Point-Buy Classes (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Point-buy classes[edit]

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A bard? A rogue? A sorcerer?
...or something else entirely?

This variant rule creates a system for creating point-buy classes to use in your D&D game. In effect, it allows a player to customize a class to fit their character concept, not the other way around. With the point-buy class system in place, each character has a single class that it follows from level 1 all the way to level 20 - there is no need for multiclassing or prestige classes, as the player has had the chance to tweak their class to their liking from the start.

Since each class in a game using point-buy classes had the same options presented to them from the beginning, the system can serve to balance the vastly unbalanced classes of baseline D&D. This doesn't mean each class made with the system is equal in power: a well-built class is a well-built class. Nonetheless, the point-buy nature and equal beginnings means that point-buy classes tend to play nicer together.

The point-buy class system works poorly when combined with non-point-buy classes, so mixing baseline D&D classes and point-buy classes is not advised. The system might seem unintuitive at first glance; if so, ask your DM for help in realizing your character concept in the mechanical parameters that the system offers. Creating a custom class with the system is nonetheless far simpler than creating one entirely from scratch, and automatically creates classes that are more (if not entirely) balanced.

Since a game using point-buy classes obviously doesn't have the base classes, several features of the game function differently. In most cases you can just ignore the mention of class wherever you find it; for example, the Weapon Specialization and the subsequent feat chain require a given fighter level, which you can ignore completely - the feats are available to anyone. In other cases, talk with your DM on how to replace the mention of class.

The customizability of a point-buy class creates a conundrum when it comes to power level. On one hand, the vast amount of options allows you to create cool, flavorful classes, but on the other, some choices tend to be more powerful than others, and you can end up with a hodgepodge of strong abilities with little to do with each other. You can create your class in any way you want, but it's usually better to err on the side of cohesiveness and flavor - D&D is first and foremost a roleplaying game, after all.

Making a point-buy class[edit]

When creating a point-buy class, everyone starts with the same basic class template (below), as well as 200 points. These points are used to improve the basic class (larger Hit Die, more skills and so on) as well as purchase extra features in the form of spellcasting and special abilities.

Table: The Basic

Hit Die: d4

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +0
2nd +1 +0 +0 +0
3rd +1 +1 +1 +1
4th +2 +1 +1 +1
5th +2 +1 +1 +1
6th +3 +2 +2 +2
7th +3 +2 +2 +2
8th +4 +2 +2 +2
9th +4 +3 +3 +3
10th +5 +3 +3 +3
11th +5 +3 +3 +3
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +4
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +4
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +4
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +5
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +5
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +5
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +6

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Craft (Int) and Profession (Wis).

You may spend points to improve one or more of the following features of the basic class template for the costs listed:

  • The Hit Die of the class can be increased to d6 (5 points), d8 (10 points), d10 (15 points) or d12 (25 points).
  • The base attack bonus of the class can be increased to 3/4 total Hit Dice (as cleric; 10 points) or equal to Hit Dice (as fighter; 20 points).
  • One or more of the class's base saving throws can be increased to good (15 points each).
  • The class's skill points per level can be increased to 4 + Int (6 points), 6 + Int (12 points) or 8 + Int (18 points).
  • You can make any number of skills be class skills for the class (1 point each).
  • You can gain proficiency in all simple weapons (2 points), or all simple and martial weapons (8 points). If you have proficiency in all simple and martial weapons, you can gain proficiency in one or more exotic weapons (5 points each).
  • You can gain proficiency in light armor (2 points), light and medium armor (4 points) or light, medium and heavy armor (8 points). You can also gain proficiency with all shields except tower shields (2 points) or all shields including tower shields (5 points).

Spellcasting[edit]

Due to the relative complexity of spellcasting compared to other class abilities, they receive a section of their own in the point-buy class system. When purchasing spellcasting for your class, the first choice to be made is whether you want minor spellcasting (spells per day as ranger; 50 points), moderate spellcasting (spells per day as bard; 100 points) or major spellcasting (spells per day as wizard; 150 points). At this point, you can purchase more spells per day: it costs 25 points to add one to each number on the appropriate spells per day table (for example, increasing major spellcasting's three 0-level spells and one 1st-level spell per day to four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells per day), and 50 points to add two to each number. Your caster level is equal to your class level (for moderate and major spellcasting); for minor spellcasting, you have no caster level up to 3rd level, and at 4th level and higher your caster level is one-half your class level.

Then you choose either Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma as your spellcasting ability score (for bonus spells per day, save DCs and so on), whether you're an arcane or divine caster (dictates whether you use a divine focus and whether you regain daily spells by resting or mediating for 1 hour at a chosen time; note that divine spellcasters suffer from spell failure chance from armor), and whether you prepare spells or cast them spontaneously. This last choice has no point value attached to it, but it affects your class spell list.

Finally, you create your class spell list. If you prepare spells (as a cleric would), your base spell list consists of six 0-level spells, ten 1st-level spells, ten 2nd-level spells, ten 3rd-level spells, eight 4th-level spells, eight 5th-level spells, six 6th-level spells, six 7th-level spells, five 8th-level spells and four 9th-level spells. You can add an extra spell to your spell list for twice that spell's level in points; for example, to add a 9th-level spell to your spell list costs 18 points. Ignore levels of spells you won't be able to cast when creating your spell list if you have minor or moderate spellcasting. You can choose the spells on your list freely from among all those available to any base class. Use the highest possible level to determine the level of spell on your list: for example, mass charm monster is a 6th-level bard spell and an 8th-level sorcerer/wizard spell; thus, on your spell list, it is an 8th-level spell. Note that spells exclusive to domain spell lists cannot be adopted to your spell list.

If instead you cast spells spontaneously, your spell list increases as you gain levels. At 1st level, you know four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells if you have major spellcasting, or three 0-level spells if you have moderate spellcasting; if you have minor spellcasting, you instead know two 1st-level spells at 4th level. At each new level, you gain two new spells of any spell level or levels that you can cast (based on your new level), although a maximum of one of the new spells can be of your highest level of spells known. For the cost of 30 points, you can increase the number of new spells you learn each level to three. Again, you may choose the spells freely from all available, use the highest possible level, and are barred from taking domain-exclusive spells.

Other than the options and choices made above, spellcasting works exactly as it always does. To learn or cast a spell, you must have a score in the appropriate ability equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against your spells is 10 + the spell level + your modifier in the appropriate ability score.

After you've created your spellcasting progression, you may spend points to improve one or more of the following features of your spellcasting for the costs listed:

  • You can gain one or more domains (25 points each). An added domain gives you that domain's granted power, and adds the spells from that domain to your spell list (if you prepare spells) or you automatically learn them when you reach the appropriate level (if you cast spells spontaneously). For classes with minor spellcasting, the domain's granted power only becomes available at 4th level.
  • You can choose a spell or a group of spells to be available for casting spontaneously if your prepare spells. To do so, you either choose one or more singular spells (10 points each) or one or more families of spells (families here include a spell and its mass, lesser and greater versions, or a family of linked spells such as bigby's and cure; 5 points per spell in family). You can cast those spells spontaneously exactly like a cleric can cast cure or inflict spells spontaneously.
  • You can ignore the spell failure chance of light armor (10 points), light and medium armor (15 points) or light, medium and heavy armor (20 points); furthermore, you can ignore the spell failure chance of shields (8 points). Note that in the point-buy class system, divine spellcasters suffer from spell failure chance just like their arcane counterparts unless they buy these upgrades.

Class abilities[edit]

You can purchase class abilities, such as a rogue's sneak attack or a barbarian's rage ability, in addition to improving the basic class's features and purchasing spellcasting. The available abilities and features that follow have been divided into four categories for ease of scrutiny: offensive, defensive, supportive and mobility. In addition to these, characters can purchase extra feats and spell-like abilities; the specifics can be found after the four categories.

An important limitation is that a point-buy class can only have one class ability (including spell-like abilities and bonus feats) per level - the exception is the first level, where you can have two abilities, thus giving a class a theoretical maximum of twenty-one such abilities. For example, if you purchase both animal companion and wild empathy for your class, you can't choose to gain both on the second level; instead, you could have one available at second and the other at third level. Note that class abilities that improve on certain levels, such as sneak attack, only count towards the level you gain them. You can freely situate the ability anywhere on your class table, but you receive no discount for placing an ability further up in levels, and for abilities that improve by level, you gain no refund for any levels you "push out" of the class.

Offensive[edit]

Constrict[edit]

You can purchase this ability to deal unarmed damage or natural attack damage as a creature one size larger than you are in a grapple. Any damage you deal in a grapple is lethal at your option. It costs 5 points.

Breath Weapon[edit]

You gain one form of breath weapon from the list below, for the costs listed - you can gain the same option twice if you choose a different form of attack. These attacks work exactly as breath weapons normally do: using a breath weapon takes a standard action, has a save DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Constitution modifier, and takes 1d4 rounds to recharge. You can't gain a form of breath weapon you already have.

  • A cone of energy (acid, cold, fire, or lightning) that's 30 feet long and causes 1d6 damage per two class levels (15 points).
  • A line of energy (acid, cold, fire, or lightning) that's 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 60 feet long, and causes 1d6 damage per two class levels (15 points).
  • A cone of sonic energy that's 30 feet long, causes 3d6 sonic damage and deafens for 1d6 rounds on a failed save (15 points).
  • A cone that's 30 feet long and causes a condition (blinded, confused, shaken, or sickened) for 1d4 rounds (20 points).
Conductivity[edit]

You gain the conductivity ability, which allows you to create and conduct either cold, electricity, or fire energy within your body (your choice). Each of your unarmed and natural attacks, as well as attacks you make with metallic manufactured weapons, deal 1d6 points of damage of the chosen energy type. The ability costs 10 points, and doesn't stack with magic weapon qualities such as flaming. You can gain this ability multiple times.

Disease[edit]

You spread a chosen disease with your attacks. Choose a disease other than mummy rot (this ability costs points equal to that disease's DC) - you spread this disease with damaging unarmed and natural attacks, or with unarmed, natural and manufactured weapon attacks (+2 points).

Elemental Shape[edit]

You can gain the elemental shape ability, which functions similar to the wild shape (elemental) ability possessed by druids, except that you can (initially) only turn into a Small elemental. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 30 points to have a wild shape that improves by +1/day every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 45 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 60 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

You can also buy elemental shape (Medium) for 15 points, but it must be gained after you have elemental shape 2/day or more often (you can gain it on the level you gain elemental shape 2/day); elemental shape (Large) for 20 points, but it must be gained after you have both elemental shape (Medium) and elemental shape 3/day or more often; and elemental shape (Huge) for 25 points, but it must be gained after you have both elemental shape (Large) and elemental shape 4/day or more often. The ability to turn into an animal is a separate ability called wild shape (see below).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Elemental shape 1/day costs 20 points, elemental shape 2/day costs 30 points and is available from 5th level onwards, and elemental shape 3/day costs 40 points and is available from 10th level onwards. You can purchase the above elemental shape (Medium) option if you have the 2/day version, and elemental shape (Large) if you have both elemental shape (Medium) and the 3/day version.

Energy Drain[edit]

Each successful attack by you bestows one (15 points) or two (30 points) negative levels on a struck foe. You bestow these negative levels with unarmed and natural attacks, or with unarmed, natural and manufactured weapon attacks (+2 points).

Favored Enemy[edit]

You can gain the favored enemy ability, which functions exactly as the ranger ability of that name. The ability always starts with one favored enemy, and it costs 25 points to have a version of the ability that gains a new favored enemy (and improves a previous one) every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 35 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 45 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

Flurry of Blows[edit]

You can gain the flurry of blows ability, which functions similar to the monk ability of that name, except you can only use it unarmed. The ability costs 10 points for a version with a -2 attack roll penalty, 20 points for a version with only a -1 penalty, and 30 points for a version with no penalty.

You can also buy greater flurry for 10 points, which is available from 10th level onwards. You can buy extra weapons to use flurry of blows with for 4 points each.

Frightful Presence[edit]

You can gain the frightful presence ability, which allows you to terrify creatures when you do an intimidating action of your choice. It costs 20 points. Choose one from the following: charging, disarming a foe, downing a foe, unsheathing your weapon(s) (once per encounter), or using a select special ability you possess (once per encounter) - you can choose one or more extra trigger conditions for +4 points each.

Whenever you commit the chosen intimidating action, each opponent within 30 feet must succeed on a Will save or be shaken for 1d6 rounds. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Charisma modifier.

You can upgrade the ability to be more effective (+10 points): opponents who succeed on their save are shaken for 1d6 rounds, while opponents who fail their save are frightened for 1d6 rounds.

Gaze Attack[edit]

You gain one form of gaze attack from the list below, for the costs listed. These attacks work exactly as gaze weapons normally do: a gaze attack has a save DC 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Charisma modifier. You can't gain a form of gaze attack you already have.

  • Creatures must succeed on a Will saving throw or be frightened (if they have HD less than your class level) or shaken (if they have HD equal to or greater than your class level) for 1d6 rounds (40 points).
  • Creatures must succeed on a Will saving throw or be confused for 1d6 rounds (40 points).
  • Creatures must succeed on a Will saving throw or be charmed as the spell, caster level equal to class level (50 points). This ability is available from 5th level onwards.
  • Creatures must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw or be petrified (60 points). This ability is available from 7th level onwards.
  • Creatures must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw or die (65 points). This ability is available from 10th level onwards.
High Arcana[edit]

You can gain one of the high arcana abilities except for the spell-like ability version, which function exactly as the archmage abilities of the same name. Each costs 10 points. You can only purchase high arcana if you are a spellcaster, and only on a level where you have at least a 5th-level spell slot available to eliminate. You can gain this ability multiple times.

Magic Strike[edit]

You can gain the magic strike ability, which functions exactly as the ki strike monk ability. It costs 5 points. You can choose either chaotic, evil, good or lawful for the 10th level effect.

Natural Attack[edit]

You gain one form of natural attack from the list below, for the costs listed - you can gain the same option twice if you choose a different form of attack. These attacks work exactly as natural attacks normally do, and don't stack with the unarmed strike ability (see below). You can't gain a form of natural attack you already have. You can gain this ability multiple times.

  • You gain two claw or tentacle attacks that deal damage depending on your size (1d3 for Small, 1d4 for Medium, 1d6 for Large) plus your Strength bonus (8 points).
  • You gain a bite, gore or sting attack that deals damage depending on your size (1d4 for Small, 1d6 for Medium, 1d8 for Large) plus 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus (4 points).

If you have more than one form of natural attack, you must choose one of them to be your primary weapon; all other forms of natural attack you have are secondary weapons. You make secondary weapon attacks with a -5 penalty to the attack roll and add only 1/2 your Strength bonus to damage.

Opportunist[edit]

You can gain the opportunist ability, which functions exactly as the rogue ability of that name. It costs 8 points.

Phase Weapon[edit]

You can gain the phase weapon ability, which functions similar to the phase arrow arcane archer ability, except that it can also affect melee weapon attacks. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 12 points to have a phase weapon that improves by +1/day every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 24 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 36 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Phase weapon 1/day costs 6 points, phase weapon 2/day costs 12 points and is available from 3rd level onwards, and phase weapon 3/day costs 16 points and is available from 5th level onwards.

Poison[edit]

You spread a chosen poison with your attacks. Choose an injury poison (this ability costs points equal to that poison's DC) - you spread this disease with damaging unarmed and natural attacks, or with unarmed, natural and manufactured weapon attacks (+2 points).

Poison Use[edit]

You can gain the poison use ability, which functions exactly as the assassin ability of that name. It costs 5 points.

Pounce[edit]

You can gain the pounce ability, which allows you to make a full attack when you charge. It costs 25 points.

Precise Strike[edit]

You can gain the precise strike ability, which functions exactly as the duelist ability of that name. The ability always starts at +1d6, and it costs 20 points to have a precise strike that improves by +1d6 every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 30 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 40 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Precise strike +1d6 costs 10 points, precise strike +2d6 costs 20 points and is available from 5th level onwards, and precise strike +3d6 costs 30 points and is available from 10th level onwards.

Rage[edit]

You can gain the rage ability, which functions exactly as the barbarian ability of that name. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 25 points to have a rage that improves by +1/day every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 35 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 45 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

You can also buy greater rage for 10 points, but it must be gained after you have rage 3/day or more often (you can gain it on the level you gain rage 3/day); tireless rage for 5 points, but it must be gained after you have rage 4/day or more often; indomitable will for 5 points, but it must be gained after you have rage 4/day or more often; and mighty rage for 10 points, but it must be gained after you have both greater rage and rage 5/day or more often.

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Rage 1/day costs 10 points, rage 2/day costs 15 points and is available from 4th level onwards, and rage 3/day costs 20 points and is available from 7th level onwards. You can purchase the above greater rage option if you have the 3/day version.

Smite[edit]

You can gain the smite ability, which functions similar to the smite evil ability possessed by paladins, except that you can smite any creature, and you can choose between Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma for the ability score. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 15 points to have a smite that improves by +1/day every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 20 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 25 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Smite 1/day costs 5 points, smite 2/day costs 15 points and is available from 4th level onwards, and smite 3/day costs 25 points and is available from 7th level onwards.

Sneak Attack[edit]

You can gain the sneak attack ability, which functions exactly as the rogue ability of that name. The ability always starts at +1d6, and it costs 25 points to have a sneak attack that improves by +1d6 every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 35 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 45 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

You can also buy crippling strike (as the rogue special ability) for 10 points, but it must be gained after you have sneak attack +3d6 or higher (you can gain it on the level you gain sneak attack +3d6); death attack (as the assassin special ability) for 15 points, but it must be gained after you have sneak attack +3d6; impromptu sneak attack 1/day (as the arcane trickster special ability) for 8 points; impromptu sneak attack 2/day for 8 points, but it must be gained after you have impromptu sneak attack 1/day; impromptu sneak attack 3/day for 8 points, but it must be gained after you have impromptu sneak attack 2/day.

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Sneak attack +1d6 costs 10 points, sneak attack +2d6 costs 15 points and is available from 3rd level onwards, and sneak attack +3d6 costs 20 points and is available from 5th level onwards. You can purchase the above crippling strike option if you have the +3d6 version.

Spell Arrow[edit]

You can gain the spell arrow ability, which functions exactly as the imbue arrow arcane archer ability. It costs 20 points. You can only purchase spell arrow if you are a spellcaster.

Turn or Rebuke Undead[edit]

You can gain the turn or rebuke undead ability; you can gain either minor turning (functions as the paladin ability; 25 points) or major turning (functions as the cleric ability; 40 points).

You can also buy gift of the divine (as the hierophant special ability) for 8 points, which is available from 5th level onwards.

Unarmed Strike[edit]

You can gain the unarmed strike ability, which functions exactly as the monk ability of that name. It costs 20 points.

Wild Shape[edit]

You can gain the wild shape ability, which functions exactly as the druid ability of that name. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 30 points to have a wild shape that improves by +1/day every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 45 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 60 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

You can also buy wild shape (Large) for 20 points, but it must be gained after you have wild shape 2/day or more often (you can gain it on the level you gain wild shape 2/day); wild shape (Tiny) for 20 points, but it must be gained after you have wild shape 2/day or more often; wild shape (Huge) for 25 points, but it must be gained after you have both wild shape (Large) and wild shape 3/day or more often; and wild shape (plant) for 15 points, but it must be gained after you have wild shape 3/day or more often. The ability to turn into an elemental is a separate ability called elemental shape (see above).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Wild shape 1/day costs 20 points, wild shape 2/day costs 30 points and is available from 5th level onwards, and wild shape 3/day costs 40 points and is available from 10th level onwards. You can purchase the above wild shape (Large) and wild shape (Tiny) options if you have the 2/day version, wild shape (plant) if you have the 3/day version, and wild shape (Huge) if you have both wild shape (Large) and the 3/day version.

Defensive[edit]

AC Bonus[edit]

You can gain a bonus to your AC. The ability always starts at +1 bonus AC, and it costs 10 points to have an AC bonus that improves by 1 or every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 20 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 40 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

Alternatively or in addition to the above ability, you can purchase one - and only one - of the following abilities, which must be gained on a different level from the AC bonus:

  • You add your Constitution modifier to your AC as a natural armor bonus (30 points).
  • You add your Intelligence modifier to your AC as a dodge bonus when wearing no armor or light armor, and wielding one light or one-handed weapon with nothing in your off-hand (15 points).
  • You add your Wisdom modifier to your AC as a dodge bonus when wearing no armor, carrying no shield and not carrying a medium or heavy load (10 points).
  • You add your Charisma modifier to your AC as a deflection bonus (30 points).
Damage Reduction[edit]

You can gain an improving damage reduction. The ability always starts at damage reduction 1/—, and it costs 15 points to have a damage reduction that improves by 1 for every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 20 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 25 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Damage reduction 2/— costs 20 points and is available from 6th level onwards, damage reduction 4/— costs 30 points and is available from 10th level onwards, and damage reduction 6/— costs 40 points and is available from 14th level onwards.

Defensive Roll[edit]

You can gain the defensive roll ability, which functions exactly as the rogue ability of that name. It costs 8 points.

Defensive Stance[edit]

You can gain the defensive stance ability, which functions exactly as the dwarven defender ability of that name. The ability always starts at 1/day, and it costs 15 points to have a defensive stance that improves by +1/day every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 20 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 25 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

You can also buy mobile defense for 5 points, but it must be gained after you have defensive stance 3/day or more often (you can gain it on the level you gain defensive stance 3/day).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Defensive stance 1/day costs 5 points, defensive stance 2/day costs 10 points and is available from 3rd level onwards, and defensive stance 3/day costs 20 points and is available from 5th level onwards. You can purchase the above mobile defense option if you have the 3/day version.

Enhanced Mobility[edit]

You can gain the enhanced mobility ability, which functions exactly as the duelist ability of that name. It costs 4 points.

Evasion[edit]

You can gain the evasion ability, which functions exactly as the monk ability of that name. It costs 15 points.

You can also buy improved evasion (as the monk ability) for 10 points, but it must be gained after you have evasion, and you can't gain the two abilities on consecutive levels.

Fast Healing[edit]

You can gain fast healing 1 (30 points), 2 (35 points), 3 (40 points), 4 (45 points), or 5 (50 points).

Resistance[edit]

You gain one form of resistance from the list below, for the costs listed - you can gain the same option twice if you choose a different type of resistance.

  • Resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic 5 (10 points), 10 (20 points), 15 (30 points), or 20 (40 points).
  • Resistance to negative or positive energy 5 (5 points), 10 (15 points), 15 (25 points), or 20 (35 points).
  • Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing 5 (20 points), 10 (30 points), 15 (40 points), or 20 (50 points).
Slippery Mind[edit]

You can gain the slippery mind ability, which functions exactly as the rogue ability of that name. It costs 10 points.

Spell Resistance[edit]

You can gain the spell resistance ability. Spell resistance 5 + class level costs 40 points, spell resistance 10 + class level costs 60 points, and spell resistance 15 + class level costs 80 points.

Trap Sense[edit]

You can gain the trap sense ability, which functions exactly as the barbarian ability of that name. The ability always starts at +1, and it costs 5 points to have a trap sense that improves by +1 every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), 8 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), or 12 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on).

Alternatively, you can just purchase a one-off of the ability instead of an improving version. Trap sense +1 costs 3 points, trap sense +2 costs 6 points and is available from 3rd level onwards, and trap sense +3 costs 10 points and is available from 5th level onwards.

Uncanny Dodge[edit]

You can gain the uncanny dodge ability, which functions exactly as the barbarian ability of that name. It costs 15 points.

You can also buy improved uncanny dodge (as the barbarian ability) for 10 points, but it must be gained after you have uncanny dodge, and you can't gain the two abilities on consecutive levels.

Supportive[edit]

Animal Companion[edit]

You can gain the animal companion ability, which functions exactly as the druid ability of that name. It costs 30 points. Your level for the purposes of the ability (bonus HD, alternative animal companions and so on) is equal to your class level even if you gain this ability later than 1st level.

Bardic Knowledge[edit]

You can gain the bardic knowledge ability, which functions exactly as the bard ability of that name. It costs 6 points. Your level for the purposes of the ability is equal to your class level even if you gain this ability later than 1st level.

Bardic Music[edit]

You can gain the bardic music ability, which functions exactly as the bard ability of that name. You have a number of uses of the ability equal to your character level. You initially gain only inspire courage, which always starts at +1, and it costs 24 points to have an inspire courage that improves by +1 every six levels (1st, 7th, 13th and so on), 36 points for every five levels (1st, 6th, 11th and so on), or 48 points for every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on).

You can also buy the following abilities for 5 points each if you have bardic music: countersong; fascinate; inspire competence, which is available from 3rd level onwards; suggestion, which is available from 6th level onwards; inspire greatness, which is available from 9th level onwards; song of freedom, which is available from 12th level onwards; inspire heroics, which is available from 3rd level onwards; and mass suggestion, which is available from 18th level onwards.

Familiar[edit]

You gain the familiar ability, which functions exactly as the sorcerer ability of that name. It costs 10 points. Your level for the purposes of the ability (natural armor adjustment, Intelligence score and so on) is equal to your class level even if you gain this ability later than 1st level. You cannot share spells with your familiar, have your familiar deliver touch spells, or scry on your familiar unless you are a spellcaster.

Hide in Plain Sight[edit]

You can gain the hide in plain sight ability, which functions exactly as the ranger ability of that name. It costs 15 points.

Improved Senses[edit]

You can gain one of the following abilities. You can gain this ability multiple times.

You can double the range of any of the above abilities when you gain it for +5 points. You can only double the range once.

Lay on Hands[edit]

You can gain the lay on hands ability, which functions similar to the paladin ability of that name, except you can choose between Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma for the ability score. It costs 8 points.

Scent[edit]

You can gain the scent ability. It costs 8 points.

Skill Mastery[edit]

You can gain the skill mastery ability, which functions similar to the rogue ability of that name, except you choose only three skills to master. It costs 5 points. You can gain this ability multiple times.

Swift Tracker[edit]

You can gain the swift tracker ability, which functions exactly as the ranger ability of that name. It costs 4 points.

Telepathy[edit]

You can gain the telepathy ability up to a range of 100 feet. It costs 25 points.

Terrain Mastery[edit]

You can gain the terrain mastery ability, which functions exactly as the horizon walker ability of that name. The ability always starts at one terrain mastered, and it costs 15 points to have a terrain mastery that adds one terrain every four levels (1st, 5th, 9th and so on), 20 points for every three levels (1st, 4th, 7th and so on), or 25 points for every two levels (1st, 3rd, 5th and so on).

If you want to, you can have the ability turn to planar terrain mastery after five (5 points), four (8 points) or three (10 points) instances of terrain mastery: for example, taking the once-every-two-levels version turning to terrain mastery after five instances, you'd receive terrain mastery at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th level and planar terrain mastery at 11th, 13th and so on.

Timeless Body[edit]

You can gain the timeless body ability, which functions exactly as the druid ability of that name. It costs 5 points.

Trapfinding[edit]

You can gain the trapfinding ability, which functions exactly as the rogue ability of that name. It costs 15 points.

Wild Empathy[edit]

You can gain the wild empathy ability, which functions exactly as the druid ability of that name. It costs 10 points. Your level for the purposes of the ability is equal to your class level even if you gain this ability later than 1st level.

Mobility[edit]

Acrobatic Charge[edit]

You can gain the acrobatic charge ability, which functions exactly as the duelist ability of that name. It costs 10 points.

Fast Movement[edit]

You can gain the fast movement ability. You move either 10 feet faster than the norm of your race (10 points) or 20 feet faster than the norm of your race (20 points). The ability costs an extra +3 points if you want to be able to use it in light armor, +6 points if you want to be able to use it in light and medium armor, and +9 points if you want to be able to use it in light, medium and heavy armor (a shield doesn't affect fast movement).

Movement Mode[edit]

You gain one mode of movement from the list below, for the costs listed.

  • You gain a burrow speed that's one-fourth of your base land speed (round down; 20 points).
  • You gain a climb speed that's one-half of your base land speed (15 points).
  • You gain a swim speed that's one-half of your base land speed (15 points).
  • You gain a fly speed that's equal to your base land speed; your maneuverability is clumsy (50 points), poor (55 points), average (60 points), good (65 points), or perfect (70 points). This ability is available from 10th level onwards.
Quickness[edit]

You gain the ability to take an extra action each round. You can perform an extra swift action (20 points), a swift or immediate action (25 points), a swift, immediate or move action (50 points), or a swift, immediate, move or standard action (75 points).

Slow Fall[edit]

You gain the slow fall ability, which functions exactly as the monk ability of that name. It costs 5 points. You can slow fall any distance.

Special Mount[edit]

You gain the special mount ability, which functions exactly as the paladin ability of that name. It costs 25 points. Your level for the purposes of the ability (bonus HD, natural armor adjustment and so on) is equal to your class level even if you gain this ability later than 1st level. You cannot share spells with your mount unless you are a spellcaster.

Woodland Stride[edit]

You can gain the woodland stride ability, which functions exactly as the druid ability of that name. It costs 4 points.

Spell-like abilities[edit]

In addition to buying spellcasting for your class, you can also buy single spells to your class either as spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities or extraordinary abilities. To do so, select any one spell from any spell list. You gain that spell as a spell-like ability usable 1/day. The cost of this ability is five times the spell's level in points.

If you want, you can receive the spell as a supernatural ability (+4 points) or as an extraordinary ability (+8 points) instead. You can also buy extra daily uses at one-half the ability's cost (round down), which you can situate into your class freely - note that these extra uses count against your allowance of one ability per level, unlike the progressively increasing abilities detailed above. For example, you can buy haste 1/day (15 points) as an extraordinary ability (+8 points) on 3rd level, and gain an extra use on the 5th (+7 points) and 9th (+7 points) levels, for a grand total of 37 points.

Alternatively, the following spells can be bought as at-will versions, for the costs listed. You can turn them to supernatural or extraordinary abilities as above.

Bonus feats[edit]

You can buy bonus feats for your class. The cost of the feat depends on the feat itself: any feat that has no prerequisites costs 10 points, except for feats that only improve one or more skills, which cost 5 points. Feats that have one or more prerequisites (except for proficiency prerequisites) cost +1 point per prerequisite; for example, Deflect Arrows, which has the prerequisites Dex 13 and Improved Unarmed Strike, costs 12 points.

You can only purchase a feat for your class if you have the prerequisite feats of that feat on your class at lower levels. For example, to purchase Cleave (which costs 12 points) for your class on 3rd level, you must also purchase Power Attack (which costs 11 points) for your class on 1st or 2nd level.

Finishing touches[edit]

Once you've spent your 200 points - you get no refund for any points you didn't spend, nor can you spend them at a later time - your class is finished. Except not quite: at the moment, it is little more than a collection of numbers and abilities. The flavor is lacking, and that you can fortunately add freely without resorting to any sort of points. You can rename abilities freely (although for the purposes of the game, the ability counts as what it was originally named), you can create descriptions for the abilities, and you can even completely reinvent what an ability means, as long as it remains mechanically the same.

You can also add limitations to your abilities. Some of the above abilities already come with restrictions (armor restrictions to name one) that exist for mechanical reasons, but limitations can also add a lot of flair to a class. A fiery breath weapon that's only usable after you've consumed alcohol, for example, is far cooler than just your run-of-the-mill breath weapon. Note that the limitations have to be just that: you can't create limitations that change how the ability works, or which improve it in any way.

Finally, name your class, and get ready to roll up a new character! Alternatively, the DM or the other players can provide you with a point-buy class they made, or you can showcase them one. You can even all use the same class if you want, and try to customize it in your own direction.

Examples: Thug and Warmage[edit]

To showcase how the point-buy system works and the results it can bring, two custom classes are showcased below: the thug, which represents a streetwise, underhanded version of the classic fighter; and warmage, a class that combines arcane might with melee capability without resorting to multiclassing.

Thug[edit]

Table: The Thug

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 AC bonus +1
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Opportunist
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Sneak attack +2d6, poison use
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 AC bonus +2
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Skill mastery
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Sneak attack +3d6, evasion
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 AC bonus +3
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Sneak attack +4d6
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 AC bonus +4
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Sneak attack +5d6
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 AC bonus +5
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Sneak attack +6d6
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 AC bonus +6
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Sneak attack +7d6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 AC bonus +7

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Open Lock (Dex) and Profession (Wis).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A thug is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light armor and medium armor, and with all shields except tower shields.

Sneak Attack: If a thug can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The thug's attack deals extra damage any time her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the thug flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every three thug levels thereafter. Should the thug score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a thug can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.

A thug can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies - undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The thug must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A thug cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding: Thugs can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Thugs can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

A thug who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.

AC Bonus (Ex): A thug is hardened by life on the streets. A thug gains a +1 bonus to AC at 2nd level. This bonus increases by 1 for every three thug levels thereafter (+2 at 5th, +3 at 8th and so on).

Opportunist (Ex): A thug knows to take every chance she can get. Once per round, a thug of 3rd level can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the thug's attack of opportunity for that round. Even a thug with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

Poison Use (Ex): Thugs are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon.

Skill Mastery: The thug becomes so certain in the use of certain skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions.

Upon gaining this ability, she selects three skills. When making a skill check with one of these skills, she may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.

Evasion (Ex): At 7th level or higher if a thug makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. A helpless thug does not gain the benefit of evasion.

The following purchases were made for the class:

  • Hit Die was increased to d10 (20 points)
  • Base attack bonus was increased to equal to Hit Dice (15 points)
  • Fortitude and Reflex base saving throws were made good (30 points)
  • Class's skill points were increased to 6 + Int (12 points)
  • Bluff, Climb, Disable Device, Gather Information, Intimidate and Open Lock as class abilities (6 points)
  • Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons (8 points)
  • Proficiency with light and medium armor (4 points), and all shields except tower shields (2 points)
  • Sneak attack that improves every three levels, starting at 1st (35 points)
  • Trapfinding on 1st level (15 points)
  • AC bonus that improves every three levels, starting at 2nd (20 points)
  • Opportunist on 3rd level (8 points)
  • Poison use on 4th level (5 points)
  • Skill mastery on 6th level (5 points)
  • Evasion on 7th level (15 points)

War Mage[edit]

Table: The Warmage

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Smite 1/day 2
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 3 0
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 3 1
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 3 2 0
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 3 3 1
6th +6/+1 +2 +2 +5 Smite 2/day 3 3 2
7th +7/+2 +2 +2 +5 3 3 2 0
8th +8/+3 +2 +2 +6 3 3 3 1
9th +9/+4 +3 +3 +6 3 3 3 2
10th +10/+5 +3 +3 +7 3 3 3 2 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +3 +7 Smite 3/day 3 3 3 3 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +4 +8 3 3 3 3 2
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +4 +8 3 3 3 3 2 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +4 +9 4 3 3 3 3 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +5 +9 4 4 3 3 3 2
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +5 +10 Smite 4/day 4 4 4 3 3 2 0
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 3 3 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 3
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +6 +12 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Profession (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A warmage is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light, medium and heavy armor, but not with shields.

Spells: A warmage casts arcane spells. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a warmage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a warmage's spell is 10 + the spell level + the warmage's Intelligence modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a warmage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Warmage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When Table: The Warmage indicates that the warmage gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Intelligence score for that spell level.

The warmage's selection of spells is extremely limited. A warmage begins play knowing three 0-level spells of your choice. At every new warmage level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new level), although a maximum of one of the new spells can be of his highest level of spells known. When learning new spells, you may choose the spells freely from all available, use the highest possible level, and are barred from taking domain-exclusive spells. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a warmage knows is not affected by his Intelligence score.)

As noted above, a warmage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.

Smite 1/day: Once per day, a warmage may attempt to smite with one normal melee attack. He adds his Intelligence bonus (if any) to his attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per warmage level. You can smite one additional time per day every five levels.

The following purchases were made for the class:

  • Hit Die was increased to d8 (10 points)
  • Base attack bonus was increased to equal to Hit Dice (20 points)
  • Will base saving throw was made good (15 points)
  • Concentration and Spellcraft as class abilities (4 points)
  • Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons (8 points)
  • Proficiency with light, medium and heavy armor (8 points)
  • Moderate spellcasting (100 points), able to cast spells in light, medium and heavy armor (20 points); casts spells spontaneously, spellcasting ability score Intelligence
  • Smite that improves every five levels, starting at 1st (15 points); ability score Intelligence

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