D&D 5E Character complexity PEACH / scathing retorts? (in which I break 5e... more)


I have finally coalesced my ideas on character complexity for my next campaign into a madcap chart.

I look forward to your scathing retorts, sharing how another game does this better, telling me to wait until 2024OneDND5.5ButNot5.5AndAlso2025It'sTheSameGame, and suggesting I attend RPG Designer 12-Step meetings. Or also friendly conversation. Either/or/and. ;)

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@Quickleaf I'm not sure I can PEACH this without nailing down the intended definition of "break".

edit: since we don't see the acronym PEACH used all that often these days it stands for Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly IIRC
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Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
The obvious question to me (because I love to break things) is "Can I do a dual class with Epic Destiny?"


@Quickleaf I'm not sure I can PEACH this without nailing down the intended definition of "break".

edit: since we don't see the acronym PEACH used all that often these days it stands for Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly IIRC
Yes! I thought PEACHing deserved a comeback. "Break" is my self-deprecating humor, and also strategic wording to alert RAW gamers that "here be shark infested waters." I'll explain everything below.

Like, I want to see more, but I kind of love it.
Hah, and more you shall see! Plenty of time to hate it afterwards. ;)


Context: Sometime in late 2024, early 2025, I'll have time to run a campaign again, and I want to propose a wild story facing a githyanki incursion (that's the tl;dr) starting at 9th level. I'm interested in a game that allows for a larger pool of players (not quite West Marches) with some more committed/regularly showing up, and others who may be less committed/able to make games but would still like to fill in the roster when there's room. Additionally, I'm very interested in encouraging diverse player skill, so beginners will be right alongside intermediate or advanced players, players who want to run magical talking dogs alongside complex paladin-warlocks; and that's where the degrees of complexity chart came from.

I'll assume stuff that's already in the rules – Sidekick Classes, Multiclassing – is already clear.

Here are my hacked feats... The big picture is right now I'm thinking of them as mutually exclusive... Epic Destiny (as I'm adapting it) is swap-out features. Hybrid Subclasses is way to take 2 subclasses from same class, either staggered or investing more feats to get both features. Dual-Class (as I'm appropriating the term) is like the weird cousin of multiclassing – you continuously are on a 1-to-20 track, but each level you decide, for example, "am I taking the Rogue stuff or the Wizard stuff at this level?"

Epic Destiny (feat)
Prerequisite: 5th level, single-classed character, and must meet prerequisites of the specific Epic Destiny

Choose an epic destiny from the Epic Destinies document (by Peter Oliver), but ignore the 20th level prerequisites. Instead, at 5th level, 9th level, 13th level, and 17th level, you can choose to advance along the Epic Destiny’s chart, replacing your normal class features (including spells) at that level for the Epic Destiny’s feature(s). The final feature of an Epic Destiny – some form of immortality – is achievable only through narrative at the end of the campaign.

For example, while players create their 9th level PCs, the player of a single-class Fighter might take the Epic Destiny feat and give up their 9th level Indomitable feature to instead begin the Immortal Hero destiny, selecting an Epic Boon - maybe they take the one granting 40 extra hit points. Yes, it's powerful. Yes, there are story implications/complications that would get tied to these destinies.

Hybrid Subclass (feat)
Prerequisite: You must have a subclass, and you must meet the multiclassing prerequisites for your own class

You weave together two different subclasses within your class. When you take this feat for the first time, gain the first subclass feature of your 2nd subclass.

From then on, when you achieve a level in your class that gives you a new subclass feature, you choose which subclass to advance to that subclass’ next feature. For instance, a Rogue (Thief/Swashbuckler) who took Supreme Sneak at 9th level, could, upon reaching 13th level either take Use Magic Device or Panache.

Alternately, you can select this feat multiple times to progress your second subclass provided you are at the class level where the corresponding feature would normally be available.

Special: You cannot multiclass or take the Dual-Class or Epic Destiny feats. You can take this feat multiple times, but only to advance your 2nd subclass.

Dual-Class (feat)
Prerequisite: Must be taken at character creation, and must meet multi-classing prerequisites for both classes

Choose two classes. Dual-classing allows you to knit these classes together in unique ways like a hybrid of both classes. At 1st level and each level thereafter, choose whether to take the class features (and Hit Dice) from class A or class B. The exceptions are chart progression features (spells, Sneak Attack), which progress sequentially using that class’ chart. In the case of two spellcasting classes, use the multiclassing rules (i.e. universal spell slots).

For example, say you want to play a Rogue/Wizard dual-class character. You must have Dex 13+ and Int 13+. You might select Rogue for levels 1, 3, and 5 (3d8 hit points, Dex/Int saves, Rogue proficiencies, Expertise, Sneak Attack 2d6, Thieves’ Cant, Roguish Archetype, Uncanny Dodge), while you select Wizard for levels 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 (5d6 hit points, Spellcasting as a 5th level wizard, Arcane Tradition, 6th level Arcane Tradition feature, and two Ability Score Improvements).

Special: You cannot multiclass or take the Hybrid Subclass or Epic Destiny feats.
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The obvious question to me (because I love to break things) is "Can I do a dual class with Epic Destiny?"
Current intent is "no", but as this mutates/refines/gets hard edited, that miiiiight change.

I'm kinda creating mutually exclusive options. For example, if you're single-classed, you'll have the unique option to take an Epic Destiny feat. That's something unique for you. (Well, also I'm writing a feat with a 9th level prereq that's probably going to appeal to single-class PCs more, but still WIP)

Other builds get their cool stuff.

Also there’s GM massaging that will need to happen with this sort of “busting the system open” - so it’s starting place for conversations, idea generation, not graven in stone. For ex, a straight up sidekick in such a gaming environment could probably use some love from the GM with a more powerful magic item or homebrew spell, very possibly. Not hardcoding that kind of massaging.
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