View Full Version : d20 Level 10

2007-01-23, 05:34 PM
This varient d20 system has a level cap of L 10. It was inspired by the idea "why not simply make some characters level faster than others".

So the end goal is that characters act like SRD d20 characters, except Mundane gain abilities faster than Casters do -- effectively giving Mundane classes faster level gain.

In this document I have the original 4 archtypes -- Fighter, Rogue, Cleric and Wizard. Converting other classes shouldn't be that challenging, but I had to start somewhere. :)

The scale of this game is roughly twice standard d20.

Each level is the equivilent of 2 d20 levels, and in addition weapon damage is roughly doubled. (this means HP/level is 4x as high)

Unless otherwise mentioned, damage modifiers are doubled, and level requirements are halved (rounding up). (Ie, weapon spec adds +4 damage and requires Fighter L 2)

The other large changes are a swap to uses/battle for abilities. I never enjoyed the cheese of rationing encounters by the day. This does not mean you should take x uses/day abilities and make them x uses/battle.

Casters cap out with L 6 spells at L 10, but melee reach a full +20 BaB. Caster damage spells are boosted in damage dealing abilities.

Sneak attack is restricted to once per round, but does 1d20 damage per level of the Rogue. Some changes to attacks/round have been made (making upteen attacks/round makes the game go slower).

Fighters have multiple stances and some new defensive abilities.

Use monsters with the appropriate CRs, but modify them as follows:
Double monster BaB.
Double monster damage to HP.
Give monsters max HP on their HD. Double that, and add their CON.

A L 0 Humanoid has HP equal to her CON score. Not CON bonus, but CON score.

Humanoids with character classes have the L 0 Humanoid HP. Their skill points, however, include L 0 humanoid skills.


All characters gain a feat on every odd level (1 3 5 7 9).
You gain a +1 stat boost every even level (2, 4, 6, 8, 10).

XP is earned at half the SRD rate (or levels cost twice as much XP -- same difference).

As mentioned, double damage dice on weapons. Also double str bonus to damage -- so 2 H get 3x strength, 1 H get 2x strength, and offhand get 1x strength.

Power attack scales exactly like str-bonus-to-damage.

Con damage cannot reduce a player below 0 HP.

At 0 HP, all further HP damage is converted to Con damage.

Every round at 0 HP, make a DC (20+# of turns at 0 HP) fort save, or be knocked out. (effectively, you can stay mobile for a short period).

When damaged to 0 HP, make a DC 15 fort save, or start taking 1 damage con per round. Every round make a DC 15 fort save until you pass or you die from lack of con. If you pass this check you need not make another save until you are damaged further.

Note you have to make this bleed save even if you are still standing at 0 HP.

Stabalization works like in SRD d20 -- magical healing, or a heal check stops the bleeding. The con damage still remains.

Every modifier of con damage lowers your max and current HP by 4 points per level, even if your class has a higher multiplier.

PC class skill system
PC classes learn non-combat skills as they gain levels.

First level PC classes do not get 4x skill points. They just get 1x skill points.

Pure-class PCs have free of charge every class skill at (level+1).
Pure-class PCs have a class skill skill cap of (level*2+3).
Pure-class PCs have a non-class skill skill cap of (level*1+1).

For multi-class characters, it gets a bit more complex:

PC classes gain a free +1 point in all class skills every level for free, and an extra once-only +1 for having the skill as a class skill in any class.

The skill cap of a PC is increased by +2 in class skills, and +1 in cross-class skills, every level.
If you posses a skill as a class skill in any class, your cap goes up by +3. Otherwise, your cap goes up by +1.

So a L 5 Fighter/L 2 Rogue with 14 int has:
A cap of 13 in Rogue class skills, and 3 free skill points in every Rogue class skill.
A cap of 15 in Fighter class skills, and 6 free skill points in every Fighter class skill.
A cap of 8 in skills that are class skills of neither.

24 skill points from the 2 levels of Rogue.
25 skill points from the 5 levels of Fighter
Total of 49 skill points that can be put anywhere (up to the cap).

Saves and BaB
If you have at least one class with a GOOD save in a category, you get +2 to your saves.
Every two levels of a class with GOOD saves in a category gives you another +1.
Every three levels of a class with POOR saves in a category gives you +1.
If you have 1 leftover GOOD save level and 2 leftover POOR save levels, you can combine the 3 and get +1 to a save.

A L 10 pure Fighter has +7 fort, +3 will, +3 reflex saves.

If you have 2 Fighter and 1 Rogue level, that is enough to get +1 will save.
If you have 1 Cleric and 2 Fighter levels, that is enough for a +3 will save

There are standard attacks and full attacks. Full attacks are the full attack action.

When standard attacking:
Weapons do 2x SRD damage dice.
Damage multipliers:
x2 on enchantment, x3 on two-handed enchantment
off/main hand strength bonus:
x0/x1 str on finess
x1/x2 str on normal (including finess two-handed)
x3 str on two-handed

When full attacking:
Always: +4 to damage.
+0 BaB: Weapons do 2x SRD damage dice. Str: x0/x1 finess, x1/x2 normal, x3 two handed.
+7 BaB: Weapons do 3x SRD damage dice. Str: x1/x2 finess, x2/x3 normal, x5 two handed.
+13 BaB: Second attack iteration at -10 to hit.
+20 BaB: Weapons do 4x SRD damage dice. Str: x2/x3 finess, x3/x4 normal, x7 two handed.

So someone with 26 strength and +20 BaB using a greatsword +5:
Standard: +28 to hit, 4d6+39 damage
Full: +28/+18 to hit, 8d6+75 damage

26 dex 20 strength, +20 BaB, dual-wielding (full feats) a pair of +5 Rapiers:
Standard: +33 to hit, 2d6+15 damage
Full: +33*2/+23*2 to hit, 4d6+29/4d6+24 damage

Reasoning: this removes the rolling-buckets-of-attack dice issue, but still grants a boost in damage when doing a full-attack

Weapon Types:
Normal, Finess and Two-handed.

All weapons have twice the damage-dice as their SRD versions. Offhand weapons recieve 1x less Str bonus to hit.

Finess: Dex/2 + Str to hit, x1 Str to damage
With finess feat: Str/2 + Dex to hit, x1 Str to damage.

Normal: Str to hit, x2 Str to damage.

Two-handed: Str to hit, x3 Str to damage.

Two-handed Finess: Dex/2 + Str to hit, x2 Str to damage
With finess feat: Str/2 + Dex to hit, x1 Str to damage.

Higher BaB gives you bonus's to your damage when doing a full attack.

Power Attack:
You can sacrafice Str bonus's to hit in exchange for Str bonus's to damage. You cannot have a negative Str bonus to hit.

The Fighter

The Fighter is someone obsessed with combat for whatever reason. Fighters are not satisfied with knowing one effective form of combat, and are experts at learning new combat skills.

Good Fort, Poor Will and Reflex.
20+ConBonus*6 HP/level
+2 BaB per level
3+int skill points/level

Class abilities:
Level one Fighters start with two Stances. Changing between Stances requires a standard action by default. A Fighter can only be in one Stance at a time, and is always considered to be in some Stance. Fighters are encouraged to name their Stances.

Every level (including L 1) a fighter gets to add 1 Figher Bonus Feat to each stance (the feat can be different for different stances), and change 1 existing feat to another Fighter Bonus Feat in each stance (this does not apply to new stances).

At L 3 and L 7 a Fighter gains a third and forth stance. The new L 3 stance must share 1 Feat with an existing stance, and has two additional Feats to start. The new L 7 stance must share 3 Feats with an existing stance, and has four additional feats to start.

So a L 10 Fighter has 4 stances, each of which has 10 Feats in it.

At L 5 and 10, the Fighter gains the ability to do a Swift stance change once and twice per battle. As implied by the name, a Swift stance change is the ability to change stances as a Swift action during the Fighter's turn.

On L 2, 4, 6 and 8, the Fighter gains +1 AC. This is an unnamed AC bonus that stacks with any other bonus.

As an immediate action, any attack that originates, passes or ends within 5' of the Fighter can be retargetted to hit the Fighter if the Fighter wants it to. The Fighter can even use this ability while flat-footed.

This can be done before a to-hit or save roll is done, in which case the Fighter's AC or save is used.
It can be done after the attack has hit or the save roll has been made, in which case the Fighter's AC and save is ignored.

It cannot be done after damage is rolled.

The Rogue

The Rogue is a skilled, stealthy character.

Good Reflex, Poor Will and Fortitude
12+ConBonus*4 HP/level
+3/2 BaB per level
8+int*2 skill points/level

Class abilities:
Sneak attack:
Every Rogue level grants the character +1d20 sneak attack damage. Sneak attack damage can only be delt once per round, but it need not be on the first attack. The decision to use Sneak attack damage is determined after the attack hits.

The target must be either flat footed or flanked to apply Sneak attack damage.

Trap sense:
A rogue gains a +1 bonus to AC and Reflex saves against traps on every odd level.

A Rogue who makes a save for partial effect on a Reflex save for damage takes no damage.
At L 5, a Rogue who fails a Reflex save against damage is still only takes half damage.

Uncanny dodge:
Starting at L 2, a Rogue cannot be found flat footed. In addition, a Rogue can only be flanked by a character with 2 more levels in an Uncanny dodge granting class.

Dexterous Strike:
Starting at L 3, a Rogue does an additional DEX BONUS damage with all melee attacks and point-blank ranged attacks.

Sneaky Criticals:
Starting at L 4, if a Rogue sneak attack is a critical, the Rogue does 20 damage per level instead of rolling 1d20 per level.

Special Abilities:
At L 6 through 10, a Rogue gets to select from the following list:

Crippling Strike:
-1d3*2 Strength damage on every successful sneak attack.

Defensive Roll:
Whenever a Rogue is hit with damage from a weapon or other physical blow (not spell or special ability) that will reduce the rogue to 0 HP or less, the Rogue gets a Reflex save (DC=1/2 damage delt).
On success, the damage is halved. Evasion does not apply to this roll.
Note that this is not limited by times/day.

If a Rogue fails is affected by an enchantment or compulsion, she may make a second save at the same DC 1 round later. This only allows 1 extra chance.
In addition, if the Rogue is making a Will or Foritude save for reduced damage, on success all of the damage is eliminated.

Once per round, the the rogue can burn an attack of opportunity against anyone struck for melee damage (within attack range). This ability is only allowed to be used once per round.

Mastery of Skills:
Pick (3+int) rogue class skills. You can no longer roll under a 15 using these skills -- any roll under 15 is treated as a 15. The Rogue may also experiment -- in exchange for an automatic failure on the first round, the Rogue may take 20 on the second round.

You may take this multiple times time and pick different skills.

Combat Feat:
Pick a Feat from the Fighter Bonus Feat list.

The Wizard

Wizards are manipulators of the fabric of reality. They wield terrible magics, yet must be physically protected.

Good Will, Poor Reflex and Fortitude
6+ConBonus*2 HP/level
+1/2 BaB per level
3+int skill points/level

Class Abilities:

All Wizards must pick a specialty school. This is a school of wizardry they are especially good at.
In addition, they must pick two banned schools. You cannot ban Divination.

A Wizard can keep a limited number of spells in his head at once. He can also cast a limited number of spells before having to rest and recover.

Spells Known
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 6 6 - - - - -
2 6 6 3 - - - -
3 6 6 4 - - - -
4 6 6 5 3 - - -
5 6 6 6 4 - - -
6 6 6 6 5 3 - -
7 6 6 6 6 4 - -
8 6 6 6 6 5 3 -
9 6 6 6 6 6 4 -
10 6 6 6 6 6 5 3

The above table lists how many spells of a given level a Wizard can know at one time.

In addition, a Wizard may record spells in his spellbook. To replace a spell in memory from a spellbook, it takes 30 minutes, plus 10 minutes per level of the spell.

A Wizard can copy a spell from a scroll into his spellbook. Doing so takes 1 hour plus 1 hour per level of the spell, and destroys the scroll.

A Wizard cannot read another Wizards spellbook without Read Magic. Even then, the Wizard cannot directly prepare magic, or directly copy spells, from that spellbook. The Wizard may scribe a scroll from another Wizards spellbook, taking the usual time to create a scroll, but this destroys the spell from the other Wizard's spellbook. Needless to say, this usually only happens after you kill the owner of the spellbook.

Spells per Battle
Level 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 3+1 0+1 - - - - -
2 4+1 0+1 0+1 - - - -
3 4+1 1+1 0+1 - - - -
4 5+1 1+1 0+1 0+1 - - -
5 5+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 - - -
6 6+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 0+1 - -
7 6+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 - -
8 7+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 0+1 -
9 7+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 -
10 8+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 1+1 0+1 0+1

A Wizard can only use a limited amount of magic at once. The above table is the limit on the spells that a Wizard can cast in a short time.

0+1 means "zero spells plus one specialist spell". Bonus spells are on top of the above amounts, but do not apply if the entry is a "-".

It takes a modicum of rest, time and concentration to refresh the Wizard's spells. In general, a bandaging up/searching/looting session is enough time.

If the Wizard has a short and insufficiently relaxing breather, the Wizard may try to recover a single spell. Make a Will save against DC 10+highest spell slot missing. On success, that spell refreshes.

A Wizard in Armor suffers arcane spell failure when casting any spell that requires gestures (listed in the spell description). This rate is double the SRD rate.

Simply use an appropriate higher level spell slot when you cast the spell.

Bonus Feats:
A Wizard gains a bonus Metamagic or Item Creation feat every even level.

DC and Caster level:
The DC of Wizard spells is the highest of the Wizard's Wisdom and Charisma modifiers.

The Caster Level of a Wizard is the Wizard's level+1.

Many Wizard spells can be boosted by casting them slower. Only spells with a casting time of 1 full round or less can be boosted.

The Wizard can spend up to 10 rounds (1 minute) casting a spell.
2 full rounds: +1 metamagic, +1 DC, +1 caster level
4 full rounds: +2 metamagic, +1 DC, +1 caster level
10 full rounds: +3 metamagic, +1 DC, +1 caster level

The above table is not cumulative.

+3 metamagic means "can use 3 levels worth of metamagic for no charge". Metamagic in excess of this amount must be paid for via increased spell level.

Spell Selection:
Use the core SRD spell list, with a few changes.

Damage dice that are applied to HP are boosted as follows:
1d4 becomes 1d4+4
1d6 becomes 1d6+6
1d8 becomes 1d8+8
1d10 becomes 1d10+10
1d12 becomes 1d12+12

Pure bonus damage is trippled. So a Magic Missile does 1d4+7 damage.

Second, spells that have create something perminant (like wall of iron) are not allowed. Spells that merely reshape things are allowed to persist forever.

Maintaining Spells:
Spells that have a minutes/level or longer duration now have an indefinate duration. The spell stays active until the Wizard dismisses it.

The Wizard cannot gain back any spell slots that cast the spell, and a Wizard can maintain at most (Wizard Level*2) levels of spells at any one time.

Maintaining more than (Wizard level) in spells is taxing. It prevents the Wizard from regaining any spells and cannot be kept up for long periods of time.

Bonus Spells:
Wizard's gain additional spells per battle and spells known with higher int.

Bonus Spells
Int 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
-3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3 -3
-2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2
-1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
+0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0
+1 +1 +1 +0 +0 +0 +0 +0
+2 +2 +1 +1 +0 +0 +0 +0
+3 +3 +1 +1 +1 +0 +0 +0
+4 +4 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0 +0
+5 +5 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +0
+6 +6 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
+7 +7 +2 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
+8 +8 +2 +2 +1 +1 +1 +1

Negative modifiers cannot reduce you to fewer than 0+1 spell known or 0+1 spell per battle.

Modifiers to raw stats that persist longer than 10 minutes hides spells known, or allows the learning of more spells/known.

Magic Items:
Wizards are adept at creating magic tools. A Wizard has Creation Points they can spend on creating charged magic items and scrolls instead of the Wizard's XP.

Creation Points grow by 500*Wizard Level whenever the Wizard gains a level, starting at L 2. The maximium number of Creation Points a Wizard can have is 1000*Wizard Level.

Use d20 SRD familiars, but double the Wizard's level.

Learning Spells:
A Wizard can scribe into his spellbook, at no charge, 1 random spell of the highest spell level and 1 spell of one higher spell level every time he gains a level.

A Wizard may request that one or both of these spells be from his specialty school.

The Cleric:

The Cleric is an armor-clad holy priest.

Good Will, Fort, poor Reflex saves
9+ConBonus*3 HP/level
+1/1 BaB per level
3+int skill points/level

Class Abilities:

Turn Undead
Can be used once per battle. A cleric can maintain her turning attempt for up to 2 turns.
Max HD: Level+Cha modifier+1d4 on first turn, Level+Cha modifier+1d6 on second turn.
Total HD: Level+Cha modifier+2d6 per turn (roll each turn).

If the creature has less than (cleric level * 10) current HP, the creature is destroyed.
Otherwise, the creature flees for 10 rounds (1 minute), and does not approach the cleric for 10 minutes.
If they cannot flee, they cower until someone approaches them within 10 feet (staying within 10 feet is fine).
Cowering undead do not attack back, and you are at +2 to attack them.

Domains and Diety:
A cleric picks a Diety and two Domains from that diety. In addition, the Cleric's alignment must match any alignment domain selected.

The Domains each provide access to 1 spell per spell level, and granted powers.

Spell Casting:
A Cleric casts spells like a Wizard, with the following exceptions.

First, Clerics can cast their spells in armor without suffering failure.

Second, Clerics do not have a spell book. They have spells known, and that is it.

Third, Clerics automatically gain their Domain spells known and the Cure X spell of the appropriate level. If their intelligence isn't enough to provide that many spells known, they can pick.

Spells known beyond that point are given to the cleric from the random spell scroll table.

Clerics may study a divine scroll (taking 1 hour plus 1 hour per level of the spell) to change a spell known for the spell on the scroll. Note a cleric may not lose a Domain spell or a Heal X spell this way.

Cleric bonus spells/day are based off Wisdom, bonus spells known are based off Intelligence, and Resists are based off Charisma.

Clerics gain a metamagic or item creation feat every 3 levels. Cleric metamagic works like Wizard metamagic.

Overcasting works just like Wizard overcasting.

Healing spells are modified much like damage spells are.

Maintainging spells is equally hard on the Cleric.

Clerics can cast their Domain Spells in the "X+1" spell per spell level slot that wizards use for their specialist spells.

Magic Items
The Cleric gains 250 creation points per level starting at L 2, and can store up to 500 creation points per level unspent. These can be spent on potions, charged wands or staffs, or scrolls, just like the Wizard creation points.


L 1 Dwarf Fighter 16 str 10 dex 16 con 12 int 10 wis 10 cha.
HP: 54
2 free skill in all Fighter Class skills.
Max 5 in Fighter Class Skills.
Max 2 in other skills.
4 extra skill points

Greataxe: 2d12+9 damage, +5 to hit.

3 hits by a Greataxe will, on average, kill him. Same as a L 2 Fighter with the same stats under SRD.


How is that for a second draft?

Some balancing notes:
Spell damage and healing is boosted by a factor of rougly x3.

Your domain/speciality matter alot more.

Casters have serious MAD in this system. Clerics worse than Wizards. I plan on continueing this with Sorcerers and Druids.

High-HD classes gain more HP from con than low HD classes. As it stood under SRD, in many ways Con was more important do a Wizard than to a Fighter.

The goal is to "scale up" CR 10 monsters in stats, not place these L pseudo-10 characters fighting CR 20 monsters. The CR 20 monsters can provide "awe and terror". :)

Rogues have a lesser bias towards multi-weapon combat than in original d20, simply because it gives them more chances to land a normal or crit sneak attack (which are really evil -- Rogues in a flanking position have to decide "do I land my sneak attack on my first attack, or do I try for a crit?"). This also means that Rogues don't need to cheese themselves to efficiently deliver sneak attack damage.

I have some thoughts about redoing weapon based combat to rebalance Sword&Board, TwoHand and TwoWeapon styles -- that is where the "double weapon damage" came in. (wielding a 1 H weapon in 2 H ups you from 2dX to 3dX. Crit damage is a fixed amount by weapon, bringing crit-monkey weapons to balance with normal weapons, weapon average damage is tightly controlled. Weapon Masteries that open up higher weapon damage based on style or weapon type. Power weapons deliver STR bonus to damage better, Finess weapons are more accurate. Power attack that is limited by your strength bonus. And lots more...)

2007-01-23, 08:18 PM
I guess I just don't understand the reasoning for this. Not that I think it's a bad idea, I pretty much love every variant rule here, I simply don't see why you wouldn't just say, "You are now starting at level 2 and you gain 2 levels for each one that you normally would." Please elaborate.