Pathfinder Variant Rules

Changes to Pathfinder:


1.)   There are only four classes and each of those corresponds to the base fighter, mage, priest, rogue.

2.)   All base feats are available. All special class abilities are also available for purchase as feats at a cost of 5 CP. Class feats must be purchased each level.

3.)   Hit points are now equal to the Constitution score of the character.

4.)   Rolled hit points are now called soak and are a combination of experience, toughness, combat savvy, luck et al.

5.)   Damage is done as follows:

a.     Regular damage takes from soak first

b.    Critical hit damage is done directly to hit points and is not multiplied. Critical damage can be converted by spending a character point which will convert the critical damage to soak except for the amount equal to the critical multiplier of the weapon. Players can elect to multiply damage but it is done directly to soak.

c.     A fortitude saving throw is rolled to avoid certain effects from Critical hits which are as follows:

                                          i.    Bludgeoning weapons will knock a character unconscious for 20 rounds minus the characters CON to a minimum of one round.

                                         ii.    Piercing weapons will impale the character on a failed roll removing all Dex based AC bonuses and reducing the move by ½. Impaled weapons may be removed by the defender or the attacker and a second fortitude save is required to prevent bleeding as below.

                                        iii.    Slashing weapons will cause a bleeding wound that will do a further 1 point of hit point damage at the beginning of each new combat round until dealt with.

6.)   The effects of damage are as follows:

a.     Soak damage has no effect upon a character until the character reaches 0 soak.

b.    Hit point damage automatically applies a -1 per point to all D20 rolls.

7.)   Healing affects hit points first and soak second.

8.)   There are no more experience points. These are replaced with character points. Character points can do the following:

a.     Add 1d4 to any d20 roll.

b.    Convert a critical hit to soak except for the number of points equal to the damage multiplier of  the weapon.

c.     Add 1 rank per point to the characters armour class at the beginning of the round.

d.    Heal 1d4 soak

e.     Be spent on gaining levels

f.     Be spent on gaining feats or abilities

A rule change due to the character point system involves level draining abilities. Creatures that drain levels now drain character points...this drain can go into negatives forcing the character to gain points until they are in the positives again. 

9.)  Character Points are awarded through actively playing the characters alignment characteristics, good role playing, not bogging down play. They are also gained through the following manner:

a.     At a level minus the challenge rating of the opponent to a minimum of 1 with bonus awards for numbers or negatives for ease. So a party of Fifth level characters who destroy a CR 4 creature get 1 point maximum.

b.    For problem solving or exceptional use of skills or characteristics out of combat.

10.) Character points can be removed through not playing in character, acting to the detriment of game play, acting against alignment.

11.) Alignment characteristics are selected at the beginning and consist of two axes: the chaos. neutral. law axis and the good, neutral, evil axis. Each selection of the aspect will provide a minimal bonus of no greater than +1 to a die roll in given situations that apply and will also have a correspondingly negative effect.Playing these attributes will grant character points during play.

a.     For example Berek has chosen Chaotic Good as his alignment. He selects "problem with authority" for his first vector and "heroic" for his second. The benefits are that he receives a +1 rolls when disobeying an order,  when dealing with a disadvantaged or underclass and a -1 when he deals with characters in positions of authority or follows an order. His second vector provides him a +1 to any roll wherein he is acting in a self sacrificing manner at risk to himself and there is no point negative –the tendency to put himself at risk is the equivalent penalty.

b.    A short list of sample alignment characteristics are as follows:

                                          i.    Law:

1.     Disciplined(+1 to Will saves,-1 charisma in dealing with chaotic alignments),

2.     Stringent(+1 to rolls involving focus,-1 when making it up as you go along)

3.      trustworthy (+1 to any action where trust is given, -1 to any skill used to lie)

4.     Martinet (+1 charisma when dealing with social rules, -1 charisma with underlings, social outsiders, different cultures)

5.     Respects authority (+1 Charisma in relation to authority figures, +1 to any action that follows an order, -1 on rolls when disobeying an order, -1 will save against authority figures)

6.     Letter of the law, (+1 to all rolls involving rote memorization or exact specifications, -1 Charisma to anyone of a chaotic or neutral alignment in legal circumstances)


                                         ii.    Neutral:

1.     Self interest: (+1 to rolls that result in personal gain over others, -1 to rolls that involve self sacrifice)

2.     Balanced (+1 will saves versus mind control or influence, -1 charisma in dealing with either lawful or chaotic individuals)

3.     Egalitarian (+1 to charisma in situations where negotiations are involved, -1 charisma reactions from fanatics of any stripe)

4.     Shallow (+1 Charisma on first appearances, -1 will rolls to resist influence or mind control)

5.     Devil's advocate (+1 to any will based save that involves affecting emotion, -1 Charisma to anyone in debate or decisions)

6.     Uninterested (-1 to any action that requires faith or belief, +1 to resist charisma based influences)

                                        iii.    Chaos:

1.     Problem with Authority,( -1 Charisma in relation to authority figures, -1 to any action that follows an order, +1 on rolls when disobeying an order, +1 will save against authority figures)

2.     Free spirit (+1 to Charisma in social interactions between different cultures, +1 to escape rolls, -1 to all actions when bound or restrained)

3.     Changeable, (, +1 to will rolls when resisting paralysis, hold, sleep, -1 to all other will rolls)

4.     Cynical: (+1 to resist mind control, -1 charisma when dealing with good characters)

5.     Moody (+1 to any roll that comes after a successful roll, -1 to any roll that comes after a failure.)

6.     Hedonistic: (+1 to rolls involving gaining new experiences, -1 to resist controls based upon appetite or resisting temptation)


                                        iv.    Good:

1.     Noble, (+1 to charisma dealing with good or neutral aligned characters.-1 in dealings with evil characters.)

2.     heroic, (+1 to any roll involving self sacrifice in the interest of others, negative is the circumstances that expose characters to danger to do so.)

3.     Generous,(+1 to all reactions from people who experience the characters generosity, lower wealth as a result)

4.      heart of gold,(+1 when doing the right thing by people, -1 when behaving selfishly or without the interests of others due to guilt.)

5.      Protective (+1 to any action that involves the defence of another, negative involves the danger inherent in doing so.)

6.      Loyal (+1 to any roll or save that attempts to turn the character from his or her loyalty to the chosen group or person, -1 to any action that herms the group)

                                         v.    Evil:

1.     Sadistic, (+1 damage, -1 to initiative)

2.     callous, (character is sociopathic and uncaring about harm they inflict. +1 to any roll involving remorse or guilt, -1 charisma effect on good and neutral characters)

3.     violent,(+1 to hit, -1 to charisma rolls in all cultures but evil)

4.     greedy, (+1 to rolls that result in personal gain over others, -1 to rolls that involve self sacrifice)

5.     cruel (-1 Charisma to all good and neutral characters, +1 intimidate and interrogation effects)

6.     Megalomaniacal: (+1 to any roll that involves ruling, mastery or dominance, -1 to all charisma based skills one on one.)


12.)  Feats cost either 5 or 10 hero points to purchase. Characters receive all feats that are class based upon achievement of the appropriate level. Class abilities may be substituted to build a variant class type—for example a fighter chooses to sub in the ranger tracking feat instead of heavy armour proficiency. All purchased feats must meet prerequisite and class/level requirements with the proviso that all classes named revert to the base class.

                                          i.    Character feats cost 5 points to gain

                                         ii.    Arcane Spell casting costs 10 points to initiate at first level ability unless defined as part of the class and 10 points per level advancement. Spell casting may only be purchased at a single level at a time with additional levels purchased upon attending the next level or during the next level achieved. (eg Berek decides to purchase arcane spells as a fighter at level 4. It would cost him 10 points to do so. Moving to level five he needs to spend 15 points to achieve the level and an additional 10 to gain an additional level of spellcasting or 2nd level arcane spell casting. If he skips this he can purchase the second level at any time during his tenure at 5th level. If he decides not to and makes it to sixth level—he cannot buy two levels at sixth. He would gain 2nd level spell ability if he chose to spend the points. Characters cannot buy more than one level advancement in Arcane magic per level.

                iii Divine Magic costs 15 per level for channeling and spell casting.

                iv Feats that require levels in different classes can use the present characters level at an additional 5 point cost. This only applies to feats outside of the base class definition.(Fighters can automatically take Paladin, Barbarian and Ranger feats at assumed levels. Priests can take monk feats, rogues can take bard feats--et al.)

                v Spell lists for alternate classes such as paladin and bard come into effect at the appropriate level. eg: A holy warrior deciding to take paladin spells would only be able to purchase them at 4 levels above where they are--so a 1st level Paladin spell would be considered a 4th level cleric spell.

13.) Spell Casting: ll arcane spells are now rolled on d20 using spellcraft et al. Divine spells do not require a casting roll. Spells can be taken from any appropriate list with approval from the GM. 

                        i 0 -level spells may be chosen up to the allowable number of spells and may be cast a     number of times per day equal to the casters intelligence or wisdom for priest characters.

                        ii The following arcane spells from other schools are not available to player characters: enlarge person, reduce person, alter self, levitate, rope trick, tiny hut, beast shape (any), blink, fly, gaseous form, shrink item, minor creation, elemental body (any), enlarge person mass, reduce person mass, major creation, teleport, animal growth, baleful polymorph, beast form, overland flight, plant shape (any), polymorph, greater teleport, form of the dragon (any), giant form (any), polymorph, greater, limited wish, polymorph any item, wish.

                        iii the following divine spells are not available to player characters: air walk, raise dead, heroes feast, wind walk, word of recall, resurrection, true resurrection.

                        iv be advised that Clerics do not automatically gain access to all spells listed

14.) Leveling costs 15 per level up to 5th, 25 from 6 to 10th, 50 from 11th to 15th, 100 from 16th to 20th.

15.) Cinematic bonus: A character can gain between +1 to +3 for excellent—but brief descriptions of actions that take on a cinematic aspect when in an appropriately stressful situation.(eg: Bereks player says I hit him with my sword. No bonus. Berek's player says I fake a cut to his legs and then drive the point into his face. +1 on the roll.)

16.) The following are gaming provisions for in game play as per the defined terms as follows:

a.     Round table: When the term round table is stated, each player will be asked to contribute from the left clockwise around the table. In the case of initiative—lowest initiative declares first, and follows from that point.

b.    Parley: Any player can ask for Parley and game will stop until the question is clarified or discussed to a final point.

c.     In character: Players will be asked to act in character for the extent of the in character action. Declared actions are irrevocable unless challenged. Clarifications can be expressed out of character. (For example: Berek's player needs to know where the boulders are in relation to his character. The player can ask. When Berek says he is moving to the rock—that action cannot be stopped unless a reasonable rationale can be incurred.)

d.    Challenge: In terms of rule disagreements, the term challenge will stop play until the challenge is resolved with a round table being called at the end for quorum from the players.

e.     DM's Fiat: at any time the DM may by fiat declare any rule change, overrule any action and close any discussion in the interest of game play and the most fun for the most people. Upon invoking DM's fiat the issue is closed.

f.     Tabled: Where a spot rule comes into conflict with another rule and cannot be resolved quickly enough to prevent play from being halted for an extended period of time—the spot rule stands and the question will be tabled until a lull in the action and discussed then.


 17) Damage from other sources:

   Fatigue is reflected in soak. A person recovers their full soak each night of rest. Sleeping in suboptimal conditions will reduce recovery of soak significantly. Characters who sleep in armour will have their recovery of soak limited to ½ soak until proper rest, out of armour is completed. Characters in fatiguing situations may have soak lost due to the circumstances.


Falling damage. Falling does 1d6+1 per ten feet fallen. Only half of this can be removed from soak. Falling in water or a soft surface halves damage with a reflex save allowing all of it to go to soak. Falling damage is considered to be critical bludgeoning damage, with impaling or slashing damage a possibility if you like to put sharp things at the bottom of pits.


So Berek the Warrior with a soak of 52 and 14 hit points falls 50 feet. He would take 5d+5 damage. Say the roll is dead average-20 points. He would take 10 from his soak and 10 from his hit points. If he fell into deep water he would take 10 points—5 to Hits and 5 to soak. If he made a reflex save he could take the full amount to his soak.  If he only had 2 soak left when he started his fall he would take 2 soak and the remainder would go to his hit points—18—leaving Berek quite dead. If he fell into water in the same circumstances he would half the damage, and remove the 2 soak leaving 8 points to his hit points. If he made a reflex save the same result would occur. 2 soak and 8 to his hit points.

Drowning and Suffocation

As per pathfinder rules. 

Poisons and diseases. 


Poison and disease attack statistics. The rules work as per pathfinder. Where damage is not specified it goes to Hit points not soak.


Game samples:


Toxin                                                                            VEDOS


Aburi Naga Venom:                                           D6 con damage,  1 check per minute, 10 minutes, 20 DC         Fort.2 consecutive saves


Attrox Venom                                                  D4 Dex x 5 rounds, 16DC, 1 Fsave


Blood Wasp Venom                                         d3 con, d3 dex damage, x3 rounds DC 19, 1 F save.


Mountain Asp Venom                                       1d3 Con damage x3 rounds DC15 save, 2 saves                         


Salts of Astol                                                    4/1d8dam (ingest)/10rounds/1hour/F0 effect


Death Angel Mushroom                                     8/1d6 dam (ingest) /5 rounds /1/2 hour/F0 effect

Blackblade                                                        0/1d6 soak damage(cut) /1r /1r/F0 effect

Gheddi Weed                                                    0/1 Int(inhaled)/20r/2r/W0 effect

Heartroot overdose                                           2/4d10 (ingested)/1r/1 hour/F0 effect


Dragonflower Root                                            4/Change Alignment to CE/20 rounds/4r/F0


Salasas Smoke                                                  0/1d10 soak, -1 Int/10r/1r/W0


Lung Rot                                                           0/d4 Con/7d/1d/F0


Blood Fever                                                      2/-1d4 to all stats/3 days/1day/F0


Karkan's Plague                                                4/1d6d/7days/1 day/F0


Red Eye                                                           0/-1d3 Wis/5 days/1 day/ W0


Magebane Fever                                               -1/-1 Int, Con, -1 spell casting level/7 d/2d/W0


Limbwrack                                                         0/-1d6 dex/3d/2d/F0






 18) Optional Rules for avoiding death.


            A character may elect when taking a wound that would end up killing them—to have the following happen:


1.  The character can elect to have the killing blow permanently remove damage in excess of their hit points from the characters constitution.

2. Loss of a body part. An eye gouged out, a hand amputated or what have you. This will have a corresponding result in characteristic loss and permanent penalties from that point forward. This would involve doubling the damage result and subtracting it from appropriate statistics or skills permanently. The cost per point of negative damage is 1 point in stat per point, 1 level of AC per point, 3 points in skill per point or 5 feet in movement speed.
For example: Berek is in trouble. He has been fighting an Inzhari Demon and losing. His soak is gone. His hit points which started at 14 are now at 7. The demon hits him and does 12 points of damage. This is five beyond dead. Berek could elect to take 5 permanent constitution damage--reflecting perhaps a claw punched through his lung destroying it turning his 12 Con to a 7. Or he could take 10 points from other stats. Berek decides that the claw slashed across his face. He states that he is losing his left eye. He elects to lose 4 points of charisma and decides to take a -6 to all rolls involving visual perception including all missile attacks.