Brian's Classless Character Creation System

I liked the concept of making customized "classes" as per the section in the DMG. However, I felt it lacked something: balance! Why should a player who wants to play an unusual class be penalized so heavily? I thought it was silly, so I came up with this system.

I used this system to create characters in my current campaign. This is quite advanced, and should probably on be used by experienced GM's and players. Because of this, people generally tend to create characters based upon a class.

To create a character:

Pick the focus class, usually the class where most of the character's abilities will come from.
For the focus class, gain appropriate: Select powers from class(es) chosen.
Note that all powers are assumed to start at level one. Bonuses for delaying the acquisition of powers is located at the end.
Select general powers such as Thac0, Hit Dice, etc.
Total cost must fall between 1500-3500 points.

Re-calculate powers after 10th level ("name level" for all classes).

As always, the GM has final say on the rules of this system. Any abuses (such as selecting one ability multiple times creating an unbalanced character) should be watched for and eliminated.


Quick links to ability lists:

Warrior Abilities

Weapon Proficiencies: 4 Non-Weapon Proficiency Points: 12
Hit Point Bonus for High Con 50
Exceptional Str 150
Warrior Attacks (see notes) 175
Weapon Specialization (unlimited) 175
Style Specialization 150
Bonded Mount (see notes) 50
Bonus to-hit/damage vs. enemy type (see notes)25 per +1
Bonus to-hit/damage with certain weapons 50 per +1
Magic Resistance 75 per 1%/lvl
Sweeping Attacks (see notes) 200
Hardiness (see notes) 50
Breach Immunity (see notes) 100 per +1

Warrior attacks As described in the Warrior description.
Style Specialization As described in the Complete Fighter's Handbook.
Bonded Mount As described in the Paladin class description.
Bonuses vs. enemies As in the ranger class. Note that a ranger as described in the PHB would purchase this 8 times for a +4/+4.
Sweepting Attacks Do 1d8 per 5 levels to ALL creatures within 10' of character.
Hardiness Delay debilitating effects for 1d4 rounds
Breach Immunity Creature immunity to normal or less magical weapons ignored. Weapon hits creatures as if it had additional plusses.

Wizard Abilities

Weapon Proficiencies: 1 Non-Weapon Proficiency Points: 20
Magic Item Creation 200
Wizard Spell Progression 900
Bard Spell Progression 500
Spell Research 100
Bonus Spell per Level (see notes) 200 per school
Spell Learning Bonus 10 per +5% per school
Spell casting Time Reduction 50 per segment/school
Extended Spell Duration 50 per round/school
Additional Spell Effects (see notes) 50
Write Wizard Spell Scrolls (see notes) 50
Use Wizard Spell Scrolls 150
Enhanced Spell Concentration(see notes) 200
Cast priest sphere as a school of magic 5 * sphere cost
Spell schools:
Enchantment/Charm 125
Abjuration 75
Alteration 125
Divination 50
Necromancy 100
Inovation/Evocation 150
Conjuration/Summoning 75
Illusion 100
Spellcasting Penalties:
Opposition school (see notes) -.5 * cost

Bonus spell per level As per specialist wizards in the PHB.
Additional Spell Effects A role-playing addition where the Wizard can alter spell effects when he learns the spell. Examples: Variable colored fireball. Lightning Bolt with a variable range, etc.
Write Wizard Spell Scrolls Does NOT include the use of the scrolls. IE, must purchas that abilitity separately.
Enhanced Spell Concentration Caster gets saving throw vs. spells to maintain spell concentration if hit in combat. Can also move at 25% movement while casting unless greater movement is allowed.
Opposition School An opposition school is one from which the mage can never learn a spell from or use an item with an effect from that school.

All mages get the basic spells: Detect Magic, Read Magic, Wizard Mark. They do not count against the maximum spells for first level.

Casting Wizard spells automatically limits armor selection. Full Wizards may only wear up to leather. Partial wizards (those casting at Bard progression) may wear armour as heavy as chainmail.

Re-defined Opposition Schools:

       Illusion \ | / Abjuration
   Conj/Summon ---X--- Alteration
     Invoc/Evoc / | \ Divination

Priest Abilities

Weapon Proficiencies: 3 Non-Weapon Proficiency Points: 14
Priest Spell Progression 700
Paladin Spell Progression 400
Ranger Spell Progression 200
Spell Bonus for Wisdom 75
Magic Ctem Creation 100
Spell Casting Time Reduction 50 per segment
Bonus Spells (see notes) 25 per spell level
Spell Duration Increase 50 per round
Spell Range Increase 50 per +25%
Max Spell Effect 50 per sphere
Bonus Casting Level 100 per level
Enhanced Spell Concentration (see notes) 200
Additional Spell Effects (see notes) 50
Turn (Control) Undead (see notes) 150/250
Laying on Hands 75 per hp/level
Write Priest Scrolls (see notes) 50
Use Priest Scrolls 100
Cast Mage School as Preist Sphere 2 * school cost
All (see notes) 0 (25)
Animal 50
Astral 25
Charm 75
Combat 50
Creation 50
Divination 50
Elemental 25 per element
Guardian 50
Healing 75
Necromantic 50
Plant 50
Protection 75
Summoning 50
Sun 25
Weather 25
War 25
Traveller 50

Bonus Spells These are additional spells that must be memorized in the usual manner
Enhanced Spell Concentration Caster gets saving throw vs. spells to maintain spell concentration if hit in combat. Can also move at 25% movement while casting unless greater movement is allowed.
Additional Spell Effects A role-playing addition where the Wizard can alter spell effects when he learns the spell. Examples: Variable colored flamestrike. Cause Light Wounds with variable range, etc.
Turn (Control) Undead Only Evil priests may control Undead. The two values listed are fore the ability to turn once per encounter (150 xps) or multiple times per encounter (250 xps).
Write Cleric Scrolls Does NOT include the use of the scrolls. IE, must purchas that abilitity separately.
Sphere: All The sphere of all is free for anyone casting priestly magic, but has a cost of 25 for other considerations, such as purchasing it as a mage school.

Any person casting priestly magic must have a partial aligment restriction, or a code of conduct. Violation of alignment or code will result in loss of spellcasting or other status.

Notice that I only use War and Travellers spheres from the Tome of Magic. I use a listing similar to the one presented in the supplement Spells and Magic.

Rogue Abilities

Weapon Proficiencies: 2 Non-Weapon Proficiency Points: 18
Backstab 250
Called Shot Bonus (see notes) 150
Legend Lore ability (see notes) 100
Bonus Reaction Adjustment (see notes) 50 per +1
Thief Skills:
Pick Pockets 75
Open Locks 50
Find/Remove Traps 75
Move Silently 75
Hide in Shadows 75
Detect Noise 50
Climb Walls 75
Read Languages 50
Thief Skill Points (see notes) 50 per +1/lvl

Called Shot Bonus Called shots are -2 to hit and +1 to initiative instead of the standard -4 to hit and +2 to initiative
Legend Lore Ability As per Bard abilitity described in PHB
Reaction Adjustment Bonus to initiative, like the common Dex bonus house rule. Beware, don't let this get overused.
Thief Skill Points My rogue skills are based on d20 instead of d100 (IE, divide old numbers by 5). Base skill points per level to add to thief skills is 1 point per every 2 skills per level. (IE, 4 skills means +2 points per level). If you prefer the old system, then multiply the points by 5.

General Abilities

Weapon Prof. Advancment (see notes)75 per level faster
NWP Point Advancment (see notes)50 per +1/level
Hit Die: (select only one)
1d12 200
1d10 125
1d8 75
1d6 50
1d4 (default) 0
Thac0: (select only one)
Warrior 175
Priest 100
Rogue 50
Wizard (default) 0
Weapon Non-prof penalty adjustment (see notes) 50 per +1
Weapon Selection (see notes) 25 per tight group
Armor Selection (see notes) 50 * (8 - Max AC)
Shield Use (see notes) 25 per shield level
Savings Throw Bonus 25 per +1/category
Bonus NWPs (see notes) 50
Spell Immunity (w/ GM's approval) 50 per spell level
Spell-like effects (see notes) 25 per spell level/daily use
Use best S.T. for all classes (see notes) 50 per class
Choose skills from additional classes (see notes) 1st: 50 2nd: 100 3rd: 500
Ability penalties
Ability Delay (see notes) -(lvl/10)*ability cost

Weapon Prof Advancment Characters gain one weapon proficiency every 6 levels. Each time this option is purchased, the character gains a weapon proficiency one level earlier, to a maximum of 1 weapon proficiency gained every level.
NWP Point Advancement Characters gain one NWPP per level gained. Each time this option is purchased, the character gains an additional point per level.
Weapon Non-prof Penalty Characters start with a -6 to-hit penalty with weapons they are not proficient in. Each time this option is purchased, this penalty is reduced by one, to a minimum penalty of -1 when purchased 5 times.
Weapon Selection Tight groups are described in the Complete Fighter's Handbooks, and in the Skills & Powers book. Single weapons my be purchased for 10 xp each.
Armor Selection All characters may wear leather or worse armour without spending any points. Otherwise, figure cost of wearing heavier armour by using the non-magical AC of the most protective armor the character wishes to wear with the formula given.
Shield use Shield levels: Buckler: AC bonus 1, Small: AC bonus 2, Medium: AC bonus 3, Large: AC bonus 4.
Bonus NWPs Extra proficiency, bonus +1 for every 2 levels gained.
Spell-like effects For 3x the normal daily cost, the character can have a continous spell effect that is not interruptable. Example: Paladin's protection from Evil, 10' Radius.
Use best S.T. from all classes You must select the class and pick a skill from it before you can select this option.
Choose skills from additional classes This allows you to pick powers from a non-primary class and choose from that the NWPs of that class. Note that the cost is cumulative, so choosing powers from 2 additional classes costs 150 xps.
Ability Delay lvl is the level that the power is gained. For example, a power gained at 5th level (with first level power) costs 1/2 the normal cost.

Other penalties can be taken to reduce the total, at GM's approval.

Putting it all together

Use base to figure experience table using these multipliers:
Level Exp Level Exp
1 0 6 15x
2 1x 7 30x
3 2x 8 50x
4 4x 9 100x
5 8x 10 200x

Creation Example

A Holy Warrior (paladin):

Primarily a warrior: gains 4 WP, 12 NWPP, warrior Savings Throws, Warrior Followers, and can choose Warrior NWPs.

Exceptional Strength 150
Warrior Attacks 175
Weapon Specialization 175
Bonded Mount 50
Chose skills from Priest class 50
Paladin Spell progression 400
(delayed until 5th level) -200
Enhanced spell concentration 200
Turn undead (single attempt) 150
(delayed until 3rd level)- 50
Laying on hands (2 hp per level) 150
Use priest scrolls 100
Priest Spheres: 275
All 0
Healing 75
Necromantic 50
Charm 75
Combat 50
Protection 75
Divination 50
Weapon Prof. Advancment (1 prof/3 lvls) 225
1d10 Hit Die 125
Warrior Thac0 175
Weapon Non-prof penalty adjustment (-4) 100
Weapon Selection (8 tight groups) 200
Armor Selection (up to plate mail, AC 2) 300
Shield Use (up to Large shields) 100
Savings Throw Bonus (+2 to all saves) 250
Spell Immunity (Cause Disease) 150
Spell-like effects (Prot from Evil, 10', continous) 225
TOTAL: 3475

Experience Table:

Level Exp Level Exp
1 0 6 52,125
2 3,475 7 104,250
3 6,950 8 173,750
4 13,900 9 347,500
5 27,800 10 695,000

More expensive than the PHB paladin, but this is before negotiating any of the "disadvantages" with the DM.

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Brian Green,
© Copyright 2001