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While these custom rules are mostly favorable to players, encounters are intended to be more difficult to compensate. In addition, please refer to my main user page linked above. All mundane items, spells, and class options found there are available for use, with the exception of power word crash. All magic items there are to be considered part of the world. If you would like to introduce additional homebrew content, please send it to me to review first.
Rules which are linked here are balanced such that I feel they would be appropriate for any game. The rest is meant almost exclusively to provide empowerment.
Quirks, Strengths, and Weaknesses (5e Variant Rule) - Optional. I understand that the Strengths and Weaknesses portion of this can be abused to a degree, but I encourage you to please select a weakness you think will actually matter in gameplay. I may allow you to take two quirks or a quirk in addition to a strength and a weakness as long as their effects are neither synergistic nor contradictory: they must be completely unrelated to one another and preferably only one of them will have an effect on combat.
Bearable Sunlight Sensitivity (5e Variant Rule) - Made this much more forgiving since you could just negate it by using save-or-suck spells anyway. Note that this change affects enemies as well, with the exception of creatures who take damage from sunlight.
Versatile Lineage - It is not uncommon for individuals to become adventurers because they are natural outliers among their kin. When your lineage grants you a +2 bonus to one ability score and a +1 bonus to another, you instead gain a +1 bonus to the ability score which previously received a +2 bonus and you may distribute two bonus points to any ability scores of your choosing. You may not exceed a +2 bonus to a single ability score.
1st Level Feat - All characters now receive a free feat at 1st level. You cannot choose the Variant Human race. Instead, the normal Human race now grants one skill proficiency and one tool proficiency of your choice in addition to the +1 bonus to all ability scores.
Custom Background - If the available backgrounds don't suit your purposes, feel free to change one of the skill proficiencies provided by a background to another of your choice that remains thematically appropriate. Alternatively you can create a custom background, which includes the following:
- 2 Skill proficiencies
- 1 Language or Tool proficiency
- Clothes of your choice
- An inexpensive object of sentimental value
- 15gp worth of additional equipment or cash
- A feature which provides some social convenience and does not affect combat ability
- A Trait, Bond, Flaw, and an Ideal
Paladin and Ranger Cantrips - If you play a Paladin or a Ranger, you now receive the Spellcasting feature at 1st level, but you still do not receive 1st level spells or any spell slots until 2nd level. At first level, you learn a single cantrip, and you learn one additional cantrip at 7th, 13th, and 18th levels. As a Ranger, you choose your cantrips from the Druid spell list. As a Paladin, you choose your cantrips from the Cleric spell list. Rule of cool can override the class restriction once.
Barbarian - At first level, you gain the Enduring Spirit feature: On your turn, you can use a bonus action to reduce your current level of Exhaustion by one. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. In addition, you may now choose to forgo the Reckless Attack feature for a more refined approach to combat. At 2nd level, you may instead choose a Fighting Style from the Fighter class feature. You may choose any option except for Archery.
Fighter - At 5th level, a Fighter gains an additional choice of Fighting Style in addition to the Extra Attack feature.
Monk - Your Step of the Wind ability from your Ki feature at 2nd level no longer requires a ki point to use. You may choose to expend a ki point when using it to gain the benefit of the Disengage and Dash actions simultaneously. In addition, the maximum damage of your Martial Arts die is increased by 2 at all levels, with a minimum of 1d6 and a maximum of 1d12.
Rogue - When you deal your Sneak Attack damage to a creature, that creature can't make opportunity attacks against you for the rest of your turn.
Warlock - You gain a single Eldritch Invocation at 1st level. You must choose an invocation with no prerequisites, even satisfied ones. This is a permanent bonus invocation; it doesn't count against your invocations known and it cannot be changed later by any means. In addition, whenever an invocation grants the ability to cast a spell "once using a warlock spell slot" per long rest, you instead gain the ability to cast that spell once without using a spell slot. You regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Whenever an invocation grants the ability to cast a spell without expending a spell slot once per long rest, such as Undying Servitude, you instead regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest.
In half-magic, magic is not terribly rare but is notably stunted. No longer can high level spells take hold within the minds of mortals, be they found tangled within the weave, heard from deep within, nor whispered on the lips of god, seasons, or wicked, faraway things. Here, 5th-level magic is considered the pinnacle of what is achievable for magi. This is implemented by simply placing a limit on the maximum number of caster levels available, requiring full casters to multiclass into non-spellcasting classes after 10th level. These limitations are also applied universally to NPCs. Characters who lead lives devoted entirely to magic while abstaining from physical combat training may become powerful, even respected, but they shall never be great.
Multiclassing - The only restriction on multiclassing is that one may not take levels in classes which would grant 6th level spell slots according to the multiclassing rules for spellcasters.
Magic Items - Magic items are intended to feel rare and significant. With available magic limited, few and far-between are items with very minor or vain effects such as many "common" items, as those with the ability to create magic items will be inclined to focus their resources on practical items. Items may be altered to reflect a loss of power: charge or once-daily items will be most accessible with passive and at-will items being most coveted. When crafting magic items, it now costs twice as much gold in resources and takes four times as long.
Attunement - The attunement capacity of mortals has been stunted universally: characters may attune to only two items by default. Items may have attunement requirements altered; limited-use items should not require attunement while most passive or at-will items shall. If you're playing an Artificer, your maximum attunement is increased by 1 at 10th, 14th, and 18th level from your relevant features rather than rising to the stated amounts, to a natural maximum of 5.
In the Old Era, magi of Vol could learn spells of the tenth magnitude and wield thirty or more in a day.
General Gameplay Changes
Equalized Death Saving Throws (5e Variant Rule) - The Fates no longer favor your survival.
Cover and Flanking (5e Variant Rule) - These are now more analogous to each other and flanking has been nerfed. Creatures must be "surrounded" to enable advantage on attacks.
Intuitive Spellcasting (5e Variant Rule) - Spells with material components are no longer easier to cast than spells without under certain circumstances.
Alternative Armor Table (5e Variant Rule) - Armors are 'normalized' in progression, named more realistically, and generally improved in capability.
HP Gain - When you roll a Hit Die to determine HP gained on a level-up and you roll below half the maximum roll, you gain that value instead.
Universal Bonus Action - All creatures can now use a bonus action to perform an additional object interaction on their turn.
Battle Potions - A magical potion is not a large beverage which must be chugged sloppily in the midst of combat (looking at you, Elder Scrolls) but rather a small, quickly-downed concentrated brew. Higher quality potions of the same type are achieved by an increase in potency rather than volume. You can use a bonus action to consume a potion on your turn, or an action to give a potion to an unconscious creature.
Reliable Healing Potions - Healing potions are now more effective in general. All dice rolled to restore HP when consuming a healing potion are now d10s, but they no longer receive an additional bonus. For example, a common quality Potion of Healing now restores 2d10 HP instead of 2d4 + 2. A Potion of Supreme Healing instead restores 16d10 HP.
Unarmed Attacks - When a medium sized creature makes an unarmed attack, it now deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1d2 plus their Strength modifier unless otherwise specified. For a large creature, the damage is 1d4.
Unarmored Defense Stacking - When you have two or more active features or abilities which change your AC calculation when you are not wearing armor, you can now choose the best one and gain a +1 bonus to AC.
Dramatic Crits - When a single instance of damage dealt to a non-player character exceeds half of its maximum Hit Points, it drops to 0 HP.