Proposed Changes to D&D v3.5 Rules

Proposed changes to Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition (v3.5)

The system, at its core, is a good system. There are, however, some changes that could be made to make the system even better. For example, there is a definite cookie-cutter mentality to the character generation system. This limitation cuts down on player character uniqueness and stifles the creative process that a lot of players enjoy.

The purpose of this article is to present an alternate system of character generation that would remove the cardboard nature of the system and present players with more areas to customize their characters, while preserving the core rules almost as they are written.

The bulk of the changes involve Feats. Specifically, the Feats of Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Skill Focus, Weapon Finesse, and Weapon Focus. Under this alternate system, these Feats are altered from their original function. See below under Changes to Feats for more information. This change will require that the number of skill points be increased slightly to reflect this requirement. These changes are listed below.

New Skill Progressions
Barbarian (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier
Bard (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier
Cleric (4 + Int modifier) x4, 4 + Int modifier
Druid (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier
Fighter (4 + Int modifier) x4, 4 + Int modifier
Monk (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier
Paladin (4 + Int modifier) x4, 4 + Int modifier
Ranger (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier
Rouge (12 + Int modifier) x4, 12 + Int modifier
Sorcerer (4 + Int modifier) x4, 4 + Int modifier
Wizard (8 + Int modifier) x4, 8 + Int modifier

Changes to Feats
The feat system is a good system. It is designed to allow simple character generation for players and grant abilities that most “normal” people in the world don’t have. However, it does lead to some inflexibility during character generation. In an effort to correct this, I present the following changes.

Feats are still gained at the normal rates. What has changed is the function of some of the weapon related feats. These are detailed below.

EXOTIC WEAPON PROFICIENCY [GENERAL]
Choose a type of exotic weapon, such as a dire flail or shuriken (see Table 7-5: Weapons, page 116, Players Handbook v3.5 for a list of exotic weapons). You understand how to use that type of exotic weapon in combat.
Prerequisite: Base attack bonus +1 or higher.
Benefit: One Exotic Weapon Skill is a Class Skill for you.
Normal: A character who uses a weapon without being proficient with it suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls and loses their base attack bonus while that weapon is being used.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon. Proficiency with the bastard sword or the dwarven waraxe has a prerequisite of Str 13+.

MARTIAL WEAPON PROFICIENCY [GENERAL]
Choose a type of martial weapon, such as longbow (see table 7-5: Weapons, pages 116, Players Handbook v3.5 for a list of martial weapons.) You understand how to use that type of martial weapon in combat.
Benefit: One Martial Weapon Skill is a Class Skill for you.
Normal: A character who uses a weapon without being proficient with it suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls and loses their base attack bonus while that weapon is being used.
Special: For barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers, all martial weapons are Class Skills.

You can gain this feat multiple times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new weapon.

A cleric whose deity’s favored weapon is a martial weapon and who chooses War as one of his domains receives the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat related to that weapon for free, as well as the Weapon Focus feat related to that weapon.

A sorcerer or wizard who casts the spell Tenser’s transformation on herself gains proficiency with all martial weapons for the duration of the spell.

SIMPLE WEAPON PROFICIENCY [GENERAL]
You understand how to use all types of simple weapons in combat (see Table 7-5: Weapons, page 116, Players Handbook v3.5 for a list of simple weapons).
Benefit: One Simple Weapon Skill is a Class Skills for you.
Normal: A character who uses a weapon without being proficient with it suffers a -4 penalty on attack rolls and loses their base attack bonus while that weapon is being used.
Special: All characters except for druids, monks, and wizards are automatically proficient with all simple weapons.

A wizard who casts the spell Tenser’s transformation on herself gains proficiency with all simple weapons for the duration of the spell.

Note that for the Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus feats (page 102 Players Handbook v3.5) you should replace the prerequisite portion of these feat listings with the following:

Prerequisite: Proficient with weapon, rank 1 in selected weapon, base attack bonus +1 or higher.

Otherwise the feats function normally.

Skill Focus Change: Skill Focus may not be taken with a weapon skill.

Weapon Skill Rule Note: Players MAY NOT take 10 or take 20 when making attack rolls.

The following is a sample character that I made using these rules.

Character Name: Gravis
Race: Human; Class: Fighter; Character Level: 1; Class Level: 1; Alignment: Lawful Good;

Characteristics Bonus
Strength: 18 +4
Dexterity: 10 +/-0
Constitution: 17 +3
Intelligence: 16 +3
Wisdom: 12 +1
Charisma: 11 +/-0

HP: 13
AC: 16
Base Attack Bonus: +1
Initiative: 1d20+0

Saving Throws Total
Fortitude +5
Reflex +0
Will +1

Skills (cc indicates cross-class)
Longsword Str +10
Shortsword Str +9
Heavy Mace Str +8
Climb Str +0
Ride Dex +1
Spot (cc) Wis +3
Listen (cc) Wis +3
Jump Str +0
Craft (Weapons) Int +7
Wilderness Lore (cc) Wis +3

Class Skill Max Ranks: 4; Cross Class Max Ranks: 2; Skill Points per Level: 8.

FEATS
Starting Class Feats: Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Shield Proficiency.
Bonus Class Feats: Power Attack.
1st Level Feats: Weapon Focus (Longsword).
Human Bonus Feat: Cleave.

EQUIPMENT
Scale Mail Armor (Bonus: +4 AC; Max Dex Bonus: +3; Armor Check Penalty: -4; Arcane Spell Failure: 25%; Speed: 20ft.; Wt: 30 lb.)
Large Steel Shield (Bonus: +2 AC; Max Dex Bonus: -; Armor Check Penalty: -2; Arcane Spell Failure: 15%; Speed: -; Wt: 15 lb.)
Longsword (Dmg 1d8+4; Critical: 19-20/x2; Range: -; Wt: 4 lb.)
Shortsword (Dmg 1d6+4; Critical: 19-20/x2; Range: -; Wt: 3 lb.)
Heavy Mace (Dmg 1d8+4; Critical: x2; Range: -; Wt: 12 lb.)
43 gp of extra gear.

As you can see, Gravis has more class skills than are presented in the book and this change, I feel, would vastly improve the system and reduce the dull, cookie-cutter mentality as presented in the original rules set.

Do what you will with this information. If you don’t think it would work, then toss it out and stick with the original rules. As with anything, use what you like and chunk the rest.

In closing, let me state that D&D, Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, 3.0, 3.5, feats, and all other related game mechanics, or other property are copyrighted and trademarked and are the legal property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and the use of those protected properties are in no way a challenge to those holdings.

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About WonderGoon

WonderGoon is seeking enlightenment and questions everything.
This entry was posted in Entertainment, Gaming, General, PostADay2011, PostAWeek2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Proposed Changes to D&D v3.5 Rules

  1. boccobsblog says:

    Very detailed. Nicely done.

    Like

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