Base & Prestige Classes (5e Variant Rule)

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WIP[edit]

Base & Prestige Classes[edit]

This variant rule completely revamps 5e's leveling system, using a stack of classes, namely base and prestige classes. Each class only has 5 levels, and you can have as many levels as you wish.

For the purposes of this rule, a base class is one you can take a level in even if you don't have any levels otherwise. They serve as starting classes. Each base class provides some proficiencies, hit dice, and starting equipment. After level 1, each base class has an ability score prerequisite to take levels in. Conversely, a prestige class is one that requires at least one level in another class to access. Each prestige class provides hit dice, but not necessarily any proficiencies and no equipment.

Proficiency Bonus[edit]

Proficiency bonus scales off your character level, which is your level in all classes.

Proficiency Bonus
Character Level Proficiency Bonus
1 +2
2 +2
3 +2
4 +2
5 +3
6 +3
7 +3
8 +3
9 +4
10 +4
11 +4
12 +4
13 +5
14 +5
15 +5
16 +5
17 +6
18 +6
19 +6
20+ +6

Base Classes[edit]

Artificer[edit]

The Artificer is a base half spellcasting class. Every odd level in it counts towards your spellcasting level.

Prerequisite

To take a level in Artificer after your 1st level, you must have an Intelligence score of 13 or higher. When you take your first level in this class in this way, you gain proficiency in light armor, medium armor, shields, thieves' tools, and tinker's tools.

If you gain your first level in this class, you start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

The Artificer
Artificer Level Features
1st Magical Tinkering, Spellcasting
2nd Infuse Item
3rd The Right Tool for the Job
4th Ability Score Improvement
5th


Magical Tinkering[edit]

At 1st level, you learn how to invest a spark of magic into mundane objects. To use this ability, you must have thieves' tools or artisan's tools in hand. You then touch a Tiny nonmagical object as an action and give it one of the following magical properties of your choice:

  • The object sheds bright light in a 5-foot radius and dim light for an additional 5 feet.
  • Whenever tapped by a creature, the object emits a recorded message that can be heard up to 10 feet away. You utter the message when you bestow this property on the object, and the recording can be no more than 6 seconds long.
  • The object continuously emits your choice of an odor or a nonverbal sound (wind, waves, chirping, or the like). The chosen phenomenon is perceivable up to 10 feet away.
  • A static visual effect appears on one of the object's surfaces. This effect can be a picture, up to 25 words of text, lines and shapes, or a mixture of these elements, as you like.
  • The chosen property lasts indefinitely. As an action, you can touch the object and end the property early.

You can bestow magic on multiple objects, touching one object each time you use this feature, though a single object can only bear one property at a time. The maximum number of objects you can affect with this feature at one time is equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one object). If you try to exceed your maximum, the oldest property immediately ends, and then the new property applies.

Spellcasting[edit]

The spellcasting provided to you by the Artificer class follows that of the half-spellcaster spell slot progression. You can prepare a number of Artificer spells of 1st-level or higher equal to your spellcasting level + your Intelligence modifier. You know two cantrips of your choice from the Artificer spell list.

You use Intelligence as your spellcasting ability for your Artificer spells, and you can cast prepared Artificer ritual spells as rituals. You can use tools with which you are proficient as spellcasting focuses for your Artificer spells.

Infuse Item[edit]

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to imbue mundane items with certain magical infusions. The magic items you create with this feature are effectively prototypes of permanent items.

When you gain this feature, pick four artificer infusions to learn. You learn additional infusions of your choice when you reach certain spellcasting levels and character levels (you must meet both prerequisites), as shown in the Infusions Known column of the Infuse Item table.

Whenever you gain a level in this class or a spellcasting level, you can replace one of the artificer infusions you learned with a new one.

Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch a nonmagical object and imbue it with one of your artificer infusions, turning it into a magic item. An infusion works on only certain kinds of objects, as specified in the infusion's description. If the item requires attunement, you can attune yourself to it the instant you infuse the item. If you decide to attune to the item later, you must do so using the normal process for attunement.

Your infusion remains in an item indefinitely, but when you die, the infusion vanishes after a number of days have passed equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of 1 day). The infusion also vanishes if you give up your knowledge of the infusion for another one.

You can infuse more than one nonmagical object at the end of a long rest; the maximum number of objects appears in the Infused Items column of the Infuse Item table. You must touch each of the objects, and each of your infusions can be in only one object at a time. Moreover, no object can bear more than one of your infusions at a time. If you try to exceed your maximum number of infusions, the oldest infusion immediately ends, and then the new infusion applies.

If an infusion ends on an item that contains other things, like a bag of holding, its contents harmlessly appear in and around its space.

Infuse Item Table
Spellcasting Level Character Level Infusions Known Infused Items
1+ 2+ 4 2
3+ 6+ 6 3
5+ 10+ 8 4
7+ 14+ 10 5
9+ 18+ 12 6
The Right Tool for the Job[edit]

At 3rd level, you learn how to produce exactly the tool you need: with thieves' tools or artisan's tools in hand, you can magically create one set of artisan's tools in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you. This creation requires 1 hour of uninterrupted work, which can coincide with a short or long rest. Though the product of magic, the tools are nonmagical, and they vanish when you use this feature again.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Barbarian[edit]

The Barbarian is a martial class. Levels in it count towards your martial level.

Prerequisite

To take a level in Barbarian after your 1st level, you must have a Strength score of 13 or higher. When you take your first level in this class in this way, you gain proficiency in shields, simple weapons, and martial weapons.

If you gain your first level in this class, you start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

The Barbarian
Barbarian Level Features
1st Rage, Unarmored Defense
2nd Danger Sense, Reckless Attack
3rd Primal Knowledge
4th Ability Score Improvement
5th Extra Attack, Fast Movement


Rage[edit]

In battle, you fight with primal ferocity. On your turn, you can enter a rage as a bonus action.

While raging, you gain the following benefits if you aren't wearing heavy armor:

  • You have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels in any martial class, as shown in the Rage Damage column of the Rage table below.
  • You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

If you are able to cast spells, you can't cast them or concentrate on them while raging.

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked unconscious or if your turn ends and you haven't attacked a hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on your turn as a bonus action.

Once you have raged the number of times shown for your martial level in the Rages column of the Rage table, you must finish a long rest before you can rage again.

Rage Table
Martial Level Rages Rage Damage
1+ 2 +2
3+ 3 +2
6+ 4 +2
9+ 4 +3
12+ 5 +3
16 5 +4
17+ 6 +4
20+ Unlimited +4
Unarmored Defense[edit]

While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Reckless Attack[edit]

Starting at 2nd level, you can throw aside all concern for defense to attack with fierce desperation. When you make your first attack on your turn, you can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against you have advantage until your next turn.

Danger Sense[edit]

At 2nd level, you gain an uncanny sense of when things nearby aren't as they should be, giving you an edge when you dodge away from danger.

You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that you can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, you can't be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Primal Knowledge[edit]

When you reach 3rd level, you gain proficiency in one skill of your choice from the list of skills available to barbarians at 1st level. You gain one more proficiency in this way when you reach martial level 10.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Bard[edit]

The Bard is a base spellcasting class. Levels in it count towards your spellcasting level.

Prerequisite

To take a level in Bard after your 1st level, you must have a Charisma score of 13 or higher. When you take your first level in this class in this way, you gain proficiency in light armor, in one musical instrument of your choice, and in one skill of your choice.

  • Hit Dice. d8
  • Armor. light armor
  • Weapons. simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords
  • Saving Throws. Dexterity, Charisma
  • Skills. Choose any three
  • Tools. Three musical instruments of your choice

If you gain your first level in this class, you start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

The Artificer
Artificer Level Features
1st Magical Tinkering, Spellcasting
2nd Infuse Item
3rd The Right Tool for the Job
4th Ability Score Improvement
5th


Magical Tinkering[edit]

At 1st level, you learn how to invest a spark of magic into mundane objects. To use this ability, you must have thieves' tools or artisan's tools in hand. You then touch a Tiny nonmagical object as an action and give it one of the following magical properties of your choice:

  • The object sheds bright light in a 5-foot radius and dim light for an additional 5 feet.
  • Whenever tapped by a creature, the object emits a recorded message that can be heard up to 10 feet away. You utter the message when you bestow this property on the object, and the recording can be no more than 6 seconds long.
  • The object continuously emits your choice of an odor or a nonverbal sound (wind, waves, chirping, or the like). The chosen phenomenon is perceivable up to 10 feet away.
  • A static visual effect appears on one of the object's surfaces. This effect can be a picture, up to 25 words of text, lines and shapes, or a mixture of these elements, as you like.
  • The chosen property lasts indefinitely. As an action, you can touch the object and end the property early.

You can bestow magic on multiple objects, touching one object each time you use this feature, though a single object can only bear one property at a time. The maximum number of objects you can affect with this feature at one time is equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one object). If you try to exceed your maximum, the oldest property immediately ends, and then the new property applies.

Spellcasting[edit]

The spellcasting provided to you by the Artificer class follows that of the half-spellcaster spell slot progression. You can prepare a number of Artificer spells of 1st-level or higher equal to your spellcasting level + your Intelligence modifier. You know two cantrips of your choice from the Artificer spell list.

You use Intelligence as your spellcasting ability for your Artificer spells, and you can cast prepared Artificer ritual spells as rituals. You can use tools with which you are proficient as spellcasting focuses for your Artificer spells.

Infuse Item[edit]

At 2nd level, you gain the ability to imbue mundane items with certain magical infusions. The magic items you create with this feature are effectively prototypes of permanent items.

When you gain this feature, pick four artificer infusions to learn. You learn additional infusions of your choice when you reach certain spellcasting levels and character levels (you must meet both prerequisites), as shown in the Infusions Known column of the Infuse Item table.

Whenever you gain a level in this class or a spellcasting level, you can replace one of the artificer infusions you learned with a new one.

Whenever you finish a long rest, you can touch a nonmagical object and imbue it with one of your artificer infusions, turning it into a magic item. An infusion works on only certain kinds of objects, as specified in the infusion's description. If the item requires attunement, you can attune yourself to it the instant you infuse the item. If you decide to attune to the item later, you must do so using the normal process for attunement.

Your infusion remains in an item indefinitely, but when you die, the infusion vanishes after a number of days have passed equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of 1 day). The infusion also vanishes if you give up your knowledge of the infusion for another one.

You can infuse more than one nonmagical object at the end of a long rest; the maximum number of objects appears in the Infused Items column of the Infuse Item table. You must touch each of the objects, and each of your infusions can be in only one object at a time. Moreover, no object can bear more than one of your infusions at a time. If you try to exceed your maximum number of infusions, the oldest infusion immediately ends, and then the new infusion applies.

If an infusion ends on an item that contains other things, like a bag of holding, its contents harmlessly appear in and around its space.

Infuse Item Table
Spellcasting Level Character Level Infusions Known Infused Items
1+ 2+ 4 2
3+ 6+ 6 3
5+ 10+ 8 4
7+ 14+ 10 5
9+ 18+ 12 6
The Right Tool for the Job[edit]

At 3rd level, you learn how to produce exactly the tool you need: with thieves' tools or artisan's tools in hand, you can magically create one set of artisan's tools in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of you. This creation requires 1 hour of uninterrupted work, which can coincide with a short or long rest. Though the product of magic, the tools are nonmagical, and they vanish when you use this feature again.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.



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