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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Aug 2018
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    Default Prestige Options (Using different primary attributes, without breaking anything!)

    A lot of players want to mix and match different classes to fit a really cool theme, further than the current system allows. Things like: Intelligence-based Warlocks or Monks, Wisdom-based Sorcerers, etc.

    To allow players to make these kinds of builds, and to still maintain a semblance of balance, I've created Prestige Options:

    ===============

    The Rules

    Classes you have levels for now can use alternate modifiers for their features, so long as you obey the requirements for those classes. If you are unable to meet the requirement for any reason, you must use the default attribute for those features.

    Multiclassing requirements are changed to match the new Prestige Option attributes, except if changing an ability or taking a level into a class would invalidate the Prestige Option. In those circumstances, you must obey both the current multiclass requirement as well as any multiclass requirements after the attempted change (so if you use Wisdom as a Sorcerer and want to unlearn Detect Magic, you must have both 13 Charisma AND 13 Wisdom to do so, and you'll have to use Charisma for your Sorcerer features until you are able to cast Detect Magic again). Without DM's discretion, you can only use one Prestige Option at a time.

    Any changes to attributes apply only to the relevant class or subclass features. For instance, changing a class features from using Dexterity will not have any impact on your AC unless you calculate your AC from a class/subclass feature (like Unarmored Defense).


    Barbarian

    Force of Nature
    You can take the Barbarian, using your Strength in place of Dexterity for your Barbarian features.
    Requirement: The only Barbarian subclass available to you is the Path of the Storm Herald. Additionally, at least half of your character levels (rounded up) must be in Barbarian.
    [Example: A warrior returns from the wilds, changed. His body contains the literal essence of a storm, and only his indomitable physicality kept it contained.]
    Spoiler: Force of Nature Analysis
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    I figured that since the Storm Herald has to focus on maximizing Constitution for the sake of their Saving Throws, and the fact that the Herald would not likely consider using a Bonus Action attack with a weapon, it is rather hard to cheese out spammed high damage Strength attacks if Dex was no longer needed. A Barbarian could choose to do something like GWM and max out Strength for high damage, but then they'd run into a problem where their subclass doesn't provide them anything for their playstyle. They'd have to invest heavily in both Strength and Constitution stats to get the most out of the subclass features, which becomes its own sort of MADness.
    Additionally, Storm Herald is notoriously bad (I mean, 2 damage per round? Come on). You're forced to invest into Barbarian for doing so, so you can't just cheat and get Strength+Constitution version of Unarmored Defense. Still a buff, just not as big of a deal as you might initially think.


    Force of Savagery
    You can take the Barbarian, using Dexterity in place of Strength for your Barbarian features.
    Requirement: The only Barbarian subclass available to you is the Path of the Berserker. Additionally, at least half of your character levels (rounded up) must be in Barbarian.
    [Example: A savage has learned to tap into his primal instincts, and strikes at the speed of thought. However, doing so puts much strain on his body and mind.]
    Spoiler: Force of Savagery Analysis
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    I find it's roughly balanced, due to the fact that the main benefit of the standard Berserker is to launch several high damage, Strength-based weapon attacks at the enemy, and the highest damage a Dexterity equivalent would be is a 1d8.

    You effectively lose Reach and 1-2 damage for increased AC and ranged attacks. The redundancy with Two-Weapon fighting also makes it less of an appealing choice for optimizers who are hoping to break something in that direction.

    The ranged attacks are also unusable for the Berserker's features, so all-in-all, it's not much better than the original, if at all, but it fits a niche that a lot of people like.


    The idea is that it's a Barbarian that utilizes a Haste-like effect to move faster than his opponent, but it has similar drawbacks to the spell (in that it wears you out). Mechanically, you have more AC than any other Barbarian (as a fast Barbarian should) but you lose out on a decent bit of damage unless you're willing to Frenzy constantly, and you'll never outdamage a Strength version (although you'll probably live a lot longer).


    Bard
    College of Truth
    You can take the Bard, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Bard features.
    Requirement: The only Bard subclass available to you is the College of Lore. Additionally, at least half of your character levels (rounded up) must be in Bard.
    [Example: A traveler seeks to spread knowledge of the world, and uses the knowledge they have gained as a source of power.]
    Spoiler: College of Truth Analysis
    Show
    I can't really think of too many problems having an Intelligence-based Bard would cause, mostly due to the lack of Intelligence-based content.

    The main concern I had was an Eldritch Knight or an Arcane Trickster using it to fuel things like Shield or Absorb Elements, while still trying to avoid the low Hit-Die of a Wizard. There's also the minor concern of a Grapple-focused Eldritch Knight Enlarging himself, so I made it that you have to focus on being a Bard over anything else. Bards have a lot of benefits from being a dip, and I just wanted to make sure that the Wizard was still a valid choice as an Intelligence multiclass choice.


    Cleric
    Clergy of the People
    You can take the Cleric, using your Charisma modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for your Cleric features.
    Requirement: You cannot take Warlock or Sorcerer levels.
    [Example: A cleric chooses to live their life by aiding those in need, and to make the world a better place through the spoken word of the people]
    Spoiler: Clergy of the People Analysis
    Show
    You're going to hear this a LOT: Don't allow the Sorcerer and Warlock to multiclass with others. This is because they change how spellcasting works, to make it more versatile. Other classes, like the Cleric, can't use all of their features at the same time, but the Sorcerer and Warlock CAN (as their biggest features are Metamagics and Short-Rest Spell slot recharging). As an example, mixing the Cleric with those classes ends up with a high-AC, high-Concentration caster with too many tools and too much versatility. A Cleric/Sorcerer/Warlock could do anything, solve any problem, and be tanky to boot.

    With these restrictions, a Bard/Cleric might have some slightly higher AC, but ends up only being able to cast as at the same combat level of a lower level Cleric. A Cleric/Paladin has a lot of redundant proficiencies. There's just not a lot you can break with these restrictions.


    Disciple of Oghma
    You can take the Knowledge or Arcana Cleric, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for your Cleric features.
    Requirement: You cannot have levels into the War Mage Wizard subclasses. Additionally, you cannot have more Wizard levels than you have Cleric levels.
    [Example: A historian, honoring their deity through practice of their scriptures rather than through prayer.]
    Spoiler: Disciple of Ohgma Analysis
    Show
    The War Mage is a generic murder-hobo mage subclass, and I want to remove any incentive for pure-combat builds from these changes. Any combat Wizard with medium/heavy armor proficiencies and more level 1 spell slots is a recipe for disaster, so I find it's best to focus on the Cleric side of things (which deals considerably less damage).


    Druid
    Circle of the Many
    You can take the Druid, using your Charisma modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for your Druid features.
    Requirement: The only Druid subclass available to you is the Circle of Shephards.
    [Example: A sage has an innate gift to speak to all creatures, and teaches them all to live in harmony]
    Spoiler: Circle of the Many Analysis
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    I'm not actually worried about Sorcerer/Warlock hybrids with this one. Not only are the summons not very malleable with Metamagics, but you need to have a LOT of Warlock levels before you can fuel them (Warlock level 5), and the Shephard features don't enhance summons until level 7. You need to be at least level 12 before the multiclassing pays off, so it ends up being very inefficient to multiclass in this example.


    Fighter
    Arcane Seeker
    You can take the Fighter, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Intelligence modifier for your Fighter features.
    Requirement: The only Fighter subclass available to you is the Arcane Archer.
    [Example: A warrior, raised by elves, learns the secrets needed to protect their sacred lands.]
    Spoiler: Arcane Seeker Analysis
    Show
    It just makes sense. They can already get Druidcraft. The Ranger has a lot more synergies with the Druid or Cleric than the Arcane Seeker does, and that's the biggest concern here.

    Worst case scenario, you could go Kensei/Ranger, I suppose, but that seems much cooler than overpowered.


    Monk
    Way of the Closed Fist:
    You can take the Monk, using your Strength modifier in place of your Dexterity modifier for your Monk features.
    Requirement: The only Monk subclass available to you is the Way of the Open Palm.
    [Example: A troubled youth learns to harness his strength for good, channeling his forceful nature through his fists.
    Spoiler: Way of the Closed Fist Analysis
    Show
    A bit odd, I know, but the Open Hand relies really heavily on Wisdom compared to the other melee-oriented Monks. Your damage output is a bit higher by mixing in with Barbarian, but your Ki point reserve takes a hit. With no Wisdom, you deal the same damage as a Barbarian with a Monk dip, and having Wisdom means that your Strength/Constitution is going to be lower (meaning either less damage/hits, or less HP that stacks with Rage).

    While the Barbarian/Monk combination does seem strong compared to a normal Barbarian, consider the fact that Rage works best with a high HP pool, and the Monk gains 2 less HP per level than the Barbarian. Leveling in this way means that you're able to absorb about 3-4 less damage per level than the classic Barbarian, making this an even less effective choice.

    Lastly, you also weaken the Monk's Evasion ability by changing it to Strength, a much less common and less threatening Saving Throw.


    Way of the Disciplined Eye
    You can take the Monk, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for your Monk features.
    Requirement: The only Monk subclasses available to you are the Ways of the Sun Soul, Four Elements, and the Long Death. Additionally, you cannot have more Wizard levels than you have Monk levels.
    [Example: A reclusive student learns the forbidden arts of his temple after much time spent in the library, and seeks to hone his newfound knowledge with practice.]
    Spoiler: Way of the Disciplined Eye Analysis
    Show
    Make sure to not allow a Wizard to cheat his way into high AC without some kind of cost. In this case, we're talking about Unarmored Defense, which can completely go out of hand when considering something like Bladesinger's AC bonus.

    It can be a concern of a Monk dipping a few levels into Wizard, which provides things like Shield and Absorb Elements, but this does mean a smaller HP pool. The War Mage is a solid choice, but the Reaction benefit really competes with the Monk's existing Reaction uses (Deflect Missiles, Slowfall) which are already very powerful choices. You are not gaining the ability to Deflect Missiles AND gain +2 AC AND gain Shield, only the option to do one of the three, and that's perfectly reasonable.

    A Monk built this way cannot go fully Intelligence and abuse Bladesinger or Wizard levels, due to the fact that effects like Shillelagh are only possible using Charisma (via Tome Warlock) or Wisdom. Intelligence has no method to attack with a weapon, and so a Dexterity-less Monk will have VERY weak attacks compared to a balanced one. A fair trade, considering the spellcasting and AC benefits.


    Paladin
    Oath of Superiority
    You can take the Paladin, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Paladin features.
    Requirement: The only Paladin subclass available to you is the Oath of Conquest. Additionally, you cannot have more Wizard levels than your Paladin levels.
    [Example: A dark knight uses his superior intellect to dominate those with weaker minds than him.]
    Spoiler: Oath of Superiority Analysis
    Show
    Make sure that Wizards can't get cheatyface AC from a low level dip. A main-Paladin can dip into Wizard for Shield and Absorb Elements, but this is already doable with Sorcerer, and Sorcerer can cheat out Twin Spell Booming Blade, so it's still better than the Paladin/Wizard Hybrid.

    Admittedly, the restriction for Conquest is a narrative choice, but no other Paladin Oath really seemed to justify a change to Intelligence. I added this one mostly due to popular request.


    Oath of the Old Ways
    You can take the Paladin, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Paladin features.
    Requirement: The only Paladin subclass available to you is the Oath of the Ancients. Additionally, you cannot have more Druid levels than your Paladin levels.
    [Example: An orphan, raised by denizens of the forests, grows to be its solitary protector.]
    Spoiler: Oath of the Old Ways Analysis
    Show
    Going through a checklist reveals that nothing is broken by this option:
    Clerics already have access to armor and healing of a Paladin. Paladin provides some burst damage potential, but at the cost of a lot of redundant abilities (like inefficient healing via Lay on Hands vs. Healing Word, or redundant armor/weapon proficiencies).
    Druids gain some armor, and have decent spellcasting, but their emphasis on Concentration doesn't do well with a primarily melee multiclass. Moon Druids get a minor buff, but that armor won't be usable in this combination. Similar to Clerics, but while the Druid has more close-ranged damage spells than Clerics, they rely on Concentration too much for a Paladin/Druid to rely on them too much.
    Rangers get heavy armor, I guess? Not much else to gain here.
    Monks get Divine Smite, but not much else.

    In all of these circumstances, a multiclass will generally cause the Paladin to lose Paladin levels and delay those powerful Paladin features, so it all seems fine to me. Especially when the Paladin+Sorcerer Twinned Booming Blade or Paladin+Warlock Smite Spam options are much more explosive than anything a Wisdom Paladin could get.


    Ranger
    Chronicler Conclave
    You can take the Ranger, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Wisdom modifier for your Ranger features.
    Requirement: The only Ranger subclasses available to you are the Horizon Walker and Monster Slayer. Additionally, the only Wizard subclasses available to you are the Schools of Abjuration, Conjuration and Divination.
    [Example: A journalist travels across the multiverse to experience and log everything for his magnum opus. A veteran uses his knowledge of various monstrosities to lay them to rest.]
    Spoiler: Chronicler Conclave Analysis
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    You gain access to a reusable Shield, but you're limited to the weaker Ranger subclasses, and ones that are primarily ranged combatants.

    I'm not going to lie, this was mostly a targeted buff to Rangers, but let's be real: They need it.

    The Wizard doesn't get much out of a multiclass like this, as the Ranger still lacks heavy armor and is attack-reliant, so most Wizards are just better off multiclassing into Fighter for a build like this. Taking Ranger levels is a pretty big investment when the biggest benefit (higher AC) can be accomplished with a Mage Armor spell.


    Rogue
    Thug
    Your Sneak Attack feature no longer requires a Finesse or Ranged weapon. Instead, it now requires a Melee weapon. Your Sneak Attack die is now a 1d4 instead of a 1d6, but it can now apply to more than one attack per turn. You start with proficiency in Medium Armor and Martial Weapons.

    Requirement: You must choose to level into this version of the Rogue with your first Rogue level, and you cannot change your choice after it has been made.

    [Example: A brute lives a life of hardship, doing whatever it takes to survive. He discovers there's more gold and longevity in adventuring than browbeating merchants.]
    Spoiler: Thug Analysis
    Show
    The Thug is unique, in that it actually changes around how the class plays. It was the only way I could think of to successfully add support for a Strength-based Rogue. I created a thread shortly after, to encourage people into creating builds that were overpowered using this change, and....there were none. Barbarian Rogues become slightly better. Polearm Master will deal more damage than Crossbow Expert, but overall, there isn't much that's improved from these changes in terms of power.


    Sorcerer
    Sorcerous Medium
    You can take the Sorcerer, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Sorcerer features.
    Requirement: You cannot take levels into Cleric or Druid. You must be able to cast Detect Magic.
    [Example: A powerful mage, aware of all forms of power around him, can feel nearby magic and bend it gracefully.]
    Spoiler: Sorcerous Medium Analysis
    Show
    Cleric and Druids have some solid armor and a lot of versatility as prepared casters. Don't exaggerate that by allowing them to multiclass with Sorcerer. Other than giving Monks and Rangers Shield, there's not anything scary by this choice. Those classes have access to a lot of great Concentration spells, and those Concentration spells are easily abusable with Metamagics.

    Detect Magic was added as a requirement to lower the overall power creep of mixing the Sorcerer with a Martial class. Now you have slightly fewer murderhobo shenanigans.


    Warlock
    Chosen of the Forbidden Blade
    You can take the Hexblade Warlock subclass, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Warlock features.
    Requirement: Half of your total character levels (rounded up) must be in Warlock.
    [Example: A sentinel in a temple maintains a corrupted spirit blade, until it breaks. The spirit now inhabits him and grants him dark powers.]
    Spoiler: Chosen of the Forbidden Blade
    Show
    You want to avoid letting characters dip into Warlock easily, and Hexblade is the biggest example of what a problem it can create, with access to Shield and all.

    My solution is to make Warlocks a primary class, which removes any kind of low-level magic cheese. Warlocks have so many build options that players aren't really forced into any one playstyle by doing so.


    Chosen of the Fey
    You can take the Archfey Warlock subclass, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Warlock features.
    Requirement: You cannot have more Ranger levels than you do Warlock.
    [Example: A guardian of the wilds finds a benefactor for their cause.]
    Spoiler: Chosen of the Fey
    Show
    Ranger gets a lot out of a mobile caster like this, not to mention that Ranger provides all the proficiencies a Warlock would need, so I made the restriction specific to them.

    Monks would get Absorb Elements, but otherwise wouldn't be able to abuse the spellcasting.
    Druids focus heavily on Concentration, and other than that, wouldn't become that much more effective if they were allowed to have Short-Rest spell slot recharging (which is what the Land Druid does anyway).

    All-in-all, not much of a problem in any scenario.



    Chosen of Death's Defiant
    You can take the Undying Warlock subclass, using your Constitution modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Warlock features.
    Requirement: Half of your character levels (rounded up) must be in Warlock.
    [Example: A hero stays alive by bonding his soul to an immortal being who is impressed by the hero's stubbornness to die. Invigorated, the hero now relies on this bond to stay a hero.]
    Spoiler: Chosen of Death's Defiant
    Show
    One of my favorites, it works well with multiclassing into a martial class, but it doesn't allow you to dip for an easily overpowered Eldritch Blast.

    It's a minor boost to the power level of the Undying Patron, but it's not like it's going to cause people to take it in swarms. You're still limited in your damage abilities, and you can't invest a whole lot into martial classes. You could take a level into Barbarian and rock some Rage + Armor of Agathys, but that's an underplayed scenario with a lot of cool things going for it (as well as a lot of self-harming effects, like Rage and casting). This was an intentional buff, but nothing I can come up with really makes it overpowered.


    Chosen of Infinite Truths:
    You can take the Great Old One Warlock subclass, using your Intelligence modifier in place of your Charisma modifier for your Warlock features.
    Requirement: Half of your character levels (rounded up) must be in Warlock.
    [Example: A Mage, willing to do whatever it takes for more knowledge and power, sells his soul to the highest bidder and spies on the mortal world.]
    Spoiler: Chosen of Infinite Truths
    Show
    Once again, be careful about letting other classes easily dip into Warlock.

    All the existing intelligence characters may have mixed feelings about dipping into a non-combat oriented Warlock subclass that you're forced to make your primary class, but that's the cost of Short Rest Spell Slots.


    Wizard
    Natural Enchanter:
    You can take levels into Wizard, using your Charisma modifier in place of your Intelligence modifier for your Wizard features.
    Requirement: The only Wizard subclass available to you is the School of Enchantment. Additionally, you cannot take levels into Sorcerer or Paladin.
    [Example: A magical con-artist learns that manipulation starts with practice before study, and combines both to reach his goals.]
    Spoiler: Natural Enchanter
    Show
    Blocked Paladin to avoid allowing Wizards access to cheap and easy AC, but also for a narrative reason (as this is an Enchanter who learned to manipulate out of habit). Sorcerer is blocked, mostly because of the fact that Metamagic is very powerful with single target Enchantment spells.

    Warlock isn't blocked for once, due to the fact that the Enchanter has a lot more options to work with than spamming Tasha's Hideous Laughter, or other Concentration spells, and doesn't really get much out of the Warlock. You let the Wizard be able to cast Shield more often, but the Enchanter might as well have just invested into more Wizard levels.


    Natural Diviner:
    You can take levels into Wizard, using your Wisdom modifier in place of your Intelligence modifier for your Wizard features.
    Requirement: The only Wizard subclass available to you is the School of Divination. Additionally, you cannot have levels of Cleric.
    [Example: A psychic has learned to tap into subtle signs of the future world around them, constantly aware of that which is and will be.]
    Spoiler: Natural Diviner Analysis
    Show
    You want to avoid letting Clerics and Wizards merge willy nilly, due to how powerful Wizards can be if they're allowed to maintain Concentration for too long when considering the Cleric's AC. Cleric dipping into Wizard is calling for unwanted Murderhobo abuse with Shield and Absorb Elements on something like Tempest Cleric that would outshine almost any other gish build, so it's best to just not let Clerics and Wizards mingle.

    Other Wisdom classes, like Monks, Druids or Rangers, don't provide ludicrous levels of AC for low investments, nor do they have many things that enhance the Wizard's ability to cast spells. If anything, you might see those classes dip a level into Wizard for Shield or something, but most of them generally want to avoid direct combat and won't get the extreme levels of mitigation that a Fighter or Paladin with Shield would get.






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    With more to come!
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-07-10 at 05:13 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas Iíve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. Youíre a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes while maintaining balance with default options.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!