Note: As a general rule, I don't care a whiff about "Balance" in my games, but this system should give at least the illusion of balance for any tricksy new classes you want to make up for your AD&D games. This will probably also work for other older editions of D&D and their clones, though AD&D characters tend to be a bit more powerful than those in the B/X line, and thus classes made with this system may not fit perfectly in such games. Munchkins/Min-Maxers/Rules-Lawyers getting ahold of this system can probably make some classes that will make many GMs pull their hair out, but I don't care, you are free to munchkin-it-up as much as you want in my games (boring characters are guaranteed to die no matter how many spells they get)...
For starters, lets look at something simple and mathematical, like hit points. The four groups of classes--Wizards, Rogues, Priests, and Warriors--have directly ascending die types for hit points: d4, d6, d8, and d10 respectively. In Player's Option: Skills & Powers, each class is presented with the option of increasing or decreasing the die used for a set number of points. Wizards, for example, can go down to a d3 for +10 points, or up to a d6 for 10, or a d8 for 20. Priests can go down to a d6 for +10, or up to a d10 for 10, while Warriors can go up to a d12 for 10. So, very quickly we can see that the various hit dice in this system are worth a linearly increasing 10 points per die type. So, for a class-building system we could set prices at: 0 for d3, 10 for d4, 20 for d6, 30 for d8, 40 for d10, 50 for d12.
Similar logical progressions can be found in other common abilities. THAC0 progression, saves, hit points at higher levels, allowed weapons, spell progressions. With a little bit of work, all of these were easily broken down into their relative costs under the system (even where hidden). Some costs and abilities had to be significantly tweaked from how they appear in the original PO series, in order to make them more generic and fix the overall cost profile.
Also note, this system assumes that you are not otherwise using the Player's Option rules (other than to create new classes), and thus translates advancement beyond level 1 into weapon and non-weapon proficiency slots, discretionary thief skill points, and other things that are not character points.
What Stuff Costs:As with the Players Option series, costs are in Character Points (CP or points for short). Newly built classes should use one of the existing charts for level advancement. Starting available character points should be equal to the XP cost to reach 2nd level, divided by 10 (i.e. 250 points if using the Mage chart for advancement, 225 for Ranger/Paladin, 200 for Fighter chart, 150 for Cleric chart, and 125 for Thief chart).
This will not allow perfect reproduction of existing classes, but should keep them on general parity with the 'official' content.
Delayed Acquisition of Abilities: A character can reduce the cost of any special ability by choosing to delay it to a higher level. For example, a character may select the ability of reduced casting time, but then delay the acquisition of the ability to 4th or 5th level. An ability that is not acquired until 3rd or 4th level is 1 point cheaper than the listed cost; an ability delayed to 5th or 6th level is 2 points cheaper; an ability delayed to 7th or 8th level is 3 points cheaper; an ability delayed to 9th or 10th level is 4 points cheaper than listed; and an ability delayed to 11th level or later is 5 points cheaper than normal. No ability can be reduced to zero or less points—everything costs at least one character point, no matter how long the class waits for the power. Abilities that already list a specific level at which they would be gained (such as attracting Followers) can not be reduced in cost in this way,
Primary Abilities:Base Statistics:
|Hit Points||Cost||THAC0||Cost||Saves||Cost||Hit Points Beyond 9th||Cost|
|d10||40||Mixed (best of 2)||10|
Weapons and Armor Allowed:
|no weapons||0||no armor||0|
|small list (as wizard)||5||Studded or lighter||5|
|bludgeoning only||15||Chainmail or lighter||10|
|limited list (as thief/druid)||15||Any armor||15|
|melee only||15||Use shields||5|
|Group Crossovers||Cost||Initial Slots||Cost||Additional Slots||NWP Cost||WP Cost|
|General||0||Non-weapon||2/slot||+1 per 6 levels||0||0|
|Wizard||5||Weapon||3/slot||+1 per 5 levels||1||1|
|Rogue||5||+1 per 4 levels||3||5|
|Priest||5||+1 per 3 levels||5||10|
|Warrior||5||+1 per 2 levels||10||15|
|Psionicist||5||+1 per level||15||20|
General Special Abilities:Multi-Class Options (10/15/20): A demihuman character with a custom class may choose to be multi-classed. For 10 points, the character may choose one category of classes (i.e. Warriors, Wizards, Priests, or Rogues) and may multi-class with any single class of that group which is allowed to his race. For 15 points, he may select two categories (i.e. Rogues and Priests) and multi-class with any single class from either of those groups which is allowed for his race. For 20 points, he may select two base classes (i.e. Fighter, Mage, Cleric, or Thief) and multi-class with both of these.
Followers (10+): At 10th level, the character attracts 2d6 lower-level members of the same class as followers (1st to 6th level), so long as he has established a stronghold. For every 10 additional points, the character attracts another 1d6 of such followers. For 5 additional points, he will attract these followers regardless of whether he has a stronghold or not. For 5 additional points, these followers may be of a different class or a mix of classes, or may be intelligent magical creatures of an appropriate sort.
Men-at-Arms (5/10+): At 10th level, a member of the class who has established a stronghold attracts 20 to 200 0th-level men-at-arms as followers. For 10 points, the character can attract followers whenever he establishes a stronghold, regardless of level. For every 10 additional points, the character attracts an equal number of additional men-at-arms (i.e. 40 to 400 for 15 points).
Weapon Specialziation (15/25): The character may gain specialization and mastery in a particular weapon, as a fighter. The character must still spend the necessary weapon proficiency slots to specialize. For 25 CP, the character may specialize in multiple weapons.
Unarmed combat skills (15): The class is a specialist in unarmed combat, as per the Monk class. At 1st level, the character is a specialist in one unarmed fighting style (punching, wrestling, or martial arts); at 5th level, a master; at 9th level, a high master; and at 13th level, a grand master.
Warrior Ability Bonuses (10/15): If the character has a Constitution score of greater than 16, he gains the additional hit point adjustment allowed for warriors instead of the normal +2. For an additional 5 points, the character may roll an exceptional Strength score if he has a strength of 18.
Warrior Multiple Attacks (5): The character is able to make more than one attack per round at increased levels. At 1st to 6th level they may make 1 attack per round. From 7th to 12th, they may make 3 attacks ever 2 rounds. at 13th level and higher, they may make two attacks per round. If the class has both this ability and the ability to gain weapon specialization, he may use the specialist’s increased number of attacks, otherwise he is limited to a single attack per round, even with a specialized weapon.
Backstab (15/25): The class is practiced in the art of quietly eliminating enemies. If the character strikes a target from behind with surprise, he gains a +4 bonus on his attack roll, and the blow does additional damage as a thief of his level. All the normal limitations on the thief’s backstab ability apply. For 25 points, the character may also treat missile weapon attacks against unsuspecting targets as a Backstab.
Secret Language (5/7): A class with this ability has a complicated form of slang or possibly even a unique language that only members of that class can understand, permitting secure communication between members of the class in almost any setting. For 7 points, the class instead learns a “secret” language used by another class or group (such as the Druidic language or Thieves’ Cant), allowing them to communicate secretly with members of the other class or intercept messages they are not meant to overhear.
Concentrated Strength (5): The class is capable of applying a great deal of muscle to a single task requiring concentration and will. The character doubles his normal % chance to Bend Bars and Lift Gates (as determined by his Strength score). A class that takes this ability must have a minimum Strength score of 9 or greater as a requirement (see “Ability Score Requirements” below).
Increased movement (5): The character’s base movement speed is increased by 3 (thus a human would have a speed of 15, rather than 12).
Communication (10): A class with this ability learns one language per level from a related group of racial tongues. For example, a druid learns the languages of woodland or sylvan races.
Animal Empathy (10): This ability is similar to that of the ranger character class. If the character carefully approaches a natural animal, he can modify the animal’s reactions. Domestic or nonhostile animals are befriended automatically, while wild animals or those trained to attack must make a saving throw vs. rod, staff, or wand to resist the character’s overtures. The character imposes a saving throw penalty of –1 per three experience levels (–1 at 1st to 3rd, –2 at 4th to 6th, and so on.) If the animal fails to save, its reaction is shifted one category as the character chooses—for example, from hostile to threatening, or neutral to friendly.
Scroll use (10): The character has a chance to use any scroll, book, or other written magical item. His chance of success is 10% at the level at which this ability is acquired, plus 10% per level thereafter, to a maximum of 90%. If a thief fails to accurately read the scroll, usually something detrimental occurs, such as the spell backfiring.
Special enemy (10): Members of the class focus their efforts on one exceedingly bothersome type of creature. The character gains a +4 bonus to his attack rolls when encountering that type of creature, but he suffers a –4 penalty on reaction rolls vs. that type of creature. Further, the character should seek out such creatures over other foes in combat, unless there is some greater danger.
Inspire/enrage allies (5/15): Through songs, speeches, prayers, exhortations, or tactical sessions, the character can inspire his allies in battle, giving them a +1 bonus to their attack rolls and saving throws. If the character knows the nature of the threat they face, they can spend three full rounds rallying their friends to grant the bonus. This affects all allies within 10’ per level of the character, and the duration is one round per level. As a 15-point power, his allies become enraged, increasing the bonuses to +2.
Leadership (5): The ability to lead large numbers of troops into battle. The character is able to take charge of up to 100 soldiers per level. He knows how to use messengers and signals, is familiar with military terminology, and understands the mechanics of moving a large number of men.
Siege Engineer (5): The knowledge to construct and operate heavy war machines, such as ballistae, catapults, rams, bores, and siege towers.
Supervisor (5): The authority to supervise the construction of defensive works such as ditches, pits, fields of stakes, and hastily built wooden and stone barricades. With time permitting, the fighter also can supervise the building of semi-permanent fortifications.
Alter moods (5): By performing or speaking before a non-hostile group, the character can alter the group’s mood. This can be achieved via an heartfelt speech, inspiring poem, a tragic tale, a collection of jokes, or a lively tune. Everyone hearing the character must make a saving throw vs. paralyzation. For every three experience levels the character possesses apply a –1 modifier to each roll. If the save fails, the group’s current attitude can be shifted one level in the direction chosen by the character.
Plane lover (5): The class is enamored of a handful of native races living on the outer planes. The character gains a +4 modifier to all reactions when dealing with good celestials, evil fiends, or the neutral beings (modrons, slaadi and rilmani). Only one of these three groups may be selected. The class must have an Alignment Restriction (see below) matching the type of creatures selected.
Supernatural Special AbilitiesSpell-like granted power (varies): Many classes have unusual granted powers that simulate the effects of various spells. Unlike spells, these granted powers require no material components. A spell-like granted power may be invoked once per week and has a base cost of 10 CPs, plus the following modifiers:
- 1 CP/spell level for priest spells
- 2 CPs/spell level for wizard spells
- 5 CPs for a once per day use, +1 CP/level for each additional daily use
- 10 CPs for a continuous or persistent power
Regardless of the amount of points paid, a class may not have a spell-like granted power of 6th or higher level and is limited to no more than one granted power per two levels—one at 1st level, one at 3rd, one at 5th, and so on. Note that when the priest invokes a power, factors such as range, damage, duration, and other effects are determined as if he had actually cast the spell.
Psionic Wild Talent (10): The character gains a psionic wild talent. He does not need to make a Wild Talent check, but must still roll randomly to determine what the wild talent is.
Turn Undead (15): The class can Turn Undead, as a cleric, as per Table 61 in the . Alternatively, the class may Command Undead as an evil cleric. It is possible for a class to have both powers, but each must be payed for separately.
Turn Lycanthropes (10): The class can turn any were-beast, whether natural or cursed, if they are in their non human form, as an Undead creature of the beast’s hit dice as the cleric’s Turn Undead ability. Were creatures that are turned are forced to flee the area of the turning character, until out of sight, or remain at a distance of no closer than 10 feet if unable to flee. A werecreature that would be destroyed (as determined by the turning check) is knocked unconscious for 1-6 turns.
Lay on Hands (10): Just as a Paladin, the character has the power to lay on hands once per day, curing up to 2 points of damage per experience level.
Gift of life (30): A class with this power may resurrect an individual who has died not later than a round ago. The resurrection attempt, if successfully survived, bestows full hit points, and the revived character does not lose a point of Constitution. Such a gift is not without its price: a character using this ability permanently loses one hit point each time this power is used.
Identify plants and animals (8): The character gains the ability to identify natural plants and animals, and pure water, as the Druid ability.
Dispel (10/15): This power allows the class to dispel one kind of effect or spell once per day, or three times per day for 15 CPs. The range of this power is 30 yards, and it requires nothing more than one round of concentration. The base chance of success is 50%, ±5% for each level difference between the dispeller and the creator of the effect to be dispelled. The type of effect that may be dispelled must be a group of linked spells in the same school; for example: charm spells, polymorph spells, or shadow magic and monsters are all good examples.
Night Vision (5): The character’s eyes are naturally attuned to darkness and are able to register more subtle illumination sources than normal. The character can see normally in all but absolute darkness. The range of their night vision is equal to 10 feet per experience level.
Revitalized slayer (5+): The class is invigorated with every kill in battle. For every being slain by the character, he is healed of 1 hp of damage (but cannot exceed his maximum total). The amount of healing can be increased by 1 for each additional 10 points spent (i.e. 2hp per kill for 15 points, 3hp per kill for 25, etc).
Shapechange (15+): The class has the ability to shapechange, as the Druid ability. He may change into a mammal, reptile, or bird—each form may be used once per day. Each transformation heals 10%–60% of any damage the character has sustained. For 15 points, he may assume one of the above forms. Each additional form costs another 5 points, so 25 points allows the class to shapechange thrice per day, once for each of mammal, reptile, or bird. This ability gains double the normal cost reductions for being delayed to a later level.
Spirit powers (30+): A class with this ability commands spirit powers, as described for the Shaman class. For 30 CPs, the character may contact one class of spirit: dead, animal, or nature. For each additional 5 CPs, the shaman may contact one more class, so 40 CPs gives the character full spirit powers.
Defensive Special Abilities and ImmunitiesArmor Class improvement (15): The class is trained in avoiding blows through timing and deception. His natural Armor Class improves by one point at every even level (AC 9 at 2nd, 8 at 4th, 7 at 6th, and so on) to a maximum of AC 2. This ability does not function if the character wears any form of armor or magical devices which mimic armor, like bracers of defense.
Magic resistance (10/15): Members of the class gain a 2% Magic Resistance for each level. For example, a 9th level character would have an 18% Magic Resistance score. This stacks with any magic resistance the character may gain as a result of his race and, like other sources of Magic Resistance, applies to beneficial spells and magic items as well as harmful effects. For 15 points this resistance increases to 3% per experience level.
Mettle (10): Members of the class possess Herculean fortitude that allows them to resist the punishment of bludgeoning weapons and falling damage. Any damage from these attack forms is halved if the character makes a successful Constitution check. A class that takes this ability must have a minimum Constitution score of 9 or greater as a requirement (see “Ability Score Requirements” below).
Enduring Warrior (5): The character remains conscious and able to continue fighting even when at negative hit points. The character can continue fighting until he reaches -10 hit points, at which point he falls down dead.
Spell Immunity (10+): A class with this power gains complete immunity to one particular spell, at a cost of 10 CPs plus 1 CP per spell level. The character ignores the effects of the spell and cannot be directly damaged or harmed by the spell, although he could be indirectly harmed—a character immune to charm person could be beaten senseless by a charmed fighter, for example. The character may gain immunity to a group of related spells by spending CPs to become immune to the highest-level spell in that group, so a character who wanted immunity to all charms would spend 18 CPs for immunity to mass charm (charm person and charm monster are included with immunity to mass charm).
School Resistance (15): The class enjoys partial immunity to one school of magic—Alterations, Invocations, Necromancy, and so on. Both wizard and priest spells of this type are included. The character gains a +4 bonus to saving throws against spells of the type chosen, or a normal, unmodified saving throw against spells that do not normally allow a save.
Resist Energy Drain (15): The character gains a +2 to saving throws versus the energy drain spell and the level-draining attacks of the undead. If the attack does not normally allow a saving throw, the character may attempt a saving throw vs. spell with a –4 penalty to avoid the level-draining attack.
Immunity to natural disease (10): The character is immune to normal diseases, although magical diseases such as lycanthropy and mummy rot still affect him. This is similar to the paladin’s ability to resist disease.
Saving Throw Bonus (5): The character gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against a particular type of effect. Examples of types of effect might include: cold damage, fire damage, lightning damage, charm spells, or sound-based effects.
Immunity to charm (5+): The character is immune to charm effects or spells cast by a group of related creatures (such as woodland creatures, undead, plant monsters, extraplanar monsters, or wizards). Each additional class of monsters or races the character is immune to costs 5 CPs.
Protection from Alignment (10): The character radiates a continual aura of protection with a 10’ radius. Within this aura, summoned creatures or creatures of a specific alignment (Lawful, Chaotic, Good, or Evil) suffer a –1 penalty to all attack rolls. Creatures affected by this aura know the character to be the source of their discomfort. A class with this ability must have an Alignment Requirement in opposition to the warded alignment (i.e. the class must be Good-aligned to ward away Evil creatures).
Spellcasting Abilities:Spellcasting (5/20/30/45): The character gains the ability to cast spells. For 5 character points, the character gains spell slots according to the Paladin progression. For 20 character points, the character gains spell slots according to the Bard progression. For 30 character points, the character gains spell slots according to the Priest progression. For 45 character points, the character gains spell slots according to the Wizard progression. This baseline spellcasting ability grants access to spells of the Universal school of Wizard magic. Access to other Schools of wizard magic or priest spheres must be purchased separately.
Unless otherwise specified, the character cast spells in the same manner as a Wizard. He must keep a spellbook, is limited to a maximum number of spells per level, as indicated by his Intelligence score, and must make a learn spells roll in order to add a new spell to his selection; if the character fails to learn a spell, he may not try to learn it again until he gains another level. This is true even if his spells are drawn from priest spheres.
Access to Spheres (15+): For 15 points, the character gains major access to spells from a single sphere of priest spells. He can purchase additional spheres for the cost of 10 points per sphere, for Major access, or 5 points per sphere for Minor access.
Access to Schools (15+): For 15 points, the character gains access to spells from a single school of wizard spells. He can purchase access to additional schools of Philosophy or Effect for the cost of 5 points per school, or schools of Thaumaturgy for 10 points per school.
Armored Spellcasting (10): The character can cast spells in any armor allowed by the class.
Automatic spell acquisition (5): The character may add a new spell of his choice to his spell book every time he gains a level, without having to pass a learn spells check. The character need not have a copy of the spell but must have seen the spell used at least once. This spell may be from any school or sphere he has access to. The character must be able to cast the spell he chooses.
Bonus Spells (15): A character with this ability increases the number of spells of each level that he can memorize by one. The character must be able to cast at least 1 spell of a given spell level (as determined by his progression chart) before he gains access to these bonus spells.
Divine Spells (10/15): For 10 points, the character casts his spells as a priest. He does not need to keep a spellbook and has full access to all standard spells in his allowed spheres and schools. He must, however, pray for his spells daily, must have a specific holy symbol to channel his spells through, without which he is incapable of casting spells, and is subject to % spell failure if his Wisdom score is less than 13. If he spends an additional 5 points, he gains a number of bonus spell slots per day as determined by his Wisdom score.
Casting time reduction (5): The casting time of the character’s spells is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
Dead zone/wild zone immunity (15): The character’s spells can never go wild nor be affected by dead magic zones. A class with this power may not have access to wizard spells of the Wild Magic school.
Extended spell duration (10/15): Non-instantaneous spells cast by the class last an additional time unit (round, hour, day, etc.) per two levels. The exact time unit depends on the normal duration of the spell—if the duration is noted in hours, a 5th-level character’s bonus would be an extra three hours. As a 10-point power, extended duration applies to spells of one school or sphere. For 15 points, it applies to all spells cast by the character.
Range increase (5/7+): All ranged spells from one school known to the character have their range increased by 25% for 5 CPs or 50% for 7 CPs. For example, the hold person spell has a range of 20 yards per level, but with this power the range could increase to 25 or 30 yards per level. The character can gain this bonus to all ranged spells regardless of school by doubling the CP cost.
Wondrous healer (15): All Cure wounds spells cast by the character heal the maximum number of hit points.
Rogue Abilities:Thief Skills (10+): For 10 points the character can learn a single Thief Skill from the below list. For every 5 additional points he spends, he may choose another thief ability. Each skill starts at the base percentage listed below, modified by Race, Dexterity, and Armor. These abilities do not automatically improve as the character increases in level, nor does he gain any discretionary points to spend unless he purchases them separately (see below).
- Bribe: A thief can bribe an official with gifts of money or merchandise.
- Climb Walls: This skill lets thieves climb smooth or vertical surfaces.
- Detect Curse: The thief is aware of the horrible curses lurking within tombs and ancient magical items. If the thief comes within 10 feet of a cursed item, location, or person, he has a chance to sense the baneful magic. The thief does not learn the details of the curse, he is only aware of its presence.
- Detect Illusions: Thieves can see detect illusions within their line of sight, up to 90 feet away.
- Detect Magic: Thieves can spot magical radiations within their line of sight, up to 60 feet away.
- Detect Noise: This is the ability to hear sounds others usually can’t.
- Escape Bonds: The ability to escape bonds such as ropes, leather thongs, manacles, chains, and even straight jackets is a feat of contortion and determination.
- Evasion: The thief is able to dodge one melee attack or one small area-of-effect attack (like burning hands or a flask of oil) per round. The thief must not be surprised, and must be aware of the attack to use evasion. If the attack would hit the thief, he can roll his evasion chance to avoid the attack. On a failed roll, he is hit normally.
- Find/Remove Traps: Many people try to protect their important belongings from thieves with small mechanical traps or alarms. As a result, thieves have developed skills to find and disarm these traps.
- Hide in Shadows: A thief can attempt to disappear in shadows, bushes, and crannies.
- History: The thief has a chance to identify the general purpose, function, and history of any magical item he comes across.
- Move Silently: This is the ability to move without making noise.
- Open Locks: A thief can try to pick all types of locks using skill, tools, finesse, and luck.
- Pick Pockets: A thief uses this skill to pilfer small items from the pouches, pockets, belts, sleeves, packs, etc. of others.
- Read Languages: A thief needs every edge he can get, and the ability to read languages can help.
- Tunneling: A thief might need to dig a tunnel to get to a cache of riches.
Armored Thief (5): The character suffers only half the normal penalties (round down) for using his thief skills while wearing armor that is otherwise allowed by his class.
|Hide in Shadows||5%|
General Limitations and Restrictions:Ability Score Requirements (1+): The class has particularly stringent requirements, ensuring that only above-average characters may enter it. Requiring an 9 or 10 in a given ability score grants 1 CP, for every 2 ability points required, this increases by 1 (2CP for 11 or 12, 3CP for 13 or 14, 4CP for 15 or 16, or 5CP for 17). No ability score can have a requirement of higher than 17. This requirement can be taken no more than 4 times, applying to a different ability score each time (thus a class that required scores of 17 or greater in 4 different abilities would gain a maximum of 20 additional CP, but a character would have only a .0001% chance of qualifying for the class).
Alignment Restriction (2/5/10): The class is only open to members of a specific alignment or range of alignments.
If the class must abide by a single specific alignment (i.e. True Neutral), then it gains 10 points. If it must adhere to a single alignment component (i.e. must be Lawful), it gains 5 points. If it must avoid a single alignment component (i.e. may not be Evil), it gains 2 points.
Racial Requirement (5/10/15): The class is only available to members of a specific race. If the class may only be taken by humans, it gains 5 points. If it may only be taken by a specific non-human race (i.e. Gnomes), it gains 10 points. If it may only be taken by a non-human race and is also subject to a non-human level limit (see below), then it gains 15 points. This restriction can be broadened to half-bloods of the indicated race, in which case it grants 3 fewer points (i.e. a class open to Elves and Half-Elves would gain only 7 points instead of 10).
Non-human Level Limits (2+): Non-human members of the class must abide by a maximum level restriction. As with normal level limits, this can be exceeded by earning three times the normal amount of experience required for the next higher level. For 2 points, non-human characters may not exceed 15th level in the class. For every level lower than 15th, the class gains 1 additional point, to a maximum of 10 is non-humans are limited to 7th level of advancement.
Limited magical item use (5+): A character with this restriction distrusts magic and refuses to use certain categories of magical items. For each category that is barred to him, he gains 5 CPs . The categories are: potions, oils, and scrolls; rings; rods, staves, and wands; miscellaneous magical items; weapons; and armor.
Behavior/Taboo (2 each up to 10): The class has a strong set of beliefs that require him to act strangely. For example, he may have to dress in certain colors, avoid physical contact with other people, avoid certain foods, and so on. The behavior chosen is well-known by most NPCs as the behavior of a class, so it becomes difficult for the character to conceal his profession. The characters’s actions may also make it easier for enemies to find or harass him by exploiting his taboos. Most importantly, a character who violates his beliefs loses access to his spells and class abilities until he behaves in the required manner again.
Codes of ethics (5 each up to 20): Some classes impose certain restrictions upon their members. Some restrictions may include not being able to marry, not being allowed to fight members of the opposite sex, not being allowed to associate with characters of a given alignment, having to say a ten-minute prayer any time he crosses a river (which could be highly problematic when trying to evade pursuers), or not being able to speak after sundown. These codes should generally be more restrictive than a required behavior or taboo.
Pacifist (15): This character may never use any weapons, spells or any other tactics to harm another living creature. If he ever violates this decree his own guilt will deprive him of all class abilities for the span of one month. Classes that demand pacifism generally do not allow any weapons, nor grant any weapon proficiency slots, though this is not a strict requirement (perhaps the class demands that its members learn a variety of weapons so that they face a real choice not to use them).
Vow of poverty (10): Members of the class must only possess what money they need to survive. Such characters may never own magical items unless they are plain looking, and they must donate all treasure and excess wealth to a worthy, non-player character cause.
No Retreat (10): Members of the class may never run from combat, regardless of the odds. Driven by an unremitting sense of honor, the character must always fight as long as someone challenges him. Retreat is tantamount to death. Like the wolf, this character wins every fight but one, and in that one he dies.
Supernatural constraint (5+): The process by which the class gained access to his powers transformed him into a supernatural creature with unusual vulnerabilities. Unlike a taboo or a code of ethics, these constraints cannot be violated by the character by any means. Some examples: the character can’t cross running water; the character can’t enter a home or community without an invitation; the character can’t set foot on hallowed ground; the character automatically becomes lost at crossroads; the character leaves footprints that can always be tracked; normal animals are terrified of the character and won’t let him near; and any number of other such constraints. These constraints can be used by clever enemies to render the character powerless or severely restrict his movements. The DM should evaluate the proposed constraint and assign a limitation of 5 to 15 points depending on how often it comes into play and how much it interferes with the character on a daily basis.
Holy/Unholy Vulnerability (5): The class suffers 2d4 hp damage from a direct hit by holy water (or unholy water), or 1d4 points of damage from a splash. A class taking this restriction must specify vulnerability to either holy or unholy water.
Bad Reputation (5/15): The class has a reputation that frightens or angers people. The mere mention of the class might inspire fear, hatred, or disgust in others. It may have a reputation for being unlucky, cruel, petty, or anything else (accurate or not). Members of the class suffer a +2 penalty on all reaction rolls for first encounters against anyone not of their own class. If the reaction result is “cautious” or worse, the NPCs react in a way appropriate to the class’s reputation (fear, anger, etc). The player creating the class should work with the DM to detail the exact nature of the class’s reputation.
For 15 points, the reputation is so bad that the class will be singled out and hunted by authorities. The stigma associated with the class is such that all members of the class can expect to be hunted down and captured if they are insufficiently clever. Whatever form they take, the hunters are organized and determined, using magic or other resources to seek out members of the class.
Spellcasting Limitations and Restrictions:Reduced spell progression (15): A character with this restriction memorizes one less spell of each level than normal for his progression (see Spellcasting above). Thus a 1st-level character using the Priest chart gains 0 1st-level spells instead of 1, and so on. The character must have purchased the Spellcasting ability in order to take this restriction.
Reduced spell power (10): Since he is not a true wizard, the character’s spells are of less power than a typical caster’s. For purposes of all level-based characteristics (range, duration, area of effect, damage, and so on), a 1st–5th level character’s effective casting level is one level lower, a 6th–9th level character’s effective casting level is two levels lower, a character of 10th-14th level casts spells as if he were three levels lower, and a character of 15th level or higher casts spells as if he were 4 levels lower. The character must have purchased the Spellcasting ability in order to take this restriction.
Reduced spell knowledge (7): The maximum number of spells of each level that the character may know is reduced to one-half normal, or 10 if his Intelligence is high enough to allow him to know all the available spells. For example, a character with an Intelligence of 16 may normally know up to 11 spells of each level, but with this limitation he may only know six spells of each level. A character must have purchased the Spellcasting ability in order to take this restriction. This restriction may not be taken by characters with the “Divine Spells” ability.
Unreliable casting method (5): The character’s unorthodox approach to magic results in occasional failures, with spells just fizzling instead of taking effect. The chance for failure is 10% per spell level, minus 2% per experience level. For example, a 6th-level character casting a 2nd-level spell would have an 8% chance (20 minus 12) of failure. If the character casts “Divine Spells”, any chance of failure for having a low wisdom score is added to this. A character must have purchased the Spellcasting ability in order to take this restriction.
Hazardous spells (10): A classwith this limitation pays the price for his magic. Each time the character casts a spell, he must attempt a saving throw vs. breath weapon or suffer 1 point of damage per level of spell. Alternatively, the character has a 1% chance per spell level, cumulative, of going insane. The madness lasts 3d4 days, during which the character may be catatonic, psychotic, paranoid, or generally disturbed in whatever fashion the DM deems appropriate, before the character can recover and reset the chance of madness to 0% again.
Slower casting time (5): Spells cast by the class are unusually complicated and require more time than normal to cast. All spell casting times increase by 3. A casting time of one round or longer is simply doubled.
Awkward casting method (5): The class’s spells must be cast in an extremely obvious fashion, alerting anyone within earshot that the character is using magic. The character might be surrounded by brilliant dancing motes of light, he might have to shout his vocal component at the top of his lungs, people nearby might feel waves of chilling cold wash over them—however it works, the character’s spellcasting activity is immediately noticed. Casting spells from ambush is nearly impossible, and casting spells discretely is right out, so a quiet ESP in a tavern will never be available to the character.
Environmental condition (5+): The class requires certain conditions for spells to be effective; for example, a character may only be able to cast spells by day, while in contact with a favored element, or as long as no priests are nearby. The DM should evaluate the proposed restriction to determine if it applies in everyday circumstances (20 points), common situations (15 points), rare circumstances (10 points), or only under very specific conditions (5 points.) For example, a class who can only cast spells in daylight hours has an everyday restriction—each night, he’s almost helpless. Another who can’t cast spells during the dark of the moon only has a 5-point restriction, since this occurs for only a couple of days each month.
Difficult memorization (5): A class with this limitation can study and memorize spells only in very specific circumstances. For example, the character must be in his lab to memorize spells, he must be in a temple of the god of magic, he might have to wait for certain celestial alignments or phases of the moon, he might be required to fast and pray for a minimum of three days before gaining spells, or he must perform a rite lasting one full day and using materials worth at least 250 gp per level in order to prepare himself to memorize spells. In general, this limitation should make it hard for the character to gain spells while traveling or adventuring.