Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And now for something completely different

I wrote this... wow, more than 3 years ago. Posted it to EnWorld. Got a little feedback, even an offer to publish an expanded version as a PDF. But the feedback got too circular and the publishing offer vanished in a puff of smoke when I started asking questions. So here it is, absolutely free and middlin'-good:

***D&D 4.18***

I've been tinkering with ways to remove character classes from D&D - or at least to make them optional - without destroying the balance of the game. The mechanical precision of 4E makes it a more tempting target than previous editions. If anyone's interested, here's the character creation system I'm currently working on. You can use it to make characters very similar to the PHB classes, or characters that match your own concept.

Each class feature and mechanical detail is purchased with what, in a fit of genius, I'm calling "character points" or CP. Every character has 18 CP to spend at creation; unspent CP are lost. Every character also starts with the following:

  • Proficiency with cloth armor and all simple melee weapons
  • 2 points to add to Fort, Ref, and/or Will defenses as desired
  • 10 starting HP and +4 per level
  • 6 healing surges
  • 3 trained skills of their choice
Your 18 character points can be spent on options from the following list. Any unspent points are lost. Note that some options have prerequisites, or exclude you from making other choices. A character may only pick one option each from the Damage, Marking, and Healing categories.

A character with a Healing feature gets +1 healing surge. A character with a Marking feature gets +3 healing surges. These bonus surges stack.


  • +2.5 starting HP and +1 HP per level: 1 (may select twice; half-points round down)
  • 1 additional trained skill: 2 (may select three times)
  • Proficient w/all light armor: 1
  • Proficient w/all heavy armor: 1 (must be proficient w/all light armor)
  • Proficient w/all shields: 1
  • Proficient w/military melee weapons: 1
  • Proficient w/simple ranged weapons: 1
  • Proficient w/military ranged weapons: 1 (must be proficient w/simple ranged weapons)
  • Hunter's Quarry: 5 (Damage)
  • Sneak Attack: 5 (Damage)
  • Warlock's Curse: 5 (Damage)
  • Combat Challenge: 5 (Marking)
  • Divine Challenge: 5 (Marking)
  • Healing Word: 5 (Healing)
  • Lay On Hands: 2 (Healing)
  • Inspiring Word: 5 (Healing)
  • Arcane Implement Mastery: 3
  • Cantrips: 5
  • Channel Divinity: Divine Fortune: 1
  • Channel Divinity: Divine Mettle: 1
  • Channel Divinity: Divine Strength: 1
  • Channel Divinity: Turn Undead: 2
  • Combat Leader: 3
  • Combat Superiority: 2
  • First Strike: 1
  • Healer's Lore: 2
  • Prime Shot: 2
  • Ritual Casting: 2 (grants the Ritual Casting feat, plus two 1st-level rituals of choice and a ritual book - see also Spellbook)
  • Rogue Weapon Talent: 1
  • Shadow Walk: 3
  • Wizard Training: 1 (you must buy this option in order to use any wizard powers; it serves no other function)
  • Spellbook: 5 (Grants bonus daily and utility powers of your choice as described. If character has the Ritual Casting feat, the spellbook also serves as a ritual book. It has one 1st-level ritual of your choice, plus any bonus rituals from the Ritual Casting feature, and gains new rituals as described.)
  • Commanding Presence: 2 (only one option may be selected)
  • Eldritch Pact: 3 (only one pact may be selected)
  • Fighter Weapon Talent: 3 (only one bonus type may be selected)
  • Rogue Tactics: 2 (only one option may be selected)
  • Ranger Fighting Style: Archer: 1 (only one ranger fighting style may be selected)
  • Ranger Fighting Style: Two-Blade: 2 (only one ranger fighting style may be selected)
*whew* After all that, powers are much easier. Choose your character's powers from any class list. Mike Mearls thinks it's okay.

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