Homebrew The Uncommoner (a class for those that are commoners, but not really)
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    The Uncommoner (a class for those that are commoners, but not really)

    My first attempt at doing Commoners was cludgy and didn't feel very 5th edition. This second attempt should be more in tune with the system and provides an option for those players that want to start their characters as a bit more than just a background, but less than a trained fighter, rogue, etc.

    The goal in sharing is to discuss the mechanics, not the fit. I'm committed to the idea that some great characters start as slightly more than a 10/10/10/10/10/10 Commoner, but less than a standard class. The two archetypes represent a kind of less-magical Bard using the Factotum name and the Expert that dedicates their life to doing one type of thing extraordinarily well. I'm also not yet worried about the fluff/story elements. I can get those fairly well.

    I'm hoping to get some mechanical feedback with a focus if these is merely underpowered or unplayable, specifically by tier. Get ready for the wall of text. Formatting will come later.

    Uncommoner
    Prerequisite: No ability score over 14
    HD: d8
    HP at 1st level: 8 + Constitution Modifier
    HP at following levels: d8+ Constitution Modifier

    Proficiency
    Armor: Padded
    Weapons: 2 simple (1 may be ranged)
    Tools: Any 1 (except Poison, Disguise, Forgery, Thieves)
    Saving Throw: Constitution, Intelligence
    Skills: Any 3 of Athletics, History, Religion, Animal Handling, Nature, Insight

    Equipment
    :
    a) One of each weapon known. If no ranged weapons are known they also get padded armor. Ranged weapons get 20 ammunition.
    b) An extra known thrown weapon, if known, or a Healer’s Kit
    c) An explorer’s pack
    d) The known tool/kit

    Multiclassing

    Proficiency granted on multi-classing: a single simple weapon, 1 tool/kit (excepting Poison, Disguise, Forgery, Thieves)

    Uncommoner Features

    1st level: Expertise in any one skill or tools known
    Unusual (the Uncommoner has a Feat, if human this is a second Feat)
    2nd level: Helpful (the Uncommoner is able Help as a bonus action)
    Militia Member: 1 Polearm (glaive, pike, and halberd) or 1 ranged simple weapon
    3rd level: Choose an Archetype (Factotum, Expert)
    4th level: ASI or Feat
    5th level: Proficiency in Light Armor
    New Career (the Uncommoner takes a new background as if a 1st level character)
    Work Together (the Uncommoner is assumed to be skilled when helping another character complete a task)
    6th level: Archetype
    7th level: ASI or Feat
    8th level: Shield, 2 weapon proficiencies with no limits
    9th level: Archetype
    10th level: ASI or Feat
    11th level: Rally (with 10 minutes of speaking the Uncommoner can grant the benefits of Inspiring Leader, or can give half their level + Charisma modifier on any skill/tool/kit check)
    New Career (the Uncommoner takes a new background as if a 1st level character)
    12th level: Archetype
    13th level: ASI or Feat
    14th level: Most Skilled (all skill, tool and kit checks are conducted with advantage)
    15th level: Archetype
    16th level: ASI or Feat
    17th level: Swarm of Workers (if intelligent neutral or friendly creatures are within a day’s travel a number equal to 4d6+Charisma modifier will answer the summons. They obey for a number days equal to a Persuasion (CHA) check. They will not fight, but will work for you at half wages and can provide cover. This increases to 5d6+Charisma modifier at 20th level. If no available creatures are in range 2d6 Unseen Servants are summoned and disappear in an hour)
    New Career (the Uncommoner takes a new background as if a 1st level character)
    18th level: Archetype
    19th level: ASI or Feat
    20th level: Rush the Job (any long term activity can be completed in one-third of the time listed in the downtime activities)

    The two Archetypes are Factotum (a generalist who does nothing well, but everything can be done) and the Expert (those dedicated to a single art or craft). Those wishing to play a Noble should use En5ider’s Noble (this was added as I was thinking about building that as a 3rd subclass, but realized I like the En5isder one well enough).

    Factotum Features


    3rd level: Respite (the Factotum, through words or song or soothing touch) can provide the benefits of Song of Rest as if a Bard of the same level)
    Jack-of-All Trades: per the Bard
    6th level: Skilled Attack (the Factotum gains the abilities of a Rogue’s Sneak Attack as if a Rogue of half their level). They gain proficiency with finesse and light weapons.
    9th level: Healing Poultices as per the Mundane Ranger. These can be empowered by drugs, chemicals, or herbs and therefore work in wilderness or urban environments, as well as some dungeons.
    Extra Attack
    Proficiency in all simple weapons
    12th level: Mystical Knowledge (choose a cantrip and 2 spells from any one class. The cantrip is cast as a cantrip. The spells are cast with 2 2nd level spell slots and 1 6th level spell slot. One of the two spells may be 3rd-6th level)
    15th level: Martial Knowledge (proficiency in all martial weapons, medium armor and 3 maneuvers with 4 Superiority dice at d10s.).
    18th level: Mystical Knowledge (choose a cantrip and 2 spells from any one class. This does not have to be the same class as the 12th level ability. The cantrip is cast as a cantrip. The spells are cast with 2 3nd level spell slots and 1 7th level spell slot. One of the two spells may be 3rd-6th level.)

    Expert (designed to be underpowered)


    3rd level: Uncompromising Skill (the Expert can reroll any ability check that is a 1. They must use the new roll. The reroll is permissible on a 2 or less at 9th level and a 3 or less at 18th level)
    6th level: Focused (Due to their dedication to their craft any skill/tool/kit with which the Expert has Expertise they also have advantage).
    Expertise in second known skill/tool/kit.
    9th level: Jack of All Trades per the Bard.
    Brawler (the expert has been in street fights, or defended their territory often enough that all improvised weapons and unarmed attacks are done with proficiency. These attacks do 1d6 damage and at 15th level do 1d8, at 18th level this moves to 1d10.)
    Extra Attack.
    12th level: Push to the End (the Expert can remove a level of exhaustion on a short rest. They also gain proficiency in either Wisdom or Strength saves)
    15th level: Sacrificial Defense (by using a non-weapon or non-shield in their off-hand the Expert gains a twice their Dex bonus to AC. The item used as the makeshift shield is destroyed after 1 minute)
    18th level: Hearty (the Expert is skilled in staying alive. They have advantage on checks against disease, poison, and exhaustion. They also gain Slow Fall. Any ability that requires a long rest now only requires a short rest).
    Last edited by bedir than; Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015 at 05:47 PM. Reason: changed some names, moved some levels, rebalanced

  2. #2
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    On a reread I already see this as a heavy multi-class dipping scenario. I think I should limit the max ability score to 15 (or maybe even 14) to better represent that this is not a class for the exceptional, but those who become exceptional.

    I do like it as a concept to start a character who later because a traditional class at around 4th level.

  3. #3
    I like the zero-level character concept, and can see this as working as a nice extension to, or replacement for it as well. It can also provide nice segue for people who aren't quite sure what they want to be in the early stages. I've had new players choose randomly in the begging, become unhappy and change drastically later making their first experience a less than optimal one -- this would be a good means for people to grown and discover themselves during play.

    Unfortunately, character class creation is not my forte, so I am interested in seeing what unfolds.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
    On a reread I already see this as a heavy multi-class dipping scenario. I think I should limit the max ability score to 15 (or maybe even 14) to better represent that this is not a class for the exceptional, but those who become exceptional.

    I do like it as a concept to start a character who later because a traditional class at around 4th level.
    I second the motion to limit the starting maximum ability scores to 14 at the highest. The level progression includes 7 ASIs, which is equal to the ASIs for the Fighter class; that's more than sufficient to bring an Uncommoner PC up to snuff with the rest of the party.

    Otherwise, I'm really intrigued by this class concept. I'll get back to this thread after building a couple of characters.
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    You didn't ask for fluff, but I'm providing some anyway since I prep all my character sheets with what I label as "(Class) Culture".

    Uncommoner Culture

    Pragmatic, Stoic, and Stubborn.
    Often described as the salt-of-the-earth, an uncommoner regards whining as a waste of time. If one runs into a problem in one’s work, figure out how to fix it and get on with the task at hand. If you get injured, tend to the wound and get back to work as quickly as it’s safe to do so; in fact, an uncommoner believes that work itself helps to keep one healthy, both physically and mentally. The surest path to any goal is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Humble to a Limit.
    Uncommoners are inclined to be deferential to those considered to be of higher status in their society. They presume their “betters” deserve their relative positions, be it by merit and/or by heredity, just as they themselves do. You can only push an uncommoner so far, though; even though they are predisposed to accept their lot in life, they possess a keen sense of fair play, and when someone’s actions repeatedly abuse that sensibility, an uncommoner will not take it lying down. They will begin by taking the steps open to them legally, such as by appeal to the appropriate authorities. If those avenues do not redress their plaints, it may drive them to other choices that may rise as far as all-out rebellion.
    Last edited by Redthistle; Friday, 4th December, 2015 at 04:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redthistle View Post
    I second the motion to limit the starting maximum ability scores to 14 at the highest.
    Would you say this should be true not just for multiclassing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redthistle View Post
    You didn't ask for fluff, but I'm providing some anyway since I prep all my character sheets with what I label as "(Class) Culture".

    Uncommoner Culture

    Pragmatic, Stoic, and Stubborn.
    Often described as the salt-of-the-earth, an uncommoner regards whining as a waste of time. If one runs into a problem in one’s work, figure out how to fix it and get on with the task at hand. If you get injured, tend to the wound and get back to work as quickly as it’s safe to do so; in fact, an uncommoner believes that work itself helps to keep one healthy, both physically and mentally. The surest path to any goal is to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Humble to a Limit.
    Uncommoners are inclined to be deferential to those considered to be of higher status in their society. They presume their “betters” deserve their relative positions, be it by merit and/or by heredity, just as they themselves do. You can only push an uncommoner so far, though; even though they are predisposed to accept their lot in life, they possess a keen sense of fair play, and when someone’s actions repeatedly abuse that sense, an uncommoner will not take it lying down. They will begin by taking the steps open to them legally, such as by appeal to the appropriate authorities. If those avenues do not redress their plaints, it may drive them to other choices that may rise as far as all-out rebellion.
    This is along the lines I would be going. There will also be a "if you don't know how to do something, learn it." The philosophical mold being very American pioneer - hard work, dedication, devotion, study.

    Factotum would be about study and curiosity.
    Expert would be about dedication and devotion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
    Would you say this should be true not just for multiclassing?
    Yes, for starting ability scores.

    On the test PC I'm developing, I used the 27-point purchase method for ability scores. It's the variant human build, and the breakdown of costs/scores led to 5/13 on three abilities (Str/Con/Wis) and 4/12 on the remaining abilities. Str and Wis got the extra two +1 build points, for 14 on each of those.

    The ASI at 2nd level bumped the PC's Str to 16, so ability modifiers already total +9 at this level.

    With 7 ASIs, the Uncommoner is starting to look like it may become overpowered. It will take me another day or two to build the PC to 20th level, so it will be Monday before I'm able to get back to the thread with a comparison/contrast to other classes.

    The Factotum appears to be have a built-in multi-classing aspect, gaining features from several other classes (with limits) that might threaten class power balances. I like that for all the wrong reasons, because it's kind of close to a dream PC for me.

    I can see min/maxers going to town with this (my own inner meta-gamer is dancing, and that ain't generally pretty) but at most, I think it would only need tweaking. I'll have a better perspective once I've completed the build.
    Last edited by Redthistle; Saturday, 28th November, 2015 at 10:15 PM.
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    I want it so you can multi-class out of the build, but not so you can multiclass into the build. I'm particularly targeting a multi-class out in levels 1-4.

    It is a tiny bit MAD right now, but that's also by design.

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    OK, that second level ASI is going to go. And the 6th level expert grant of another expertise is going to drop to 3rd level.

    I'm also thinking of changing the "2nd, 3rd" background features to go at each tier of play while adding a fourth. It fits the skill monkey and gives rather minor features. I feel that it fits the build a bit better.
    Last edited by bedir than; Monday, 30th November, 2015 at 04:17 AM.

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