Pathfinder 2 – Thasillonian Resurgence Design
Part 4 – House Rules for the Campaign
For this instalment of the expansion to the TRAP campaign information I go into the basics of my thoughts on Pathfinder 2 at release and the house rules I will be using for my Pathfinder 2 campaigns and why.
The adventure path discussed here is the Shattered Star.
Why use the Shattered Star?
I have not actually run the Shattered Star adventure path so this is new territory for me as I am reading through the material and trying to work out how and where I will use the various aspects. This brings into the game storyline that other adventure paths utilise or refer to in the Varisian region. So definitely a good inclusion as it has a chance to reshape the players world.
The Shattered Star is centred around Magnimar as its starting point and as this is a key city in the ongoing narrative part of the campaign, having its evolution within the story will make things interesting for the players who have been there, but not done this storyline.
Thoughts on Pathfinder 2 at release
After working on this for about a month, the books have finally been released and here are my first impressions of it: (as these posts are written a few weeks before release your only getting my impressions based on the august 1st release and a week of looking at the pdf’s).
- Mixed race did not go far enough – I have some house rules to cover this.
- Paladin now split into three alignment bound classes. I think this could have been done better with alignment removal, like D&D 5E, but I will see how it plays out before making any changes.
- Goblin making it into the start book not an improvement, though not a detriment either, still on the fence for this one.
- Fighters and Monks don’t appear to have subtypes like most of the other classes. This struck me as strange, and a missed opportunity.
- Not having Oracle, Summoner, Inquisitor, Magus and Witch in the core books I think is a missed opportunity of making Pathfinder more of a signature brand. Even if the subtypes of wizard was school, witch or summoner just to bring them out. Oracle would easily fit in as a subtype of sorcerer considering you get to set the spell list for the subtypes.
- The new character sheets are amazing, players take note, give new players the class specific sheets for their characters before they start making them. Let them know that some of it has been pre-marked for them so they don’t have to fill it all in.
TRAP – House Rules
Here are all the house rules, and what they effect, that I am using in the campaign.
- Character Creation
- Half-Breed Heritage
- Location Feat
- Leveling a Character
- Equipment Changes
New Content: No new content released can be used unless it is referenced in the TRAP Players Guide. This is usually done after I get a physical copy of the material and not just the digital version.
PC’s have no alignment at the start of the game. They will start as True Neutral on their character sheet and evolve an alignment (if necessary) with play.
NPCs needing an alignment is currently under investigation, though likely to go with my D&D house rule that all outsiders have a set alignment while mortals on the material plane get to let their actions choose for them. This does fit in with legends and tales throughout history, from religion to fairy tales, that mortal choice is the one gift greater beings have bestowed upon us.
In the book, all the archetypes have prerequisites with ability score stats there. While Pathfinder 2 does have more impressive stats, I have discussed this with some of my players and for this campaign we are removing the ability score restriction on them.
This should hopefully bring in more interesting character concepts and builds. This is a test and might not be the norm for the game ongoing.
The rules on character creation are fairly simple, they are not intended to replace the base building of a character but to enhance it.
- Character stats are gained through boosts. This is a good system and gets away from the randomness of dice rolls and allows players to build characters away from the table. I have had players who have used app rolls 50+ times to get their stats before coming to a game in the past.
- Prepared casters all use spellbooks and have starting spells as if they were a wizard using their spellcasting ability in place of the wizards spellcasting ability. This give all prepared casters the same chance to learn spells, and when a new spell comes out it is not automatically part of the game.
- Pathfinder Society Membership is Mandatory for all primary characters, players will need to work to obtain and keep it. This is a story choice.
- Encumbrance also is affected by a negative strength modifier. This was done to encourage teamwork.
- Background Location is important to all characters and needs to be chosen before game starts. Once the campaign starts all new characters home location is determined by the games master. This is a story choice.
(See Half-Breeds for expansion)
Note: This is an option that replaces Half-Elf and Half-Orc from the game.
I have removed the human heritage of Half-Elf and Half-Orc from the game. What I have done is move it to a section of my Players Guide called Half-Breed. Any race that is playable can take the Half-Breed heritage instead of one included with their race.
What this means is that it is possible to have a Dwarf Half-Dwarf where you have two different dwarven heritages as well as the Elf who is Half-Human being different than the Human who is Half-Elven.
While being more flexible, it makes it easier to introduce any half-race or racial combination without saying “only humans can breed” when we can have amazing stories springing out of how your parents got together and how you were perceived by your community.
Including devil, demon and celestial half-breeds makes aasimir and tieflings very easy to integrate into the game as well. I intend to make any playable race and half-race option for my group.
I intend to work with the players to extend the different class options available to the players based on what humanoids are in the game.
Background Location Feat
Note: Every character starts with a home location)
All character have a home in Varisia, which will lead to how their characters will be able to advance their travel options and move around the setting faster.
As a restraint on character options every uncommon element of your character (Selected Background Location, Race or Feats) adds 1 level to the earliest you can unlock your home runegate. If you have any Rare elements (which usually requires GM to create) then that adds 2 to the level for when you can access your runegate.
A base character with no uncommon or rare build options can activate their home location runegate at 1st level.
This is where some of the advice about character choices was provided with this as the only penalty.
Encumbered: When you reach your encumbrance limit, it works differently in this campaign. Instead of being able to technically carry the world on your shoulders with rules as written you have the following:
- No Str Modifier: You have a threshold of 1. And for every multiple you have exceeded the threshold, apply the encumbered penalty an additional time.
- Str positive modifier: Your initial carrying capacity is already increased by your modifier. This is still by the book rules.
- Str negative modifier: Your modifier reduces your bulk capacity before you become overloaded. i.e. a -2 modifier will mean you apply the encumbered trait at bulk 3 instead of bulk 5. (Note: By the book rules allows a Str 1 character to carry as much as a Str 10 character before slowing down, yet allows a Str 12 character to carry more)
Levelling a Character
- Ability Boosts – When you want to increase an ability modifier above +4, it costs two of the free boosts instead of one. This can be done once per 10-character levels. (Note: Actual rule is increasing the stat by 1 instead of the modifier, this just simplifies it)
- Characters Starting Beyond 1st Level – Build them as if they are first level, and advance them. They gain equipment as if they were starting first level characters.
- Books: Spellbooks, Formula Books, Craft Books, Journals all are built the same way. Though each has a different purpose. A character needs to name each of their books.
- Spells take up two pages per spell, rituals take up four, and items take up a page per level of the item. (Note: by the book rule state that each spell, ritual and item take up only one page, and I expect a 20th level character to still have only one book with this rule)
- 2021-07-29 – Updating layout and linking.
- 2020-06-15 – Cleaned up working for Half-Breed and added Location Feat into the house rules. Added Levelling, Encumbrance and Equipment
- 2020-03-24 – Structure.
- 2020-03-09 – Structure and content update with more house rules been added and clean up.
- 2019-12-13 – Adding in house rule about new content.
Creating a New Campaign: Part 1 (The Concept), Part 2 (Main Cities and Guide), Part 3 (The Adventure Path), Part 4 (House Rules), Part 5 (Thassilonia), Part 6 (Factions and Characters), Part 7 (Pathfinder Factions), Part 8 (Learning from Conversion), Part 9 (Half-Breed), Part 10 (Using Renown), Part 11 (Gaining Renown and Fame), Part 12 (Location Feats), Part 13 (Adventures), Part 14 (Faction Points)
Thassilonian Resurgence Adventure Path (TRAP) Campaign
Jade Regent Adventure Path (JRAP) Campaign
This site is constantly under revision, no blog posts are final as this is a work in progress place for me to develop my game settings and rules. Some posts might be placeholders for future content, so feel free to check back later for updated information.
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