Overhauled Prestige Classes (5e Variant Rule)

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Overhauled prestige classes[edit]

When the Unearthed Arcana was released for prestige classes in 5th edition and was quickly met with hatred. In fact one of the least liked Unearthed Arcana articles to date. Many people cited that subclasses had already replaced prestige classes (Assassin, Arcane Archer, Beastmaster, Cavalier, Eldritch knight, Horizon walker and Purple Dragon Knight were all prestige classes in 3.5 that are subclasses in 5th edition). However, another potential reason that people disliked the concept of taking levels in a prestige class is the same reason some people do not multiclass. The level cap. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, take for example Rob and his paladin. Rob’s paladin is currently 10th level and wants to take 3 levels in Fighter, just enough to get the Champion archetype. Well, what would Rob’s Paladin be missing out on from the Paladin features list assuming he advances to level 20 and becomes a Oath of Conquest Paladin 17/Champion Fighter 3

1 extra ASI
1 5th level spell slot
An aura improvement
Their 20th level sacred oath feature

That may not seem like a lot but it is still a reason for many people to turn down multiclassing/prestige classes. Many people wanted prestige classes in 5th edition before WoTC shot down the support for it with their UA article (Unearthed Arcana still produces some good articles). I have a solution to this.

What if we separated normal class progression from prestige class progression. So here is how the new prestige class Should have:

Requirements

Means that you must meet the criteria listed in the requirements. Possible requirements include: Race, Alignment, Class, Spellcasting ability, Religion, Ability scores, Proficiencies and other requirements, so no Fighters taking levels in a spell casting prestige class unless that prestige class is similar to the 3e eldritch knight.

Uniqueness

Means that a prestige class should fill a precise niche thematically and mechanically, and shouldn’t be as broad as a subclass theme wise (The Eye of Gruumish from 3.5e is a great example) unless it is flavored as a more powerful version of a class (Archmage)

Balance

No prestige class shall be too strong to the point of breaking the game and no prestige class shall be too weak to the point where there are better alternatives to choose.

Fullness

Means that the prestige class should have things from normal classes such as: proficiencies gained (if any), hit dice, spell slots and class features. This does not mean that they will get any ability score increases (unless said prestige class revolves around a certain ability).

Leveling up[edit]

In order to advance a level in a prestige class, you must pay the amount shown below in experience points in order to gain a level in a prestige class. You must have enough experience points so that you would not lose a level because of the experience point payment. The XP progression for each prestige class is separate (so taking 1 level in two different prestige classes would only cost 2,000 XP not 3,000 XP
Level 1:1,000 XP
Level 2:2,000 XP
Level 3:3,000 XP
Level 4:4,000 XP
Level 5:5,000 XP
Level 6:6,000 XP
Level 7:7,000 XP
Level 8:8,000 XP
Level 9:9,000 XP
Level 10:10,000 XP

List of overhauled prestige classes designed using these rules:[edit]

Dragoon
Hellknight
Weaponsmaster

Community made[edit]


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