Simplified Point Buy (5e Variant Rule)

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Author: Ghostwheel (talk)
Date Created: August 23, 2017
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Simplified Point Buy[edit]

Note: Much of this variant has been inspired by, and even lifted straight up from Starfinder.

Traditional point buy has quite a few problems, two of them largely standing out; the first is that certain races are shoehorned towards different classes, and that it can be difficult for newbies to figure out what their total points are. This variant attempts to fix both, while still maintaining the bonuses and penalties that certain races get towards ability scores.

How It Works[edit]

To use this variant, follow these steps in order:

  1. Assume that all ability scores start at 10.
  2. Apply racial modifiers to ability scores.
  3. Apply the bonus to ability scores from any feat you take at first level (such as in the case of a variant human).
  4. Place 11 points on a one-for-one basis throughout your ability scores, up to maximum of 17.
  5. You may drop one ability score by 2 points to gain an additional point in the previous step. (You may only do so once.)

And that's it, done!

Step-by-Step Example[edit]

Let's say we have a half-orc wizard. We start with 10 in all their stats to get the following:

Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10

Then, we apply racial bonuses (+2 to Strength, +1 to Constitution).

Str 12, Dex 10, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10

Next, we place 11 points where we see fit. As a wizard, we want to place 7 points into Intelligence, to ensure that we have it maxed out, and we will also split the 4 points we have left between Dexterity and Constitution.

Str 12, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 10

Due to book-learning we don't think that this particular half-orc is particularly strong, so for the last step, we'll drop Strength by 2 points, giving us another point to place. Since we have already maxed out Intelligence, we cannot place it there, so instead we will place it in Constitution for an even number, giving us the following array:

Str 10, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 10

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Ghostwheel's Homebrew (394 Articles)
AuthorGhostwheel +
Identifier5e Variant Rule +
RatingUndiscussed +
TitleSimplified Point Buy +