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Thread: DM Mag's Classless Hack of Pathfinder 1e

  1. #1
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    Default DM Mag's Classless Hack of Pathfinder 1e

    Since I am hoping to run here, I thought I would do an updated video rundown of the basics of my hack, and then a how to build a custom race/creature video and then share it. I'll link this into my recruit threads OP for easy access but a standalone place for folks to look it over and a link to my hack might be useful to refer to perhaps. Bear in mind this is a project I'd done almost entirely on my own via running for players on my personal discord player, with a little help with some coding and input from them on interactions in my game. So it's an unprofessional setup that is a work in progress always as I seek to improve upon my creation and not a finished project for publishing.

    My goal is to rebalance how magic users and martials match up in power over the course of the game. To enable options for players who like concepts that do not fall into the linear lines that classes systems have. To shift how armor and attacks per round work to be more dynamic and differentiate between the brute who bashes you for 50 damage per swing once per round and the guy who needles you for 7 damage 5 times a round or the guy who focuses on dodging attacks and the guy who throws on full plate with a shield to protect him from attacks. To discard the Vanciaan system and redo magic into a build your own spell out of components and free cast spending SP setup. To enable specialized Martial Training and Chakras to allow folks to invest XP into improving things in new ways. We've shaken things up and altered a number of things in our journey in order to enable fun, organic, exciting new options for folks who still want the Pathfinder Experience.

    I started this journey before a lot of the books were released for Pathfinder, and before Pf2e was even started to be worked on. So I largely just stopped incorporating things that were printed after I started and never bothered to include them as utterly unnecessary. Just in case folks look and go "Why isn't that new book that came out a recently included!?". I started this project years ago and just made my own content, for my own world. My world is *not* Golarion and I am not for the way that is setup in that everywhere has every option. My world has regions where some races exist solely in that region and no where else. Not every tech or item is known in every nation or region and so there are limits on who knows who, who knows what, where you can get stuff and this encourages variation in what folks encounter in campaign to campaign.

    So, let's start with the basics: My hack. I hope that folks will respect the work I and my players have put into this and no one will steal this. Please be cool in that respect.
    4.2 Classless Hack

    Walkthrough of 4.2 Classless Hack

    How to Build a Battle Bear (Or any critter) as a Level 4 character

    In the event folks have questions just let me know. If folks have comments, feel free to share them. I may have my own personal vision of how I want things to go, but new perspectives can lead to good things sometimes even if I do not agree they can push me into new lines of thinking which can be good too.
    Last edited by Magrus; 10-23-2020 at 10:24 PM.
    Hacking pathfinder on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.

  2. #2
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    Default How Combat Works

    I have been meaning to do a "This is how combat works" example and it seems video format is not ideal for here so I shall attempt a simple text rundown of the basic mechanics using some of the example builds I've thrown in my recent recruitment threads as the basis.

    The core mechanics we intend to show here:

    Dodge and Defense instead of AC
    How Iteratives work as changed from PF1e
    Durability
    ArP and ArD (Armor Piercing and Armor Damage passives)
    Taunt (New Skill)
    Fumbles

    Rammus and Teemo vs Wealthy Arbelist and his Bodyguard

    For this purpose we need to "Finalize" some things for both sides as these builds I am pulling from here are unfinished. These aren't optimized, just randomly filling skills/feats/tc to suit a situational example for speed here from what is listed in that thread, as a note. These will be noted at the end of this post for our reference points of where we derive the stats from that dictate this exercise. They shall be denoted as follows:
    R= Rammus
    T= Teemo
    B= Bodyguard
    A= Wealthy Arbelister

    Surprise Round 1:

    T sneaks up on B and carefully moving into range, shoots from 35' away at the construct with the following results:

    {1d20+12=19, 1d20+7=18, 1d20+2=17, 1d10-3=+1 Attack Routine} vs B's Dodge [20] all of which are a *Miss* as none are 20 or above (Works just like Touch AC here)

    Round 1:

    *T is top initiative and Fires again: [23, 21, 8, -2 (Nat 1 rolled, Fumble Check)] 2 hits against B's Dodge [20]
    Damage Check: rolled 7 and 4 for damage, both with ArP 5.
    B's Defense is 13. 13-5=8. Neither damage value breeches 8 Defense and attacks deal no damage vs target. Contact Poison is of no harm to the construct as it is Immune. T has no effect on B this round despite hitting.
    Fumble Check: 1d20 is rolled and we get a 12. 1 is reroll for worse option exploding rolls. 2-5 is Fall Prone or Drop weapon level of negative. 6-10 is Stumble and take a -2 Att or Dodge level of negative. 11-15 is -1 Att or Dodge or loss of AOO's level of bad. 16+ is no negative recovery.

    *A readies his xbow and fires at T from a range of 85', well within his xbows range. He rolls:
    Att 1: 23, Manyshot: 27, Att 2: 19, Att 3: 11, Att 4: 5 of which hit: Only the Manyshot 27 hits T's Dodge of 25.
    Dmg check: 16 with ArP3 is rolled, checked vs Defense 1 of teemo [Def 1 - 3 ArP=0 Net Def]
    16-0=16 DMG to T, T has 116 HP left.

    *R charges the 75' to B rolling a 20 to hit which matches B's Dodge and proceeds to Bite and Grab B.
    Dmg rolled: 22 with ArP 3 and ArD 2
    Defense 13-3 ArP=10 so 22-10= 12 DMG to B. B has 118 HP left.
    ArD 2 would normally apply 2 flat Durability Damage to Armor or Shield worn (50% roll to determine which) but as B is unarmored, this is ignored.
    Grab: 27 Grapple Rolled vs CMD 29 means Grab fails

    *B turns from Rammus to Teemo only 35' away and moves towards him, provoking an Attack from R but gaining the +4 bonus from reworked Dodge with Mobility functioning here, bringing his Dodge to 24 for AOO's from moving.
    R rolls with a +2 from this rounds Charge: 21 is rolled which misses B as he moves past to charge T.

    Charge > Teemo has Skittering Defense, which allows a 5' step as an Immediate action which he takes. However, this 5' step can only be taken backwards due to terrain, leaving him within the range of the charge of B. *Hit*
    Slam is +26 including the +2 Charge bonus and the -2 Piranha Strike penalty which manages to hit Teemo for 13 with ArP 1 damage, and initiates a Grapple via Grab racial. Teemo takes 13 points of dmg (103 HP left)
    Grapple: +28 vs Teemo's CMB 25 means Teemo is Grappled by B.

    Round 2:
    *T furious he is grappled by a small doll struggles to break away rolling a 25 on his Grapple check. B rolls a 27 easily and remains in control. T pouts.

    *A free action ejects the clip, draws another and slaps it in, reloading the xbow via his Quick Draw, Rapid Reload and Crossbow Mastery feat combo.
    T sees the armordillo is heavily armored while the furry pest is being pinned by his bodyguard. Tsk'ing, he aims at the armor of the beast swinging at his ally, seeking to break the thick armor so he might hurt the creature.

    Attack 1: +30; Rapid Shot: +21, Att 2: +19, Att 3: 11, Att 4: 20 (Nat 20! Confirm) A hits R 4 times
    Confirm roll is a 16, which confirms a Critical hit. A roll of 20 would lead to another roll and a +1 to the Crit Multiplier for each successive 20 rolled.
    We are making ranged Sunder checks essentially here, strike the armor itself deliberately so our damage goes to the Durability of the Armor, not to Rammus if breaching the armor. This means we apply direct to Durability of armor which is [180]
    ArD check: This weapon deals no ArD, if it did this would be added to the pile of damage from each strike to the Armors Durability.
    DMG: 13, 19, 11, 16+15=74 dmg to the Full Plate +1 this round as his bolts drive home tearing plates off of the chain backing and exposing the thick skin of the beast.

    *R Taunts A. Rolling he manages a +17 on the Taunt, which is checked vs 7 {Will 6+1 Sense Motive Derivative [Will Save +(1/5 of Sense Motive w/o Wis Mod) +Mods]} as a full round action. A failed by 10 and is now furious and will freely attack without strategy in the most direct way possible on R with a +2 to Attack and -2 to AC for the next 1d6 (3) rounds.

    *B rolls to Pin: 25 and beats T managing to pin and hold T down to the ground, both losing Dex to Dodge while this occurs.

    ------------------------------
    This exercise showcases my above list of basic things in a combat scenario. I hope this is helpful. If you have questions, feel free to ask. Now the stat blocks needed for this exercise below as there's no spoiler feature it seems on this site?

    Rammus

    HP: 264 (Fast Healing 2)
    Saves: Fort: +16 (3+12+2), Ref: +8 (3+3+2), Will: +4 (3+1) [9 XP]
    Defense: 33 (6+6+6+1+14=33)
    Dodge: 14 [10+3 (Dex)+1 (Dodge feat)]
    Speed: 40'
    BAB: 4 [6 XP], CMB +12, CMD: 125
    Full Attack: Bite [FF/PA] +10/+3 (1d6+11/x2 with ArP 3 and ArD 2, Grab: +16 CMB ); Charge 80' range: +12 (2d6+14/x2)
    Skills: 24-12=12 [4 XP] {Acrobatics +6 (4 Ranks +3 Trained +2 Dex-3 ACP), Perception +8 (4 Ranks + 3 Trained +1 Wis), Taunt +7 (4 Ranks +3 Trained)}
    Feats: 4 [Free] [Feat Tax: Power Attack, Furious Focus, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Armor, Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim; Run, GF, LR, NM; 4: Weapon Focus: Bite, Run, Improved Maneuvers, Dodge ]
    Equipment: Full Plate Barding +1 (4150 gp; 180 Durability), Ring of Sustenance (2500 gp), Healing Belt (750 gp, MIC), Potion of Cure 1 (CL3, 90 gp, 3d6 HP), 10 gp odds and ends

    Teemo

    HP: 132 (High RP cost means we are greeding with hitting our HD cap of free d6's here for survivability)
    BAB: 6 [12 XP] (Snipers need to hit things, so 3/4 of our Cap here to be good at striking)
    Ranged Attack: Thorn Toss w/Deadly Aim +12/+7/+2/-3 (1d6+2/x2 with ArP 5, Paralytic Poison DC 22 and 1/rd DC 16 Fort or -4 Attack for 1 rd on target) within Close Range 35' current (25+5'/2 Levels)
    Saves: Fort: +8 (3+5), Ref +10 (3+7), Will +7 (3+4) [9 XP]
    Dodge: 25 (10+7 Dex+4 Wis+1 Dodge Feat+3)
    Defense: 1
    Feats: 6 Spell-less [2 XP] [Feat Tax: Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers, Piranha Strike, Quick Draw, Point Blank Shot, Deadly Aim, Combat Expertise, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Armor; 6: Weapon Focus: Thorn Toss, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Sidestep and Imp. Sidestep, Fleet]
    Skills: 36+4 (Int Mod) [8 XP] [Acrobatics +14 (+27 Jump), Climb +9, Heal +11, K: Nature +10, K: Geography +8, Perception +13 (+18 Visual), Profession: Tracker +11, Sense Motive +11, Stealth +14, Survival +13, Swim +9]
    Equipment: Boots of Elvenkind (2500 gp), Ring of Sustenance (2500 gp), Eyes of the Eagle (2500 gp)

    Bodyguard

    HP: 130
    BAB: 6 [12 XP]
    Slam w P. Strike: +12/+7/+2 (1d4+10/x2 ArP 1 w/ Grab)
    Trip: +16; Grapple: +16
    Dodge: 20; Defense: 13
    Saves: 0/0/0 [Free] Fort: +1 (Immune unless targets Objects], Ref: +8, Will: Immune to all Mind-affecting effects
    Feats: 4 Spell-less [Free] [Feat Tax: Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers, Piranha Strike, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Armor, Combat Reflexes, Quick Draw, Deadly Aim, Point Blank Shot;4: Witty Barb (Int for Taunt), Skill Focus (Taunt), Weapon Focus: Slam, Dodge ]
    Skills: Int Modx4 [Free] Perception +9, Taunt +12
    Equipment: Ring of Protection +1, Bracers of Armor +2, Cloak of Resistance +1, 500 gp in odds and ends

    Arbelist

    HD: 96
    BAB: 4 [6 XP]
    Deadly Aim/Rapid Shot Mwk H. Xbow Full: +12/+12/+8/+4/+0 (1d10+10/19-20x2 with ArP 3) 120' range; empties clip>Free Action reload with Quick Draw+Crossbow Mastery
    Saves: 4/4/4 [24 XP] Fort: +7, Ref: +12, Will: +6
    Feats: Spell-less 8+1 (Human) [4 XP] [Feat Tax: Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers, Piranha Strike, Rapid Reload, Deadly Aim, Point Blank Shot, Combat Expertise; Weapon Focus+Specialization (Heavy Repeater), Crossbow Mastery (Free action Clip reload for Repeaters), Quick Draw, 5: Rapid Shot, Far Shot, Focused Shot, Precise Shot, Two-weapon Fighting ]
    Skills: 30+16+30=76 [6 XP] {Must max Craft: Alchemy for Bombs; Perception +8, Sense Motive +8}
    Equipment: H. Repeater +1 (2000 gp), 2 daggers (4 gp), Chain Shirt +2 (4000 gp), Healing Belt (750g, Cloak of Resistance +1, 746 gp in odds and ends
    Hacking pathfinder on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.

  3. #3
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    Default Creating Spells

    Today we shall cover how to craft spells in my hack. On the "Spellcasting" tab of my hack, there's a lot of info. I will try to run it down here with some simple examples so folks can understand.

    1: Caster Level (CL)

    This is pretty straight forward but for covering bases. This is the limits of your casting power, which is capped at the same number your Level is. One cannot purchase a CL higher than their Lvl, but may have a CL lower than their Lvl and dabble in spellcasting. This number governs the effects of your spells.

    2: Manifesting and Casting

    We run where Psionics and Magic are equal forces that exist in tandem in the world. Dispel Magic can dispel Psionic Powers and Detect Magic can detect Psionic Powers which are active and vice versa.

    3: Spell Points (SP)

    These replace "Spell Slots" and work just like the Power Points (PP) of Psionic Powers. You spend SP in order to cast a spell, the amount of SP determined by the "strength" of the spell, or it's Spell Level (SL). 1 SP for a 1st level and +2 SP per SL over this is the cost, which may be modified by Racial traits or Spellcasting Proficiency to lower this in some situations. You may not cast spells which cost more SP than your CL. So if you have a CL of 4, you may only cast 2nd level spells which are 3 SP to cast. A 3rd level spell costs 5 SP and is beyond your capability.

    4: Spell Components

    We have split up the basic "Spell" into 6 basic components. These are:

    1: CL (Power Governor)
    2: SP (Fuel)
    3: Range (Distance limitations)
    4: Target (Area of Effect)
    5: Duration (Length of Spell Effect)
    6: Seed (Spell Effect)

    You purchase all of these via spending XP, and with Seeds, after creation, you must roll vs the "Learn" DC with a Spellcraft check to learn them. Failure means you fail to learn but spend the XP in the process and must try again, spending more XP. This is due to the power of the magic system and inherent risk of dealing with powerful supernatural forces. The components 3-6 on this list all have a SL cost to apply in building your spells. This means that you compile the SL cost of 3-6, Range through Seed in order to find the end SL of your spell to figure out the SP cost.

    However: This means a number of the SL involved in your Spell aren't bound to the "Effect", which is just the "Seed" portion. This is important, as the DC of spells in PF were governed by overall SL (IE Fireball was SL 3 and modified DC by 3). In this setup, the Seed Level or SdL is what governs the DC. If you have Long Range (SL 3) and 20' diameter burst (SL 3) and Fire 2 (SL 2) this is a SL 8 spell, but the SdL is only 2 for Fire 2. This means the DC bumps only by 2. In this way, the DC of spells gets a nerf, which synergizes with the higher Attributes that players end up with in my hack. Your caster with a 26 in their casting stat at level 4 might start with a stat 8 higher than normal, but his spells DC are inherently weaker as well broken down like this, balancing things out a bit.

    The R, T, D components are listed on the chart in the center of this tab, with a one time XP cost to buy, then the SL cost to Apply to each cast. This setup means large AOE spells, long duration spells, and long range spells cost much more than single targets you touch within arms reach for instant effects like reaching over to touch the Fighter for a quick 1 SP Heal that grants 4d6 HP at CL 4. This same spell at 100' range would become a 5 SP spell due to tacking Medium Range (+2 SL) onto it. Your standard Fireball or Magic Missile are more expensive in my hack due to their ranges and AOE and effects setup. Mage Armor for instance, with it's Level 1 and Hour/CL standard in basic DnD/PF has a nerf as well, where as a Level 1 Armor Seed with 1 hr/Level (+3 SL) becomes a 4th level spell, but is only 1 SP to touch Self+1 round/CL.

    5: Spell Proficiency

    If you stay at the top of my Spellcasting tab and scroll right you will find a small chart where you can pickup abilities that enhance your spellcasting outside of the above components. Things that reduce the cost of adding components like the Expert Range, Target and Duration options will if you pick up all 3 let you put 1 SL of Range, Target and Duration on every spell you cast for free, without increasing it. So you can cast all spells with Close, 5' diameter Burst or 15' line and with the option to turn it into a 1 min/CL duration all for "Free" like so:

    Mage Armor is (Armor 1+Range+Target+Duration) option which grants +4 Defense (Armor) with the variables set by components added. With the "Expert" options for 9 XP investment you can take:
    Mage Armor 1 (Armor 1+ Close + 5' burst + 1 min/CL) which is normally a 4th level spell into:
    Mage Armor 1 (Armor 1+ Close + 5' burst + 1 min/CL)= 1 SP via Expert (R, D, T) proficiency.

    You can take "Scorching Ray": (Fire 1+Close+1 Ray/4 CL) Which is normally a 3rd level spell in my hack to:
    Scorching Ray (Fire 1+Close+1 ray/4 CL) as a 1st level, 1 SP spell.

    Below these options are more specific options that allow you to ignore Spell Components, or invest heavily into the mastery of a Seed, even a line of options to really juice up the Summon Seed for a specialist. These are the equivalent of "Greater Weapon Specialization" and "Weapon and Armor Training" that Fighters get for spellcasters in essence. Fine tuning the control a caster has with manipulating magic to their advantage for an up front XP investment.

    Seeds

    Seeds are the foundation of spellcasting when it comes down to it. We are testing a generic selection of Seeds which might be expanded on later, which replace the "Schools of Magic" and "Spell Effects" of the standard spell lists. We use these as the building blocks to craft organic spells that fit our needs. We can "Mix" seeds, which is the equivalent of blending two spell effects into one. There is a required Mix DC you roll every time you cast a spell with 2 or more seeds mixed via the Spellcraft skill to see if you succeed, or the spell fails and a wild magic event occurs. The reason for this is you can simulate the Quicken Spell metamagic feat without a SL cost which normally is +4 SL to do here by say, blending Armor + Ward to grant Defense + Energy Resistance as a single cast, single action. This is a powerful ability for buffing the party. You can also mix say, damage seeds, Mixing Fire and Acid 1 at CL 5 for instance allows you to take 5d6 Fire and 5d6 Acid and hurl it at the enemy for 3 SP as a single action. This is strong, and requires a Mix DC 15 check.

    We have listed the Seeds in play currently on this tab, and the generic effect level for each seed level in the chart to refer to. These are guidelines to encourage creative thinking to fit the needs of the player on the fly. I, the DM rule on where an effect fits in my games so if you, the player have an idea you run it by me, I give you the X Seed at Y level requirement based on these guidelines on the chart. Many of the spells you might commonly cast are linked on this chart, when a flat +X Armor or XdY damage isn't listed. Things like Sleep and Haste and Entangle fall under various seeds here (Muddle 1, Gravity 2, Flora 1 respectively), and the general format is:

    If your spell effect was a 1st or 2nd level spell in PF, it's a 1st level Seed in my hack.
    If it was a 3rd or 4th level spell: It's a 2nd level Seed Effect.
    If it was a 5th or 6th level spell: It's a 3rd level Seed Effect.
    If it was a 7th or 8th level spell: It's a 4th level Seed Effect.
    If it was a 9th level spell: It's a 5th level Seed Effect.

    This breakdown is meant to allow us to pull in a secondary seed for "Complex spells" like Cloak of Winds (Air 1+ Ward 2) or Black Tentacles (Water 2+ Creation 1+Transform 1), along with the Range, Target, Duration components. If I didn't condense the Seeds levels, we'd need to expand Spell Levels to level 20 and that would make things absurd.

    In order to widen your repertoire of spellcasting options, you learn new seeds, increase the level of the seeds you know, and increase the investment into your Range, Target and Duration components. These are inherently Known and able to be flexed and cast in any combination you know as long as you have the SP to power the spells once you spend the XP and successfully learn them without need for a Spellbook or a linked Familiar. They cannot be taken from you and blocked by a God if you don't follow their tennents. They are yours and your investment and imagination are the limits here. Not what is listed on a spell list. While my table seems to hold less options than the massive spell list of all of the supplement books printed at first glance, it's potential in the hands of creative players is much wider to craft new spells to fit need as they keep gaining new seeds and advancing.

    I hope this clarifies a bit on how casting works in my hack for folks. Thanks for reading, and if you have questions, as always, just ask.
    Hacking pathfinder on no sleep. Classed games are boring af.

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