Improved Class Features (5e Variant Rule)

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Improved Class Features[edit]

Some class features used in D&D 5e haven't stood the test of time. They're either outright useless, extremely niche, or inferior to other readily available options. This set of variant features seeks to improve these features, much how Tasha's Cauldron of Everything revamped the Ranger class entirely.

Barbarian[edit]

Primal Champion

At 20th level, you embody the power of the wilds. Your Strength and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.

Additionally, while raging, if you start your turn with half your hit point maximum or fewer, you regain a number of hit points equal to your Constitution modifier.

Bard[edit]

Countercharm

At 6th level, you gain the ability to use musical notes or words of power to disrupt mind-influencing effects. As an action, you can start a performance that lasts until the end of your next turn. If you have already cast a Bard spell using your action, it only requires a bonus action to start the performance instead. During the performance, you and any friendly creatures within 30 feet of you have advantage on saving throws against being frightened or charmed. A creature must be able to hear you to gain this benefit. The performance ends early if you are incapacitated or silenced or if you voluntarily end it (no action required).

When you reach 11th level, the performance has a range of 60 feet and also grants advantage on saving throws against being paralyzed. When you reach 16th level, the performance has a range of 120 feet and also grants advantage on saving throws against being stunned.

Superior Inspiration

At 20th level, when you roll initiative and have no uses of Bardic Inspiration left, you regain one use. Additionally, you can use a lesser form of your inspiration at-will. Whenever you have no inspiration dice remaining, you can still grant inspiration as a d6. A d6 granted in this way disappears when it is used or you use this ability again.

Druid[edit]

Wildshape

As written, but it scales to be 1/8th of your level, rounded down (effectively ending at CR 2 at level 16).

Fighter[edit]

Indomitable

Beginning at 9th level, you can reroll a saving throw that you fail. If you do so, you must use the new roll, and you can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

You can use this feature twice between long rests starting at 13th level and three times between long rests starting at 17th level.

You can choose to expend a hit die to use this feature rather than one of its free uses.

Monk[edit]

Ki - Flurry of Blows

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action. Starting at 11th level, you make three unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

Ki - Patient Defense

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn. Starting at 11th level, you can spend to take the Dodge action as a free action on your turn.

Deflect Missiles

Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.

If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack (range 20/60 feet) with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack.

Starting at 7th level, the ranged attack has a range of 25/75 feet. At 11th level, it has a range of 30/90 feet. At 15th level, it has a range of 40/120 feet. At 20th level, it has a range of 60/180 feet.

Quickened Healing

Starting at 4th level, as an action, you can spend 2 ki points and roll a Martial Arts die. You regain a number of hit points equal to the number rolled + your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1). Starting at 11th level, the number of hit points you regain increases to the number rolled + twice your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +2).

Focused Aim

Starting at 5th level, when you miss with an attack roll, you can spend 1 or more ki points to increase your attack roll by 2 for each ki point you spend, potentially turning the miss into a hit. You can only spend a number of ki points equal to or less than your proficiency bonus in this way at a time.

Stillness of Mind

Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened. Starting at 15th level, you can use this feature as a bonus action.

Perfect Self

At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 4 ki points.

Additionally, whenever you spend 1 or more ki points, your AC increases by that amount until the start of your next turn.

Paladin[edit]

Divine Sense

Using the divine sense instilled in you, you can use your action to cast Detect Evil and Good without expending a spell slot.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + a quarter of your paladin level (rounded up). When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Sorcerer[edit]

Metamagic - Careful Spell

When you cast a spell that forces other creatures to make a saving throw, you can protect some of those creatures from the spell's full force. To do so, you spend 1 sorcery point and choose a number of those creatures up to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one creature). A chosen creature automatically succeeds on its saving throw against the spell. Starting at 11th level, you can choose any number of creatures.

Metamagic - Distant Spell

When you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double the range of the spell. When you cast a spell that has a range of touch, you can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the spell 30 feet.

Starting at 11th level, you triple the range of the spell. A spell with the range of touch has its range extended to 45 feet.

Metamagic - Empowered Spell

When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls. Starting at 11th level, you reroll each damage die of your choice.

You can use Empowered Spell even if you have already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.

Metamagic - Extended Spell

When you cast a spell that has a duration of 1 minute or longer, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double its duration, to a maximum duration of 24 hours. Starting at 11th level, you triple its duration, to a maximum duration of 36 hours.

Metamagic - Heightened Spell

When you cast a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects, you can spend 2 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell. Starting at 11th level, you impose disadvantage on each target of the spell.

Metamagic - Quickened Spell

When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting. Starting at 11th level, this metamagic option only costs 1 sorcery point.

Metamagic - Seeking Spell

If you make an attack roll for a spell and miss, you can spend 2 sorcery points to reroll the d20, and you must use the new roll. Starting at 11th level, this metamagic option only costs 1 sorcery point, and you can choose which d20 result to use.

You can use Seeking Spell even if you have already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.

Metamagic - Subtle Spell

When you cast a spell, you can spend 1 sorcery point to cast it without any somatic or verbal components. Starting at 11th level, a creature unaware of your presence targeted by a subtle spell has disadvantage on any saving throw made against it, and it makes that saving throw unknowningly against an invisible or mental effect.

Metamagic - Transmuted Spell

When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list, you can spend 1 sorcery point to change that damage type to one of the other listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder. Starting at 11th level, you can target any damage type and change it to another damage type.

Metamagic - Twinned Spell

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn't have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell's level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip).

To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell's current level. For example, magic missile and scorching ray aren't eligible, but ray of frost and chromatic orb are.

Starting at 11th level, you can twin spells with any number of targets, but not spells that have a range of self or an area of effect.

Magical Guidance

Starting at 5th level, you can tap into your inner wellspring of magic to try to conjure success from failure. When you make an ability check that fails, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll the d20, and you must use the new roll, potentially turning the failure into a success.

Starting at 11th level, you can choose which d20 result to use.

Sorcerous Restoration

At 20th level, you regain 6 expended sorcery points whenever you finish a short rest.

Additionally, whenever you regain or create a spell slot by means other than with sorcery points, you regain that many sorcery points.

Warlock[edit]

Eldritch Invocation - Beguiling Influence

Whenever you make a Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Persuasion) check, treat a roll of 7 or lower on the d20 as an 8.

Eldritch Evocation - Bewitching Whispers
  • Prerequisite: 7th Level

You learn the Compulsion spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Bond of the Talisman
  • Prerequisites: Pact of the Talisman, 12 Level

While someone else is wearing your talisman, you can use your action to teleport to the unoccupied space closest to them, provided the two of you are on the same plane of existence. The wearer of your talisman can do the same thing, using their action to teleport to you. The teleportation can be used a number of times equal to 1 + a quarter of your Warlock level (rounded up), and all expended uses are restored when you finish a long rest or if you expend your action and a Warlock spell slot to restore them.

Eldritch Evocation - Dreadful Word
  • Prerequisite: 7th Level

You learn the Confusion spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Far Scribe
  • Prerequisites: Pact of the Tome, 5th Level

A new page appears in your Book of Shadows. With your permission, a creature can use its action to write its name on that page, which can contain a number of names equal to 1 + a quarter of the Warlock level (rounded up).

You can cast the sending spell, targeting a creature whose name is on the page, without using a spell slot and without using material components. To do so, you must write the message on the page. The spell doesn't have a chance to fail when cast in this way. The target hears the message in their mind, and if the target replies, their message appears on the page, rather than in your mind. The writing disappears after 1 minute.

As an action, you can magically erase a name on the page by touching it.

Eldritch Evocation - Gift of the Depths
  • Prerequisite: 5th Level

You can breathe underwater, and you gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.

You learn the Water Breathing spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Gift of the Protectors
  • Prerequisites: Pact of the Tome, 5th Level

A new page appears in your Book of Shadows. With your permission, a creature can use its action to write its name on that page, which can contain a number of names equal to 1 + a quarter of the Warlock level (rounded up).

When any creature whose name is on the page is reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, the creature magically drops to 1 hit point instead. Once this magic is triggered, its name is erased from the book and can't be added again until 8 hours pass.

As an action, you can magically erase a name on the page by touching it.

Eldritch Evocation - Improved Pact Weapon
  • Prerequisite: Pact of the Blade

You can use any weapon you summon with your Pact of the Blade feature as a spellcasting focus for your warlock spells.

In addition, the weapon gains a +1 bonus to its attack and damage rolls, unless it is a magic weapon that already has a bonus to those rolls. Starting at 8th level, this bonus increases to a +2. At 14th level, it increases to a +3.

Finally, the weapon you conjure can be a shortbow, longbow, light crossbow, or heavy crossbow.

Eldritch Invocation - Lifedrinker
  • Prerequisites: Pact of the Blade, 12th Level

When you hit a creature with your pact weapon, the creature takes extra necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). You regain hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt.

Eldritch Evocation - Minions of Chaos
  • Prerequisite: 9th Level

You learn the Conjure Elemental spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Mire the Mind
  • Prerequisite: 5th Level

You learn the Slow spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Protection of the Talisman
  • Prerequisites: Pact of the Talisman, 7th Level

When the wearer of your talisman fails a saving throw, they can add a d4 to the roll, potentially turning the save into a success. This benefit can be used a number of times equal to 1 + a quarter of your Warlock level (rounded up), and all expended uses are restored when you finish a long rest.

Starting at 17th level, the d4 becomes a d6.

Eldritch Evocation - Rebuke of the Talisman
  • Prerequisite: Pact of the Talisman

When the wearer of your talisman is hit by an attacker you can see within 30 feet of you, you can use your reaction to deal psychic damage to the attacker equal to 1 + a quarter of your Warlock level (rounded up) and push it up to 10 feet away from the talisman's wearer. Starting at 11th level, the range increases to 60 feet.

Eldritch Evocation - Sculptor of Flesh
  • Prerequisite: 7th Level

You learn the Polymorph spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Sign of Ill Omen
  • Prerequisite: 5th Level

You learn the Bestow Curse spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Thief of Five Fates

You learn the Bane spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Trickster's Escape
  • Prerequisite: 7th Level

You learn the Freedom of Movement spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Eldritch Evocation - Undying Servitude
  • Prerequisite: 5th Level

You learn the Animate Dead spell, and it counts as a Warlock spell for you.

Pact of the Talisman

At 3rd level, your patron gives you an amulet, a talisman that can aid the wearer when the need is great. When the wearer fails an ability check, they can add a d4 to the roll, potentially turning the roll into a success. This benefit can be used a number of times equal to 1 + a quarter of your Warlock level (rounded up), and all expended uses are restored when you finish a long rest.

If you lose the talisman, you can perform a 1-hour ceremony to receive a replacement from your patron. This ceremony can be performed during a short or long rest, and it destroys the previous amulet. The talisman turns to ash when you die.

Starting at 17th level, the d4 used by this feature becomes a d6.

Eldritch Master

At 20th level, you can draw on your inner reserve of mystical power while entreating your patron to regain expended spell slots. You can spend 1 minute entreating your patron for aid to regain all your expended spell slots from your Pact Magic feature. Once you regain spell slots with this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can do so again.

Additionally, for each level of Mystic Arcanum you have, you can cast that spell using a Warlock spell slot once between long rests.

Wizard[edit]

Spell Mastery

At 18th level, you have achieved such mastery over certain spells that you can cast them at will. Choose two wizard spells of 2nd-level or lower that are in your spellbook. They are always considered prepared, and you can cast those spells at 2nd-level without expending a spell slot. If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.

By spending 8 hours in study, you can exchange one or both of the spells you chose for different spells that meet the prerequisites.

Starting at 20th level, you can choose one additional spell. This third spell can be of 3rd-level or lower.

Signature Spells

When you reach 20th level, you gain mastery over two powerful spells and can cast them with little effort. Choose two wizard spells in your spellbook with a total combined level of 6 as your signature spells. You always have these spells prepared, they don't count against the number of spells you have prepared, and you can cast each of them once at their lowest levels without expending a spell slot. When you do so, you can't do so again until you finish a short or long rest.

If you want to cast either spell at a higher level, you must expend a spell slot as normal.


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