Races, Leveling, and Classes

Modifications to the core races

I have altered just a little big of the rules in regards to the races. I do this because race really only comes into play at lower levels and means nothing by mid-level or higher. How much does that +2 to spot the elven fighter has really matter by 9th level compared to the human rogue? Anyway that is my justification on it, you are free to agree or disagree.

Most of the adjustments are the same. All bonus to attacks, AC, saves, or skill checks increase by 1 at every fifth level. Doesn’t matter what classes the character has, only their race. So a dwarf reaching 5th level would get another +1 to stonecutting, search checks relating to stonecraft, saves vs poison and magic, attacks vs orcs and goblinoids, AC vs Giants, and Appraise and Craft checks relating to stone and metal.

Statistics dont go up or down and no new language is gained.

In the case of humans they get an extra feat at 5th level. If the character is a half human such as a Aasamir, half elf, half orc, or some other half breed they must choose. Either get the bonus of their other race or gain a feat. This is an interesting roleplaying choice on how they want their character to be. A half elf who wants to embrace his elven heritage but would rather gain the feat at 5th level because it makes his character stronger, really isn’t embracing his heritage at all. Just giving lip service.

In addition Gnomes have the ability to talk and listen at the same time. This is rather unhelpful when dealing with anyone other then another gnome, but it allows their conversations to move alone twice as fast.

Dwarves gain 1 point Damage Reduction every 4 levels. They can only have 1 point for every + 1 modifier they have. So a dwarf with average or negative Con modifier gains no advantage. However they have a constant 10% arcane spell failure rate that cannot be removed. While nothing is actually stopping a dwarf from being a wizard (or sorcerer or whatever), it is discouraging.

Elves have the dubious ability to end their life at will. They can choose to have their souls leave their bodies any time they want. Doing so prevents resurrection by any means however.

Halflings are just damn lucky. There is no mechanical benefit to this but roleplaying wise, things just fall in their favor.

Leveling Up

I took a page from Pathfinder and offered one extra skill point or hit point per level if you take the same class you started as. Just a little bonus for the dedication of sticking with your original choice.

Every 8 levels the PCs can pick a new language they have picked up in their travels. They dont have to pay any skill points for it, but it does have to make sense. They cant pick a language they havent had any exposure too.

By the same standard I offered a big bonus at 11th and 20th level of the same class. Since prestige classes cap at 10, they can never reach these bonus’s and it is almost impossible to reach the 20th level one unless you play a single class straight through. They are detailed below in the classes section.

I always allow two rolls for hit points when leveling up and take the better result.

Modifications to the core classes

Some of the core classes are noticeably weaker then others. I have altered a few to bring them up to par. In addition core classes (and only core classes) get the above mentioned bonus’s at 11th and 20th level. There are usually several to choose from that can not be gained any other way. I require the player to have taken his character from very low level (preferably first) all the way to 11th to “earn” these bonus’s. Finally only PCs ever get these abilities, never NPCs.

Barbarian: I give Damage Reduction differently. Instead the Barbarian gets 1 point every 4 levels. This doubles as the Barbarian rages. This overrides the DR giving in the book, but stacks with any other source (spells, armor, or being a dwarf). Other then that, everything else stays.

Special choices: Intimidating Glare: As a move action can glare at an opponent to try to scare them. This counts as a fear effect and gaze attack. The Will DC is the Barbarians level + Strength bonus. Failure means opponent drops whatever was held and runs in fear for a number of rounds equal to the DC. Success means opponent is shaken.

Mighty Swings: Critical Hits are automatically confirmed during rages.

Clear Mind: If barbarian fails a Will save, may immediately expend a rage for the day to try again. Must take second result, even if its worse.

Bard: Changed several aspects of bards songs. Inspire courage, inspire heroics, and inspire greatness are all gone. Instead you roll a perform check, for every 6 points you get, that is a +1 to Attacks, Damage, and Saving Throws, to all allies in range. At 8th level it drops to every 5 points you get. At 16th level every 4 points. At 20th every 3. All other parts of the bard stay the same.

Special Choices: Fighter Path: May add Charisma bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Mage Path: May add Charisma bonus to Caster level for purposes of damage, range, overcoming SR, and against Dispel Magic. Number of spells doesnt change however.

Thief Path: Pick 8 skills that are class skills for the rogue. May add Charisma bonus to skill checks involving those 8 skills. And 1s are no longer considered instant failures, just the worst possible result.

Cleric: Good Clerics can spontanous cast Inflict spells of equal level of the spell they just sacrificed (up to fourth for Inflict Critical Wounds) but only against creatures that worship a religion directly opposite the clerics own. If cleric tries against a creature that doesnt worship the opposite religion, the Inflict spell has no effect. Evil Clerics get negative versions of the below special choices. Evil Clerics can actually spontanous cast healing spells but at two levels lower then the spell they just sacrificed. Finally clerics usually get special powers or skill bonus’s but it depends on what deity they worship. Too many to list here as I allow the entire Forgotten Realms Pantheons.

Special Choices: Medic: 1/day can cast a Maximized Cure Critical Wounds and it doesn’t take away an actual spell.

Holy Surge: Can use turning checks to deal 1d6/2 levels positive energy in a 20’ radius. This affects everyone in the area (Reflex save DC 20 half) heals living and hurts undead.

Grace of Faith: No evil version, though evil cleric’s can choose it. Cleric can add Wis bonus to their Reflex save. Must keep Dex modifier as well.

Druid: Cannot use metal of any type. Not even rings or amulets or other jewelry. Can use stonework, bone, plant, or other nonmetallic substance. They can substitute Survival for Listen, Spot, Search, Run, Climb, Jump, Swim, Hide, and Move Silently when withen their native environment. They dont collect money as they should have no purpose for it.

Special Abilities: A Little Birdie Told Me: A druid can scry for free if withen their native environment. They use Survival as their scry skill.

Mom Likes Me Better: Cannot be effected by fey or druidic magic if cast by someone with less HD then your current Druid level.

Eye for an Eye: If hit by a non reach weapon in their own environment, automatically deals 1 point damage per Wis modifier per hit. Damage is considered magical. Fey and other druids are unaffected.

Fighter: I made no changes.

Special Abilities: Weapon Love: The die damage for a single weapon type is increased by one. Cannot change weapon type after chosen.

Armor Love: Pick a category of Armor (light, medium, heavy) When wearing that armor AC is one better, penalties one less, and takes one less round to put on or take off.

Monk: AC bonus is every 4 levels rather then every 5. They still get 1 stunning fist a day/level. Fort DC 1/2 monk level +1/Wis bonus. Stuns 1 round.

Special Abilities: Psionic Resistance: Gain psionic resistance equal to magic resistance.

Dispelling Punch: Can use two Stunning Fist attacks to make an attack (not a touch attack) have a dispelling effect. Just as if they had cast Dispel Magic.

Elemental Acceptance: Pick one Element and gain +10 DR vs it.

Paladin: No change although the special mount may be traded in for a feat if desired.

Special Abilities: Doctor in Armor: Can turn Remove Disease into Remove Curse, Blindness, Deafness, Lessor Restoration, Poison or Exhaustion.

Armor of Faith: Gain 5 DR against pure evil attacks. Immune to compulsion or mind control from outerplaner evil creatures or undead.

Holy Army: Uses a smite evil but grants it to themselves and all allies withen 30’. Good for one melee attack per person for that round only (when the paladin comes around in the initative order again).

Ranger: Still uses d10 for hit points. Everytime he gains a favored enemy the previously chosen enemies increase by + 2. So by 20th level the favored enemy bonus’s would be + 10/+ 8/+ 6/+ 4/+ 2. The bonus’s also count for saving throws caused by the creatures.

Special Abilities: Improved Evasion (failed reflex save is half damage, a successful save is no damage.)

Hunters Quarry once per day last 1 round per Wis score. Pick one enemy, do an extra 1d8 damage per attack for all your attacks and your animal companion.

Rangers Guidance – All allies withen 20’ of ranger get bonuses to their favored enemys. Unlike the ranger however, if the bonus’s would stack (undead orcs or something) allies only get to use the highest bonus. Ranger still gets to stack them. All this assumes 3 things. 1. The ranger can talk 2. The ranger is willing to help. He can choose to withhold information if he wishes. 3. The allies are willing to listen. They can choose to ignore him if they wish.

Rogue: Instead of simply flanking enemies, rogues need to completely surprise their opponents to get sneak attacks. They must either not know the rogue is there, or have no idea the rogue intends to attack them. This is actually a bonus roleplaying wise because it puts the rogue low on the priority hit list. Everything else is the same.

Special Abilities: Skill Mastery: pick 8 skills this applies to. (any roll lower then five automatically counts as a five [even 1s)

Bladed Backstabs: Sneak Attack die go up to d8s instead of d6.

Sorcerer: No change.

Special Abilities: Blasting Magic: 1/day adds knockdown effect to damage dealing spells (or zephyr) victims who failed their saving throw (or who took all the hits from a MM) must make another reflex save or be knocked back five feet and prone. It adds another +6 to spells that have blocking or knockdown effects already, like Bigbys Blocking Hand, Zephyr, and Watery Fist.

Unlimited Magic: Has unlimited access to 0 level spells. Never runs out.

Metamagic Mastery – The extra spell level required for meta magic feats is reduced by 1 (so Still or Silent spell become free). Remember if you have more then one Metamagic feat on a spell you add them all up.

Wizard: Cannot rememorize the same spell more then one at a time (unless creating a magical item.) And doesnt gain any spells just from leveling up. However unlike any other class, the wizard gets xp every time he successfully writes a spell in his spellbook. 10xp/ level of the spell copied. Over the course of a carreer this can add up. Several spells unique to my campaign (carried over from 2nd ed) only wizards can cast. Finally check out the Creating Magical Items page for the rules on how that works and how much caster benifit from making items instead of being penalized xp. But there is a drawback, to get the full scope head to Wizards Learning Spells

Specialist Wizards. When picking a school (or element) as a specialization you get the bonus’s on saves vs that school, bonus’s to dispel that school, and spellcraft checks to learn new spells. In my campaigns there are a few subtle changes. One is that you only have to choose ONE prohibited school. You can even choose Divination and you can still get Read and Detect Magic and all other 0 level divination spells. But you cannot multiclass or prestige class unless it is specifically about your specialization (like a Dread Necromancer) You cannot take the Archmage or any other prestige class until you reach 20th level in your specialized class. At any level up you may choose to lose your specialization to be able to multiclass however your prohibited school stays in effect.

Special Abilities: Wizard and Sorcerer are the same. Specialist Wizards do not recieve bonus’s considering that they are required to stay in one class.

I didnt do any non-core classes for two reasons. People want to do something different when they go outside the core classes. They are for experianced roleplayers who have already done the tried and true classics. The non core classes already offer strange and exciting powers without me mucking it up. Besides, Im not penalizing anyone for playing a non core class. I am just trying to keep the core classes competitive.

The other reason is that I dont own every book out there and there are way to many other classes to try to come up with something new and unique that isnt covered by a spell or feat or ability somehow.

Finally there are two more classes to be aware of. I have my own version of psionic that is a mix of 2nd and 3rd ed. It is great if you liked second edition psionics (as I did) and want a updated version that can be used in the 3.5 system. They can be found here Psionics.

The other is a totally new class called the Tinker. It is a class the is based around technoligy and invention. Very similiar to gnomes of Dragon Lance if you are familiar with the setting.

Classes I dont use

I really like alot of flavor of second edition and have incorporated it alot into my games. I also hardly ever use minatures and a couple of classes seemed to be based of a map and a tactics style game. The biggest change from 2nd to 3rd edition is that class no longer matters nearly as much. Its great that five people could all play rogues and soon have five totally different characters, skills, powers, and roles. But it diminishes the importants when you pick your class. That used to be the single biggest decision, but now there is a prestige class for everything. For this reason the following classes are not allowed. This list will be updated as needed (ie, as I learn about more classes that dont work for my game.):

Warlocks: Totally different in my game. A warlock is someone who has made deals with powerful outsiders that have ended up altering their very appearance. Usually it is Baatezu (devils) that offer this power, but not always the case. Anyone can gain warlock powers to greatly increase their characters power, but beware the price…..

Scouts: This class is basically a battle map tactics based class. I dont use these in my games and really dont like the concept.

Despite the above list, I dont like to say “No you cant do that.” in a game that is supposed to be all about fantasy and make believe. I think long and hard before disallowing anything. Usually the player and I can come up with some happy medium alternative.

Races, Leveling, and Classes

The Four Winds Torkkinifyen