Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system

In the L&L column A Matter of Priorities, Mearls spoke about how your Class is the most important defining aspect of your character. Around the same time I read through the Dungeon World RPG. It gave me a fantastic idea to give each class some ability that really exemplifies how they interact with the world around them. Not just in combat, but all of the time.

 

 

So I came up with a system that gives each class a specific abilty that answers the question: Why do I want the XXXX class in my party? 

The ability must be something that is flexible, not too overpowered, and fun to use. Something that is very light on rules and heavy on roleplaying. I've been using this system for a while in my current compaign and thought I'd share. A class gains their ability at level 1.

 

In no particular order, I present to you Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

 

Wizard. You want a Wizard in your party because they can literally see magic.

Wizard Sight: Your knowledge of magic allows you to see what most people cannot. Your arcane mind has access to an extra sense called Wizard Sight. When you view the world with your Wizard Sight you can detect the presence of magic and identify magical effects. You spend a moment to open your Wizard Sight and look at the world around you. Make an Intelligence (Arcana) check and tell the DM what you are looking for. Depending on your result, the DM will describe one or more magical effects, possibly including their relative power level, type of magic, and an explanation of the effect. If you fail your check, you suffer a backlash of magic and you cannot use your Wizard’s Eye again until you take a Short Rest. This ability does not allow you to identify the specific properties of magical items. 

 

[Note: I am aware that this renders Detect Magic obsolete. I'm okay with this. This ability is a combination of the 4e Arcana check and the Wizard Sight from the Dresden Files book series. I love how this ability makes wizards the amazing magic users they are supposed to be. They just don't cast magic...they understand magic. I'm also fond of the "backlash" from a failed check. It shows that magic isn't always easy to use and it can be dangerous.]

 

 

Ranger. You want a Ranger in your party because they know a lot about the creatures in the world.

Hunter’s Instincts: Your connection with the wild gives you supernatural instincts about the creatures you encounter. You spend a moment to observe a creature and its behavior. Make a Wisdom (Perception) check and ask the DM any one question about the creature. The DM will tell you something useful about the creature that you notice or discover. A failed check might reveal false information.

 

[Note: I love how this ties in with Tracking and Favored Enemy, both things the Ranger is known for. A Ranger isn't just good at fighting creatures. They are good at understanding their behavior as well. Using their Hunter's Instincts, the Ranger might sense that a creature is close to fleeing due to low morale. Or perhaps they notice that the Manticore is out of tail spikes. Or perhaps they realize that one of those goblins is a sorcerer!]

 

 

Cleric. You want a Cleric in your party because the gods are on their side.

Favor of [deity name]: When you complete religious acts in the name of your deity, you may be granted Favor from the deity. When you are Favored, you may pray to your deity for the answer to a single question or help completing a single task. The DM will determine how to answer the question or how to provide with you a boon to completing the task. You can only benefit from being Favored once per Short Rest. 

 

[Note: How you gain favor is up to the DM and the player. One example could be destroying an evil altar with a prayer and a vial of holy water. The benefits are also intentionally vague. "The lord works in mysterious ways," as the saying goes. I like how this ability has almost unlimited potential. And I absolutely love how this ability really exemplifies where a Cleric's power comes from.]

 

 

Monk. You want a Monk in your party because they provide invaluable insight about the world around them.

Meditation: You are in tune with the world around you, both physically and spiritualls. After you spend a moment in meditation, everything comes into focus and you can achieve a momentary insight of clarity. Make a Wisdom (Insight) check and ask the DM a single question about a difficult task at hand. The DM will reveal something useful to you about completing the task. Perhaps the answer was there all along...perhaps not.

 

[Note: Monks have a serious lack of non-combat abilities. This one reinforces the inner calm and wisdom of the Monk. Aside from bonus AC and Ki DCs, a Monk's Wisdom has never really mattered much to their behavior as a class. How is the Monk different from a naked Fighter with "magical powers"? This is how. Being a Monk isn't just about combat training. It's a way of being. Say the Monk wants to enter a guarded castle. This ability might reveal any one of the following bits of knowledge: a) You see the best way to climb the castle walls without being seen, b) You intuitively understand what the guards would accept as a bribe to enter the castle, or c) You correctly guess about a small service gate down by the river. This ability provides knowledge and it's up to the Monk how to use it.]

 

 

Paladin. You want a Paladin in your party because once they vow to do something they never give up until it's done.

Paladin Quest: You dedicate yourself to a mission or cause through prayer and ritual cleansing. When you choose to embark upon a Paladin Quest, you state your quest to the DM. While you are undertaking your chosen Quest, your deity grants you specific Boons to help you, but also requires you to keep a Vow to maintain your blessing. You and the DM determine what the Boons and Vows will be and how many of each. You can only undertake one Quest at a time.

 

[Note: Who doesn't love the classic "holy quest"? This one really emphasizes that the Paladin isn't a just Fighter/Cleric. They are champions dedicated to a cause. They swear oaths and form bonds and uphold good conduct. They are honorable and reliable. The details of the quest, boons, and vows are up to you, which makes it an awesome roleplaying tool. A Paladin is only as good as their word and that word has POWER. ]

 

Rogue. You want a Rogue in your party because they always have a trick up their sleeve to gain the upperhand.

The Upperhand: You have knack for finding solutions to just about any problem. You spend a moment to survey the area around you. Make an Intelligence (Search) check to see what you find. You may ask the DM to reveal a hidden danger in the area or to grant you a useful piece of information about the environment that can exploit to gain the upperhandA failed check might result in false information.

 

[Note: This expands upon the normal Search check to give Rogues opportunities to exploit their surroundings. This ability doesn't just discover traps...it tells the Rogue how to use the trap to their advantage. e.g. "You could modify this trap to swing the other way and hit the enemy". The ability could also tell the rogue something like "You notice a rope hanging from the wall. If you cut it, the chandelier will fall on the enemies." I like that this isn't always successful and that the Rogue has a chance of getting false information too. I think that's a lot more fun than just saying: "you don't find anything useful." The DM gets a chance to put the Rogue in a tough spot because they picked up on some shoddy information. A really clever Player might even be able to turn false information to their advantage anyway. Players always find a way to surprise the DM and Rogues should be the king of this. ]

 

 

Druid. You want a Druid in your party because they can literally speak with nature.

Druidic: You speak and write Druidic, the secret language of druids. You can use it to leave hidden messages for anyone else that also knows the secret language. Druidic is also used to communicate with beasts and plants. The communication and quality of information is limited by the creature's intelligence. The information might also be biased by the creature's own temperment and natural instincts. 

 

[Note: I am aware that this renders Speak with Animals obsolete. I'm okay with this. The Druidic language has always been mostly useless because no one but druids speak it. Why not let it be a universal language of sorts to communicate with the wild? Druids SHOULD be able to do this. I love how this ability lets the Druids interact with the world by communicating with nature. Also, it turns an existing "meh" ability into something really useful and character defining.]

 

 

Bard. You want a Bard in your party because they know a little bit about everything. 

Bardic Knowledge: As written in the Class document.

 

[Note: I think this ability already sums up the Bard pretty well. No need to change/add anything.]

 

Fighter. You want a Fighter in your party because they always a good ally to have when things get tough.

Warrior Strategy. Your skill at battle lends itself to all kinds of situations. A negotiation is nothing but a mental sword duel. Your instincts tell you that running across that rickety bridge is a bad idea right now. Everything you do is influenced by your martial skills and training. Before you perform a dangerous or difficult task, you spend a moment considering strategy. Once you pick a strategy, you may ask the DM one question about your strategy. The DM will try to best answer your question and tell you if that strategy is likely to work or not. If you still fail at the task, even after using your Warrior Strategy, then you begin to doubt yourself and cannot use this ability again until after you complete a Short Rest.

 

[Note: I like this because it represents a Fighter's survivability in more ways than just "more hit points". Essentially, this ability is a way to give Fighters some "Plot Armor". By applying their skill at combat to all situations, Fighters tap into a sort of sixth sense that guides their actions towards more favorable outcomes. Victory or success is never certain, but when you have a Fighter with you, your chances greatly improve! This ability is also kind of like gaining Advantage without rolling. The Fighter can basically ask the DM, "will this strategy work?" And the DM's answer will give the Fighter a chance to confirm a good idea or decide against a bad idea.]

 

 

Barbarian

???

 

 

[Note: I have not come up with anything for these classes yet, but that's mostly because we don't have a Barbarian or Fighter in our current playtest group. I might think of something to add later and edit the thread.]

 

EDIT: added a Class Defining Ability for the Fighter.

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Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

I think this question, "Why do you want N in your group?" ought to be the basis for class design. 

 

So I love what you've done here. 

 

For the fighter, it may help to think of him as a specific adventurer and not a generic "fighting man" class that every NPC takes. 

 

Idk. I'm thinking if the fighter helps you put on your armor, you get an extra +1 AC until you take it off. Or maybe he has a battle cry that can dismay his enemies, attract enemy attention, or bolster an ally. 

 

Maybe his understanding of war and conflict mean he doesn't need to roll initiative - he can just choose his moment to act (and that becomes his initiative). 

These are nice. I don't care that detect magic or speak with animals and the like are rendered unnecessary either. I typically just rule them at will anyway.

 

So Fighter maybe gets something llike:

 

Tactical Advantage: Using a bit of trained combat knowledge - Intelligence or Wisdom check (with a bonus equal to Expertise, ie double proficiency bonus as per the newest ruling) to idk, survey a battle scene and discover something similar to the rogue's Upperhand. Or with a successful check recall a historical battle and can apply some circumstantial benefit to the overall combat like impose disadvantage on the enemy's first round of combat.

 

I like Bawylie's idea of some initiative booster. He makes a check and success grants a bonus to initiative equal to his proficiency modifier and he can use that at any point in the combat. Failed check may result in a penalty of the same to initiative.

 

 

Barbarian:

 

Barbaric Presence:

The barbarian yells with great ferocity at the start of a battle, causing the enemies to have a penalty to their initiative equal to his proficiency modifier.

 

Just tossin some ideas. Love the concept.

Fighter. You want a Fighter in your party because they have an unparalleled grasp of combat.

Tactics: By spending your reaction at the beginning of combat, you can choose one willing creature that can see and hear you and who can hear and see you.  The chosen creature can reroll Initiative with a bonus equal to the highest of your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier, and takes that new positition in the Initiative order.

 

Just a thought.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

Great stuff, Ramzour!

 

I had an idea similar to Timmee's Barbaric Presence, but I'd also add an out-of-combat aspect. Perhaps Intimidation checks can be used with either Strength or Constitution ability scores, or maybe add either modifier score to the total check value.

Trill.

bawylie wrote:
I think this question, "Why do you want N in your group?" ought to be the basis for class design. 

 

So I love what you've done here. 

 

For the fighter, it may help to think of him as a specific adventurer and not a generic "fighting man" class that every NPC takes. 

 

Idk. I'm thinking if the fighter helps you put on your armor, you get an extra +1 AC until you take it off. Or maybe he has a battle cry that can dismay his enemies, attract enemy attention, or bolster an ally. 

 

Maybe his understanding of war and conflict mean he doesn't need to roll initiative - he can just choose his moment to act (and that becomes his initiative). 

Yes! Great ideas for the Fighter.

 

I really want to avoid strict mechanic benefits for these Class Abilities. I know it's tempting, but it's also really lazy design. Not to mention boring! The character skill should be rules-lite and provide only vague mechanical benefits. It's primarily supposed to be a roleplaying tool. 

 

But okay, you're still on to something and you've inspired me. Here's an idea for the Fighter.

 

Fighter. You want a Fighter in your party because they always a good ally to have when things get tough.

Warrior Strategy. Your skill at battle lends itself to all kinds of situations. A negotiation is nothing but a mental sword duel. Your instincts tell you that running across that rickety bridge is a bad idea right now. Everything you do is influenced by your martial skills and training. Before you perform a dangerous or difficult task, you spend a moment considering strategy. Once you pick a strategy, you may ask the DM one question about your strategy. The DM will try to best answer your question and tell you if that strategy is likely to work or not. If you still fail at the task, even after using your Warrior Strategy, then you begin to doubt yourself and cannot use this ability again until after you complete a Short Rest.

 

[Note: I like this because it represents a Fighter's survivability in more ways than just "more hit points". Essentially, this ability is a way to give Fighters some "Plot Armor". By applying their skill at combat to all situations, Fighters tap into a sort of sixth sense that guides their actions towards more favorable outcomes. Victory or success is never certain, but when you have a Fighter with you, your chances greatly improve! This ability is also kind of like gaining Advantage without rolling. The Fighter can basically ask the DM, "will this strategy work?" And the DM's answer will give the Fighter a chance to confirm a good idea or decide against a bad idea.]

 

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Timmee wrote:
These are nice. I don't care that detect magic or speak with animals and the like are rendered unnecessary either. I typically just rule them at will anyway.

Glad I'm not the only one that does this! Really this not overpowered as long as you include a few clever restrictions. Wizard Sight can "blind" you fo a while. And communicating with animals (or plants!!!) through Druidic is never completely reliable because they don't think like humanoids do. Once you include those potential consequences, then the abilities are fine at-will.

 

Also, any caster class can probably cast Detect Magic as a spell....but only WIZARDS can simply detect magic around them at-will....not even sorcerers or warlocks can do that. I really like that distinction.

 

Timmee wrote:
So Fighter maybe gets something llike:

 

Tactical Advantage: Using a bit of trained combat knowledge - Intelligence or Wisdom check (with a bonus equal to Expertise, ie double proficiency bonus as per the newest ruling) to idk, survey a battle scene and discover something similar to the rogue's Upperhand. Or with a successful check recall a historical battle and can apply some circumstantial benefit to the overall combat like impose disadvantage on the enemy's first round of combat.

 

I like Bawylie's idea of some initiative booster. He makes a check and success grants a bonus to initiative equal to his proficiency modifier and he can use that at any point in the combat. Failed check may result in a penalty of the same to initiative.

 

 

Barbarian:

Barbaric Presence:

The barbarian yells with great ferocity at the start of a battle, causing the enemies to have a penalty to their initiative equal to his proficiency modifier.

 

Just tossin some ideas. Love the concept.

All good ideas. I like the direction you're heading. I prefer them to be as non-mechanical as possible. That way they don't have a chance of breaking the system. When you look at all of the Abilities I wrote up in the OP, they're all about knowledge. Whether it's noticing something useful or being able to communicate more effectively, it all boils down to knowledge. I also like how the abilities specifically interact with the DM. It encourages mutual roleplaying. Mechanical bonuses are fine, but they end up being boring and not very memorable. +1s get lost in the shuffle and Advantage is way too powerful to give out willy nilly. But, when the characters have knowledge, it's up to them how to use it! 

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Optional thought when it comes to Druids:

 

Druid: You want a druid in your party because the environment itself communes with her.

World Communion: Anywhere a druid goes, the environment is a rich tapestry for her to read. By taking a full action to get a feel for the local environment, the druid can ask one question about the current circumstances.

 

- What creatures are in the immediate area?

- Is there an ambush ahead?

- What sort of traffic has this area seen lately?

- Are there sources of edible food or water nearby?

 

 

 

At least, this is just off the top of my head, so it may or may not be workable.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

While I think the downside to the fighter's ability is a wee bit harsh, I love the overall concept, as well as the other abilities for the other classes. The monk in particular. 

 

This is is a really good idea, and I will most definitely adopt it for my own games. 

Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.

strider1276 wrote:
Optional thought when it comes to Druids:

 

Druid: You want a druid in your party because the environment itself communes with her.

World Communion: Anywhere a druid goes, the environment is a rich tapestry for her to read. By taking a full action to get a feel for the local environment, the druid can ask one question about the current circumstances.

 

- What creatures are in the immediate area?

- Is there an ambush ahead?

- What sort of traffic has this area seen lately?

- Are there sources of edible food or water nearby?

 

At least, this is just off the top of my head, so it may or may not be workable.

Not a bad idea! Could use some refining, but that's not hard. Actually, this could work for Rangers too.

 

If this system becomes more robust, I could see a class getting multiple options too. So maybe you can have an animal-speaking druid or a world-tree druid, for instance.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

Foxface wrote:
While I think the downside to the fighter's ability is a wee bit harsh, I love the overall concept, as well as the other abilities for the other classes. The monk in particular. 

 

This is is a really good idea, and I will most definitely adopt it for my own games. 

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

 

I'm curious, what do you think is too harsh about the Fighter one? My intent was to prevent a character from "spamming" the ability, but I also didn't want to hardcode a usage limit. I like the "soft cap" better where if you're lucky you can keep using it. But if you're not lucky, you can only use it once and then have to take a Short Rest to get it back. 

 

I'm open to suggestions if you have them, though! Part of the reason why I posted these was to get community feedback and collective brainstorming, etc.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

souldoubt wrote:
Fighter. You want a Fighter in your party because they have an unparalleled grasp of combat.

Tactics: By spending your reaction at the beginning of combat, you can choose one willing creature that can see and hear you and who can hear and see you.  The chosen creature can reroll Initiative with a bonus equal to the highest of your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier, and takes that new positition in the Initiative order.

Hey, thanks for the contribution. It was good inspiration for the one I ended writing up.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

jtfowler wrote:
Great stuff, Ramzour!

 

I had an idea similar to Timmee's Barbaric Presence, but I'd also add an out-of-combat aspect. Perhaps Intimidation checks can be used with either Strength or Constitution ability scores, or maybe add either modifier score to the total check value.

Thanks!

 

I'm always a bit torn with the whole Strength vs Charisma Intimidation thing. On one hand Charisma makes the most sense in the way Charisma is defined. But on the other hand it punishes the Fighter because he doesn't have the same kind of skill synergy as other classes do. The Mage, for instance, gets pretty much all Intelligence skills. The Monk gets all Dex and Wis skills. Both have amazing synergy. The Fighter, however, doesn't get that. I'm not completely convinced that using Strength (or Con) for Intimidate is the best solution. I feel like it would be better solved in another way. Perhaps the Fighter has Expertise in Intimidate? Not sure.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

These are awesome flavor enhancers for the classes! I'd suggest that they all be 1 / Short Rest. And that they all either take 1 action in combat, or take at least a minute to work, which makes them unsuitable for most combats. 

 

Barbarian could have a sense of who's the strongest or weakest in a group of opponents. 

 

Warlocks have Patrons. Example: A demon. So perhaps they could be able to communicate or intuit the intent of demons in general?

 

Sorcerers should be able to use The Weave and how it interacts with others to determine their mood. Just like the observed is in an egg-shaped Mood Ring bubble. 

 

I was just going to say that a Warlock can Speak w/ Patron-similar creatures. But I don't know Warlocks from dirt having never played one or even seen one played. 

 

Sorcerers the same. But since Wizards can see The Weave let Sorceres use it to communicate with magical creatures after a fashion. 

Ramzour wrote:

 

Foxface wrote:
While I think the downside to the fighter's ability is a wee bit harsh, I love the overall concept, as well as the other abilities for the other classes. The monk in particular. 

 

This is is a really good idea, and I will most definitely adopt it for my own games. 

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

 

I'm curious, what do you think is too harsh about the Fighter one? My intent was to prevent a character from "spamming" the ability, but I also didn't want to hardcode a usage limit. I like the "soft cap" better where if you're lucky you can keep using it. But if you're not lucky, you can only use it once and then have to take a Short Rest to get it back. 

 

I'm open to suggestions if you have them, though! Part of the reason why I posted these was to get community feedback and collective brainstorming, etc.

 

Now that I think about it more, it's not the downside being to harsh, it's that the potential benefit is too little to be worth it. But then again, I favor more codified effects a la 4e, so take that for what it is. 

 

What I really like about your idea, irrespective of the actual content, is that classes should have a hook and it should be available from the get go at level 1. This waiting until 3rd level to feel like you are finally your class isn't working for me.

 

I like that your class abilities are no limit. While not exactly at-will, there is no countdown. I don't like x/day mechanics. They bother me, and the more "cool down" style of 4e just felt better to me. 

Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.

E-Tallitnics wrote:

These are awesome flavor enhancers for the classes! I'd suggest that they all be 1 / Short Rest. And that they all either take 1 action in combat, or take at least a minute to work, which makes them unsuitable for most combats. 

 

Barbarian could have a sense of who's the strongest or weakest in a group of opponents. 

 

Warlocks have Patrons. Example: A demon. So perhaps they could be able to communicate or intuit the intent of demons in general?

 

Sorcerers should be able to use The Weave and how it interacts with others to determine their mood. Just like the observed is in an egg-shaped Mood Ring bubble. 

 

I was just going to say that a Warlock can Speak w/ Patron-similar creatures. But I don't know Warlocks from dirt having never played one or even seen one played. 

 

Sorcerers the same. But since Wizards can see The Weave let Sorceres use it to communicate with magical creatures after a fashion. 

Thanks for the kind words!

 

At first I tried to make them all mechanically universal (like 1/Short Rest and 1 minute duration, like you suggest). However, I felt that it was an unneccessary restriction. Most of them are already pretty similar, but forcing them all to be like that didn't feel right. But, if you have some suggestions on how to change any, please share.

 

In general I tried very hard to avoid hardcoding numbers into the abilities. I'm honestly not too concerned whether the ability takes 1 action, 1 minute, or 10 minutes to complete. My style of play is more open-ended when it comes to numbers (weapon/spell range, movement speed, gridless combat, etc.). So when the ability says, "you take a moment to...", the length of a "moment" is defined by the story. Whatever makes the most sense is the proper duration. But all of that said, a standard 1 minute duration is probably a great compromise. I just didn't want to explicity ban it from being used in as a combat Action if it made sense at the time.

 

I like your idea for the Barbarian and Warlock! 

I find it hard to differentiate between the Barbarian, Ranger, and Fighter, honestly. They could all be considered "wilderness warriors" with the proper build. Your suggestion for the Barbarian could easily be a Fighter or Ranger ability. And the Ranger ability I wrote up could easily be a Barbarian or Fighter ability. I'll have to think carefully on this. Feel free to help me brainstorm!

 

The Warlock is a lot easier, though. They have otherworldly patrons. I see them having an ability that's a cross between the Cleric Favor and the Paladin Quest. They make "deals" with their patron to gain information, but they give up something in the process. In fact, it would be cool if there were no stacking limits to the number of times a warlock could invoke his patron. The Warlock could make a lot of deals with his patron, but those consequences get out of control quickly. 

 

The Sorcerer is a bit hard to figure out, like the barbarian. In fact, I see the Sorcerer as the "magic Barbarian" and the Wizard is the "magic Fighter". Where do sorcerers fit in the arcane classes? Sorcerers have ultimate magic power (like a wizard) but they also are "linked" to some other power from their heritage (similar to the warlock's pact). Hmm. Definitely need some more thinking on this.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

I like this, sort of a Background type deal for classes.

 

I love that 5th Ed is so easy to slap stuff on.

Brock_Landers wrote:
I like this, sort of a Background type deal for classes.

 

I love that 5th Ed is so easy to slap stuff on.

Exactly. It can be the precursor to your subclass. You get THIS at level 1, and your subclass at level 2/3. 

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

You should bring this over to the 5e forums and update it to coincide with the latest rules.

"Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind."

~ David G. Allen