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Lalliman
2017-11-26, 03:39 PM
There's a number of character concepts that, while easy to conceptualize, are simply not supported by the rules. Strength-based monks are probably the most obvious example. Some can be accomplished through homebrewed subclasses, but even then you're restricted to that one subclass. Instead, I want to drastically broaden the character customization options by introducing Modifications: costless feat-like character options that change the mechanics of your class.

Every Modification* applies to one class, and only affects the features gained from that class. You can choose to pick up a modification whenever you get your first level in the class in question. They're similar to feats in format, but they have no cost because they include both benefits and detriments. The intention is that every Modification enables a certain niche character concept that is normally impossible or impractical, and does so with only a few simple and flavorful changes.

(*I'm open to suggestions for a different name that doesn't sound like I'm talking about car parts.)

Below are the modifications I currently have. I'm curious whether y'all think they're balanced.

Divine Artillery
This modification affects your paladin class features.
- The Archery Fighting Style is added to your Fighting Style options.
- Divine Smite and Improved Divine Smite also apply to ranged weapon attacks.
- You donít gain proficiency with heavy armor.
- Your Divine Smite damage dice are d6s instead of d8s.

This one enables ranged paladins. I feel that a decrease in Smite damage is warranted in return being able to apply it more reliably.

Hulking Thug
This modification affects your rogue class features.
- You gain proficiency in martial weapons and medium armor.
- You can use Sneak Attack with any melee weapon that doesnít have the Heavy property.
- On attacks using Strength, your Sneak Attack dice are d8s instead of d6s.
- You canít use Sneak Attack with a ranged weapon. Melee weapons with the Thrown property are still eligible.

This one enables Str-based rogues. In addition to granting a broader range of equipment, Sneak Attack damage is raised to offset a slight drop in AC and worse initiative. The restriction on ranged weapons is mainly to prevent Dex rogues from taking it, since it would otherwise have no drawback for them.

Mountain Style
This modification affects your monk class features.
- All monk class features based on Wisdom, including Unarmored Defense, are based on Constitution instead.
- Your Martial Arts damage die is one step larger, to a maximum of 1d12 at 17th level.
- You do not gain the ability to use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons. Your Martial Arts damage die only applies to attacks using Strength.

This one enables Str-based monks. Itís a bit strange, but my justification is as follows. A normal monk has Dex and Wis as their primary stats, and Con as their secondary. A Mountain Style monk has Str and Con as primary, and Dex as secondary. The amount of dependencies remains the same, so in theory thatís balanced. In practice, the Mountain Style monk gets lower AC, Wis saves and Dex saves in return for higher HP, Str saves and Con saves. I feel like this trade is still slightly in favor of the normal monk, so I added the Martial Arts damage boost. I also just think itís appropriate for a Strength-based monk to do more damage per punch.

Raging Mongoose
This modification affects your barbarian class features.
- The damage bonus from Rage also applies to melee weapon attacks using Dexterity.
- Reckless Attack also applies to melee weapon attacks using Dexterity.
- You lose the Unarmored Defense feature.
- Your barbarian hit dice are d10s instead of d12s.

This one enables Dex-based barbarians. It removes the restrictions against Dex-based attacks, in return for losing Unarmored Defense, which wouldíve otherwise given easy access to 20 AC. The hit die is also reduced in return for better Dex saves and initiative.

noob
2017-11-26, 04:10 PM
Congratulations: you reinvented alternate class features and renamed Costless feats.

GalacticAxekick
2017-11-26, 04:43 PM
Reinventing the wheel would be a problem if 5e had the wheel to begin with.

I'm thrilled with these ideas. It's very likely I'll offer them to my players when we begin our next campaign.

clash
2017-11-26, 05:01 PM
I would also recommend Divine fighting style: when you reach level 8 as a cleric you get either +1d8 to weapon attacks or add wisdom modifier to cleric cantrips. Also pin the topic of clerics it would be nice if they had an unarmoref option to fill the stereotype seen in many mmo

GalacticAxekick
2017-11-26, 05:13 PM
I strongly agree that there should be a squishy Cleric (1d6 hit die, no armour proficiencies, weapon proficiencies identical to the Wizard and Sorcerer). For every cleric to have martial inclinations closes the door to a huge range of character options.

Lalliman
2017-11-26, 06:15 PM
I strongly agree that there should be a squishy Cleric (1d6 hit die, no armour proficiencies, weapon proficiencies identical to the Wizard and Sorcerer). For every cleric to have martial inclinations closes the door to a huge range of character options.
This is an excellent idea. It seems harder to balance than the others, but I'll give it a try. Here's my first impression of what it might look like. I'm sleep-deprived so I've probably overlooked some glaring flaw, but it's a start.

Cloistered Priest
This modification affects your cleric class features.
- At 1st level, you get Arcane Recovery, as the wizard class feature. It is based off your cleric level.
- Domain features that would grant Divine Strike grant Potent Spellcasting instead.
- Domain features that would grant proficiency with heavy armor grant Unarmored Defense instead, as the monk class feature.
- You donít gain proficiency with light armor, medium armor or shields.
- Your cleric hit dice are d6s instead of d8s.
- You canít choose the Tempest or War domains.

zeek0
2017-11-27, 02:18 PM
This tickles my fancy, because I once made up a document to do some of the things that your feats do. You can find it here (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxfCiPA2FPFATDJpU2k4ZmVueVU).

My solution, on a base level, was to allow any kind of attribute-switching shenanigans (because, largely, it's all the same in the end). It has less focused intensity on character concepts than your solution (a detriment), but does have a bunch more possibilities.

Lalliman
2017-11-28, 11:15 AM
This tickles my fancy, because I once made up a document to do some of the things that your feats do. You can find it here (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxfCiPA2FPFATDJpU2k4ZmVueVU).

My solution, on a base level, was to allow any kind of attribute-switching shenanigans (because, largely, it's all the same in the end). It has less focused intensity on character concepts than your solution (a detriment), but does have a bunch more possibilities.
I read that one when you first posted it, and it's awesome. I would have used it if I had a reliable group to DM for. But it's a big change that requires either an experienced group or a lot of explanation from the GM. My solution isn't as comprehensive, but it basically speaks for itself even for a new player, and it's unobtrusive enough that a player can suggest it to their DM even in a game with little to no homebrew. That's my design intention.

zeek0
2017-11-28, 11:29 PM
I read that one when you first posted it, and it's awesome. I would have used it if I had a reliable group to DM for. But it's a big change that requires either an experienced group or a lot of explanation from the GM. My solution isn't as comprehensive, but it basically speaks for itself even for a new player, and it's unobtrusive enough that a player can suggest it to their DM even in a game with little to no homebrew. That's my design intention.

Fair, and I certainly see the benefits of your version. Keep at it!