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D&D 5E House Rule Sanity Check

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I'm pretty committed to most of the ideas here, but I wanted to get some feedback on if there's anything obvious I'm overlooking. I like the core skill system in 5e, but I was not happy with the actual skills they landed on - some were too narrow, some were just poorly defined, and some were obviously missing. I was also never that happy with stat balance. So this lists out my revisions along with a few new rules and some options to modify the cleric into a robed charismatic priest archetype that has always been missing in D&D.

Intelligence​

If your Intelligence is 13 or higher, you gain one bonus proficiency or language

Inspiration​

Inspiration now grants a 1d4 bonus die instead of advantage/disadvantage. The GM can still award Inspiration, but it is also possible for players to inspire other players using the new skill Galvanizing. - This makes more sense to me given the funcationality of Bardic Inspiration, and the old advantage/disadvantage checks are incorporated into the new Tactics skill.

Perception & Initiative​

Perception is no longer a trainable skill. It is now always passive and used mostly to determine surprise. Most active uses of Perception are moved to Investigation.
Initiative is not rolled - Initiative scores are used as outlined in the DMG.
  • Initiative is always 10 + Dex + prof. bonus.
  • Perception is always 10 + Wis + prof. bonus.

Concentration​

Maintaining concentration through damage is still handled by Constitution saves as in the core rules, but there are new rules for using Focusing (Wis) checks to handle concentration-based spellcasting more generally.
  • Casting a spell while concentrating on a spell - DC 10
  • Maintaining two concentration spells - DC 15
  • Casting a spell while concentrating on two spells - DC 20
  • Maintaining three concentration spells - DC 25
You make these checks every turn you maintain more than one concentration spell. If you fail your check, you choose which spell to let end. If you take damage, you roll your concentration check for each spell with an additional +5 to DC for two held spells and +10 for three held spells.

Skill Updates​

This section outlines new skill rules including an altered skill lineup:
  • Strength – Athletics, Grappling
  • Dexterity – Acrobatics, Sleight, Stealth
  • Constitution – Endurance
  • Intelligence – Arcana, Knowledge, Investigation, Medicine, Machinery, Tactics
  • Wisdom – Bonding, Focus, Insight, Survival
  • Charisma – Deception, Galvanizing, Intimidation, Performance, Persuasion
There are three proficiency levels for skills and tools - Dabbler, Skilled, and Expert. This already exists in the core rules; this section just helps formalize it into a true system.
  • Dabbler means you use 1/2 your proficiency bonus
  • Skilled means you use your proficiency bonus as normal
  • Expert means you use half-again your proficiency bonus (not double as in the core rules)
Skilled is gained normally by all characters while Expert and Dabbler are generally less common and granted through various feats and class features.
On your character sheet, use a horizontal line in the skill bubbles to denote dabble proficiency, a checkmark for skilled, and an x for expert.

New & Removed Skills​

Animal Handling (Removed)​

Rolled into the new skill Bonding, with some bonuses tied to feats or backgrounds

History & Religion (Removed)​

Combined into the new Knowledge skill.

Perception (Removed)​

Perception is now a passive score instead of a skill. Your perception score is equal to 10 + Proficiency bonus + Wisdom modifier.
Most uses of active perception are moved to Investigation, though Focus may also be used for others.

Endurance (New)​

Endurance is split off from Athletics for activities involving any active, long-term exertion of physical effort that are less about "bursts of strength" and more about combating fatigue.
Endurance checks may also be used for resisting the effects of torture or pushing beyond normal limits to continue fighting.

Focusing (New)​

Focusing is the mental analogue of Endurance. It may come into play in a variety of situations, but it is most commonly used with the revised Concentration rules, making it a very useful skill for all spellcasters.

Grappling (New)​

Grappling is separated from Athletics. It follows the same rules otherwise with soem expansion from homebrew content.

Knowledge (New)​

Holds all common forms of knowledge that individuals may acquire through normal formal academics or pursuit of hobbies, including history, politics, and religion. Skilleddenotes someone who has an above-average general education level as a result of spending time in a university setting or some equivalent activity.
Different backgrounds may provide advantage to specific types of knowledge checks.

Machinery (New)​

Governs all advanced knowledge of machinery and non-magical mechanics, generally including the latest scientific and mathematical principles and how they are applied to non-magical devices and constructs.

Bonding (New)​

Provide long-term care, raise/train animals and crops, provide mentorship to others. Sometimes used in conjunction with Medicine for helping others recover from illness and injuries.

Tactics (New)​

Tactics replaces the Hero Point system from the DMG using the original functionality of Inspiration. It allows you to situationally use your bonus action or reaction to adjust advantages between yourself or your opponent in combat based on battle precognition.
The DC for accomplishing this can vary substantially by context, and it can sometimes lead to contested skill checks, similar to Grappling, as you attempt to outmaneuver your opponent.

Cleric > Priest​

Many clerics avoid the front lines and are not accustomed to physical combat. These clerics may eschew armor in place of ceremonial vestments and trusting their faith or deity to protect them.
Any cleric, regardless of domain, may give up their armor and martial weapon proficiencies and downgrade to d6 HD. If they do, they gain the following features.

Radiant Grace​

Your Armor Class is equal to 10 + Dex Modifier + Cha Modifier while you are not wearing armor.

Sacred Chant​

At 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th levels you may choose one Bard spell that you do not already know to add to your list of Cleric spells. This spell must be of a level you can cast.

Lore of the Land​

At 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, and 20th levels you may choose one Druid spell that you do not already know to add to your list of Cleric spells. This spell must be of a level you can cast.

Penance​

At 8th level, in place of Potent Spellcasting, Divine Strike, or Blessed Strike, Priests of all Domains learn Penance. This allows them to add their Charisma modifier to any spell's damage or healing value once per turn.
 

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keynup

Explorer
Overall looks fine. Only issue I'd have with it is a philosophical one.
I think skills should be treated like a keyword. Anytime a keyword could be applied to a situation then you can use the bonus. This also means skills are not locked to an attribute.
So backgrounds can be used as a skill, but more likely for specific situations. So a player could relate a bit of their back story and how it would relate to the current situation. This would also allow replacing any skill with a keyword.
Say you are skilled at "Drunk", this could help with: any conversation in a bar, spotting something wrong in bar, know how (or if) drunk someone is. drinking a lot, stuff normally covered by different skills.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Some of it looks pretty interesting. I am fine with passive perception honestly taking a more leading roll for general checks unless you need to focus on something. That just makes the game a bit smoother to run.

I don't however, like passive initiative. Unless you are going to incorporate some sort of bonuses for planning out encounters or ambushes ahead of time. Something to give a side more prepared or experienced an edge over unsuspecting and uninitiated.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
Fixed Initiative is just an alternate rule from the DMG. It just helps eliminate some of the overhead of managing combats. Your point about preparedness is what passive Perception is for =P
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
Some of it looks pretty interesting. I am fine with passive perception honestly taking a more leading roll for general checks unless you need to focus on something. That just makes the game a bit smoother to run.

I don't however, like passive initiative. Unless you are going to incorporate some sort of bonuses for planning out encounters or ambushes ahead of time. Something to give a side more prepared or experienced an edge over unsuspecting and uninitiated.
Fixed Initiative is just an alternate rule from the DMG. It just helps eliminate some of the overhead of managing combats. Your point about preparedness is what passive Perception is for =P and also is part of why I incorporate the Proficiency bonus.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
Overall looks fine. Only issue I'd have with it is a philosophical one.
I think skills should be treated like a keyword. Anytime a keyword could be applied to a situation then you can use the bonus. This also means skills are not locked to an attribute.
So backgrounds can be used as a skill, but more likely for specific situations. So a player could relate a bit of their back story and how it would relate to the current situation. This would also allow replacing any skill with a keyword.
Say you are skilled at "Drunk", this could help with: any conversation in a bar, spotting something wrong in bar, know how (or if) drunk someone is. drinking a lot, stuff normally covered by different skills.

This is a cool approach - I always operate this way in practice if not in writing. I.e. the purpose of having defined skills with key abilities is to establish a basic framework to default from, but it can actually vary in different contexts.
 

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