3.5e Variant Rules

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Transformational Variant Rules
Article Description
Adjusted SRD Armors This rule slightly modifies the statistics of the SRD armors, lessening their total AC range while clarifying their categorical distinctions.
Alignments by Color People are complicated and cannot simply be plopped on a two-dimensional grid. This changes the 3 by 3 grid into a color wheel that defines the motivation of characters.
All Ability Skills This variant rule gives focused skill points based on all ability scores, giving non-Intelligence focused classes something to do while also specializing them appropriately.
Alternative Armor and Weapon Enhancement Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Alternative Graft Rules A rewrite of the game's graft rules.
Alternative Iterative Attacks Make full attacks with every attack (including the first) at a set penalty, instead of gradually increasing penalties.
Alternative Take X
Attacks Variant
Attrition-based Campaigns Where running out of spells, hitpoints, or water actually matters.
Background-Based Skills
Balanced Skills
Balanced Wealth
Better Full Attacks
Better Poison Implementation A way to make poison more game-relevant.
Better Poisons Poisons usable in combat without breaking the game.
Better Sunder Rules Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Bonus Invocations Invokers gain additional invocations for having a high Charisma.
Broken Shields
CR-Based Turning Hit Dice account for the actual power of Undead very poorly, so we'll use Challenge Rating as a better metric.
Capped Modifiers and DCs Attack rolls, saving throws, DCs, and armor class can get a little wonky what with all the miscellaneous bonuses. This variant fixes that.
Caster Levels Progression Variant
Class Templates
Condensed Skills
Condensed Skills, Deemphasize First Level Condenses skills and no particular weight to level one compared to any other level
Cosmic Damage Type Only the power of the gods can defeat creatures with DR/cosmic!
Crit Dice A system replacing threat ranges with crit dice.
Critical Resistance Break through the immunity to critical hits and sneak attacks for some types of creatures, if you've brought the right weaponry.
Dark Sacrifice A replacement for the BoVD sacrifice rules.
Delayed Spellcasting This spellcasting nerf technically extends spellcasting time by delaying when in initiative the spell goes off.
Dying 3.75 Edition Expand the range between dying and dead, allowing combats at higher levels to be less all-or-nothing.
Dying is Serious Make death actually mean something - no more revolving door!
E20
ECL 1 Reincarnation Table An alternate table for reincarnate, not that you were going to use that spell anyway.
Effects of Aging, Revised Makes aging less wonky and more customizable. Also repurposes Unearthed Arcana flaws and gives longer lived kindreds more skills.
Eldritch Obscurement A skill to remain unnoticed by eldritch horrors.
Expanded Armor Class A needlessly complicated expansion to Armor Class.
Expanded Movement Options
Expanded Summon Monster Expand the summon monster series of spells.
Expanded Weapon Size Damage A list of increased die damage for sizes above colossal, as well as a variant which does not progress quite so rapidly.
Exploits Fancy tricks for mundanes.
Failure is not the End
Feat Purchasing
Ffumble Chart Everyone hates fumble rules. But what if they were entertaining?
Fixed Bonus Types
Fortitude Dying Resistance Dying is now based on your Fortitude, not -10 for everyone.
Functional Craft Item Rule Make crafting items a viable option and not simply a waste of skill points.
Functional Craft Trap Make crafting traps a viable option, and not just a waste of skill points.
Functional Weapons of Legacy The weapon of legacy rules suck. These ones don't.
Gestalt Style Multiclassing A multiclassing variant that advances between 2 and 4 classes simultaneously, removing dips and multiclass patch prestige classes.
Grievous Wounds As you fight you are inflicted with lasting wounds
Half Damage for Everyone Half damage FOR EVERYONE.
Hit Die Adjustment As you gain experience, you learn how to take more damage.
Intelligence and Skill Make low Int character less boned in the game of skill.
Intimidate, Spanambula Variant Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Knowledge as it Should Be A Knowledge skill where low rolls aren't a crippling gap in knowledge, they're a temporary setback.
Lengthened Spellcasting
Level Adjustment Dice This rule is simple. It turns LA into hit dice.
Level Adjustments Variant Level Adjustments suck, but rather than having to deal with the level loss, you could simply add racial hit dice, even to a template.
Light Speach This is the opposite to Dark Speech.
Limited Powerful Feats Reduce the runaway inflation that adding actually useful feats to the game creates.
Limited Spell Levels
Logical Caster Level A much needed fix.
Magical Focus Implements Fighters have to pay, and get to acquire, magical weaponry. Now, so can casters..
Magicka Yet another attempt to balance out spellcasting.
Masterwork Guns Some better masterworking options for guns.
Masterwork Variant
Miss Chances, Revised
Monstrous Player Characters
More Fear Stages
Multiclassing Save Progression A simple adjustment to save progressions when multiclassing.
NPC Levels Instead of LA As simple as it sounds: substitute LA with NPC class levels.
Nerfed Death Nerf instant death effects, making them bring you to -1 and dying instead.
New Level-Dependent Benefits
New weapon requirements
No AC, Just Save and Use Protection Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Non-Combat Confusion Confusion is a devastating effect in battle, but sometimes confusion (and its older brother insanity) persists outside of combat. Especially insanity. What is a fine mechanic in combat becomes clunky or nonsensical out of combat. Perhaps here is what happens outside of combat...
Nonliving Critical Objects have structural weak points, too. Now you can critical hit against a wall and bash it down.
Normalized Random Numbers Replace your dice with decks of cards in order to force an even distribution of rolls.
Original Race Rebuilding
Planar Flag Alignments
Pokemon Contests Contests for the pokemon d20 project - like skill challenges, except good
Pokémon Types Do you want your Pokémon's typing to actually matter? Then this variant rule is for you!
Precision Resistance Chance to bypass immunity or fortification to critical hits.
Progressive Poisons Combination of many poison rules, including SRD, PF, and variant collections.
Psionic Pools Divide power points into two pools of energy; one recharges while the other acts like the typical power point reserve.
Ranged Weapon Rebalanced Some simple rule changes regarding most bows and crossbows.
Realistic Weapon Damage [April Fools] Multiply damage done to creature by its level and a modifier based on size.
Reasonable Base Saving Throws Obvious rule patch to base saving throws of multiclass characters.
Recharging Magic
Recharging Power Points
Refresh Spellcasting A different spellcasting system where different spell levels recharge at different rates. It means at high levels, low level spells may be used at whim while higher level spells take a long time to refresh.
Researching Spells WotC says spellcasters can research new spells, but then forgot to tell you how. Well, here's how.
Resistance Revamped Resistance Revamped aims to make the transition from resistance to immunity less jarring.
Restricted Aligned Spells Aligned spells may only be cast by spellcasters who worship a deity of that alignment.
Retroactive Skill Points Whenever your Intelligence bonus permanently increases, you gain skill points as if you've always had it that way.
Revised Feats, Flaws and Traits Change the way feats, flaws and trait work.
Revised Intimidate DC Change the DC needed to intimidate a creature.
Revised Magic Arms and Armor This variant rule aims to introduce a more gradual power curve to magical weapons, armors and shields.
Revised Mental Ability Scores Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Revised Overland Movement and Fatigue Rules These rules are intended to better model the unfortunate truth that is fatigue while also allowing for characters to exceed their normal limits as they grow in level.
Revised Size
Revised Skills and Knowledges Divides skills into knowledge-type and applied-type skills.
Same Progression Stacking Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Saving Throws Rebalanced An attempt at making saving throws scale with DCs instead of utterly out-scaling them.
Scaling Benefits A different take on New Level Dependant Benefits.
Scaling Item DCs
Scaling Item Qualities This variant aims to make weapon and armor qualities scale along with their effective value.
Scaling Level Adjustments Level adjustments are adjustments.
Scaling Maneuvers Maneuvers that deal d6 damage scale with level, as spells.
Shields Revised Alters the functionality of shields so they actually act like shields.
Simplified Experience
Simplified Items
Simplified Races
Simplified Social Interaction You can now use your social maneuvers faster in-combat.
Simplified Special Attacks
Source-Limited Bonuses Replaces the normal non-stacking rule for bonuses with one based on the source of the bonus.
Spellcasting
Stacking Ability Modifiers
Standardized Bonus Types
Superior DR/Magic This is a superior DR/magic similar to 3.0e, without needing to retroactively determine appropriate enhancement amounts.
Time and Experience Slowing down constant adventuring syndrome.
Tome Armor Rules for Tome armor. Meant to replace the unfinished Races of War rules for armor.
Tome Magic Items Rules for creating, using, and giving out magic items in a Tome game. Meant to replace the unfinished Book of Gears sections on magic items.
Truespeak Fix Truespeak, and truenamers, are terrible. I try my best to fix it by throwing most of it out.
Turn Undead An easier to understand, more simple, and less complicated version of Turn Undead that isn't an all-or-nothing mechanic.
Useful Ability Scores This variant rule adds additional abilities and variables to ability scores, as well as correcting some of their shortcomings.
Useful Counterspelling
Valuable Currency
Variable Darkvision Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Variant Reach
Waypoint Style Teleportation A complete teleportation replacement that supports different narratives, and lacks some potentially abuseable elements.
Supplemental Variant Rules
Article Description
Ability Arrays
Adaptive Style Errata Reworking the poorly thought out prerequisites on a feat to allow for future classes.
Additional Combat Special Attacks Additional special attacks beyond the basics, such as bull rush, disarm, and grappling.
Additional Epic Spell Factors Additional epic spell factors, for creating new epic spells., Extra epic spell factors from where the epic level handbook forgot a few changes.
Advanced Wars Rules for mass combat within D&D.
Adventurer's Skill Knack Characters should pick up a bit of the skills they see around them, even if they don't actively practice these tricks themselves.
Aging Overhaul
All Ability Skills This variant rule gives focused skill points based on all ability scores, giving non-Intelligence focused classes something to do while also specializing them appropriately.
Arc of Effect A slightly different type of line of effect that can potentially bypass obstacles on the ground... and can also potentially be blocked by obstacles in the air. It's all a matter of height.
Balanced Metamagic Be vehwy vehwy quiet, I'm wehrking magic., I can bend space with but a twitch of my fingers! Oops...
Basic Magic Strike
Belief, Fate, and Destiny
Believability
Better Counterspelling
Better Disease Implementation
Better Hit Points
Better Initiative
Blood Magic A new type of spellcasting which has a hp cost and spell fatigue as its limitations, rather than spells per day.
Bonus Invocations Invokers gain additional invocations for having a high Charisma.
Capped Skill Bonus
Catalyst Magic A mild nerf to casters, spellcasting now requires some sort of catalyst such as a "magic wand".
Chariot
Chocobo Breeding
Chocobo Breeding Alternative
Chocobo Mounts
Cinematic Critical Hit
Common Magic Opening up really weak magic to everyone!
Construct Subtypes Giving the Tome of Necromancy treatment to constructs, who so dearly need it.
Crit Dice A system replacing threat ranges with crit dice.
Cross-Discipline Maneuvers Maneuvers that belong to more than one school.
Cure Wounds Buff
Custom Weapon Creation
Dark Insight Useful in games with eldritch horrors hidden in the background, dark insight represents an awareness of the reality behind reality. It can be useful boon, or a terrible bane.
Dark Insight Spells Rules for dark spells and forbidden magic to work in tandem with dark insight.
Dark Sacrifice A replacement for the BoVD sacrifice rules.
Declaratory Initiative
Die Pool for Ability Scores Roll lots of d6 and place 3 results into each ability to determine ability scores.
Discipline Addition
Dual Preparation Casting
Durability Training Increase your HP total while remaining within the expected range.
Eldritch Obscurement A skill to remain unnoticed by eldritch horrors.
Expanded Armor A variety of special mundane armors for the seasoned adventurer.
Expanded Armor Class A needlessly complicated expansion to Armor Class.
Expanded Psicrystal Personalities Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Expanded Size Categories Expanded sizes from smaller than fine and bigger than colossal. Now compatible with current size categories without alteration!
Expanded Summon Monster Expand the summon monster series of spells.
Exploits Fancy tricks for mundanes.
Falling Damage
Feral Strike Feral strike weapons are presented as an alternative to granting natural weapons.
Fragile Weapons [April Fools] Weapons break when you get really good damage rolls.
Grace Points
Graze Damage Deal a little damage, even on a miss.
Grievous Wounds As you fight you are inflicted with lasting wounds
Half-Damage on Hit Roll equal to AC When an attack roll equals the target's AC, the damage done by the damage roll is halved.
Healing Surges
Hellfrost The freezing counterpart to hellfire, no amount of cold resistance will save you.
Hit Die Adjustment As you gain experience, you learn how to take more damage.
Holding Back A variant rule which allow you to deal less damage.
Identifying Vestiges Tome of Magic forgot to include rules for identifying vestiges. Well, here they are.
Ignoring Opponents Ignoring opponents is a dangerous, but occasionally effective, way to ignore the penalty for being flanked.
Innate Spell Evolution A retraining variant for spontaneous casters with spells known progressions.
Intimidate, Spanambula Variant Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Light Speach This is the opposite to Dark Speech.
Magical Defibrillation What do you do when an ally dies in combat, there is no healer in the party (or worse, the one who died was the healer), and you don’t have time to trek back to a temple? Jump start their heart with magical electricity..
Mana-Based Spellcasting
Masterwork Guns Some better masterworking options for guns.
Mindbreak Mindbreak represents the assimilation of harmful eldritch knowledge.
Minimum Skill Points 4 + Int skill points per level is the minimum for a PC.
Montage Skill Retraining Skill retraining rules to give skilled classes more flexibility so that they can prepare for more varied situations.
More Stable Saves
New weapon requirements
Non-Combat Confusion Confusion is a devastating effect in battle, but sometimes confusion (and its older brother insanity) persists outside of combat. Especially insanity. What is a fine mechanic in combat becomes clunky or nonsensical out of combat. Perhaps here is what happens outside of combat...
Non-Magical Healing Arts
Pathfinder Oracle Curses as Tome Feats
Playing Chocobos
Pokemon Contests Contests for the pokemon d20 project - like skill challenges, except good
Pokémon Types Do you want your Pokémon's typing to actually matter? Then this variant rule is for you!
Prepared Spontaneous Casting
Proficiency Purchase Weapon and armor proficiency is often a waste of a feat. Learn them by giving up time, gold, and xp instead of a precious feat slot. It is also more representative to those who train to become weapon masters.
Psionic Pools Divide power points into two pools of energy; one recharges while the other acts like the typical power point reserve.
Quasi-gestalt Designed to work with E6, E20, and other E-something systems, quasi-gestalt offers horizontal growth once you've hit your level cap.
Racial Class Skills Skills with racial bonuses become class skills for all classes.
Reactive Stealth Revised rules for hide and move silently checks that make them success checks rather than DC setting checks.
Reasonable Base Saving Throws Obvious rule patch to base saving throws of multiclass characters.
Refillable Potions Many people don't use potions, hoarding them but never actually using them for the most part. This fixes that issue.
Researching Spells WotC says spellcasters can research new spells, but then forgot to tell you how. Well, here's how.
Revised Fear Effects Rules to bring fear effects more in line with other conditions and to increase the differences between fear levels.
Revised Feats, Flaws and Traits Change the way feats, flaws and trait work.
Revised Pickpocketing Pickpocketing rules that make theft more accessible, even if actually getting away with it remains difficult.
Revised Riding Rules This variant rule is designed to streamline the actions available in the ride system, and to make it scale more appropriately to more fantastic, and higher CR, mounts.
Rituals You can share your rituals with others., You are a wealth of knowledge, and can research rituals far faster than your peers., You can "hang" a ritual for later use., Your rituals last far longer than others'., You succeed at casting rituals far more often than your peers., You can cast rituals on the fly a small number of times per day., Your mind is a repository of rituals that few can challenge in its depth.
Rushes Tome of Battle has maneuvers for most of the major action types: Strikes for standard/full-round, boosts for swift, and counters for immediate. What about some things for move actions?
Sadmad Point-Buy A variant point buy rule that seeks to allow for both single and multiple attribute dependent builds to receive more or less equal love.
Scaling Level Adjustments Level adjustments are adjustments.
Shields Revised Alters the functionality of shields so they actually act like shields.
Simplified Skills
Sleep Deprivation The rules for sleep deprivation are either hard to find or nonexistent, as a result I made this set of somewhat simple rules. These rules are aimed at making it hard to skip a day of sleep without it being overwhelming. Not meant to be super realistic.
Sniping Skills Apply Concentration checks to improve sniping abilities, and makes sniping a more viable strategy.
Social Archetype
Spell Chains A suggestion to make spell selectionhave pre-requisites based on previous themeatic spells, similar to the pre-requisites on certain maneuvers.
Spontaneous Domains Give up the bonus spell slots, but gain spontaneous casting for domain spells.
Stone Dragon Errata Allowing Stone Dragon users the ability not to be shut down in places without a ground to stand.
Strain-Based Psionics An attempt to bring psionics and spellcasting closer together and reduce intense confusion about how systems work when using Surgo's sextastic strain-based spellcasting rules.
Taking Stock
The Edge
Time and Experience Slowing down constant adventuring syndrome.
Tome Styles [Incomplete] An idea for combining Tome with Tome of Battle
Training for Skills Yes, if you put enough effort into it you can gain skill points through hard work instead of simply leveling.
Truespeech By speaking in the language of creation, you can change the world.
Unique Attack Modifiers Effects attached to attacks that force an opponent to save should only happen at most once per round.
Useful Ability Scores This variant rule adds additional abilities and variables to ability scores, as well as correcting some of their shortcomings.
Uses Variant
Variable Darkvision Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Variant Combat Maneuver Checks For 3.5 that want something like CMB/CMD, and for Pathfinder as a fix to CMB/CMD.
Variant Druid Shapeshift Make some slight changes and expand on the ShapeshiftPHB2 alternate class feature.
Variant Multiclass Skill Points This variant rule removes the imbalance in skill points that can occur if you take one class at first level instead of another.
Variant Non-Humans
Vow of Poverty
Weapon Proficiencies That Work
Weapon Shield Bonus
Weather An atmosphere in which visibility is reduced because of a cloud of some substance, The sun is shining, the birds are singing. Everything is looking good. Oh wait, I lied. There is actually a typhoon coming this way. The winds are picking up, and it looks like a mage just called acid rain upon us.
Wild Magic When the world was created, it is said that all magic was wild, but over the years, with all the use by wizards, clerics, and others, the magic was bound into the form we know today. However, there still exist places where the magic hasn't been tamed yet.

Wild Magic is an environmental effect in certain locations, considered to be extremely unreliable. In these environments, magic might be strengthened, weakened, or randomly altered. These alterations might radically alter the spell to another type, a new and unique expression of reality alteration, or even make the spell fizzle and do nothing.

Wounds
Uncategorized Variant Rules
Article Description
Alignment Without Alignment A system for dealing with stuff that would be ‘orphaned’ by dropping alignment.
All Ability Skills This variant rule gives focused skill points based on all ability scores, giving non-Intelligence focused classes something to do while also specializing them appropriately.
Background Points Expanding and dividing skills.
Being Daunted and Bearing Up Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Bludgeoning is Less Lethal; Piercing and Slashing are More Lethal Making bludgeoning weapons just a touch less lethal than slashing/piercing weapons
Bonus Cantrips/Orisons
Bonus Invocations Invokers gain additional invocations for having a high Charisma.
Combat Fatigue
Combat Rhythm
Culture and Status
Dark Sacrifice A replacement for the BoVD sacrifice rules.
Eldritch Obscurement A skill to remain unnoticed by eldritch horrors.
Expanded Armor Class A needlessly complicated expansion to Armor Class.
Expanded Summon Monster Expand the summon monster series of spells.
Exploits Fancy tricks for mundanes.
Extended Death and Dying Death and dying for the overly dramatic.
Fallen When dying is serious and the heal skill is useful
Fantasy Genetics
Fantasy Pregnancy A set of rules for determining pregnancy and its results.
Fortune Points
Goal-Based Level Gain This is an alternative to using experience points to determine level gain.
Grievous Wounds As you fight you are inflicted with lasting wounds
Hit Die Adjustment As you gain experience, you learn how to take more damage.
Hyper-Simplified Mass Combat For when you just don't have the time to roll 47 attack rolls a turn.
Intimidate, Spanambula Variant Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Light Speach This is the opposite to Dark Speech.
Masterwork Guns Some better masterworking options for guns.
New weapon requirements
Non-Combat Confusion Confusion is a devastating effect in battle, but sometimes confusion (and its older brother insanity) persists outside of combat. Especially insanity. What is a fine mechanic in combat becomes clunky or nonsensical out of combat. Perhaps here is what happens outside of combat...
Non-Diablo Magic Slots Magic item slots based on function, not form.
Pets Roll All the Dices
Pokemon Contests Contests for the pokemon d20 project - like skill challenges, except good
Pokémon Types Do you want your Pokémon's typing to actually matter? Then this variant rule is for you!
Professional Knowledge A useful/balanced profession skill
Psionic Pools Divide power points into two pools of energy; one recharges while the other acts like the typical power point reserve.
Radiation
Reasonable Base Saving Throws Obvious rule patch to base saving throws of multiclass characters.
Relapses
Replacing XP Cost with Essence Point Cost XP costs paid from an unrelated pool of points.
Revised Feats, Flaws and Traits Change the way feats, flaws and trait work.
Revised Summoning
Scaling Level Adjustments Level adjustments are adjustments.
Shields Revised Alters the functionality of shields so they actually act like shields.
Social Combat Social skill rules for tearing people down and making them cry.
Some Spontaneity to Wizards
Static Spell Points A spell point system that doesn't allow novas or become more of an accounting chore as you grow in level, and comes with a set of adjustments to spellcasters to make them a bit MAD.
Time and Experience Slowing down constant adventuring syndrome.
Trading-In Player Characters Rules for taking over an NPC as one’s PC.
Useful Ability Scores This variant rule adds additional abilities and variables to ability scores, as well as correcting some of their shortcomings.
Useful Pluses +1 swords that people actually want!
Variable Darkvision Please insert a summary of your variant rule here.
Wordcasting



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