View Full Version : [3.5] Human Racial Trait Substitutions for NPCs (and how to balance them)

2010-03-08, 01:27 PM
I'm going through a bout of nostalgia-fuelled homebrewing, and had to think my way around a certain problem: Low-Level NPCs are terrible, and are high CR for what they do.

In an attempt to make them more dynamic, I though up some abilities that human NPCs can get in exchange for their bonus feat and extra skill points. The idea is to replace the racial traits with abilities that might give vanilla low-level human NPCs extra function, but don't increase the CR. Also, these are ONLY intended for NPCs, not for PCs.

Here's an example:

'Ambusher' (Fluffier name pending): (Insert Fluff text). [This npc] has 'Hide', 'Intimidate' and 'Move Silently' as class skills regardless of their class, and receive a +2 competence bonus to those skills. They also gain the Sneak Attack ability for +1d6 damage (as the rogue ability). These bonuses come in exchange of the human racial bonus feat and skill point bonuses.

I'm not sure what kind of "value" the sneak attack ability has, but the idea is to have a simple human level 2 warrior (CR1) who is a little more roguish, without actually being a rogue. He still has to take the non-elite array of stats since he doesn't have any PC class levels.

So is this at least somewhat balanced (am I on the right track?), or is sneak attack too big a benefit to be mediated by lost skill points and feat?

2010-03-08, 01:59 PM
You might want to check some of the class modifications from the SRD/Unearthed Arcana. Especially variant classes (http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/variantClasses.htm).

2010-03-08, 02:11 PM
Ah, that sort of works. 11 fighter bonus feats ~= +10d6 sneak attack. 1 universal feat should ~= +1d6 sneak attack (I was closer than I thought). Do they have variants for the NPC classes?