World is Square House Rules

This is the Hero Lab download site for the World is Square rules, a set of house rules for use with the Pathfinder role-playing system. The rules were first put forth by Michael Iantorno in a blog post, and subsequently further developed in his homebrew campaign setting of Yavmir. They were written up in Hero Lab format by Will Martin.

The rules implemented here are closely based on the initial blog post, with a few minor differences detailed below.

Changes in 1.3

Hero Lab Setup

Initial Configuration

In order to get these rules into Hero Lab, you will need to set up a source, as follows:

  1. Start Hero Lab.
  2. On the Game Selection screen, click “Find Updates”.
  3. Click the “Add Source” button.
  4. Click “New Source”.
  5. Enter the following URL:
  6. Click “Ok”, three times, then “Finished”.
  7. Exit Hero Lab.
  8. Restart Hero Lab. (This is to make it check the newly added source for updates!)
  9. On the Game Selection screen, click “Find Updates”.
  10. In the list of packages, find “WiSRules”. Click it, then click “Download”.
  11. Click “Start Import”.
  12. Click “Yes” to acknowledge that Lone Wolf did not review these files.
  13. Once it’s done importing, click “Ok”.
  14. Click “Finished”.
  15. Load the Pathfinder game system.

The above is one-time setup. In the event of future updates, you will be automatically notified on the game screen, and click the exclamation point icon, then the Get button to import the update.

In-Game Setup

On the Hero Configuration screen (CTRL+K, plus it shows up when creating a new character) there are several new options. They appear in the House Rules section, which is near the bottom of the long list of sources.

New in 1.1, you can selectively enable portions of the World is Square rule set! The options are as follows:

Screenshot of the options.
The World is Square options
Enable all World is Square rules
Formerly named “Eliminate feat taxes”. This turns on all of the World is Square house rules at once. If you are upgrading from version 1.0 and have an existing character using this rule set, this will already be checked and the PC should continue to function as before.
Grant Default Combat Feats
When this is active, the PC will receive Agile Maneuvers, Combat Expertise, Deadly Aim, Point Black Shot, Power Attack and Weapon Finesse for free. More details on how this works given below.
Group Weapon Feats
Uses fighter weapon groups in the selectors for Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, and Mythic Improved Critical. Also enables Weapon Focus (ray), because rays are not present in any weapon group.
Combine Combat Maneuvers
Replaces the usual combat maneuver feats with Unarmed Combatant, Deft Maneuvers and Powerful Maneuvers.
Dodge and Two-Weapon Fighting
Combines Dodge and Mobility into a single feat, and causes Improved Two-Weapon Fighting to scale with level. These didn’t seem to fit naturally with the other options, and thus got their own.
NPCs pay normal feat taxes
When this is checked, characters designated as a “Non-Player Character” on the left of the hero configuration screen will not receive the bonus feats that would otherwise be granted. This can be useful if you wish your NPCs to be at a slight disadvantage compared to the PCs, or if you are using pre-generated stock NPCs that were not built with these house rules in mind.

The World is Square House Rules

Here is a listing of what gets changed by the World is Square house rules, including how it varies from Michael Iantorno’s initial blog post.

Bonus Feats

Characters receive the following free bonus feats:

Power Attack and Deadly Aim will appear automatically as soon as the PC has a BAB of +1 or higher.

PCs automatically count as having Weapon Finesse for feat prerequisites. Pick whether your PC uses Strength or Dexterity for attacks with finesse weapons on the “World is Square” tab.

The blog post simply eliminated Point-Blank Shot from the game; in order to implement this, it is given as a bonus feat, and then its effects are suppressed. In this way the character counts as having Point-Blank Shot for purposes of selecting feats that require it as a prerequisite, but gains no mechanical benefit from having it.

Agile Maneuvers is added only if the character’s DEX modifier is higher than their STR modifier. The effect is that the PC uses either STR or DEX to calculate CMB bonuses, whichever is higher. This varies from the original blog post, in which it was specified that the character could only use DEX with their CMB when wielding a finesse weapon. It was implemented this way because, frankly, it was a lot easier to write up in Hero Lab.

Feats Removed from the Game

The following feats have been removed from the game:

These have all been merged into other feats (see below), with the exception of Point-Blank Shot (see Bonus Feats above).

New and Modified Feats

Deft Maneuvers
This replaces (and counts as) Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal, and Improved Trip. It grants all the benefits of those feats.
This incorporates the effects of Mobility. It grants you a +1 dodge bonus to AC that improves to +4 versus attacks of opportunity provoked by your own motion.
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
This incorporates the effects of Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and scales according to the hero’s BAB.
Powerful Maneuvers
This replaces (and counts as) Improved Bull Rush, Improved Drag, Improved Overrun and Improved Sunder. It grants all the benefits of those feats.
Unarmed Combatant
This replaces (and counts as) Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple. It grants all the benefits of both feats. This feat was not present in the original blog post, but got added later to the feats for the Yavmir setting.
Weapon Focus
Greater Weapon Focus
Weapon Specialization
Greater Weapon Specialization
Improved Critical
All of these feats now require you to select a weapon group (such as “Blades, Heavy”) instead of a specific weapon (such as “Greatsword”). They grant their benefits on all weapons from that group with which the hero is proficient.
Weapon Focus (ray)
This was implemented because Weapon Focus allows you to select Ray as a weapon, but it does not appear in any weapon fighter group. It grants a +1 on ranged touch attacks. This was not mentioned in the original blog post or in the Yavmir setting; I added it for the sake of completeness.

Bug Reports & Questions

Please post any bug reports or questions in this thread on the Hero Lab forums.