  Now it’s time to drill down from high-level concepts and ideas to specific content.

I will, of course, post campaign updates here, for those who are interested.  Cheers.

Edit:  Never mind.  Looks like the Long Winter campaign will have to wait a little longer. 🙂

PFBB Bestiary – Remorhaz and Yeti

April 29, 2016
Remorhaz_by_BenWootten

By Ben Wootten, used without permission

 

I figured the Long Winter Campaign could use a couple of new, icy monsters.  So I present Beginner Box conversions for the Remorhaz and the Yeti.

Please let me know if you have any questions or notice any errors.  Cheers!

PFBB House Rule – Aid Another

April 6, 2016

preview_alchemy

Those of you familiar with Pathfinder core recall that there is a rule for aiding another character during a skill check.  Pathfinder Beginner Box has no such rule.  This provides an opportunity to add a simple house rule that borrows from 5th Edition without affecting any other part of your BB experience.

Simply, when one character aids another during a skill check, the player making the skill check rolls two d20s and uses the higher result (in 5E this is called Advantage).  In order to aid another, the character must be trained in the skill in question.  Of course, there may be particular circumstances in which aiding another during a skill check is either impossible or highly impractical (at the GM’s discretion).

Cheers.

PFBB Expanded Deities

March 1, 2016

Kyra - Cleric

Here’s the Expanded Deities for the Pathfinder Beginner Box.  What I’ve done is take the four deities presented in the BB and add five additional ones, making 9 in all (and one deity for each alignment).

As much as possible I’ve tried to avoid duplicating abilities and spells.  Given the BB’s limited options, in some cases I had to cheat a bit with the holy weapons and bonus spells.

Technically the BB doesn’t allow PCs to be evilly aligned, so perhaps you can use the evil deities for NPCs, or change their alignments, or just ignore deity alignment altogether (as the BB seems to).

On a final note: GMs may want to use this document as a reference for creating their own deities, or allowing players to create their own deities.  Simply let your players pick two abilities they feel are appropriate for their deity (with GM approval, of course), and then a selection of appropriate bonus spells (one each of 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells).

Please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, etc.  Cheers.

Expanded Schools of Wizardry for PF Beginner Box

February 18, 2016

695_maxIf you’ve noticed, the PFBB doesn’t really go into schools of magic much, other than a handful of schools for the wizard.  But it doesn’t really classify each spell by its corresponding school the way the Core rules do.  So, that got me thinking a bit on a way to expand wizard schools of magic.

So, each of the core wizard schools are represented.  Also, each school grants a bonus spell for each spell level (instead of just a bonus 1st level spell, per the PFBB).  And since the BB doesn’t specifically list each spell’s school of magic, I set it up so that the player can simply pick six spells of their choice (two each from 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells) to be the restricted spells they cannot prepare or cast.

Here it is:  PFBB Schools of Wizardry (PDF)

Sometime in the coming week, I’ll probably do a similar document expanding the deities for clerics.

Cheers!

PFBB Bestiary – VAMPIRES!!!

December 31, 2015

PZO9231-Cover_360

I thought I’d ring out the old year with some monsters…vampires, in point of fact.  I based the master vampire off of a level 5 wizard (evoker), applying the vampire template.  I’ve also BB-ified things quite a bit, so please forgive me if they aren’t exactly like PF core vampires.

Still, these BB versions of vampires are quite nasty, especially with their energy drain and dominate attacks.  A standard BB party, unprepared for vampires, could easily face a TPK.

Cheers, and Happy New Years!

PFBB Bestiary – Bugbears & Ogre Magi

December 14, 2015

pfogremage

Here’s another PFBB monster conversion: Bugbears and the formidable Ogre Mage.

I removed some of the Ogre Magi spell-like abilities, both to save some space and because I didn’t see them coming into use too often during a BB style game.  None-the-less, I left the monster at CR 8, for it’s Cone of Cold ability is dangerously lethal to a 5th level character (especially when combined with it’s innate fly and invisibility abilities, allowing for the perfect ambush!).

As usual, please let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or notice any errors.  Cheers!

LWC – The Collegium Lacunae

December 11, 2015

scale

Tucked deep in the bowels of the Grimhau lies the most complete post-Cataclysmic library, belonging to the enigmatic Collegium Lacunae.  The Collegium is a collective of sages, scholars, priests and, primarily, wizards, dedicated to the preservation of knowledge, and the reversal of the Cataclysm.  In particular they prize magical knowledge, especially magical knowledge relating to the Cataclysm.  They are well known to pay in gold for any tome or manuscript, regardless of condition or subject matter.

diablo-3-library-free-desktop-wallpaper-1920x1080

The Collegium itself comprises about a dozen members, half of whom are in residence at the Grimhau at any time.  The Collegium’s master is rumored to be an ancient elf, one who was old even when the colorless fire rained down upon the hapless Empire.  But the master has never been seen in public.  Indeed, only a few of the Collegium’s elite cadre have ever met the Master.

Don't let appearances fool you; these chains are enchanted.

Don’t let appearances fool you; these chains are enchanted.

Despite its secure location, and the additional protection of resolute dwarvish guards hired directly from the Grimhau itself, the Collegium’s library employs two additional safeguards: chains and curses.  All of the library’s hundreds of books are chained to walls and shelves.  The most valuable (and dangerous) of these tomes are chained in a secure vault, enchanted with various wards and curses.  Visitors must possess impeccable credentials to enter the library, and even then a hefty gold deposit is required, with guards in constant attendance.

Some members of the Collegium travel the Riverlands, tracking down leads to forgotten texts.  There are always at least two members, attended by servants and a formidable body of dwarvish guards.  They are known for carrying gold and silver with them, for the acquisition of books and the occasional magic item.  But make no mistake, attacking a Collegium expedition is no light undertaking.

The Collegium has been known to hire adventurers for more dangerous tasks (or, sometimes, require such services from adventurers requesting admittance to their library).  They are happy to perform minor favors for those who serve them well, including magical healing, the identification of magic items, and providing answers to obscure questions.

LWC – Morale Checks

November 28, 2015

Pathfinder0_1000The Long Winter Campaign will not use the encounter building rules.  Thus, it is entirely possible that a party could find itself in over their heads, with few options for escape or evasion.  In general, I’m fine with the players killing themselves off through overconfidence or incaution.  However, I still think there needs to be a bit of a safety valve, of sorts, and I believe a simple morale system will fit the bill.  Indeed, in old school D&D the morale rules, while an artifact of the wargaming roots of the hobby, more-or-less filled the same role.

To be clear, morale checks apply only to NPCs.  Player characters never have to make a morale check (fear-based saves, such as caused by dragons, are a completely different thing), though any NPC retainers or hirelings the PCs bring along might, at the GM’s discretion, have to make a morale check.  So, for the most part, these rules apply to monsters.

Check morale for groups of monsters.  If you have a group of orcs and a group of goblins fighting together, you might treat them as two separate groups.  Solitary “apex” monsters, such as dragons, should check for morale individually.

Good times to check for morale are:

  • When monsters take their first casualty (or first hit, in the case of solitary monsters), particularly if the PC party hasn’t taken any casualties/hits yet
  • When the monsters’ numbers are reduced to 50% or less (or a solitary monster is reduced to 50% hit points), and the PCs outnumber them, or obviously outclasses them
  • When the monsters’ leader is killed, incapacitated or otherwise “defeated”

To make a morale check, use the creature’s Will save.  For groups of monsters with a clear leader, use the leader’s Will save.  The first time a morale check is made, the DC is 10.  If a second morale check is called for, the DC increases to 15.  If the monsters pass two morale checks in the same combat, no additional morale checks will be required during that combat.  Modifiers for bravery/vs. fear apply to the morale checks.  The GM may apply other modifiers deemed appropriate to the circumstances.

Mindless creatures, and fanatics, never make morale checks; they’re always willing to fight to the death.

Creatures that fail a morale check will attempt to flee by the most expeditious route possible.  If escape is impossible, intelligent monsters will attempt to surrender.  If their surrender is declined, they will fight to the death.

I’m inclined to not award experience points for monsters that flee or surrender due to a failed morale check.


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