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Basic D&D Custom Class Template

by Scott W. Ludwig

The following is intended to expand the options available to player characters, while remaining true to the mechanics and "feel" of Basic Dungeons & Dragons. The template for the appropriate race is referred to, and ratings are chosen for each category-with the total ratings equalling FOUR points. Those values which appear in parentheses exceed the abilities normally found in Basic D&D, and may therefore be prohibited in a given campaign; they are included here for the sake of completeness, and to provide ideas for personal expansions or changes. A character's allowed weapons and armour, as well as special combat abilities, are determined by the Combat Rating: Fighter allows all; C/T allows a limited selection, comparable to the standard Thief or Cleric; M-U allows for no armour, and a very limited selection of weapons.

Human Template

Rating

Hit Die

Combat

Thievery

Divine

Arcane

4 (d12) N/A (3/2 lvl) (200% Spells) M-U
3 (d10) (Monster) Thief (150% Spells) 2/3 lvl
2 d8 Fighter 5 Skills Cleric 1/2 lvl
1 d6 C/T 3 Skills 1/2 lvl 1/3 lvl
0 d4 M-U none none none

Sample Human: "Paladin ", HD: d6 (1), Combat: as Fighter (2), Divine: as Cleric of 1/2 level (1). Being a righteous warrior, who eschews missile weapons-considering them fit only for peasants and cowards-he chooses to raise his Melee Ability to that of a Monster, and so lowers his Missile/Thrown Ability to that of a Magic-User (however, his Combat Rating remains 2).

Elf Template

Rating

Hit Die

Combat

Thievery

Divine

Arcane

4 (d10) N/A (3/2 lvl) Cleric (200% Spells)
3 (d8) (Monster) Thief 2/3 lvl N/A
2 d6 Fighter 5 skills 1/2 lvl N/A
1 d4 C/T 3 Skills 1/3 lvl N/A
0 d2 M-U none none M-U

Dwarf Template

Rating

Hit Die

Combat

Thievery

Divine

Arcane

4 (d12) N/A (3/2 lvl) (150% Spells) Option I
3 (d10) (Monster) Thief Cleric --
2 d8 Fighter 5 Skills 2/3 lvl or
1 d6 C/T 3 Skills 1/3 lvl --
0 d4 M-U none none Option II

Halfling Template

Rating

Hit Die

Combat

Thievery

Divine

Arcane

4 (d10) N/A (3/2 lvl) (150% Spells) Option I
3 (d8) (Monster) Thief Cleric --
2 d6 Fighter 5 Skills 2/3 lvl or
1 d4 C/T 3 Skills 1/3 lvl --
0 d2 M-U none none Option II

Arcane Options for Dwarves and Halflings

Rating

Option I

Option II

4 M-U 2/3 lvl
3 2/3 lvl 1/2 lvl
2 1/2 lvl 1/3 lvl
1 1/3 lvl 1/4 lvl
0 none none

Base Experience Points for Advancement

Rating

Hit Die

Combat

Thievery

Divine

Arcane

4 2000 N/A 1100 1000 2500
3 1500 1500 700 750 1875
2 1000 1000 400 500 1250
1 500 500 200 250 625
0 0 0 0 0 0

To use this table, find the value in each category that corresponds with your rating and add them together. This is the experience required to advance to 2nd level-the rest of the experience table can be extrapolated from this. Note: For Thievery, I multiplied the number of skills minus one by 100. Those with Rating (3) gain an advantage, as I assume Backstab, Read Language, and Use Scrolls to be a single special skill for experience purposes (making for a total of eight "skills "). For Rating (4) I assumed half again as many "skills ".

Example: Elven Scout

        (1) Hit Die: d4 (500exp)

        (2) Melee: as M-U (1000exp)

        (*) Missile: as Monster (*)

        (1) Thievery: HN, HS, MS (200exp)

        (0) Arcane: as M-U (0 exp)

        Exp for 2nd level: 1700 (effectively 3400 w/ exp penalty)

Saving Throw Table Determination

First, the easy part: Demi-Humans always use the table specific to their race. Now, on to Humans...

1.      Compare the ratings for Combat, Thievery, Divine, and Arcane;

2.      If the rating for one category is highest, use the Saving Throw table for the class which is associated with that category-Fighter for Combat, Thief for Thievery, Cleric for Divine, and Magic-user for Arcane;

3.      If two or more abilities are still tied, use the table for the first of the categories to appear on the following list:

                        i.      Arcane

                        ii.      Divine

                        iii.      Thievery

                        iv.      Combat

This is designed, as are the Demi-Human templates, to disadvantage non-standard classes-it serves to explain why they aren't standard (i.e. they're generally less efficient than the optimised standard). You may, of course, choose to determine this differently-perhaps simply basing it on the combat rating or character conception.

(Note: Hit Points gained after 9th level are determined by the Saving Throw table used-(+1) per level for Clerics and Magic-Users, and (+2) for Fighters and Thieves. Demi-Humans use the value given for their race.)

Example: Cleric

Sample Archetypes

Bard

Friar

Priest

Swashbuckler

Assassin

Bumbling Halfling "Wizard"

Dwarven Loremaster

Elven Priestess

Streetwise Urchin

Unlikely Hero

Less Unlikely Hero

Dabbler