Dexterity Modifier Replacement Options (5e Variant Rule)

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Dexterity Modifier Replacement Options[edit]

In order to make the "God Stat" that Dexterity appears to be in 5e a more reasonable and comparable to the other stats, here are a series of rules that replace and/or alter the Dexterity modifiers added to various checks and rolls.

Armor Class[edit]

When a spell or spellcasting class (including Warlock) or subclass grants a new way to calculate AC of the form X + Dexterity modifier where X is a constant (such as Mage Armor or Draconic Resilience), replace Dexterity with the relevant spellcasting ability.

Change Unarmored Defense so both Barbarians and Monks can choose 10 + any two of Dex, Wis, or Con when naked. Monks still cannot use shields.

Dexterity Saves[edit]

While a character proficient in shields is wielding a shield, let them roll Strength saves instead of Dexterity saves when called upon to roll a Dexterity save, with the same consequences for success and failure. If this would impact a class or subclass ability, such as Evasion, that interacts with Dexterity but not Strength saves, rewrite the ability so its interaction with Dexterity saves remains unchanged even when the save is replaced via this rule.

Any character that would be proficient in Dexterity saves from their class can choose to instead be proficient in any other save.

Ranged & Melee Weapons[edit]

Shortbows, Longbows, Slings, Blowguns, and Nets gain Finesse, representing accuracy via a projectile moving faster (just like melee weapons).

All class and subclass rules that only apply to melee weapon attacks, such as Rage and Reckless Attack (both Barbarian rules), now apply instead to attacks made with melee weapons and unarmed strikes.


When determining initiative order in combat, every combatant makes an Intelligence check instead of a Dexterity check - Wisdom and Dexterity have already determined surprise, so now Intelligence determines who can most rapidly decide what to do. If this would impact a class or subclass ability, such as the one Champions have, rewrite the ability so its interaction with initiative remains unchanged.

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