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Hey, My Players!

Some Pathfinder House Rules being considered, I'd like your opinion on them:

Iterative Attack = Extra Dice

The idea here is that where you would normally have iterative attacks, instead you do one attack and double the dice (on a full attack only). For instance:

Sword attack: +9/+4 to hit, 1d8+4 damage would become +9 to hit, 2d8+4 damage.
Bow attack: +11/+6/+1 to hit, 1d6+2 damage would become +11 to hit, 3d6+2 damage.

Potential Benefits: Less die rolling, bigger hits. Easier to penetrate DR even with smallish weapons. Crits become huge. Full BAB is a wonderful thing.

Potential Drawbacks: The ability to switch targets if you drop a foe with the first attack is lost. Attack becomes "all or nothing" because if you miss the first, you miss them all. Although crits are huge, there are fewer chances to get one. Less-than-full BAB can make you feel gimped.

Some Notes: The idea that only the dice multiply is to keep things roughly in balance with the fact that on iterative attacks, all attacks after the first are much less likely to it. Additional attacks, such as TWF, Rapid Shot, haste effects, are not included in this figuring.

Full Attack (with Penalty) As a Standard Action

Normally, a full attack requires a full action; this version would allow a full attack as a standard action but with a -4 penalty.

Potential Benefits: More movement, as you don't feel like your only chance of doing significant damage is if you can do a full attack, so you end up standing toe-to-toe with the monster and trading full attacks back and forth. Can be combined with the rule above in order to speed up combat.

Potential Drawbacks: Could be broken when combined with haste, TWF, etc., especially given the way BAB tends to outstrip AC. Do you want a fire giant running across the room and getting a full attack on you at +17 for 5d6+15? (Or +15, 5d6+22 with Power Attack?)

Edit: One more!

4E-Style Crits

I'm also considering making crits automatically full damage with no confirmation (rather than double dice and mods).

Potential Benefits: Faster, crits happen more often, no trying to remember what damage doubles and what doesn't.

Potential Drawbacks: Crits become a flat number and may be a little less exciting. Players will end up taking more crits, too.

What do you think, sirs?

-The Gneech


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 23rd, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
That's as may be, but statistically speaking, "rolling double damage" and "automatic full damage" work out to be the same in the long run, or as close as makes almost no difference.

1d8 averages 4.5
2d8 averages 9
full damage on a 1d8 attack would be 8

The main thing you lose is the possibility of actually rolling full damage on your critical, which would be 16.

Nov. 23rd, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
I do agree that "just do full damage" doesn't feel as exciting as getting to roll double damage. But the problem with crits on a d20 is that they come up too often ... even before you get things that expand your crit threat (such as Improved Critical or keen weapons), you're looking at a 5% chance for every hit to be a critical without something like the "confirmation" mechanic (which is one I've always hated).

My thinking is that if crits are going to come up too often, they should be less huge of a deal.

Either way, it's up to the players, really. :)

Nov. 23rd, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC)
1st standout issue for me comes with 4e style crits. as a crit monster build, I already have a special ability that lets me do full damage if I do not crit. granted it has limited uses, but its effectiveness would be greatly reduced if crits only did max damage in the first place.

Being as I'm built to crit often in the first place, I could stand iterative attacks = more dice. I might not get to swing my sword as much, but I'm gonna crit fairly often and boy is it gonna hurt when I do. -Frisk
Nov. 23rd, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
So noted! :)

-The Gneech
Nov. 23rd, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)
I dunno I like taking multiple attacks for a full attack. If I was going to use something like this I would just take the vital strike feat chain. multiple attacks just has a more old school feel than the multiple damage dice.

Nov. 24th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Iterative attacks: There are situations where it's far more advantageous to have lots of swings, but i totally understand the idea of one big blow to get through high AC and/or constantly plinking away to overcome damage resistance. I could go with that concept if it were optional which way we wanted to go. Kind of a house-rules power attack sort of deal.

How would you apply this, and would there be a difference between iterative attacks, and multiple attacks?

Sure, a giant might have two or three diminishing swings with his axe, like an oversized fighter, but how would a dragon's claw/claw/bite/tailslap play out? I think all that's saved us many times is that half of those attacks miss.

Full attack as standard action: I think it'd get unbalanced, especially if the party is rushed by a bunch of monsters, before they really get a chance to set up and defend. Some of us could stand up to it, but the less tanky classes could be hacked to ribbons before they've had a chance to even move. (considering flat-footed defenses could more than make up for the -4 to hit)

4E-Style crits: this might be another 'better at lower levels' thing, just considering how much hurt a high-level monster could serve out giving away full damage every time a 20 shows up on the dice.

Also, how would you work a weapon that currently crits for 3x like a battle axe or a longbow? full damage +50% would seem logical, i guess.
Nov. 24th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Technically, claw/claw/bite/tailslap is not an iterative attack, it's a "multiattack." Iterative attacks are those you get for having a high BAB. The dragon's to-hit numbers are probably something like +12/+12/+12/+10, so the "just add an extra die and call it done" model doesn't really map to it well, and would still be run as written.

It might work as something people could switch back and forth on. I was thinking that Dreklin was probably the one who'd get the most benefit from it, as it would be easier for him to pile up single-target damage and punch through DR.

re: x3 crits, yeah 150% damage would work.

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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