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House Rules s been a

Found at: sdf.org:70/users/bradfonseca/phlog/2018-12-15_phlog.txt

2018-12-15 House Rules

It's been a week and I'm only finally getting a chance to write
something here! It has been busy. Work has kept me occupied
with lots of tasks that need to be done before the holidays. Also,
I've been busy with evening activities, including our latest session
of Pathfinder. It was a particularly interesting session because I
attempted to implement a couple new house rules: No Initiative and
Spell-Casting Rolls.

First, I did away with initiative (as per DungeonCraft #6: No More
Initiative!  [https://youtu.be/y_mxYKzEjms]) which did speed up combat
quite a bit for my larger group of seven players. Everyone has 2
minutes to figure out their actions and then all actions are resolved
at once. I had all missile fire and spells resolve first unless the
ranged attacker was directly engaged with an opponent in a melee
situation. Melee attacks are resolved simultaneously (an attacker
still does damage if they hit even if they are killed in turn). The
spellcaster trying to cast a spell while engage in melee combat incurs
a higher DC, as you will see. The group liked the quicker combat
rounds and it did seem more like "a fight to the death". I'm sure
it'll get even faster as the players get used to the concept.

Second, I implemented a spellcasting roll (as per DungeonCraft #37:
How to Handle Magic in D&D & Pathfinder
[https://youtu.be/RV_RwUFETdI]). The presenter in the video suggests
that spellcasters should never run out of spells but implements both a
casting check roll and a spell effectiveness roll which seemed a
little too reliant on the GM ruling on the effect of the spell. He
also suggested that very horrible things should happen
(e.g. mutations, explosions, etc) should happen to spellcasters that
critically fail one of their spell rolls and this should balance the
unlimited spell availability. The DC is set by the GM depending on the
situation and the difficulty of the spell. I found unlimited spells to
be a little too unbalanced and was still at a loss as to how to
implement this idea. Then, I had a brainwave...The spellcaster still
picks his/her spells (instead of unlimited spells) as usual and also
rolls a caster success roll (1d20 + caster level + ability modifier
versus a DC set by the GM...there's a handy table I use here:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/#TOC-Concentration) BUT does not lose
the spell if they fail unless they roll a one (in addition to whatever
bad thing I decide happens to them due to a critical failure). I think
this will work better and still keep the resource management aspect of
spellcasting intact. Hopefully, I'll get to experiment with this idea
next session.

All in all, this week went well but I am looking forward to the holidays.


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