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Messages - PlzBreakMyCampaign

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The PBMC Metacompendium / Truenamer Fixes
« on: March 23, 2018, 12:43:12 AM »
General Changes:

Page 195's Speaking a Truename should read: "you must succeed on a Truespeak check with a DC equal to 15 + the creature's Challenge Rate. If you're saying the truename of a PC, the DC is 10 + the PC's Hit Dice" and "To speak a magic object's truename aloud, the Truespeak DC is 10 + the item's caster level."

Pages 204-227 each give full truenamer advancement in addition to any other advancements they might give. Any other abilities they give that require truenaming checks one round or shorter are now immediate actions.

Page 231's Recitation's should read: "All recitations are free actions that do not provoke attacks of opportunity." "The DC for the Truenaming check is 10 + your HD + 2, once you increase the DC by 2 for speaking a personal truename."

Page 231's Recitation of the Meditative State should remove the text starting with: "If you are frightened or panicked,"

Page 232's Speaking an utterance should read: "the DC for the check is 15 + target creature's CR or HD for a PC" instead of "the DC for the check is 10 + (2 X target creature's CR)"

Page 233's Duration should add "The duration for willing targets is listed per rank of truenaming."

Page 233's The Law of Resistance should instead read: "so each time you successfully speak an utterance in a day, the DC of your Truespeak check each subsequent utterance that day is increased by 1."

Page 233's The Law of Sequence should instead read, "If you speak an utterance with an ongoing duration, and you don't speak that utterance again until the duration or that utterance ends, that utterance's benefit stacks with any other different effect even if it otherwise would not."

Page 233's second sentence should read, "The reverse of an utterance is not treated as the same utterance for the purpose of the Law of Sequence." The fourth sentence should read "But you could no longer benefit from a 2nd-level lesser word of nurturing utterance after using it on an ally, if you already had fast healing."

Removing the Law of sequence/Using it as a buff puts the Truenamer in T5 territory.

Removing the 2 multipliers put the Truenamer barely into T4. Consolidating the law of resistance is icing. Its the same reason why pp are easier to keep track of than spell slots. Its actually a nerf, but one your players will gadly embrace.

As is well known, the reason the Truenamer can't escape T4 is that the utterances simply doesn't have good things. Here goes enough buffs to make hoarding a bunch of utterances feel like a good thing rather than a waste of ECL.

The change to the The Law of Resistance is actually a nerf to prevent having 29 different spell pools rather than 1 like a psion.

First Lexicon
Accelerated Attack's duration should read 10 minutes. Add the sentence "Quickened spells or Utterances reduce the action time to a swift." in the first paragraph.

Archer's Eye's duration should read 10 minutes. Add at the end "This Damage Reduction stacks with others when it applies."

Breath of Cleansing's duration should read 10 minutes.

Breath of Recovery's duration should read 10 minutes.

Caster Lens's duration should read 1 minute.

Confounding Resistance's duration should read 10 minutes. Add to the endings: "Adding 10 to the truespeak DC allows for improved evasion." and "Adding 10 to the truespeak DC removes improved evasion."

Defensive Edge's duration should read 10 minutes.

Eldritch's Attraction should read "Saving throw: None"

Energy Negation should read "Level: 2"

Energy Negation, Greater's duration should read 10 minutes.

Essence of the Lifespark should read "Level: 4"

Ether Reforged should have added "You may likewise shift a target to the material plane."

Hidden Truth's duration should read 10 minutes.

Incarnation of Angles' duration should read 10 minutes. Add the following text to both, "The Darkvision, DR, resistances, and SR come from racial HD only but stack with all others. You may not give a creature both templates at once."

Inertia Surge's normal duration should read 10 minutes.

Knight's Puissance's duration should read 10 minutes.

Knight's Puissance, Greater's duration should read 10 minutes and it should be level 5. Replace "+5" with "+10" and add the text "This does not stack with Knight's Puissance."

Magical Contraction's duration should read 10 minutes and this Spell Resistance stacks with any other you might have.

Morale Boost's duration should read 10 minutes. The level should be 3. Replace the text "functions as the remove fear spell (PH 271)" with "gives immunity to fear".

Mystic Rampart's duration should read 10 minutes.

Percieve the Unseen's duration should read 10 minutes.

Preternatural Clarity's duration should read only "10 minutes". The Saving throw line should read "None". Remove the first and last two sentences.

Seek the Sky's duration should read 10 minutes.

Seek the Sky, Greater's duration should read 10 minutes and its level should be 4.

Sensory Focus's duration should read 10 minutes.

Silent Caster's duration should read 5 minutes.

Singular Mind's duration reverse should read concentration + 5 rounds and the normal duration should read 10 minutes. Add "or equal" at the end of the normal effect.

Speed of the Zephyr's duration should read 10 minutes. The reverse should read "reduced to 10 feet" instead of "reduced by 10 feet."

Speed of the Zephyr, Greater's duration should read 10 minutes.

Strike of Might's duration should read 10 minutes. Replace both "Your target's single next weapon damage roll" with "Your target's weapon damage rolls".

Temporal Spiral's duration should read 5 rounds.

Temporal Twist should read "this utterance stacks." instead of "this utterance has no effect."

Universal Aptitude's duration should read 10 minutes.

Vision Sharpened's duration should read 10 minutes. Remove the words "Your target cannot discener details of the creatures he sees, but". Replace "second or two" with "minute even in between spells and attacks."

Ward of Peace's normal duration should read "10 minutes" and the Saving throw should only read "None". Add after "This utterance does not prevent the warded creature from being attacked or affected by area or effect spells" the text "that were already in affect, but does not allow those abilities to be knowingly attempted if they would harm the target creature."

Word of Bolstering should be level 2

Word of Nurturing, Minor, Lesser, Moderate, Potent, Critical, and Greater should have their durations read 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 minutes

Second and Third Lexicon
Agitate Metal should have the range entry read 30 ft./level while the target entry should read "Metal equipment of one creature per level; or one metal object weighing no more than 50lb./level.

Analyze Item should read "you learn all effects," instead of "you learn one spell with each use of this utterance,"

Fortify Armor's duration should read 10 minutes.

Keep Weapon's duration should read 10 minutes.

Metamagic Catalyst's duration should read 10 minutes. Remove the text "but if the item is not used within the following round, the effect of the utterance fades."

Rebuild Item should have the entry sentence "This utterance has no effect on any item that has been destroyed for more than 1 round" deleted.

Sieze Item should read 300ft. for its duration and "One object weighing no more than 500 lb." for its target

Suppress Item's duration should read 5 rounds + concentration.

Suppress Weapon's duration should read 5 rounds + concentration.

Transmute Weapon's duration should read instantaneous.

Anger the Sleeping Earth's duration should read 10 minutes.

Conjunctive Gate's duration should read 10 minutes.

Deny Passage's duration should read 10 minutes and should have added "This ability effectively blocks teleportation and planar travel during its duration as well."

Energy Vortex's duration should read 10 minutes.

Fog from the Void's duration should read 10 minutes.

Lore of the World's duration should read "within your current plane" instead of "within one mile."

Master the Four Winds' duration should read 10 minutes.

Shield of the Landscape's duration should read 10 minutes and its area should read 100ft. radius spread, centered on you.

Shockwave's Saving Throw entry should read "None except for races with the stability trait."

Speak to the Mud's duration should read 10 minutes.

Thwart the Traveler's duration should read "Permanent".

Transform the Landscape's duration should read 10 minutes.

As you can see the simplest way to make these flavorful but fleeting effects useful is to simply crank up the duration. Combined with the fact a Truenamer doesn't have to overoptimize the checks, means that they are useful to the party like a craft-o-matic warlock or a suboptimal heal-bot cleric. Don't expect it to be a mailman or a hoardificer, though.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Skill Point Flexibilitiy
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:31:23 PM »
Similar to retroactive int, this isn't needed with the alternate skill system. But just in case, skill points (like XP) can be withheld to spend later.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Racial traits and Feature Options
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:25:50 PM »
Players may take the features of their new type if desired or maintain their old traits, thanks to the augment subtype.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Protection from Energy
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:22:50 PM »
For a ranger only, protection from energy takes effect after a ranger's Resist Energy. Give those t5's some love.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Wielding for Magic Items
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:22:18 PM »
Weapon & Armor Proficiencies as well as actually wearing/wielding are required to gain magical benefits, including enhancements.
Dancing weapons or tesilated armor can give damage/armor but not the magical benefits.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Point Buy Discrimination
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:20:49 PM »
Tier 1: 15 point buy (18,10,10,8,8,3)
Tier 2: 22 point buy (18,14,14,8,8,4)
Tier 3: 28 point buy (18,18,12,8,4,4)
Tier 4: 32 point buy (18,18,14,8,8,4)
Tier 5: 40 point buy (18,18,14,14,10,4)
Tier 6: 48 point buy (18,18,14,14,14,8)

Multiclassing up reduces your stats as if your point buy was always different

The PBMC Metacompendium / Noncasters may count RHD towards LA Buyoff
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:20:33 PM »
Below half-casters (0-3rd level spells) don't count as casters for this purpose

The PBMC Metacompendium / Martial Stance
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:19:31 PM »
Also (unlike martial study) Martial Stance, doesn't allow you to use the manuever learned if you have no martial adept levels. It is only useful for 'breaking into' a stance from another martial school that you wouldn't normally have access to.

I suggest we grant it a "stance pool," like a martial adept level with the language: "If you do not have martial adept levels, you can use this stance as a martial adept with an initiator level equal to 1/2 your character level. Once you choose a stance with this feat, you cannot remove, change or exchange it for a different maneuver (see the class descriptions in Chapter 1 for details on swapping out maneuvers as you gain levels)."

Either way, there is no point in the sentence: "You can chose this feat more than once." I suggest it be removed. You are better off using Martial Study if you need to fulfill prereqs.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Lack of Spell Level Bonii
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:17:16 PM »
So you decided to play a non-caster. What do you get for giving up ultimate power? Some BAB? Here, have a bone:

Additions based off casting classification gain a bonus equal to column D:
   Full (8 or 9th level casting/manifesting/abilities, aka wizards, psions) get nothing.

   Gishes (5-7th level abilities, aka bards) have bonus SR and DR
   Hybrids (3-4 level abilities, aka paladins) get an unnamed bonus to all saves
   Sub Hybrid (1-2 level abilities aka swift hunter dipping cleric for travel devotion) get an unnamed bonus to all ACs

   Technically Non-caster (no level on abilities but they emulate magic and might have a CL like incarnum users or pixie commoners) get that same bonus as unnamed grapple bonuses and movement speed bonus of 5' per
   "Normal" Non-caster (magic items are the main source of power aka Fighters with a WoL weapon, VoP Monks with Supernatural abilities) get that that same bonus as  to movementspeed x5' & all stats
   Strictly Mundane Noncaster (Expert or Generic Warrior with no magic items or other Supernatural abilities) get that same bonus as unnamed to Initiative, and Skills

The PBMC Metacompendium / Iterative Attacks
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:11:05 PM »
No longer have a -5 penalty. They are all highest BAB.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Heal Skill
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:09:43 PM »
Add a free action DC=20+CL Heal check ability that doubles magical healing given in tandem by you if you apply the magic. This also applies to mundane healing if you can continually meet the DC.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Free Improved TWF
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:08:54 PM »
It doesn't require a fantastic exception to humanity to fight with a second weapon. No -2/-2 hit is needed when using a light weapon. Instead, -0/-0 is just fine.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Evasion for Non-Damage Effects
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:07:04 PM »
The "damage" language should be "save effect". It is an oversight because core had no non-damage reflex saves.

The PBMC Metacompendium / ECL Variant
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:01:21 PM »
PBMC Balanced ECL Variant

ECL = Class levels + Racial & Template LA + if positive[RHD - 2*Racial LA]
Rather than:
RAW ECL = Class levels + Racial & Template LA + RHD

(with common sense restrictions):
0) This variant is done on a character by character basis. Some in the party might use this but, not all must. This is why its a 'variant' and is actually useful.

1) If a race has racial spellcasting related to its racial HD, remove that abilities racial power source up to it's RHD. For instance a psychic Illithid would have no psuedo psion levels but a Spellweaver would still have 2 psuedo sorcerer levels. Remember that this variant is done in a character by character basis allowing a psionic illithid to not use this variant while a spellweaver in the party may chose it.

2) BAB may not exceed ECL and RHD's BAB may not be used for prereqs. This makes the RHD's BAB feel like a "practiced BAB" feat since it adds for future, non-BAB-progressing class levels. This obviously stops BAB from exceeding 20 pre-epic. It turns out this doesn't really matter much even if the 21 and 26th BAB gave more iterations. Astute DM's will notice that the ability to hit things a few more times, or even enter non-caster classes early (as casters already do with reckless abandon) is actually a boon to their game's balance. Even if initially counter-intuitive DMs are encouraged to waive this restriction.

3) Skill points from racial HD do not allow a character to exceed the normal 3+ECL max since the HD no longer count towards the ECL. For most cases, this is surprisingly not that needed of a restriction considering the other RAW ways to exceed this cap. Therefore, DMs are encouraged to waive this restriction

4) Skill points for the first level are not added twice. A character with aberration/construct/elemental/giant/humanoid/magic beast/monstrous humanoid/ooze/plant racial HD and one class level may must use the crappy 4x(2+int) for their starting skill point allotment rather than chose their lovely 4x(8+int) rogue class levels as the starting skill points. DMs are encouraged to waive this restriction

5) The racial HD does not get con bonus to HP as class levels do. DMs are encouraged to waive this restriction if they want PCs with above average amounts of HP since HP is way too low compared to the damage both PCs and Monsters can receive anyways.

6) Natural healing rate is based off of ECL and so is not affected by the free racial HD, though this might seem a bit counter intuitive. If you want the RHD to help, it shouldn't make much of a difference, so DMs are encouraged to waive this restriction for any players not abusing natural healing rates. Heck, even if they are they will still be screwed by SoDs.

7) Per level option of LA or RHD counting towards the required level for buyoff. This makes buyoffs happen a bit earlier, which in turn helps the 99% of monsters with over-inflated LAs become playable. It goes without saying that players who use restoration cheese need a single iteration cap on each buyoff tier's level per LA row in the chart.

Q: Why are all but two of the common sense restrictions encourged to be ignored? Why write them in the first place?
A: Because these highlight changes a DM would notice upon instituting this variant

Q: Why are DMs actually encouraged to ignore the above restrictions? Wouldn't that make all monsters overpowered?
A: Because by ignoring the restrictions players can play their favorite monsters better. For instance with higher than 20 BaB. Yes it increases their power. But so does a haste spell. No one complains about that even though mechanically haste is superior (and RAW). People are aversed to change. I merely highlighted the fact that healing a bit more (wait, your group has to sleep for heals!?) or having some more HP (what do you mean your character doesn't use vigor+shared pain for +400% hp!?) or a few more skill points won't unbalance anything. Unless you are playing a tier 6 only game. In that case, yes having a +1 to spot from an extra rank might threaten your DM's painfully weak campaign.

(click to show/hide)

The PBMC Metacompendium / Diplomacy
« on: March 22, 2018, 09:00:30 PM »
Taken from Richard Burlew ( with edits by me in italics.
tl;dr Diplomacy check = d20 + usual bonuses + Deal bonus (-20 to 20) opposed to 15 + higher of ECL or CR + relationship penalty (20 to -20)

Surveying the Rule

I have never liked the D&D rules for the Diplomacy skill. Now, let's be clear, I'm not one of those people who says that any mechanic for social interaction is a Bad Idea That Limits Roleplaying. Quite the opposite; I want a clear and concise mechanic for determining how people react to specific requests and negotiations. Here are my problems with the current skill description:

1.) It has a flat DC that is too low; a 2nd level bard turning a hostile character to indifferent is DC 25; seems "tough, but doable". But it's actually child's play. With a 16 Charisma, 5 ranks in Diplomacy, 5 ranks in Bluff (which grants a +2 synergy bonus), and 5 ranks in Sense Motive (which also grants a +2 synergy bonus), and (new in 3.5!) 5 ranks of Knowledge (nobility) (which yes, ALSO grants a +2 synergy bonus), the 2nd level bard already has a +14 and only needs a 11 or better to succeed. And that's without spending a feat on Skill Focus (Diplomacy) or Persuasive. Now here's the real problem: at 11th level, that same bard will have 9 more ranks in Diplomacy and probably at least an extra +1 from Charisma; he can now succeed on a roll of 1, which means he doesn't have to roll. He can automatically turn all hostile people indifferent by talking to them. He has 9 more levels of adventuring before he goes epic, but he can already make every enemy he meets apathetic to his existence.

2.) Which leads to my second beef: there is no discrepancy between targets. Making nice-nice to the evil overlord and sweet-talking the bean farmer who wants you off his property have the same DC under the current system. There is no way to resist the effects of Diplomacy; no saving throw, no opposed skill check, no level check, nothing. An indifferent epic wizard is as vulnerable to persuasion as an indifferent 1st level commoner. There's no such thing as a stubborn NPC under the current system.

3.) The "patch" for the last two complaints is often the belief that the DM should apply circumstance penalties as he sees fit. My problem with this is without any guide as to what those penalties should be, it basically boils down to the DM thinking, "Do I want to give them such a huge penalty that they can't succeed, or not?" But I rarely have a preference. I don't decide whether I want someone to be persuadable, I want a rule system that lets me determine it randomly. It makes it very difficult to "wing" an adventure when there is no system for determining how to assess modifiers to this skill. Is that circumstance worth a -1? A -4? A -15? There's no guidelines given. In short, I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want.

4.) When the Diplomacy check succeeds (and it usually will, with those low flat DCs), the exact outcome is too vague. They have a new mood; great, what does that mean? In reality, it means whatever the DM says it means-which brings me right back to point #3.

5.) And how far does that "mood" go? What is its breaking point? What if the PCs ask a ludicrous and overly-expensive favor of a "friendly" person? What happens? I want Diplomacy to be able to answer questions like this when I don't have the answers predetermined, and it cannot do that as it stands. I want to be able to say, "Hmm, you asked the Duke to give you a 5000 gp advance on your next adventuring feeā€¦roll Diplomacy to see if he goes for it." Right now, it doesn't really work that way. In short, D&D does not make me have to decide on the spot whether the PC's sword strikes the target; it provides rules for determining that. Why shouldn't there be rules for determining what happens when you ask an NPC to give too much?

6.) Oh, and it's too hard to really screw up. Anyone with the basic 4 ranks of Diplomacy one would take at 1st level and no penalty to Charisma is incapable of worsening anyone's attitude by accident. It should be a lot easier to blow it, I think, especially in delicate negotiations.

In my current game, I often find myself looking at the 4th level bard's Diplomacy roll of 27 and thinking, "What do I do with that information?" It just doesn't answer the questions I want it to answer.

Building the Foundation

OK, so, in my thinking I have come up with a few ground rules to guide my principle:

1.) I only worry about characters who invest in Diplomacy. Sure, fighters will occasionally be stuck having to talk their way out of something, but the system needs to work the right way for those who put max ranks in the skill and have a decent Charisma bonus. After all, combat values are derived from the best case scenario, the fighter, not the wizard. This is, in fact, one of the flaws with the current system; anyone who spends a modicum of effort being good at it, breaks it.

2.) In 3rd Edition, Diplomacy is defined as "Making people like you." I want to change that definition, for I think it lacks depth and is poorly understood. In my new system, Diplomacy will be defined as, "Getting people to accept a deal you propose to them." The idea is that anything you need to ask another person can be phrased in the form of a trade-even if you are offering "nothing" on one end of that trade, or something very abstract.

3.) A diplomat PC asking a stranger of equal level and Wisdom of 10 to accept a deal with an even risk-vs.-reward ratio should need to roll a 10 on the die to succeed. This is my numerical starting point, and I will proceed in both directions from there.

The Big Reveal:

Diplomacy (Cha)

Use this skill to ask the local baron for assistance, to convince a band of thugs not to attack you, or to talk your way into someplace you aren't supposed to be.

Check: You can propose a trade or agreement to another creature with your words; a Diplomacy check can then persuade them that accepting it is a good idea. Either side of the deal may involve physical goods, money, services, promises, or abstract concepts like "satisfaction." The DC for the Diplomacy check is based on three factors: who the target is, the relationship between the target and the character making the check, and the risk vs. reward factor of the deal proposed.

The Target: The base DC for any Diplomacy check is equal to the 15 + level of the highest-level character in the group that you are trying to influence + the Wisdom modifier of the character in the group with the highest Wisdom. High-level characters are more committed to their views and are less likely to be swayed; high Wisdom characters are more likely to perceive the speaker's real motives and aims. By applying the highest modifiers in any group, a powerful king (for example) might gain benefit from a very wise advisor who listens in court and counsels him accordingly. For this purpose, a number of characters is only a "group" if they are committed to all following the same course of action. Either one NPC is in charge, or they agree to act by consensus. If each member is going to make up their mind on their own, roll separate Diplomacy checks against each.

The Relationship: Whether they love, hate, or have never met each other, the relationship between two people always influences any request.
-20 Intimate: Someone who with whom you have an implicit trust. Example: A lover or spouse.
-15 Friend: Someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship. Example: A long-time buddy or a sibling.
-10 Ally: Someone on the same team, but with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king.
-5 Acquaintance (Positive): Someone you have met several times with no particularly negative experiences. Example: The blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly.
+0 Just Met: No relationship whatsoever. Example: A guard at a castle or a traveler on a road.
+5 Acquaintance (Negative): Someone you have met several times with no particularly positive experiences. Example: A town guard that has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice.
+10 Enemy: Someone on an opposed team, with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of a philosophically-opposed religion or an orc bandit who is robbing you.
+15 Personal Foe: Someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship. Example: An evil warlord whom you are attempting to thwart, or a bounty hunter who is tracking you down for your crimes.
+20 Nemesis: Someone who has sworn to do you, personally, harm. Example: The brother of a man you murdered in cold blood.

Risk vs. Reward Judgement: The amount of personal benefit must always be weighed against the potential risks for any deal proposed. It is important to remember to consider this adjustment from the point of view of the NPC themselves and what they might value; while 10 gp might be chump change to an adventurer, it may represent several months' earnings for a poor farmer. Likewise, a heroic paladin is unlikely to be persuaded from his tenets for any amount of gold, though he might be convinced that a greater good is served by the proposed deal. When dealing with multiple people at once, always consider the benefits to the person who is in clear command, if any hierarchy exists within the group.
-20 Fantastic: The reward for accepting the deal is very worthwhile, and the risk is either acceptable or extremely unlikely. The best-case scenario is a virtual guarantee. Example: An offer to pay a lot of gold for something of no value to the subject, such as information that is not a secret.
-15 Very Favorable: It's clear that you just want to sell your inventory so you can move. You don't care how little its sold for.
-10 Favorable: The reward is good, and the risk is tolerable. If all goes according to plan, the deal will end up benefiting the subject. Example: A request to aid the party in battle against a weak goblin tribe in return for a cut of the money and first pick of the magic items.
-5 Slightly Favorable: Just a slight 'sale' compared to yesterday's goods.
+0 Even: The reward and risk are more or less even, or the deal involves neither reward nor risk. Example: A request for directions to someplace that is not a secret.
+5 Slightly Unfavorable: Where did yesterday's sale go?
+10 Unfavorable: The reward is not enough compared to the risk involved; even if all goes according to plan, chances are it will end up badly for the subject. Example: A request to free a prisoner the subject is guarding (for which he or she will probably be fired) in return for a small amount of money.
+15 Very Unfavorable: You're bidding in a rigged auction and you know there is a 'plant' trying to artificially raise the bids.
+20 Horrible: There is no conceivable way the proposed plan could end up with the subject ahead, or the worst-case scenario is guaranteed to occur. Example: A offer to trade a bit of dirty string for a castle.

Success or Failure: If the Diplomacy check beats the DC, the subject accepts the proposal, with no changes or with minor (mostly idiosyncratic) changes. If the check fails by 5 or less, the subject does not accept the deal but may, at the DM's option, present a counter-offer that would push the deal up one place on the risk-vs.-reward list. For example, a counter-offer might make an Even deal Favorable for the subject. The character who made the Diplomacy check can simply accept the counter-offer, if they choose; no further check will be required. If the check fails by 10 or more, the Diplomacy is over; the subject will entertain no further deals, and may become hostile or take other steps to end the conversation.

Action: Making a request or proposing a deal generally requires at least 1 full minute. In many situations, this time requirement may greatly increase.

Try Again: If you alter the parameters of the deal you are proposing, you may try to convince the subject that this new deal is even better than the last one. This is essentially how people haggle. As long as you never roll 10 or less than the DC on your Diplomacy check, you can continue to offer deals.

Synergies: As normal.

Sparingly include circumstance bonuses/penalities. You accidentally burp when proposing the deal, or you are an elf talking to an elf-hater. They don't know you and you may have a good deal, but its still best to try again with someone else. Etc. These change among individuals with within the same relationship tier.

Living with the Rule

Extended Example:

A 5th level party is trying to get into an extravagant ball being thrown by a local baron (who is secretly an evil cultist). The party bard, with a Diplomacy of +13, tries to talk his way in. Three guards at the door are only letting in those who are on The List. Their captain is a 5th level fighter, and they are accompanied by a 1st level aristocrat with a Wisdom of 13, giving a base DC of 21 (the remaining guards are lower level and have Wisdoms of 10, so they don't add to the DC.) The guards have never met the adventurers before, so the Relationship modifier is +0. The final DC, however, depends on how the bard chooses to try to talk their way past the guards:
If the party approaches the guards and simply asks to be let in, they are offering a risk of "failing in your duty and probably getting fired or reprimanded" against a reward of "nothing". The guards might not get caught, but don't really get anything out of the deal either; it's an Unfavorable deal and gets a +10 increase to the DC, for a total of 31. The bard needs to roll a 7 or higher; just walking up and asking to be let in is risky.
If the party slips a pouch with 20 platinum pieces into the hand of the guard captain first, though, the deal becomes more favorable. Since even split four ways, the platinum is a decent amount of money compared to how much they get paid. Sure, they might get fired, but the platinum could keep them well-fed until they found another job anyway. The deal is now Slightly Favorable, and gets a -5 decrease to the DC, for a total of 16. The bard needs to roll a 3 or better-pretty easy.
If the party dresses up as aristocrats and successfully Bluffs the guards into believing they are nobles, the deal alters as well. The guard may get fired for letting in someone who is not on The List, but then, this noble before him may get him fired for keeping them out of the season's social event. Either way, the guard might lose his job, so the deal is Even, and the DC stays at 21. Our bard needs to now roll an 8 or better to succeed.
If, unbeknownst to the bard, the guard captain is fully aware of the evil baron's cult activities, things change again. First, the baron may have threatened the captain with a painful death if he fails his duty; thus, whatever method the bard uses to approach the guard will be one step less favorable, since the worst-case scenario is a brutal death rather than just job termination. The risk is much higher than the captain lets on, so if they offer him nothing in return the deal is Horrible for him, increasing the DC by +20 for a total of 41; the bard fails on a 20, and therefore knows something is up. Further, if the captain is in on the baron's evil dealings and recognizes the adventurers as agents of Good, he might be considered an Enemy and qualify for an additional +10 increase to the DC based on relationship, for a total of 51! This is a recipe for disaster if the bard attempts it, but he doesn't know that. This is still doable with optimization. +3 from feats, +6 synergy boni, 8ranks, +8 from charisma gives +25. Doable with a disguise and a roll of 16. Nevermind non-core feats, spells, items, class features, and more levels...
But then again, if they discover that guard is Lawful Good, the bard can suggest that they are there to take expose the baron's dirty deeds. The bard is still offering no money, but now the "payment" is the action the adventurers will take that supports and exemplifies the guard's alignment. The deal is Favorable for him, since even if he is fired, he will have the satisfaction of knowing he helped thwart an evil plan. If the bard also slips the captain 5 platinum, it might push the deal up to Very Favorable, for a grand total DC of 6. The bard then needs a -7: he will automatically succeed, though of course he doesn't know that either. If the guard had high expenses and was already getting paid too much for this job, he might reply that this was not enough, but would be open to further negotiation.

Options and Ideas:
At first read, it may seem like a pain to remember the two modifiers. There are two things that make it easier, though. First, in most games, 90% of all Diplomacy checks will be against total strangers, which is a +0 Relationship modifier. If there's no established relationship, there's no Relationship modifier. Second, notice that both modifiers have the same set-up: +10 to -10. That's intentional; even if you can't remember what modifier is appropriate, you can easily "wing it" by just remembering the upper and lower limit allowable, and judging accordingly.
The new Diplomacy skill offers a built-in definition for the sometimes-difficult-to-adjudicate charm person spell: a charmed creature is treated as having an allied relationship to the caster (-10 to Diplomacy DC), which replaces any previous relationship modifier. Thus, by charming an enemy, the DC drops from +10 to -10, a decrease of 20. The caster can now talk the creature into anything this improved relationship allows, without every NPC being wrapped around the caster's finger because of a 1st level spell. Note, however, that this will make the spell far more useful to a bard, who has Diplomacy as a class skill and has a high Charisma, than to a wizard. You might like that-maybe the bard should be better at charming people.
Sometimes, you may not have a good appreciation of what might be a good deal to offer. You can use Knowledge checks or even the Appraise skill to determine what a "fair trade" might be. Divination spells might play a part as well; a well-timed augury or even a detect good spell can give you a decent idea of what a particular NPC might find valuable.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Defensiveness
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:59:42 PM »
Combat Expertise & Defensive combat (all three versions) are at double the AC boost: +4AC & -4hit standard or full action & +8 as a full round without AoO

Similarly Casting Defensively requires DC=15+Spell level+DC+CL. Defensive SLAs require only DC=15+spell level.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Craft, Perform & Profession
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:57:37 PM »
These should not be a bunch of separate skills like knowledge. All ranks and bonuses help all sub-craft skills / sub profession / sub perform skills. This can be fluffed as becoming a handy-man / competent worker / Martha Stewart who does it all. This is much more 'heroic'.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Chassis Changes
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:54:14 PM »
3.5's designers far overestimated the power of a class's chasis. But they balanced things off of their inflated opinions. Rather than readjust things manually, let's make a chasis more exagerated. Sure it doesn't suddenly bring balance to the force, but its a start.

HP is no longer rolled. It is always max on the die.

Chassis Changes:
d4+con mod  -> 4 (penalties still apply fully)
d6+con mod  -> 6 + .5 x Con modifier (rounded down as normal)
d8+con mod  -> 8 + Con modifier
d10+con mod -> 12 + 2 x Con modifier
d12+con mod -> 20 + Con score

2+int mod   -> 2 (penalties still apply fully)
4+int mod   -> 4 + .5 x Int modifier (rounded down as normal)
6+int mod   -> 6 + Int modifier
8+int mod   -> 8 + 2 x Int modifier
10+int mod  -> 10 + Int score

The BAB rate is double and secondary attacks have a constant highest BAB-5. Divine power still only gives x1 BAB and Skillful only gives three-quarters BAB.

The PBMC Metacompendium / Armor Bonus PHB124 table
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:51:20 PM »
The little "1" superscript there penalizes tiny creatures rather than boosting huge ones. Feel free to ignore this (as most DMs do), or invert it so that tiny might not get a penalty (or fine sized creatures might have a quarter of their armor).

Really, though it should give huge creatures a x2 and colossal ones a x4

The PBMC Metacompendium / Appraise
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:48:06 PM »
    The Appraise skill is counted as a skill based off the misunderstanding that objects have intrinsic value. In reality, objects are worth what the market will bear. D&D assumes a static market, so all you have to do is ask a shop keeping if they will pay x for a good. If they say no, you've asked too much. Walk this number down until willing to pay that amount and voila, no appraise check needed. This is not a theoretical excersize unless the DM allows you to find someone willing to pay more than the items (marketplace) value. Since this goes against what most people expect, it renders the appraise skill useless.

    However the above IS useful to realize that maybe this mechanic is useful. What if the 'shopping around' for better buyers was the actual function of Appraise? This might allow selling an item at full market price. Suddenly Appraise is a useful skill again. This will steer certain classes to a higher WBL for DMs using treasure guidelines strictly. But since higher tier classes with the notable exception of the factotum, don't often have appraise as a class skill, this is actually helpful for balance.

    If not using this skill, consider allowing classes with appraise to chose another class skill. A PC can successfully sell an object worth up to 400 times the ranks in appraise in gp. The DC to be made for each check is the full value of the object divided by (400 times the character's int mod).

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