View Full Version : Point-Based D&D 3.5

2011-04-19, 07:49 PM
This system is basically a conversion of a number of concepts from Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition (M&M2e) into Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 (D&D 3.5). They're both d20 so it's a rather simple conversion. Luckily for me, M&M2e is released under the Open Game License (though it doesn't currently have an SRD), so it's not necessary to have any of the M&M2e books to make use of this homebrew.

For brevity's sake, call the system PBD&D.

I really like point-based systems. They allow the players a lot of variety and the ability to play any type of character that they want without being constrained by the assumptions of the game designers (well, not as much, at least). Now, with it, comes the danger of creating highly munchinked characters. However, it's my game design philosophy that you should treat the players like adults - it's not the responsibility of the game designer to prevent every method of munchinkism, especially if it restricts what legitimate players want to do.

In other words, this change should let people do stuff that would otherwise require a lot of work. Plus, one of the campaigns I'm working on would work well with such a system. I've made PBD&D be a sort of soft E6 - there's no hard cap preventing you from becoming more powerful than a 6th level character, but it quickly becomes very expensive to do so.

Build Points (BP): Build Points are the "currency" of the character sheet. They're used to buy new class features, skills, and feats. Each BP is the equivalent of 1000 XP.
Mana Points (MP): Mana Points are what characters use to cast spells. PBD&D uses mana-based spellcasting (http://www.dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Mana-Based_Spellcasting_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29).
Base Attack (BA): Instead of Base Attack Bonus, use the term Base Attack. Otherwise, it's exactly the same.
Base Defense (BD): Defense is used in place of AC. Base Defense is a bonus to Defense.
Toughness (TGH): Toughness reduces damage, as explained later.
Armor Penetration (AP): Certain weapons, spells, and effects reduce TGH. Anything with AP reduces TGH by a numbered amount.

Each character starts out with 90 BP, though the the GM may adjust this number up or down. BP costs are listed in the tables below. As you will surely note, the costs rise rapidly once they progress over what would be expected of a 6th level D&D character.


{table="head;width=200"]Ability Score|Cost

Starting Skill Points: Each character starts with a number of free BP to be used only on skills equal to half their Intelligence score, rounded down.

{table="head;width=200"]Skill Rank|Cost
1| 1/4
2| 2/4
3| 3/4
4| 1
5| 1 1/4
6| 1 2/4
7| 1 3/4
8| 2
9| 2 1/2
10| 3
11| 3 1/2
12| 4
13| 5
14| 6
15| 7
16| 8

Starting and Bonus HP: Each character starts with HP equal to their Constitution score. This HP also increases (or decreases) with changes to Constitution. Additional HP can be purchased as shown below.

{table="head;width=200"]Bonus HP|Cost


Class Features: Class Features are a weird case. Like everything else, they're bought with BP. The cost for a class feature is based on the level it's gained at. For base classes, this is simple to calculate. For prestige classes, it is the level of the prestige class plus the minimum level to enter that class in D&D 3.5 (without early entry munchkinism). In order to get a class feature from a prestige class, you must meet the requirements of that prestige class. You cannot purchase class features that are bonus feats or closely mimic feats. For BP costs, there are three-types of class features: one-time (OT), slow level (SL), and fast level (FL). One-time class features are features that are bought once and do not explicitly increase with class levels. Slow level class features are improved every 3 or more levels. Fast level class features are improved every 2 levels or every level.

Class feature costs are highly subject to GM approval, more than anything else, as they can easily be exploited. Class features widely vary in power. Some GMs may increase or decrease the cost of a class feature by changing what it's effective type is or increasing it's effective level.

As a guideline, one-time class features are minor parts of the character, slow-level class features are major parts of the character, and fast-level class features are defining features of a character. Wizard or cleric spellcasting, for instance, is a defining feature of a character and is a fast-level class feature.

{table="head;width=200"]CF Level|OT|SL|FL

Called Shots
PBD&D uses a called shot system that is slightly modified from the Grim-n-Gritty rules (http://riivo.planc.ee/dnd/grim-n-gritty/GrimNGrittyHitPointRules3.3.pdf). It is described below.

The Cost of a Called Shot
Called Shots are difficult to perform. They may not be performed as attacks of opportunity. Your intent to perform a Called Shot must be declared before you roll the dice for your attack. Finally, Called Shots have the following drawbacks:

A negative modifier is applied to your attack roll. The modifier depends on the difficulty of the Called Shot.
Regardless of how many attacks you normally get per round, you may only perform a single attack with a Called Shot.

The Effect of a Called Shot
The effects of Called Shots depend on the body part targeted. Generally speaking, the effects are contingent on you actually hitting the target and inflicting at least 1 point of damage to your target after Toughness reduction. The effects of various Called Shots and the penalties to your Attack roll for attempting them are listed on the table below. Some of the special effects associated with Called Shots are discussed below.

˝ Damage
Some Called Shots cause your attack to inflict ˝ normal damage. This is because you are aiming at a less vital portion of the body, like the arm or leg.
If you roll a Critical Hit, halve the damage after applying all critical multipliers.

Counts as [Disarm or Trip] Attempt
The Called Shot performs a Disarm or Trip in addition to its other effects. If you hit your target, perform the opposed checks for a Disarm or Trip. If you
win, the target is disarmed or tripped as normal. The advantage of using a Called Shot for a Disarm or Trip is that the target may not attempt to Disarm or Trip you if you fail the opposed roll.

Disable [Body Part]
Some Called Shots allow you to disable a part of your opponent’s body if you make a successful Critical Hit. Even if you roll a Critical Hit, you must inflict at least 1 point of damage to your target to disable a body part. A disabled body part imposes a –2 penalty on certain rolls. These rolls are listed in the Called Shots effect. The penalties for different disabled parts are not

Disabled body parts will not heal naturally. Medical treatment over several days or weeks is necessary to repair the damage. Magical or extraordinary means of healing will repair it immediately, assuming they restore
the HP equal or greater to the HP lost when the body part was disabled.

Creatures immune to critical hits, such as oozes and undead, cannot have their body parts disabled.

Impose a Condition
Certain Called Shots impose a condition on the target, like blind or stunned, or force a saving throw to avoid a condition. This only occurs if you hit the target and inflict at least 1 point of damage. Creatures immune to critical hits, such as constructs, cannot have a condition imposed on them by a Called Shot.

The save DC to resist a condition is DC 10 + ˝ damage inflicted, rounded down. For example, 10 damage would require a DC 15 save to resist.

Increase Critical Multiplier
Because you target an especially vulnerable part of the body, certain Called Shots will increase the critical multiplier of your attack by one step. For example, if your critical multiplier is normally x2, it is increased to
x3. You only have to hit your target to gain the benefit of an increased critical multiplier. You do not have to inflict at least 1 point of (non-critical) damage.

Increase Threat Range
The Increased Threat Called Shot doubles your critical threat range. This doubling occurs after all modifiers to your threat range – such as those for a
Keen weapon – are applied to your attack. If you hit your target, you gain the increased threat. For example, if your threat range is normally 18-20, a successful Increased Threat Called Shot will raise it to 15-20.

Induce Bleeding
The Major Artery Called Shot causes a target to bleed profusely, assuming you hit and inflict at least 1 point of damage. Bleeding causes the target to lose 1 Hit Point per round, until the wound is bound. A Heal skill check against DC 20 can staunch the bleeding, but strenuous movement (like combat) will make the wound bleed again.

Creatures immune to critical hits, such as undead and constructs, cannot bleed from injuries. Creatures without blood or similar fluids are also immune.

Penetrate [Type] Armor
You target a weak point in your target’s armor with this type of Called Shot. If you hit, you ignore ˝ of your target’s Toughness from that armor type. You may attempt to penetrate multiple types of armor, taking a penalty to attack from each type.

Silent Kill
This type of Called Shot permits you kill your opponent without him making a sound. For it to take effect, you must inflict enough damage to render him
unconscious or kill him with a single blow. Creatures immune to critical hits, like oozes and constructs, cannot be affected by a Silent Kill Called Shot.

Stacking Called Shots…
The Increased Threat and Penetrate [Type] Armor Called Shots may be stacked with other Called Shots, letting you target a specific body part and penetrate a weak spot in the target’s armor and increase your critical threat range. If you do stack Called Shot types, the Attack
penalties are cumulative.

{table="head;width=400"]Type|Attack Modifier|Effect
˝ Damage
If an item is held in the target's hand, counts as a disarm attempt
Disabled: -2 penalty to Attack rolls with weapons in that arm, Strength checks, and all Climb, Craft, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Forgery, Heal, Open Lock, Pick Pocket, Swim, and Use Rope checks.
If both arms are disabled, you cannot attack or perform any of the skills listed above.

Target must perform a Fortitude save against damage inflicted or be dazed for 1d4 rounds
Disabled: -2 penalty to initiative rolls, and all Balance, Listen, Tumble, and Climb checks
If both ears are disabled, the character is deafened

Critical multiplier increased by x1
Target is blinded in targeted eye for 2d6 rounds, no save.
Disabled:=2 penalty to Dexterity checks, Attack rolls, Reflex saves, Defense, and all Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Forgery, Open Locks, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Wilderness Lore skill checks.
If both eyes are disabled, the victim is blind

˝ Damage
Counts as trip attempt, in addition to normal attack.
Disabled: speed reduced by 10ft (minimum 5ft), cannot run or charge, -2 penalty to Defense, Reflex saves, Dexterity checks, and all Climb, Swim, Jump, Ride, Tumble, Balance, and Move Silently checks.
If both legs are disabled, you immediately go prone and cannot get up, speed is reduced to 5ft and requires a full-round action, and you lose Dexterity bonus to Defense

Critical multiplier increased by x1
Target must perform a Fortitude save against damage inflicted or be stunned for 1d4 rounds
Disabled: -2 to Attack, saves, ability checks, and skill checks

Increased Threat*|-4| Doubles the threat range of attack
Major Artery|-8| On critical hit, target bleeds
Penetrate Light Armor|-4| Ignore ˝ of TGH bonus from light armor
Penetrate Medium Armor|-6| Ignore ˝ of TGH bonus from medium armor
Penetrate Heavy Armor|-8| Ignore ˝ of TGH bonus from heavy armor
Penetrate Natural Armor|-8| Ignore ˝ of TGH bonus from natural armor
Penetrate Force Armor|-10| Ignore ˝ of TGH bonus from force-based armor (such as mage's armor)
Silent Kill|-6| If the victim is knocked unconscious (or killed) by this attack, he makes no sound.
Vital Organ|-8| Critical multiplier increased by x2

Toughness reduces damage from all sources, e.g. a TGH of 4 reduces would reduce damage of 6 to 2 and damage of 3 to 0. Toughness gets a bonus from Con mod, armor, and natural armor. Everything else increases Defense (subject to GM discretion).

Retraining ala PHBII is very much encouraged. Retraining time is the same as PHBII, though the GM may put limits on how often you can retrain to prevent game abuse.

Critical Hits
Critical threats occur whenever your Attack roll is significantly higher than your target's Defense. The table below lists the conversion from threat range to Attack difference. You still need to roll to confirm critical hits.
{table="head;width=200"]Threat|Attack Difference

In addition, critical hits only multiply the weapon's damage dice, not anything else. For instance, a character with Strength 18, Weapon Speciailization (Punch Dagger), who critically hit with a +1 flaming punch dagger would do 3d4+1d6(fire)+7 damage not 3d4+3d6+21 damage.

Armor Penetration
Armor Penetration reduces TGH. In general, weapons have from between 0 and 3 AP. The general guideline is that Simple Weapons have a base AP of 0, Martial and Exotic Weapons have a base AP of 1. Bludgeoning weapons get +2 AP, Piercing weapons get +1 AP, and Slashing weapons get +0 AP.

There is also the special AP of "all" and "half" which do pretty much what you expect. The table below shows examples of these.
Magic missile|All
Brilliant Energy|All non-living
Sonic|All armor
Electrical|All from metal armor

Vorpal weapons, instead of their normal effect, have better effects when using a called shot (head). They decrease the called shot penalty to -4 (instead of -6), double their threat range, and increase their critical multiplier by 1.

Sneak Attack
Sneak attacks deal a flat bonus to damage instead of a variable amount. Convert each sneak attack damage die into a flat +2 damage.

Spell Damage (Optional)
Spell damage can quickly outpace HP and/or the damage dealt by fighter-types, even when using the Tome of Battle. The suggestion is that spells always deal damage as if they were cast at the minimum caster level. For example, every fireball in the campaign setting deals 3d6 damage, regardless of caster level. Heighten spell (or perhaps a different type of metamagic) might also increase damage in this variant.

Evasion and Mettle (Optional)
Evasion (and it's improved version) is very nice. It reduces the expected damage from spells very quickly. In normal D&D, this isn't a problem since only a few classes have access to it. In PBD&D, every character potentially has access to it - and very cheaply. At the GM's discretion, the GM might ban Evasion, Improved Evasion, Mettle, Improved Mettle, and similar abilities. If you want to roleplay an agile character, increase their Dexterity and Reflex saves.

2011-04-19, 09:28 PM
I love this. Will add critique later, but I love this.

2011-04-20, 12:45 AM
You need to remove the amulet of natural armor, ring of protection and dusty rose prism ioun stone to make up for the AC boost from BAD. Likewise the cloak of resistance must go, plus the luckstone and the save boosting ioun stone. For that matter saves should be capped at +5 or so, or perhaps allow +6 for and +7 for a very high price.

I'm a fan of point systems for the numerical stuff at least. Less unflavorful treasure to sort through.

2011-04-20, 03:40 AM
You need to remove the amulet of natural armor, ring of protection and dusty rose prism ioun stone to make up for the AC boost from BAD. Likewise the cloak of resistance must go, plus the luckstone and the save boosting ioun stone. For that matter saves should be capped at +5 or so, or perhaps allow +6 for and +7 for a very high price.

I'm a fan of point systems for the numerical stuff at least. Less unflavorful treasure to sort through.

That's more setting-specific stuff. For instance, in the setting I'm working on rune circles of resurrection are relatively common, you can reduce the cost of magic items by performing greet deeds or using special parts, and weaponized cloudkill is used in war. Plus, Amulet of Natural Armor adds natural armor, which translates into Toughness, not a Defense bonus.

That being said, it's still a valid criticism. While I might be using the base D&D setting, I'm sure a lot of people will. I'll add a section to converting items and stuff like that from base D&D.

2011-04-20, 04:03 AM
You made a mistake on the CF-BP for OT.
Your formula seems to be:
1/L L<6
(1xL/L-6) +5 L>6
But level12 has an increase of 6 from the previous when it should be 7 and cost 34 not 33

2011-04-20, 06:43 AM
You made a mistake on the CF-BP for OT.
Your formula seems to be:
1/L L<6
(1xL/L-6) +5 L>6
But level12 has an increase of 6 from the previous when it should be 7 and cost 34 not 33

26+6 = 32
26+7 = 33
26+8 = 34

You can't add an odd number to an even number and get an even number. The class feature BP is right, though I am glad that somebody is checking.

2011-04-25, 12:01 PM
*facepalm* Serves me right for going on here at 11PM after spending a day packing.

Also: Bump