Pathfinder House Rules

Natural 20 Crits: Any roll of a natural 20 on an attack roll is an automatic critical hit. Any other rolls within critical range must still be confirmed normally.

Skill Check Critical Success/Failure: When rolling skill checks, a natural 20 is treated as a roll of 25 (20 + 5), while a natural 1 is treated as a roll of -4 (1 - 5). Add skill ranks and other modifiers normally.

Shields Shall Be Splintered: Anytime a character who wields a shield takes physical damage, they can opt to sacrifice their shield to avoid taking that damage. Masterwork or Magical shields can block a number of blows per day equal to the shield's equivalent numerical bonus (+1 to +10) without sundering. If the shield is used to avoid damage a number of times in excess of it's equivalent numerical bonus, it is destroyed. Magical shields can also be used to automatically save against damaging spells. Treat this as two blows against the shield. Magical shields regenerate this damage whenever the character rests for 8 hours. Shields otherwise act normally.

Shields Shall Be Splintered was originally put forth by Trollsmyth.

Diluting Bad HP Rolls: At each level, players roll their character's total HD, and add their Constitution modifier * their character level to it. If the resulting number is higher than the character's current max HP, then it becomes that character's new max HP. If it is lower, then the character retains their current max HP. Here are two examples:
Valeros the Fighter is level 5. He has a constitution modifier of +3, and a max HP of 40. After killing some Skeletons, Valeros has gained enough XP to reach level 6. Normally, he would roll 1D10 + 3, and add that number to his HP. Using this House Rule, though, he instead rolls [6d10 + (3 * 6)]. He rolls exceptionally well, getting a result of 70! Valeros Max HP is now 70, up from 40 in one level.
Valeros continues to adventure, and eventually gains enough XP to reach level 7. He rolls [7d10 + (3 * 7)] for his new max HP. Unfortunately, his rolls are not so good this time, and he only gets a total of 64. Since this is lower than his previous roll of 70, his max HP does not change.

Pathfinder Flaws System: If a character has a score of 9 or lower for any of their 6 base ability scores, they must select a flaw from the list below related to that ability score. For each ability modifier lower than -1, the character must have an additional flaw related to that ability score. For example, a character with a Charisma modifier of -1 must take one Charisma flaw, a character with a Charisma modifier of -2 must take two Charisma flaws, et cetera.

If any of the ability scores with associated flaws are ever permanently increased, then flaws may be removed at the same rate as modifier penalties are removed. If the ability score modifier reaches 0, all flaws associated with that ability score are removed.


Puny: You are treated as though you are one size category smaller than your racial norm with regards to weapon proficiencies.

Weak Grip: Any time you miss with a melee attack your opponent may make attempt a disarm combat maneuver as a free action.

Bad Swimmer: You cannot succeed on any swim check with a DC higher than 10.

Bad Climber: You cannot succeed on any climb check with a DC higher than 10.

Insufficient Block: If you use a shield, you only gain half of its AC bonus. If your game utilizes the "Shields Will Be Sundered" rule, you may not take advantage of it.


Slow Starter: You cannot win an initiative roll. If your roll is ever highest, you move to second place in the initiative order.

Butterfingers: Upon rolling a natural one in combat, you drop your weapon.

Two Left Feet: When moving over difficult terrain, or trying to move over an obstacle, the character must make a Reflex save (DC: 13) or fall prone.

Pushover: Upon being struck by a critical hit, you fall prone.

Awkward Fall: Add +1 to the falling damage for every 10 feet you fall.


Medicine Dependent: You require a daily dose of medication to avoid the fatigued condition. After two days you gain the exhausted condition.

Slow: You can run at a maximum of twice your normal move speed, rather than four times your normal move speed.

Cheap Drunk: Even a slight amount of alcohol, as much as half a cup of weak brew, leaves you impaired. You take a -4 to all Dexterity checks & Wisdom checks until you've rested for 8 hours.

Weak Frame: If you wear any armor in excess of 40lb, you are treated as encumbered.


Illiterate: You cannot read or write.

Ignorant: You cannot succeed on any Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10.

Inexpressive: You take a -2 on any check which requires you to express yourself to another. This includes Diplomacy checks, Bluff checks, Perform checks, or any abilities or spells which require a subject to understand the character.

Bad Eye for Value: You always pay 10% more than market value when buying items from merchants. You always sell for 10% less than market value.


Tempted: Select a temptation from the list below. Whenever presented with your temptation, you must make a will save (DC: 10 + Your Character Level) or indulge in that temptation. This flaw can be selected more than once, its effects do not stack. Each time it is taken, select a different temptation. List of temptations: Alcohol, Food, Sex, Drugs

Overly Honorable: You cannot make bluff checks.

City Slicker: You cannot succeed on any survival check with a DC higher than 10.

Day Dreamer: You cannot succeed on any reactive perception check with a DC higher than 10.

Spendthrift: For every day your character spends in a town or city, he or she loses 1d10/level gold on purchases of food, drink, and baubles.

Gullible: You cannot succeed on any sense motive check with a DC higher than 10.


Rude: You're unable to bite your tongue. You cannot succeed on any diplomacy check with a DC higher than 10.

Meek: You're unable to assert yourself. You cannot succeed on any intimidate check with a DC higher than 10.

Magically Inept: Any successful Use Magic Device check has a 25% chance to misfire, causing the target to be determined randomly. If the target is self, the spell merely fizzles.

Bad With Animals: Animals which encounter you are unusually aggressive towards you. Those which would normally be friendly are unfriendly. Those which would normally be unfriendly may attack you.

This flaws system was originally put forth by Paul, of Blog of Holding.

Simple XP System for Pathfinder:
At slow progression, each level requires 44 experience points.
At normal progression, each level requires 30 experience points.
At fast progression, each level requires 20 experience points.

Characters receive 1 experience point for: overcoming an easy battle; escaping from a difficult battle or boss battle; overcoming a non-combat challenge such as a trap, or diplomatic negotiation; other misc tasks the GM would like to offer rewards for.

Characters receive 2 experience points for: overcoming an appropriately leveled combat encounter.

Characters receive 3 experience points for: overcoming a very difficult encounter or boss battle, or completing a major task such as saving a kingdom.

This simple XP system was originally put forth by Paul, of Blog of Holding.

Pathfinder House Rule: Using Simple XP as Hero Points
By pushing themselves the the limit, characters can sometimes perform feats beyond the normal scope of their abilities. At will, as a free action, a character may sacrifice 1 experience point (so long as this does not reduce the character's level) to perform any one of the following actions:
Act Out of Turn: An experience point can be spent to take your turn immediately, permanently moving your place in the initiative order to whenever this action was taken.

Bonus: Prior to making any roll, an experience point can be spent to grant a +8 bonus to that roll. This ability cannot be used at all after the roll is made. Multiple experience points can be spent, and their effects stack.

Extra Action: During your turn, an experience point may be spent to grant you an additional standard action. This can only be done once per turn.

Recall: An experience point may be spent to use an ability which you have access to, but which has already been used up for the day, or was not prepared. This includes casting spells after the daily spell allotment is cast, using special abilities after their daily limits are used up, or casting a spell from a spellbook which was not memorized for that day. Bear in mind that if a wizard wishes to cast a spell he or she has not memorized, and they are out of spell slots for the appropriate level, two experience points must be spent.

Special: You can petition your GM to allow you to spend an experience point to perform a number of abilities. GMs should use the options presented here as a guide for how to balance this ability. Also, bear in mind, that an experience point can never be spent to re-roll a die.
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