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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DrWeird's Avatar

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    Aug 2010

    Default New!Racial Substitution Levels!(Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

    After a while spent going over my 3rd Edition books once again, browsing page after page of wonderful lore and (some not so) wonderful classes and creatures, I found my way back to some of my favorite books; the Race of series. I looked at them, wondering again why I favored them so much - I had puzzled this many times, folding it over and over in my mind - and the answer came as I was simply browsing through one of them.

    Deep, (if a bit predictable) but rich descriptions of the core race's cultures? Some very nice racial prestige classes? Dwarvencraft? The implausible Spellscales?

    No, dear friends, t'was the racial substitution levels.

    In the week since, I've been breaking down both the racial substitution levels themselves, and the very idea of the RSL itself. The reason I like them so much, I believe, is the same reason we like prestige classes and variants; people love to change things up. They love renewal, and being able to make something unique from what it once was. They often become fixated on molding things to fit them, and the idea of a level designed for their own race often appeals to this sense of stringent customization. These levels allow for the class role spinoff of a variant character class without the dedication to an entirely altered idea, possibly the loss of attractive class features, and the altered specialization of the prestige class without the sacrificing of further class abilities than necessary or the steep costs of their prerequisites. People love being able to change something to their own preference without an investment or intense effort.

    The only attributes of the racial substitution levels that disheartened me were the relative...uselessness of some, and how instead of combining racial flavor with practical options in exchange for another class feature or point in something, seemed to be an attempt to weaken the class like it was the first month of 3.5 Core's release. Yet, luckily enough, we can make our own, can't we?

    But we don't, for some reason. At least, I haven't seen any on GitP, but there's probably a 50-page thread of compilations somewhere I missed and will have done all of this for naught. Barring this, I present to you, my homebrewed racial substitution levels. I freely admit to some being a straight upgrade, in my mighty rage against crappy racial substitution levels.



    _____

    Half-Orc

    The Half-Orc, the greatest outcast of the humanoid races. Truly a race given to unlucky circumstances, the Half-Orc is a short-lived hulk shunned from both homes either for being monstrous brute, or not being enough of one. Yet, as they say, Adversity breeds Opportunity. Who else has access to the incredible adaptability and ambition of a human, as well as the survivability and raw, terrible strength of the orc? Access to both the civilized lands and cities, where opportunity is born out of ingenuity and subtle greed, & the harsh wastelands, in which only the strong survive - nay, thrive? The Half-Orc, and the Half-Orc alone.

    Half-Orc Warlock
    Despite the Half-Orc's strike against force of personality, the Half-Orc and the Warlock are two creatures with coterminous stigmas and attitudes. Both the Half-Orc and Warlock are outcasts, shunned for their very being and often forcibly removed from any civilized area - if they do survive, it is merely subsistence within the underbelly of the city. Both are grim creatures, able to comprehend morality as an invention of the weak, and live by their own strength. More often than not, they also both crave success through conquest, and are driven by single-minded determination towards their perceived destinies.

    Hit Die: d8

    Requirements
    To take a level of Half-Orc Warlock, a character must be a Half-Orc about to take their 1rst, 2nd, or 4th level of Warlock.

    Class Skills
    Half-Orc Warlock substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Warlock class, except that Survival is added.

    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

    Half-Orc Warlock Substitution Levels
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Invocations Known

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Brutal Eldritch Blast 1d6, invocation (least)|1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Battle beyond Death|2

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |War-clad Warlock|3 [/table]

    Class Features
    All the following are features of the Half-Orc Warlock racial substitution levels.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Half-Orc Warlock gains proficiency with all simple and martial weapons and light armor.

    Brutal Eldritch Blast (Sp):
    A Half-Orc Warlock gains the ability Brutal Eldritch Blast at 1rst level, which functions exactly as the standard Warlock Ability Eldritch Blast, except for the following changes:

    A Brutal Eldritch Blast gains a bonus to damage equal to half their character level + their strength bonus (rounded down). However, the violent nature of this blast reduces the range by half from 60 ft. to 30 ft. Any ability or invocation which extends the range of a Brutal Eldritch Blast is also stunted by half before adding it to the total range.

    This ability replaces the standard Warlock ability to use Eldritch Blast.

    Battle Beyond Death (Su): A Half-Orc Warlock of 2nd level may utilize any of their invocations or eldritch blast while disabled (or at any time they possess 0 or negative hit points and are not helpless) without risk of damaging themselves and furthering their condition. Any turn in which a Half-Orc Warlock of 2nd level or higher makes a save against massive damage in the same turn he uses an invocation or eldritch blast, he gains a +4 to the save.

    This replaces the standard Warlock ability of Read Magic. Alternatively, a Warlock may choose to sacrifice a single point of Will gained at 2nd level instead.

    War-clad Warlock:To be a Half-Orc is to live in constant struggle, and for it, you are tempered in mind and body. At 4th level, a Half-Orc Warlock taking the substitution level gains the ability to utilize her invocations and Eldritch Blasts in Medium Armor without arcane spell failure. If she previously took the 1rst level of the racial substitution levels for Half-Orc Warlock, she also gains Proficiency with Medium Armor.

    This ability replaces the standard Warlock ability of Deceive Item that she normally would have gained.




    Halfling
    Possibly the most intrepid of the destined races blessed by large populations, the Halfling is second in adaptability only to humans, but is unparalleled in the art of wandering and are overlooked (har har) as possibly the most acclimated of the races, if not born to, a life of adventuring. Possibly, this is why the fleet and clever little people excel so well at certain talents born to the classes and philosophies they subscribe to with such versatility.

    Halfling Paladin
    Often overlooked (there's that term again) as a novelty by most, the Halfling Paladin is a strange but brave creature. Unusually involved in worldly concerns, wandering Halflings occasionally find great rejection of evil and deceit in their travels, and this hatred of the despoilers of lighthearted merrymaking and common decency leads some to take up arms in the endless crusade against evil in their adventures. A Halfling Paladin is a fleetfooted knight of good with the loyalty and cunning of a Lightfoot, and one of the most steadfast allies one could have.

    Hit Die: d8

    Requirements
    To take a level of Halfling Paladin Racial Substitution Levels, a character must be a Halfling about to take their 1rst, 4th, or 5th level of Paladin.

    Class Skills
    A Halfling Paladin substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Paladin class, except that they add Climb, Jump, and Move Silently, and remove Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty).

    Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

    Halfling Paladin Substitution Levels
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells Per Day

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |Punish Evil 1/day|-

    4nd|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Fleetfooted Bulwark|0

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |Special Halfling Paladin Mount|0 & - (see text)[/table]

    Class Features

    Punish Evil (Su):
    The natural roguish talent for precision strikes that Halflings possess is not lost even upon the mightiest of their Paladins. A Halfling Paladin may attempt to punish evil with one normal melee attack whenever her target would be denied his dexterity bonus. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1d6 extra points of damage, plus 1d6 per five paladin levels. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect.

    This ability replaces the standard Paladin ability of Smite Evil.

    Fleetfooted Bulwark: Even in the heaviest of armor, a Halfling Paladin is as agile as as he is courageous. Whenever a Halfling Paladin of at least 4th level wears armor, the maximum dexterity bonus of it is increased by +3, and the armor check penalty is reduced by 3.

    This ability replaces the standard Paladin ability of Turn Undead.

    Special Halfling Paladin Mount (Sp): Halflings are master outriders, renowned for their skirmishing parties, patrolling their borders against any threats, mounted upon fearless riding dogs. The talent of mounted combat comes natural to Halfling Paladins, and reflects in an innate prowess for fighting while mounted upon their blessed beast. A Special Halfling Paladin Mount functions the same as a standard Paladin Special Mount, except as outlined below.

    A Halfling Paladin may select a celestial riding dog, or an equivalent mount for a Small creature such as herself, with the celestial template. In addition, a Halfling Paladin may take a 10 on any Ride check made to attack a Medium or larger creature while riding.

    This ability replaces both the standard Special Mount ability, and the bonus spell per day that a Paladin would usually gain at level 6. The Paladin is effectively one level lower for determining the number of bonus spells per day gained.





    -future installments to come soon-

    Feel free to contribute, or point out where things like this are already around.
    Last edited by DrWeird; 2010-10-20 at 12:10 PM.
    Et tu, Brute?

    My home-brewed bootleg Homebrew



    I tried to be reasonable and nice; but everybody wouldn't quit trying to turn every spellcaster into a Tier 1.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DrWeird's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: New!Racial Substitution Levels!(Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B

    -New Installments!-



    Drow Beguiler
    Spoiler
    Show

    Drow
    Drow. The very word conjures up the blackest feelings in the hearts of elves and dwarves alike. Sworn enemies of the destined races that thrive above them, they spin their dark webs, deep underground, under the watchful eye of their Demonic Matron, Lolth. Renowned for their mastery of deceit and lust for power, the presence of even a single one turns a shrewd adventurer to caution, and more often than not drives a witless one to their doom. Even as potent as they are in guile, so too are they feared for their magical prowess - the dark blessings of their Lady, in constant vigil, are the bane of devotees to Corellion one and all, and the foreboding conjurations in dark magic that their wizards meddle with is enough to deliver nightmares to even the hardiest of warriors. The drow are an unseen yet very real threat, unlike the Beholder Mages or Bogeyman, and are still plotting their return to the surface - culminating in the extinction of all other life upon it.

    Drow Beguiler
    The cursed Drow are so much like the spiders they revere - dark, secretive weavers of treachery and silent death; you have no idea they're there until you're caught, and by then, well...it's already too late. This is too true in the case of the Drow Beguiler, a practical paragon of deadly personality and silence. They are the culmination of the Drow's most infamous abilities: treacherous arcana, deceitful social skills and espionage, & deadly, subversive combat prowess.

    Hit Die: d6

    Requirements
    To take a level of Drow Beguiler Racial Substitution Levels, a character must be a Drow about to take their 1rst, 2nd, or 3rd level of Beguiler.

    Class Skills
    Drow Beguiler substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Beguiler class.

    Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

    Drow Beguiler Substitution Levels
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells Per Day

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Armored Mage, Poisonseeking|5/3

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Sudden Strike 1d6, Surprise Casting|6/4

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Dark Learning|6/5[/table]


    Class Features

    Poisonseeking (Sp):
    A 1rst level Drow Beguiler may cast Detect Poison, as the spell, at-will. Her character level equals her caster level.

    This ability replaces the standard Beguiler ability of Trapfinding.

    Sudden Strike (Ex): At second level, a Drow Beguiler deals extra damage at any time when the target would be denied its Dexterity bonus. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. She cannot use sudden strike to deliver nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damagedon’t deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike. Otherwise, this ability functions as the sneak attack rogue class feature (PH 50), and it stacks with sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target. (This ability is the same as the ninja’s sudden strike class feature, described in Complete Adventurer.) This extra damage increases by 1d6 at each third level after 2nd.

    This ability replaces the Standard Beguiler ability of Cloaked Casting, including any additional benefits gained at later levels.

    Dark Learning (Ex): As a Drow, a Drow Beguiler is born, lives their murderous, insidious life, and dies within the clutching pitch of the Underdark. This lifelong connection with the utter darkness in which the Drow thrive becomes only stronger in them with greater skill. At 3rd level, a Drow Beguiler may add a spell with the Darkness descriptor to her number of spells known. It must be a spell with the Darkness descriptor and of a level no higher than your highest-level spell known. You gain another spell in this manner at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.

    This replaces the standard Beguiler ability of Advanced Learning.
    Last edited by DrWeird; 2010-10-20 at 02:43 PM.
    Et tu, Brute?

    My home-brewed bootleg Homebrew



    I tried to be reasonable and nice; but everybody wouldn't quit trying to turn every spellcaster into a Tier 1.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Starbuck_II's Avatar

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    Enterprise, Alabama
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    Default Re: New!Racial Substitution Levels!(Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B

    I really like 1/2 Orc Warlock.

    Not sure about Paladins Punish evil. How about 1d6 + 1d6/5 levels.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: New!Racial Substitution Levels!(Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B

    Got to say I love the half-orc but I have to second displeasure with punish evil.

    Spoiler
    Show
    At level 1 its strictly better than Smite Evil (+2.5 average))
    Lv 2 usually better. (+1.5 average)
    Lv 3 better half the time, only worse 1/3rd (+.5 average).
    Lv 4 switched from level three (-.5 average).
    Lv 5 it's worse (-1.5 average).
    Lv 6 better, slightly (+1 average).
    Lv 7 equal (+0 average).
    Lv 8 worse (-1 average).
    Lv 9 worse (-2 average).
    Lv 10 worse (-3 average).
    Lv 11: .5 worse (-.5 average).
    Lv 12+ worse (-1.5 or more).

    Of course critical hits push this more in favor of normal smite.

    Starbuck II's suggestion, assuming you no longer round up, is a little cleaner but just improves the numbers by +3.5 at 5 and 10, 15, and 20. If you still round up it's too big at 1st.


    Really it just encourages dipping two levels for Divine Grace and then ditching paladin entirely, and personally I feel that RSLs should encourage pursuing the path beyond a small dip instead of further encouraging dropping it after 1 or 2 levels.
    Peanut Half-Dragon Necromancer by Kurien.

    Current Projects:

    Group: The Harrowing Halloween Harvest of Horror Part 2

    Personal Silliness: Vote what Soulknife "Fix"/Inspired Class Should I make??? Past Work Expansion Caricatures.

    Old: My homebrew (updated 9/9)

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    DrWeird's Avatar

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    Default Re: New!Racial Substitution Levels!(Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the B

    I decided to give the PHBII a try.

    Drow
    Drow. The very word conjures up the blackest feelings in the hearts of elves and dwarves alike. Sworn enemies of the destined races that thrive above them, they spin their dark webs, deep underground, under the watchful eye of their Demonic Matron, Lolth. Renowned for their mastery of deceit and lust for power, the presence of even a single one turns a shrewd adventurer to caution, and more often than not drives a witless one to their doom. Even as potent as they are in guile, so too are they feared for their magical prowess - the dark blessings of their Lady, in constant vigil, are the bane of devotees to Corellion one and all, and the foreboding conjurations in dark magic that their wizards meddle with is enough to deliver nightmares to even the hardiest of warriors. The drow are an unseen yet very real threat, unlike the Beholder Mages or Bogeyman, and are still plotting their return to the surface - culminating in the extinction of all other life upon it.

    Drow Beguiler
    The cursed Drow are so much like the spiders they revere - dark, secretive weavers of treachery and silent death; you have no idea they're there until you're caught, and by then, well...it's already too late. This is too true in the case of the Drow Beguiler, a practical paragon of deadly personality and silence. They are the culmination of the Drow's most infamous abilities: treacherous arcana, deceitful social skills and espionage, & deadly, subversive combat prowess.

    Hit Die: d6

    Requirements
    To take a level of Drow Beguiler Racial Substitution Levels, a character must be a Drow about to take their 1rst, 2nd, or 3rd level of Beguiler.

    Class Skills
    Drow Beguiler substitution levels have the class skills of the standard Beguiler class.

    Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

    Drow Beguiler Substitution Levels
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells Per Day

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Armored Mage, Poisonseeking|5/3

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Sudden Strike 1d6, Surprise Casting|6/4

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Dark Learning|6/5[/table]


    Class Features

    Poisonseeking (Sp):
    A 1rst level Drow Beguiler may cast Detect Poison, as the spell, at-will. Her character level equals her caster level.

    This ability replaces the standard Beguiler ability of Trapfinding.

    Sudden Strike (Ex): At second level, a Drow Beguiler deals extra damage at any time when the target would be denied its Dexterity bonus. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the target is within 30 feet. She cannot use sudden strike to deliver nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damagedon’t deal extra damage when used as part of a sudden strike. Otherwise, this ability functions as the sneak attack rogue class feature (PH 50), and it stacks with sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target. (This ability is the same as the ninja’s sudden strike class feature, described in Complete Adventurer.) This extra damage increases by 1d6 at each third level after 2nd.

    This ability replaces the Standard Beguiler ability of Cloaked Casting, including any additional benefits gained at later levels.

    Dark Learning (Ex): As a Drow, a Drow Beguiler is born, lives their murderous, insidious life, and dies within the clutching pitch of the Underdark. This lifelong connection with the utter darkness in which the Drow thrive becomes only stronger in them with greater skill. At 3rd level, a Drow Beguiler may add a spell with the Darkness descriptor to her number of spells known. It must be a spell with the Darkness descriptor and of a level no higher than your highest-level spell known. She gains another spell in this manner at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level.

    This replaces the standard Beguiler ability of Advanced Learning.



    ----
    I'm feeling Wizard is up next.
    Last edited by DrWeird; 2010-10-20 at 02:47 PM.
    Et tu, Brute?

    My home-brewed bootleg Homebrew



    I tried to be reasonable and nice; but everybody wouldn't quit trying to turn every spellcaster into a Tier 1.

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