Tome of Prowess (3.5e Sourcebook)/Supporting Changes
By making substantial changes to the skill system, we open up a few attached subsystems to scrutiny as well. This chapter details changes to the class features and subsystems most impacted by the skill changes presented here.
Updated Class Features
Some of the changes we've made in the skills chapter step on the feet of certain classes. The following class features have been updated as a result.
For skill dependency reasons, as well as thematic reasons, some changes have been made to the primary spellcasting attribute of some classes. This may change the attribute that determines the maximum spell level available to a character, as well as the attribute that determines bonus spells and spell save DC.
The divine spellcasters have been divided into two groups that correspond with their primary spellcasting skill:
Clerics, Paladins, and similar spellcasters remain attached to the divine source, as their spells are straightforwardly granted by their deities. These spellcasters draw their power from the strength of their convictions and their connections with their patrons, and their spellcasting stat is henceforth Charisma instead of Wisdom. As they have class features that depend on this stat anyway, it's not really a big deal. They remain tied to the Knowledge (religion) skill in its new form, Thaumaturgy, which you may have noticed is a Charisma skill.
Druids, Rangers, and similar spellcasters become more firmly attached to the natural world as the source of their spells and no longer need to revere any particular deity. The spellcasting stat for these characters remains Wisdom. They remain tied to Knowledge (nature) in its new form, Geomancy, which you may have noticed is a Wisdom skill. They no longer have secondary ties to Knowledge (religion).
Bards remain an arcane class, and now use Intelligence as their primary spellcasting atribute. This gives them a bonus to their casting skill, Arcana, and other skills that they do not have spells to readily duplicate. The efficacy they lose in the Charisma skills isn't a concern since they already have spells to cover those bases. The idea that all spontaneous casters must use Charisma as their primary spellcasting attribute was an interesting one, but one that does not fit with the new skill system. Since we also have a set of Charisma casters, there is no need to retain the bardic connection for the attribute.
Sorcerers are a special case. At first level, they may select whether they are arcane, divine, or natural casters. their primary spellcasting attribute from Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. Their selection also determines whether they select their spells from the wizard, cleric, or druid lists as well as which related skill they consider their primary casting skill. This decision may not be changed later. Most sorcerers are arcane casters.
The perform skill has been moved to a background skill, and is no longer available for the bardic music class feature. Instead, a bard may use their bardic music class feature with any performance style in which they have Grade II or higher background ability. When a character acquires their first bard level, they acquire also Grade II in one performance style of their choice.
Additionally, the bardic music class feature is mapped to class level instead of perform ranks. Bards gain virtual ranks in this non-skill equal to their class level +3, and may add their charisma modifier to these virtual ranks when making checks. When a perform check is called for by a class feature, the bard instead adds their class level + their charisma modifier + 3 to the d20 roll. These virtual skill ranks may not be used for any other function, however, including the old skill abilities.
Bards also find the acquisition and advancement of new performance styles more easy than characters of other classes, and replace the standard base advancement time with a time period based on their class level, as indicated in the table below.
<add table here>
The ability to find traps of any DC has been folded into the Devices skill, so the class feature written in the SRD provides no actual benefit. Use the following replacement text instead:
Trapfinding: As a full-round action, you may move up to your base speed while also searching each 5’ square immediately in front of you for traps. You must "take 10" when you use this ability, and can not make a check for squares searched in this way. If you reduce your speed to only half of your base speed, you may "take 15" for the round instead. You may do this, in difficult circumstances and without penalty, even if you do not have 4 ranks above the minimum required to use the search ability, but you are limited to only finding traps you could otherwise find based on your ranks in Devices.
The ability to influence an animal's or magical beast's attitude towards you has been subsumed into the creature handling skill, so the class feature written in the PHB provides no actual benefit. Use the following replacement text instead:
Wild Empathy (Ex): You are able to understand and make yourself understood to animals and magical beasts in a very limited fashion. You can glean their emotional state or very basic instructions (such as "come", "danger", "stay", etc.) from their actions and speech, and can impart those things to them. If a creature is suspicious or hostile towards you, you are unlikely to get anything useful. If the trusting village dog had witnessed Timmy falling into a well and came to get you for help, for example, you would understand that the dog was worried and wanted you to come with it. As another example, if you were attacked by a starving magical beast who saw you as food, you could identify that motivation behind its assault and attempt to help it instead of killing it in self defense.
Saving Throw Adjustments
Some of the changes we've made interact with the saving throw system in non-obvious ways. These are some things you'll want to keep in mind.
Some Instantaneous Spells Aren't...
Several skills now act as backup saving throw devices, and these are fairly far reaching. Stone to Flesh, for example, could be resisted for rounds and eventually fought off even after the initial fortitude save was failed. Casters of these effects need to be aware of the effects that their spells will have if we expect them to cast them responsibly (which we do). So it should be very clear that targets will have the ability to resist a large array of spells for a time and possibly even shrug them off eventually, but during that time they will suffer a great deal of action loss. The spells will still hurt substantially, especially if you target an opponent with little or no skill at resisting, but they are slightly less powerful than they once were.
There are two reasons for this change. The first is simply to keep people more involved in the game. A spell that once ended involvement for an indeterminate amount of time now keeps the player at the table for several additional rounds, making checks and taking whatever actions are allowed to them. The second reason is a purely thematic one. Lots of source material includes the targets of such spells fighting them for a time, and either breaking free or suffering while it claimed them. The game fails to support these conventions utterly, even though doing so is straightforwardly better for those at the table. So we do now.
Suggested Rule: Alternate Saving Throw Modifiers
|Because the skills that backup saving throws are based on the same attributes that currently provide bonuses to saving throws, there's a lot of defensive potential tossed into only half of the attributes. It would be nice to spread that dependency around a bit, if only to make the worth of the various attributes more balanced. It is easier to refluff the save adjustments than the skills though, so that is what we propose here.
Instead of the standard attribute bonuses to saves, we suggest using the following assignments. This is not a "use the higher of the two" proposal, this is an actual replacement assignment. The old attribute assignments don't impact saving throws at all in this variant, instead only serving to increase the chances of a character freeing themselves from the effects of a failed saving throw via the new skill mechanics. The updated assignments are:
Revised Animal Training Rules
The rules for training animals a specific trick in the PHB aren't anything special, but they basically aren't broken either. They fail to scale to higher CR creatures at all, however, and don't take into account the creature's attitude towards you. The revised creature handling skill does these things, and the default DCs presented in the PHB wind up a bit high if used straight with the revised skill. The rules for training an animal for a purpose don't work well with a scaling time scale like the revised skill uses. To accommodate these changes, use the following information for training creatures.
Training a Creature for a Task
A creature with an Intelligence score of 1 can learn a total of 3 tricks, while a creature with an Intelligence score of 2 can learn a total of 6. Creatures with an intelligence of 3 or greater can learn any number of tricks, but are actually sentient and may not perform the task when asked or pushed.
Training a creature to know a trick requires a Creature Handling check. The base DC is determined by the creature type, the creature's CR, and the trick itself. A list of tricks, their DCs, and descriptions is listed here.
|Attack Natural Creatures||15||The creature attacks obvious enemies. You may point to a particular creature that you wish the animal to attack, and it will comply if able. An animal with this trick will attack only humanoids, monstrous humanoids, giants, vermin, plants, or other animals. The creature refuses to fight other types of creatures unless they initiate combat, and ceases fighting them as soon as they stop.|
|Attack Unnatural Creatures||15||A creature must know the Attack Natural Creatures trick before it can learn this one. A creature that knows this trick does not hesitate to attack any type of creature upon command.|
|Come||10||The creature approaches the caller without attacking them.|
|Defend||15||The creature will try to keep its owner, or another target that its owner has specified, from harm. It will attack those who are attacking its target, even if it lacks the appropriate attack trick, but it will not pursue an enemy who backs down.|
|Down||10||The creature breaks off combat or otherwise backs down when commanded. If a creature does not know this trick and they have been commanded to attack, they continue until they or their target is no longer capable of fighting.|
|Fetch||10||The creature goes to and retrieves the specified object. If no object is specified, the creature runs out and returns with a random object or nothing at all.|
|Guard||15||The creature will stay in place and try to dissuade those besides its owner, or a clearly marked group that its owner has specified, from approaching. It will attack those who it thinks should not approach even if it lacks the appropriate attack trick, but it will not pursue an enemy who backs down.|
|Heel||10||The creature follows you closely. It will even enter areas it would not normally go.|
|Perform||10||The creature performs a variety of simple tricks. Depending on its physical makeup, these may include (but are not limited to): playing dead, rolling over, begging, shaking "hands", barking or roaring, sitting up, laying down, and moonwalking.|
|Return||15||The creature returns to a designated point, and waits there once it reaches it. This point is designated when the trick is learned, and can not be changed without retraining the creature. It will not attack creatures along the way, but it will defend itself if necessary.|
|Seek||10||The creature moves into an area and looks for something that is obviously alive or moving. This trick is often used in conjunction with fetch, defend, or attack and does little on its own.|
|Stay||10||The creature will stay in the place you specify, waiting for you to return. It does not challenge or attack other creatures that come by, but it still defends itself if it needs to.|
|Track||15||The creature attempts to track the scent presented to it. Only creatures with the Scent special quality may learn this trick.|
|Work||10||The creature will pull, push, or carry (depending on its physiology) a medium or heavy load without protest. Moving these loads still tire the creature as normal.|
Training a Creature for a Purpose
A creature is considered trained for a purpose when they know all of the tricks required to fulfill that purpose. A creature who knows all of the tricks for a purpose gains a special ability related to that purpose as well. It is possible to have a creature trained such that they meet several purposes, but they only gain the special quality from one of them. When a creature learns enough tasks to qualify for a purpose, it may gain the benefit automatically at that time. Otherwise changing the purpose of a creature counts as teaching them a new trick, requiring time and a check as any other training does.
|Combat Riding||Attack Natural Creatures, Come, Down, Heel, and Stay||A combat riding mount will accept instructions from the saddle, and can be directed with the Ride ability instead of the Push an Animal ability. Additionally, combat trained mounts do not provide their riders with penalties to attempts to control them while in combat or similarly threatened or distracted.|
|Fighting||Attack Natural Creatures, Down, and Stay||A fighting creature gains a +2 competence bonus to damage rolls.|
|Guarding||Attack Natural Creatures, Defend, Down, and Guard||A guarding creature gains the benefit of the Diehard feat while guarding a ward or location.|
|Laboring||Come and Work||A creature trained for heavy labor gains a +3 competence bonus on endurance checks to Continue Exertion while working.|
|Hunting||Attack Natural Creatures, Down, Fetch, Heel, and Seek or Track||A hunting creature with the seek trick gains a +2 competence bonus on their perception checks to Notice other creatures while seeking. A hunting creature with the track trick is considered to have the track feat and ranks in survival equal to their CR if they do not already have more ranks in the skill. A hunting creature with both gains both benefits.|
|Performing||Come, Fetch, Heel, Perform, and Stay||A performing creature can use the Combat Distraction ability of the bluff skill as if they had ranks in bluff equal to their CR.|
|Riding||Come, Heel, and Stay||A riding mount will accept instructions from the saddle, and can be directed with the Ride ability instead of the Push and Animal ability.|
Training Domesticated vs. Wild Creatures
The sole difference between a wild animal and its domesticated version is that the domesticated animal often has a default attitude of Indifferent or Comfortable towards people and civilization in general, instead of Hostile or Suspicious. For this reason, it is often beneficial to domesticate an animal before you begin training them for a special purpose, like teaching a Dire Lion to be a combat mount.
If you do not intend to sell the creature after training, but are only training them for your personal use, this is less important. You can simply adjust their attitude towards you and then train them. You will not suffer the large attitude penalty during training or later on if you need to push them to perform a trick. Other people will need to deal with the normal attitude of the creature, however, because the default attitude was not adjusted. The creature will still be skittish or aggressive towards others, but that may not be a concern.
Revised Movement and Fatigue Rules
The movement rules in the SRD are not particularly satisfying. Like most of the original skills, they don't grow in any meaningful way with character level. It's unlikely that you can naturally run any farther at level 20 than at level 1 regardless of archetype. While you might be able to run another couple of rounds at higher level, it almost certainly all comes from the constitution bonus item you happen to be wearing rather than anything about yourself. They also interact badly with the fatigue you get from swimming or climbing, and the translation from local movement to overland movement is barely there. But while there are limits on how long you can run and walk and swim and climb, there aren't limits on how long you can keep swinging your sword or chop down trees or chisel away at castle walls or other non-movement physical activities.
So we're going to revise the rules to open the door for cross-country runners as well as more rigorous modeling of running / walking cycles by changing the way that fatigue is generated by various actions. This means that we can track fatigue from movement and battle and anything else that a character does in one place and apply penalties as they do more without resting. We can even apply this to extraordinarily long fights, like one man against an army much lower level than he, where fatigue is a much greater enemy than the individual opposing troops. It allows a streamlined way to incorporate fatigue from all action sources into one result, instead of the patchwork of obscure conversions and absent rules that we have now.
Of course, you could simply ignore most of the fatigue rules, as they rarely come up outside of running, extremely long epic fights, and overland travel (which will be discussed on its own) and use this variant because it better defines the movement aspects of the game world and the actions that they use. And it also allows some characters to make heroic run attempts across vast distances that leave them unconscious. Those are good reasons to adopt it too.
The lives of adventures happen at three distinct speeds: the leisurely or cautious normal pacing, the swift and sometimes rushed hustling pace, and the desperate pace of the flat-out. These are described below.
Whenever you fill your round with a single move or standard action, you are moving at a normal pace. There are a lot of actions that can be taken at this pace, as long as they aren’t paired with other actions, since most actions in the game are either standard or move-equivalent actions. A ‘full-round action’ is never a normal paced action despite the fact that it is only one action during your entire round. This is because it uses both your standard and move actions for the round.
For the purposes of overland or local movement, this pace includes taking only a single move action to move up to your base speed in one of your movement modes for the round. When this is done by humanoids with their base land speed we call it walking, but it’s no more tiring for a bird to fly or a mole to burrow at their base speeds. Moving in a fashion for which you do not have a base speed, like climbing a wall without a climb speed, may or may not fall into this pace depending on the actions required.
Any round in which you take both a move and a standard action is a round spent at the hustling pace. This category also includes many full-round actions, but not all of them. Casting a spell with a 1-round or full-round casting time is a full-round action at the hustling pace, while running is a full-round action at the flat-out pace.
For the purposes of overland or local movement, this pace includes taking either a single or a double move action with one of your movement modes for the round. When this is done by humanoids with their base land speed, we call it jogging or hustling (if they take another action in addition to movement). Moving in a fashion for which you do not have a base speed, like climbing a wall without a climb speed, may or may not fall into this pace depending on the actions required.
When a creature throws caution to the wind and sacrifices endurance for speed, they are moving at a flat-out pace. There are few actions that even allow this pace, and almost all of them are movement. All flat-out actions are full-round actions.
The most common action taken at a flat-out pace is the Run action. The run action is also the only action we care about for the purposes of local or overland movement. Moving in a fashion for which you do not have a base speed, like climbing a wall without a climb speed, may or may not fall into this pace depending on the actions required. By defining this pace in this way, however, we can alter the Run action slightly to make it more equitable, since every action in this category will tire you in the same way.
Revised Run Action
Run action: As a full-round action, a creature can take up to 4 movement actions in exchange for caution and precision. They may even split their movement actions among different movement modes, but all modes must be natural for the creature. Most humanoids can only do this with their base walk speed, but flying, swimming, climbing, burrowing, and any other natural movement speed is also eligible. A creature with a base land speed of 30’ and a burrowing speed of 20’ could thus run 60’ on land before burrowing the final 40’ by taking this action. You may not take a run action if you are fatigued or exhausted.
Special: Some characters may take more or less than 4 movement actions as part of a run as a result of feats, class features, armor, or encumbrance. These movement limits supersede the 4 movement actions listed here.
Taking actions at the different paces tires a character out at different rates. Everyone can move flat-out for 1 round per point of constitution, so even those of average constitution can run for at least a minute. Moving at a hustling pace for 1 minute is equivalent to 1 round of running. As most fights happen at this pace, this means that battles lasting longer than 1 minute per point of constitution may be hazardous for characters. Lastly, moving in a normal way for 15 minutes is equivalent to 1 round of running. While that doesn’t have much bearing on combat, it does mean that you can walk across the mountains for a few hours, resting for a few minutes every hour, without really wearing yourself out. Exactly like a heroic adventurer should.
Having better defined the various ways that an adventurer can tire themselves out, and made these paces function in similar and interacting ways, we need to discuss what happens when you reach your limit.
Whatever action pace brings you to your limit, characters have to start making checks to see if they become tired once there. This is an Endurance skill check, or just a constitution check if the skill is untrained. The base DC for this check is 10 or the DC to traverse the terrain, if it is difficult. Use the highest DC applicable. The results of this check appear in the check result table below, and include fatigue and exhaustion. You suffer a penalty to this check based on your exertions since you were last fully rested, however, generally as a result of previous checks.
If you become fatigued during your exertion, you’re done moving faster than a hustle for a while, since the condition actually disallows taking any flat-out actions. If you become exhausted during your exertion, it stops you from doing pretty much anything beyond a normal pace, since it disallows everything except walking or other actions at the normal pace. You may also fall unconscious when you acquire the exhausted condition, if you have taken enough subdual damage, and that disallows everything except sleeping it off. Any subdual damage acquired will need to heal normally and does not heal at all during any hour in which you acquire more of it.
To become fully rested after an exertion, you have to rest for a while. Resting in this case means not taking any actions at even the normal pace, though you can take 5' moves to "walk it off" if you like. You must rest for 1 round per round of flat-out action or 1 minute, whichever is less. After the time has passed, you are considered fully rested, and you are no longer fatigued if you acquired that condition as a result of these checks. If you became exhausted as part of your exertion, you must rest for 10 minutes to clear that condition before any time spent counts towards you being fully rested and clearing the fatigued condition. If you fell unconscious during your exertion, you have to wait for the subdual damage to heal to the point where you regain consciousness before you can begin to recover from exhaustion. It takes a lot of time to recover from that sort of strain, so you should probably not do it unless you're really desperate.
If you begin exerting yourself before you have become fully rested, your previous penalty is reduced by 1 point for each round spent resting after clearing the unconscious and exhausted conditions, if they applied, but you must begin making checks as soon as you have moved the equivalent of 1 round at a flat-out pace with the current penalty.
Special: Characters who reach their limit by taking actions almost exclusively at the normal pace are granted a bonus to continuing their exertion. They may take 10 on these checks as long as they continue to proceed almost exclusively at the normal pace. In addition, they only need to make a check after every 2 check periods. "Almost exclusively" in this case means no more than 1 full period of hustling or flat-out action before you reach your limit, and then no more than 2 rounds of hustling action for each extended period once you have reached your limit and are making checks. If you exceed these limits, you may not take 10 on your checks and must make a check after each period.
Base DC: 10 or difficult surface DC
- DC+0 and above: You suffer a cumulative −1 penalty to this check. This penalty lasts until it is reduced through resting as described above.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You suffer a cumulative −2 penalty to this check. This penalty lasts until it is reduced through resting as described above. You also suffer 2 points of subdual damage per level, but never enough to cause you to lapse into unconsciousness. If suffering this damage would cause you to fall unconscious, reduce the damage dealt until the point where you would not lose consciousness.
- DC-6 and below: You suffer a cumulative −2 penalty to this check. This penalty lasts until it is reduced through resting as described above. You also suffer 4 points of subdual damage per level and become fatigued. If you are already fatigued, or are immune to fatigue and have rolled this result before without becoming fully rested, you become exhausted. Unlike the previous result, this subdual damage can render you unconscious.
Level Based Adjustments
Characters with 8 ranks in Endurance can move at a normal pace for 1 hour and 40 minutes per point of Constitution. In any day where they stop to sleep, they are unlikely to reach their limit before they need to begin making checks, even if they take normal paced actions every single round. Yes, they really can chop wood without rest all day, and you probably don't need to worry about it.
Characters with 12 ranks in Endurance can perform at a hustling pace for that length of time instead, and that means they can pretty much jog all day as long as they stop to sleep. Again, you probably don't need to worry about tracking actions at this pace anymore, and you certainly shouldn't track actions at a normal pace at this point.
Characters with 14 ranks in Endurance can move flat-out for an hour per point of Constitution. You only need to track actions or fatigue for these characters in really extreme circumstances, like sprinting for a day at a time.
Now that the detailed movement and fatigue rules have been laid out, it's time to apply these rules to overland movement.
Your normal marching overland movement rate is equal to your base rate divided by 10, but is measured in miles instead of feet. This is a downward rounding of the full distance you would move at your base rate for every round in an hour, as overland movement doesn't generally account for minor rest stops or time spent detouring around or navigating through gullies, dense brambles, canyons, and similar terrain features.
As a minor simplification for ease of use, overland movement is determined on a per half-hour basis. Each half hour can be spent at a normal march, a forced march, or resting. The distances associated with the are presented here for ease of reference, and the two different types of marching are discussed below.
|15 feet||20 feet||25 feet||30 feet|
|Per Half Hour (Normal Marching)|
|Unhurried Pace||3/4 mile||1 mile||1 1/4 mile||1 1/2 miles|
|Hustling Pace1||1 1/2 miles||2 miles||2 1/2 miles||3 miles|
|Flat-Out Pace (×3)1||2 1/4 miles||3 miles||3 3/4 miles||4 1/2 miles|
|Flat-Out Pace (×4)1||3 miles||4 miles||5 miles||6 miles|
|Per Half Hour (Forced Marching)|
|Unhurried Pace||1 miles||1 1/3 miles||1 2/3 miles||2 miles|
|Hustling Pace1||2 miles||2 2/3 miles||3 1/3 miles||4 miles|
|Flat-Out Pace (×3)1||3 miles||4 miles||5 miles||6 miles|
|Flat-Out Pace (×4)1||4 miles||5 1/3 miles||6 2/3 miles||8 miles|
Normal overland movement includes time spent moving around gullies and dense patches of forest and over hills and all sorts of minor "straight line" distance deviations that add up to make 3 miles per hour in any specific direction rather generous. The other thing to remember is that you're often taking breaks during this movement. You don't just start walking and stop 8 hours later with no breaks in between. You have all sorts of physical concerns that slow you down or stop you temporarily, and this time spent not walking is time spent not making any progress at all.
Importantly though, it is time spent resting. And since you can walk for 15 minutes per point of constitution and only need to rest 1 round for each of those 15 minute periods, even a minute resting per hour is enough to reset your exertion clock. Because of this you can keep up a normal overland pace for as long as you want to, subject to available light and evening rest requirements. Most people walk for 8 or 9 hours before making camp, because making camp is a somewhat time consuming process that often requires light. If you just want to sleep in a bed roll on a rock without a fire you can walk farther without too much of a problem.
Forced marching does not allow periodic rests, but requires a half hour rest stop to reset the exertion clock and cure any fatigue that has been acquired. If a period includes any forced marching, you do not gain the benefit of periodic rests that occur before the next full half hour rest, and must take a half-hour rest at the end of the current movement block to become rested. Once you start a forced march, you may as well continue for as long as reasonable.
|Taking 10 and Forced Marching|
|The special rule for exceeding your limits at the normal pace is a lifesaver here, literally. Without it, about half of any group with no ranks in endurance and an average of 10 constitution will be exhausted, or worse, within 3 hours because of the 3 checks they have to make and the penalties of rolling poorly. Because of the special rule, however, the same group can walk for 4 hours and need only a half-hour rest to cure fatigue and reset the exertion clock. It is unlikely to heal the accrued subdual damage, however.|
A forced march is not the same thing in this revision as it is in the SRD. Aside from the vastly different fatigue setup, there's simply no 8 hour walking cap for anyone to exceed. A forced march in this case is where you try as hard as you can to get that extra distance you normally lose to breaks and detours. You don't stop to rest, you don't stop to eat, you don't stop for the bathroom, and you don't stop at all except as scheduled. Anything that can be done while walking, gets done while walking. Anyone who stops has to hustle to catch back up, which makes the break not particularly useful.
And what do you get for all of this extra effort? You get an extra 1/3 of your normal per hour travel distance; for characters with a base speed of 30 and 3 miles per hour this becomes 4 miles per hour. This is slightly more than you would have lost in normal movement, but it's a convenient simplification. Most creatures can forced march for 4 hours before they become fatigued and take substantial subdual damage, after which they need to rest for a half hour to recover from fatigue and reset the exertion counter. A second push of 4 hours is generally possible, but some creatures may succumb to exhaustion or unconsciousness.
This pace is sometimes worth doing when you really need to get somewhere nearby slightly faster, but you take a lot more subdual damage for your trouble and low level characters aren't in any shape to fight when they're done walking. Since there is no longer an 8 hour travel restriction, it's generally advised that you do not push people on a forced march if you just need to go a bit farther in a day. An extra hour or two of normal movement is probably better for everyone, but if time is of the essence a forced march may serve better.
If a period includes any forced marching, you must take a half-hour rest to become fully rested at the end of the period, and do not gain the benefit of periodic rests from normal marching until this rest period has been taken. Therefore, once you start a forced march, you may as well continue for as long as reasonable. This is a bookkeeping simplification solely aimed at preventing people from micro-managing the number of rounds spent forced marching in order to maximize distance without risking subdual damage and fighting capacity.
The above results can be applied pretty generally, but they don't take into account the growth allowed by the new endurance skill.
Characters with 4 ranks in endurance can walk for twice as long per point of constitution before making checks, and when they do make checks, they get those ranks as a bonus. This means that the same limits set in for them around the 8 hour mark, and that can actually make a forced march more viable. Combined with some healing, either magical or mundane from the new healing skill, to deal with the subdual damage, and you can actually squeeze a couple of sets of forced marching out in a day without too much trouble. It's a small boost in distance, but sometimes that's really important.
Characters with 8 ranks in endurance can hustle for almost as long as characters with no ranks in the skill can walk. This means that standard overland movement for them is basically jogging, and their overland movement speeds are doubled. It doesn't make any sense for them to forced march at this pace, however. They can forced march at a walking pace for 2 hours per point of constitution if they wanted to, so they basically don't suffer fatigue from normal paced forced marches.
Characters with 12 ranks in endurance can move flat-out for almost long as characters with no ranks in the skill can walk. This means that standard overland movement for them is basically sprinting, and their overland movements are quadrupled. This works well enough on roads, but less so on uneven ground that might require an an acrobatics check to run over. It doesn't make much sense for them to forced march at this pace, however. They can forced march at a hustling pace for 4 hours per 3 points of constitution if they wanted to, so they basically don't suffer fatigue from hustling-paced forced marches.
Characters with 14 ranks in endurance can run for an hour per point of constitution. They can, and do, make forced marches at the flat-out pace. 16 miles an hour doesn't sound like a lot, but it's more than 5 times faster than the normal marching pace of a level 1 character.
Revised Pickpocketing Rules
Stealing an attended but not-wielded object from a person, like their coin pouch, is not actually a function of Legerdemain. Anyone can do it, since it’s really just grabbing an item from a target. Rules for this special disarm attempt exist in the SRD, but are written from the perspective of attempting the grab while in a fight. Since you probably aren’t in a fight for most of your thefts (and why would you want to be?), we need to make a couple of adjustments.
If you are not involved in a fight with a target and they are not actively keeping you at a distance, you can attempt to take an item that they are not wielding from them. This type of disarm attempt is called a pickpocket attempt, and does not provoke an attack of opportunity when you attempt it. You do not make opposed rolls against the target for the item. Instead, you make a touch attack against your target, who is likely considered flat-footed. The item adds a size bonus to this AC, however, as you're aiming for a rather small target. In most cases, you can just call this size bonus a +4 and not worry about it (which sets the touch AC to 14 if you really don't want to worry about it). You do still get the +4 bonus to the roll if the object is poorly secured or easy to cut free. If you succeed on the disarm attempt, you have successfully cut the object free from its previous possessor, and taken it into your hand (or dropped it if you prefer).
You may only use your unarmed hands, a small knife, or a similar-sized blade to assist you, as other blades are too large to be effectively hidden. You can still disarm items from a person with other weapons, but their more obvious nature means you probably start a fight by doing so and should be using the regular grabbing an item rules.
The success or failure of the disarm attempt doesn’t impact whether the target notices the attempt, however, and it’s very possible for them to catch you in the act. To avoid this unpleasant circumstance, you may make a Legerdemain check, opposed by their Perception check, to hide your attempt. If your attempt is successfully hidden, the target remains unaware of the attempt. This would allow you to rob them further if you wanted. If your attempt to hide the pickpocketing fails, your attempt provokes an attack of opportunity from the target. This means that they're trying to keep you at a distance, and you will be unable to pickpocket them further. The regular disarm and combat rules pick up here nicely.
Revised Riding Rules
The basic combat rules are largely functional, but aren't without problems. Like most of the skill-based systems, it doesn't scale at all. If you can afford one, you are just as good at riding a Griffon or a Dire Lion as you are a Light Horse at level 1, despite the fact that these creatures are quite different in power. Intelligent creatures are treated even more bizarrely, since a Dragon mount functions in much the same way as a Heavy Warhorse despite the fact that it's probably smarter than the rider and has its own motivations, desires, and the sentience to actively work towards them. So we're going to address those deficiencies by making it harder for characters to ride higher CR creatures and by allowing intelligent creatures more leeway, and streamline the riding system in general while we're at it.
Every round that you are mounted, you must make a ride check as a non-action. Whenever possible, you should be taking 10 on these checks. Doing otherwise slows the game down and increases the likelihood of you suffering a substantial failure when you really don’t want to. The result of your check indicates what you can do with your mount in the round, and how many of your actions that round it takes to accomplish. Most of the time, the results don’t matter, because even if you spend a full action controlling your mount, you weren’t doing anything more pressing anyway. Sometimes, though, like in combat, it matters a lot.
Note that even when you can perform an easy task like Direct with Knees as a free action, your mount only has a limited number of actions. If you use that riding task, and direct your mount to make a double move, that is almost all of what your mount can do in the round. You may still have a standard and a move action left to spend, but you can’t use them to make your mount move any farther or attack someone because all of their actions have been spent. Similarly, if combat breaks out and you are not riding a combat-trained mount, it may take you a full round action to use the Direct with Knees ability. Even if you only keep your mount from fleeing and stay where you are, you have used both of your actions and don’t have any left to use any additional riding tasks.
You need to be aware of how your actions and your mount's actions interact in this way. Whenever your mount is out of actions, you can not get it to perform further, no matter how many actions you have remaining. And when you are out of actions, your mount will not do anything that you want it to, no matter how many actions it has remaining (unless it is intelligent and you ask nicely, but that’s kind of a special case).
|Hostile||+25||Will try to kill you, and will then eat you if it's into that|
|Suspicious||+15||Defensive and suspicious, will attack if provoked|
|Indifferent||+5||Skittish and wary, but not aggressive without reason|
|Comfortable||+0||Comfortable with your presence, may even approach|
|Trusting||−5||Thinks of you as a member of the pack, may defend you if necessary|
The base DC to perform an easy task, like directing your mount with your knees, as a free action is 10 + the CR of the mount + the attitude of the mount. Most trained mounts have the comfortable attitude, though bonded mounts like the paladin’s or animal companion mounts may instead be trusting and make every task easier. Unruly or ornery mounts may be indifferent, and wild mounts are very likely suspicious; both cases make riding more difficult. In addition to the attitude modifier, you suffer a +10 increase to the check DC whenever you bring a mount into combat or similar circumstances (exploding buildings, disintegrating ruins, etc.) without proper combat training (the Combat Riding purpose). Mounts without this training are very difficult to control when things are occurring violently around them.
Base DC: 10 + CR + attitude, +10 if in combat or similarly distracted
Check Result: Your check result dictates the kind of riding actions you can take this turn.
|Check Result||Extreme Task||Difficult Task||Moderate Task||Easy Task||Trivial Task|
|DC +10 and above||Move||Free||Free||Free||Free|
|DC+5 to DC+9||Full-Round||Move||Free||Free||Free|
|DC+0 to DC+4||-||Full-Round||Move||Free||Free|
|DC−1 to DC−5||-||-||Full-Round||Move||Free|
|DC−6 to DC−10||-||-||-||Full-Round||Move|
|DC−11 and below||-||-||-||-||Full-Round*|
If your check was below DC - 11: Then if you are in combat or a situation that would similarly distract and frighten your mount, or if the mount is just particularly ornery (which you should have seen coming), you are instead thrown from your mount.
So, what can you do with your check result? The various riding tasks are listed below.
Trivial Riding Tasks
- Direct Mount - You direct your mount to take a move, double move, or run action in the direction of your choosing. You must use both your hands and your legs.
Easy Riding Tasks
- Direct with Knees - You direct your mount to take a move, double move, or run action in the direction of your choosing. You only need your knees and legs to direct him, leaving your hands free for other tasks, like attacking your foes.
- Remain in Saddle - You remain in your saddle after your mount unexpectedly rears, bolts, or otherwise tries to throw you. Sometimes holding on while your mount takes you for a ride is all you can do.
- Strike a Foe - You direct your mount to use a standard action to attack a foe of your choosing. Your mount may not take a full attack action, and does not threaten an area and can not make attacks of opportunity.
Moderate Riding Tasks
- Assault a Foe - You direct your mount to take a full attack action against a foe, or foes, of your choosing. Your mount also threatens its natural area and can make attacks of opportunity, though it suffers a −4 penalty to these attacks if its intelligence is 3 or less.
- Into Harm’s Way - You direct your mount to shift into the path of a strike aimed at you. If your ride check for the round is greater than your opponent’s attack roll, the strike hits your mount instead of you, dealing all appropriate damage. Precision damage is negated in this case. This shift is an immediate action for your mount. Because this happens outside of your turn, you must be able to perform a moderate riding task as a free action to be able to use this ability.
- Leap - You direct your mount to make a jump as part of its move action. You must make a jump check as usual to see if your mount clears the gap or hurdle, but you may use half of your ride bonus in place of the mount’s jump bonus if you like.
- Regain the Saddle - This task is used to properly place yourself in the saddle after taking cover, standing up, or being knocked from it but not falling off of your mount. It is of no use in any other situation.
- Ride in Cover - You slip over the side of your mount and ride there, using it as cover against all attacks originating on the other side. As you aren’t in the saddle, you can not use the Direct Mount or Direct with Knees riding tasks, and are unable to direct your mount from this position. It will keep moving as you last directed it to until you either regain the saddle or call it to a stop. If you become unable to maintain this cover position on a later round, you must use the Regain the Saddle riding task or you immediately fall from your mount.
- Spur Mount - You cause your mount to push itself just a little bit harder. For the duration of this round, it gains a 25% bonus to its base speed, rounded up. It also suffers subdual damage equal to its number of hit dice.
Difficult Riding Tasks
- Direct from Cover - You slip down onto the side of your mount and ride there, using it as cover against all attacks originating on the other side. You are unable to use the Direct Mount or Direct with Knees tasks from this position, but you can still direct your mount as you need to while using it as cover. If you become unable to maintain this cover position on a later round, you must use the Regain the Saddle riding task or you immediately fall from your mount.
- Stand on Mount - You stand up on your saddle and continue riding there. As you are not properly mounted or riding in cover, you can not use the Direct Mount, Direct with Knees, or Direct from Cover riding tasks and can not direct your mount from this position. It will keep moving as you last directed it to until you either regain the saddle or call it to a stop. If you become unable to maintain this standing position on a later round, you must use the Regain the Saddle riding task or you immediately fall from your mount.
Extreme Riding Tasks
- Direct with Toes - You stand up on your saddle and continue riding there. While standing, you can not use the Direct Mount, Direct with Knees, or Direct from Cover riding tasks, but you can direct your mount with your toes instead. If you become unable to maintain this standing position on a later round, you must use the Regain the Saddle riding task or you immediately fall from your mount.
Any creature with an intelligence of 3 or greater is sentient, and these mounts function a bit differently than non-sentient mounts. The first thing to understand is that these creatures have an intelligence within human limits, even if it is possibly on the bottom of the range. This means that if you have a method of communicating with them, you can just ask them to do stuff for you. While trained sentient mounts will take directions from their rider, they don't actually require you to give it. In general, if you can talk to your sentient mount, you don't need to make riding checks to indicate what you want it to do. If you want your griffon to follow a wagon down a road while you try to jump to it, you really can just ask him to do that. And since you don't need to direct him round by round anymore, you don't need to make ride checks to direct with your toes when you stand.
Sentient mounts can be shown the same riding tricks as other mounts, and if a sentient mount knows those tricks, you can use them as you would with a regular mount. If a sentient creatures lacks a trick, the only way to get it to perform the trick is to ask for the creature to perform it. And if they understand you, it's probably not hard for them to do it. Guard, stay, attack, these are all concepts that a sentient mount can understand and be asked to perform even without formal training. Formal training just teaches them how to recognize the command when the rider lacks a way to communicate with them directly. This also means that sentient mounts don't necessarily freak out in combat even if they lack the combat riding role. If you can communicate with them, you basically don't need to make riding checks to work with them and the 10 point penalty is irrelevant. If you can't communicate directly with them, you do still suffer the penalty to indicate what you would like them to do. They don't pitch you from the saddle, though, unless they really don't like you.
The last difference to note is that when a sentient mount doesn't like you, it can cause problems for you. While a trained sentient mount probably won't attack you without provocation, they are capable of subverting your orders and directions in frustrating and unforeseen ways. If you fail to treat the mount better or transfer it to a new owner, they are likely to just slip away during the night. If you have a sentient mount, take care of it. They're more NPC than object, and while they are quite useful because of that, they're also a bit more work.
Revised Spellcasting Interruption
Concentration isn't the only skill used to cast without interruption anymore. It is somewhat harder for primary casters to cast spells while taking damage, but easier for them to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. These changes are part of the skills themselves and have already been discussed in that chapter, but are referenced again here to make them easier to find.
- Attempting to cast defensively is done with a check using your relevant casting skill. See Arcana, Geomancy, or Thaumaturgy for more information. Note that failing this check does not ruin the spell, but simply means that your action provokes attacks of opportunity.
- Attempting to cast while distracted, jostled, restrained, grappled, or under the influence of a distracting spell that does not deal damage is done with a concentration check. Note that you can not cast spells with somatic components while you are grappling. See the Concentration skill for details.
- Attempting to cast a spell with somatic components while grappled is impossible, so you must first escape the grapple with an escape artistry check. See the Escape Artistry skill for details.
- Attempting to cast a spell while you are taking continuous damage, either from an attack or from the environment, or are struck in the middle of casting requires an endurance check. See the Endurance skill for details.
Revised Tracking Rules
If you know what you're looking for, you can find and follow the trail of pretty much anything. Finding or following a trail is generally done with the Survival skill, and the DC is determined by the surface the tracks are on as well as the circumstances of those leaving the tracks.
Base DC: Determined by trail.
- DC+10 and above: You locate the trail and may follow it flat out if you like. You need to make an additional check after 20 miles or when the DC increases by 5 points. The trail may as well be painted neon; it's that obvious to you.
- DC+5 to DC +9: You locate the trail and may follow it at a hustle if you like. You need to make an additional check after 10 miles or when the DC increases by 5 points. It's pretty clear to you where they're headed.
- DC+0 to DC +4: You locate the trail and may follow it at your regular pace if you like. You need to make an additional check after 5 miles or when the DC increases by 5 points.
- DC-1 to DC-5: You locate the trail and may follow it no faster than half your base rate. You need to make an additional check after 2 miles or when the DC increases by 5 points.
- DC-6 and below: You fail to locate a trail at all. You can retry after 1 hour (outdoors) or 10 minutes (indoors) of searching. If you don't feel like searching, you can of course go anywhere you like at whatever pace you feel appropriate.
|Pliable Surface||5||Any surface (fresh snow, thick dust, wet mud) that holds deep, clear impressions of footprints.|
|Supple Surface||10||Any surface soft enough to yield to pressure, but firmer than wet mud or fresh snow, in which a creature leaves frequent but shallow footprints.|
|Giving Surface||15||Most normal outdoor surfaces (such as lawns, fields, woods, and the like) or exceptionally soft or dirty indoor surfaces (thick rugs and very dirty or dusty floors). The creature might leave some traces (broken branches or tufts of hair), but it leaves only occasional or partial footprints.|
|Trackless Surface||20||Any surface that doesn’t hold footprints at all, such as bare rock or an indoor floor. Most stream beds fall into this category, since any footprints left behind are obscured or washed away. The creature leaves only traces (scuff marks or displaced pebbles).|
|Liquid Surface||25||The surface of a liquid, like a lake or magma pool. The creature leaves traces, that are likely moved or washed away, and ripples.|
|Through Liquid||28||The inside of a lake or magma pool. This generally only applies to swimming creatures, though it also applies to creatures that fall into a liquid and can't swim in it. The creature leaves traces, ripples, and air bubbles to mark their passing; these are likely displaced by currents or gravity over time.|
|Through Gas||30||The air that we breathe. This generally only applies to flying creatures, though falling creatures also count. The creature leaves minor traces and ripples to mark their passing; these are likely displaced by wind or gravity over time.|
|Every three creatures in the group being tracked||–1|
|Size of creature or creatures being tracked:1|
|Three or more sizes smaller than tracker||+10|
|Two sizes smaller than tracker||+5|
|One size smaller than tracker||+2|
|Same size as tracker||+0|
|One size larger than tracker||–2|
|Two sizes larger than tracker||–5|
|Three or more sizes larger than tracker||–10|
|Every 24 hours since the trail was made||+2|
|Every hour of rain since the trail was made||+2|
|Fresh snow fall since the trail was made||+10|
|Overcast or moonless night||+6|
|Fog or precipitation||+3|
|Tracked party hides trail (and moves at half speed)||+5|
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