Redefining D&D 5E Classes and Skills

Redefining D&D 5E Classes and Skills


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Redefining D&D 5E Classes and Skills

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This is a hack (in the sense of putting the axe through it and putting it back together in my way) of the D&D 5th Edition rules to include back skills (as opposed to a generic proficiency bonus) and limit the number of classes and multiclass combinations. Oh yeah, and spell points too. Use what you like, enjoy!
I have tried to reproduce as little as possible of the PHB rulebook, refering to it whenever possible by page number, but sometimes one simply has to rewrite stuff to make it clear.
Thanks to these boards for inspiration for various archetypes.
The mirror link points to a google doc if you are looking for an editable copy. PDF updated April 16th 2015.
  1. RhaezDaevan
    Play a game or two of this and let us know how it goes. I'm glad you didn't go the route of skill points like in 3e/PF, as those annoy me.
  2. madzerker
    this is very interesting to me, a lot of what you did is how I see it as well. I am kinda newbish to the game (haven't played much since 2nd edition) so I was confused what the skill surge was on the rogue. I didn't see an explanation in the rules or your rule sheet. can you explain?
  3. n4tune8
    It's right under the Rogue table in my document:
    Skill Surges: You can expend one or more skill surges as part of any skill roll. Roll 1d6 for each skill surge expended and add the number rolled to the skill roll. You can make this choice after you see the skill roll, but before the DM says whether it succeeds or fails. Some rogue archetypes grant you different uses for skill surges. Once a skill surge is expended, you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

    So skill surges are basically d6 that you can add to skill rolls. They have other uses for some archetypes, like the assassin can use them as d6 that you add to damage (sneak attack) and the bard can use them as inspiration dice.
    With the modifications I made, the Rogue is the go to guy for skills, so he must be able to get things done when the party counts on him. On the other hand, not all rogues are good at backstabbing. In my mind, most rogues would prefer to never even get close to an opponent, and might prefer ranged weapons (which go hand in hand with their high Perception skill).

    Again, it's a lot of options bunched together. Take what you want, disregard anything you don't like.
  4. n4tune8
    Quote Originally Posted by RhaezDaevan View Post
    Play a game or two of this and let us know how it goes. I'm glad you didn't go the route of skill points like in 3e/PF, as those annoy me.
    Using 3E/PF skill points would totally go against bound accuracy, which I tried to respect. There is a way to screw with the system by taking, for example, all the options that give you +1 Melee as soon as you can (Half-elf or Human Soldier Fighter 1 / Monk 1 could in theory get +4 Melee at level 2, and eventually +8 Melee at level 18 as Fighter 17 / Monk 1; that's 2 more than a max proficiency bonus, but you lose the possibility of having 24 STR). I'm not happy about it, but minmaxers will always find a way.
  5. madzerker
    So you can expend one or more skill surges. How many skill surges do you have, how do you get them back or get more. that is the part I am confused about, is there a set amount you get a day or something?
  6. n4tune8
    Quote Originally Posted by madzerker View Post
    So you can expend one or more skill surges. How many skill surges do you have, how do you get them back or get more. that is the part I am confused about, is there a set amount you get a day or something?
    Yes, there is a set amount you get depending on your level. Check the "Skill Surge" column on the Rogue table in the document. You get them all back after a short or long rest.
    You inspired me to create another Rogue archetype, more combat oriented but not as sneaky. I added it to the google doc (but not the PDF). Here it is:

    En garde!: At 3rd level, the Swashbuckler adds Melee to his Rogue class skills. In addition, when wielding only a weapon with the finesse property and no shield, he gets +1 to AC.
    Daredevil Acrobat: Starting at 3rd level, you can add half your Acrobatics skill modifier (rounded up) to Dexterity rolls for which you have no class skills, to Athletics rolls when running, jumping or climbing and to Persuasion rolls when appropriate (e.g. distracting, making an entrance). In addition, when you make a running long jump, the distance you can cover increases by a number of feet equal to your Dexterity modifier.
    Precise Strike: Starting at 7th level, when attacking with a weapon with the finesse property, you score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
    Skill Surge: The pointy end goes...: At 11th level, when attacking with a weapon with the finesse property, on a successful hit, you can use one or more skill surges to add 1d6 to your damage per skill surge used.
    Improved Precise Strike: At 15th level, your finesse weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18, 19 or 20.
    Straight to the Heart: At 19th level, when you score a critical hit with a finesse weapon, you deal triple damage instead of double.
  7. madzerker
    thanks much for your time and answers! I can see where it wouldn't be too hard to make a lot of subclasses under the 4 main classes. I like it.
  8. Mon
    I gave you XP for the "I work out" (sub)class feature. Lolz.

    The second XP on a different post is not really for that exact post per-se... it is is because I share a lot of your sentiment and thought that was worth another award. I've also been working on my own "new 5e paradigm" with 5 classes + subclasses where the classes provide mostly just the baseline/framework and most of the "heavy lifting" is done in the subclasses. My classes are Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Mage, and Polymath ... but whatevs. I feel you pain re: the monk.
  9. n4tune8
    Thank you Mon for the XP/Laugh. I'm glad that you liked it, especially the little touches like "I work out". Choosing the right Mystic archetypes to cover spheres of influence that players might want took a long time and it is the part that was done last. I started with Fighter and mostly went with whatever was already in the PHB, so as you can see, it is the least developed class. Today I just added the Cavalier fighter archetype to the google doc. I was tempted to make a Gladiator archetype, but was wondering if that wouldn't be more of a background.

    So in your 5e paradigm, do you use semi-casters (ranger, paladin)? Do you have any archetypes that grant spell slots?
  10. n4tune8
    I wish those giving this homebrew a negative rating could just explain what they don't like in the discussion.
  11. madzerker
    Just a heads up that I took what you did here and made a few minor adjustments to make it fit in my world (and a few major changes where I have seperate spell lists for each subclass) and me and my players have 3 games under our belts now. We are having a blast! With these changes D&D has become fun for me again, haven't really played much since 2nd edition because I hated the magic system among other things, but with your ideas, some of the new 5th edition ideas mixed with my own it is exactly what I want right now. So thank you.
  12. n4tune8
    Thank you! Can you post what changes you made? I'm curious...
  13. madzerker
    Off the top of my head (as I did most of this in November) I kept the skill/saving throws the way they have it in the book (I was trying to keep the game mechanics as close to rules on most stuff unless it was really important to me). I did what you did with the main classes and subclasses but I kept the barbarian (which I call savage warrior) because a lot of my campaign in based in celtic and norse type areas so I have more sub classes like warp spasm warriors ect that fit under it. I use some of your subclasses and some not, and I add some of my own, this is all to fit my personal world. For magic I use spell points like you, but I split the magic up into smaller pools for each subclass of spell caster, that way they seem more specialized but I have a base Sorcerer and Mystic list as well. I have a lot of human races with different bonuses ect. but only non human player classes are dwarves (once again, to fit my world). I may have changed one or two things in a couple of subclasses, but I don't remember to be honest, so most of it is very similar to yours. I will keep adding subclasses that fit my world as I have time. Overall it seems to be working great so far, my players are all happy and a couple of them have played previous editions and they don't seem to mind the changes since I told them ahead of time that my world was different
  14. Sadrik
    I have a minor improvement/variation on your proposed system. I tweaked the skills around a little bit mostly. Tools, languages, armor and weapon proficiencies map back to one of the 11 skills. Rough that you were not able to squeeze the monk into the fighter and the rogue.

    This section replaces the proficiency rules, except for armor, weapons and tools. Using a weapon or tool that you are not proficient with gives you a disadvantage to the skill roll.

    The three types of rolls in the game (ability check, saving throw and attack roll) are replaced by a single type: the skill roll. To make a skill roll, roll a d20, add a skill modifier and an ability modifier (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA) and compare the total to a target number (the AC or DC). Thus, rolling Acrobatics + DEX means rolling a d20 and adding your Acrobatics skill modifier and your Dexterity modifier.

    A character starting skills modifiers are granted by his race, class and background. Below is the list of skills, the actions that use that skill modifier and the ability used for that action. For example, a rogue with +3 Subterfuge and a Intellect of 14 wants to disable a trap. He rolls a d20, adds his Subterfuge skill modifier (+3) and his Intelligence modifier (+2) for a total of d20+5 and compares it to the trap DC set by the DM. If he didn't have proficiency with Thieves' tools, he would have disadvantage on the roll.

    Acrobatics (DEX): Jump, Balance, Dodge, Tightrope walk, Tumble
    Athletics (STR): Run, Jump, Lift, Swim, Climb, Fly, Resist being restrained or moved
    Attack (DEX): Attack, Disarm, Grapple, Touch, Trip
    Craft (INT): Appraise, Craft, Repair, Engineer
    Fortitude (CON): Concentrate, Resist Physical (Poison, Diseases, Polymorph, Petrification)
    Influence (CHA): Bluff, Charm, Intimidate, Persuade, Perform, Lead
    Lore (INT): Recall Knowledge, Research knowledge, Decipher Script, Languages
    Nature (INT): Calm/Train Animals, Camouflage, Forage/Hunt, Navigate, Ride, Track, Leave no tracks
    Perception (WIS): Listen/Search/Spot, Insight, Initiative, to see through illusions, ambush, sneak attacks
    Subterfuge (DEX): Sneak, Sleight of hand, Escape bonds
    Will (CHA): Resist Mental (Fear, Charm, Hold Person)

    Tool Categories
    Alchemy Kit (Craft)
    Artisan Tools (Craft)
    Disguise Kit (Influence)
    Forgery Kit (Lore)
    Gaming Kit (Influence)
    Healer's Kit (Lore)
    Herbalism Kit (Nature)
    Musical Instrument (Influence)
    Navigator's Tools (Lore or Nature)
    Poisoner's Kit (Lore or Nature)
    Traps and Locks Kit (Craft or Subterfuge)

    Common (Lore)
    Elvish (Lore)
    Dwarvish (Lore)

    Longsword (Attack)
    Longbow (Attack)
    Ray of Frost (Attack)

    Plate (Athletics)
  15. Sadrik
    I made some changes. I have been working on this for a couple of months.

    I am curious about anyone who may have playtested this. I am very excited about giving this a try. When our Traveler game completes this is what may be next in the docket.
  16. n4tune8
    I updated the PDF, mostly Monk and Rogue clarifications.

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