This is stuff I’ve started to write for Microlite5E, but haven’t finished.
Choose a race. You gain its racial feature. (You do not also gain advantage on saves related to that race).
Reduce bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage that you take by 5.
You are proficient with nets. On a hit, the enemy is restrained until they or an adjacent person uses an action to cast it off.
Alternatively, they can spend a bonus action to make a Strength save. On a success, they throw it off.
You can pick up a cast-off net and use it again in battle.
Net – Light weapon – No damage – Range (10/20)
Bladed net – Light weapon – Range (5/10)
If you have a light or one-handed melee weapon in one hand and nothing in the other, you can feint against a nearby enemy as a bonus action. If they fail an Intelligence save, the next attack you make against them in this turn has advantage.
Instead of choosing one feat, you can choose two featlets:
- Proficiency in one new skill of your choice
- Choose one 1st-level spell. You can cast it once per day (as a 1st-level spell).
- You move up one rank in your armour proficiencies (none > light > medium > heavy). You also become proficient in shields.
- Proficiency in DEX, CON or WIS saves (pick one)
- Proficiency in STR, INT or CHA saves (pick two)
- Choose two cantrips. You can cast them at will.
New Skill: A new skill is a description of an area of proficiency. For example, Brewing or Shadow Boxing or Empathising with Animals or Dwarflore.
Primary Ability: Int
Secondary Ability: Wis, Con
HP at First Level: 8+CON
HP at Each Additional Level: +5+CON
Saves: Int, Wis
Armour Proficiency: Light
Weapon Damage: Light (1d4), One-handed melee (1d6), Two-handed melee (1d10), Ranged (1d6)
Equipment: One weapon, one spell component pouch, light armour, incantation book
1: Cantrips (2), Incantation Book, Invocation (one 1st-level spell/encounter)
2: Invocation (two 1st-level spells/encounter), Commit to Memory (one 1st-level spell)
3: Invocation (two 2nd-level spells/encounter)
4: ASI/Feat, Cantrips (3)
5: Invocation (two 3rd-level spells/encounter), Commit to Memory (one 1st-level spell; one 2nd-level spell)
7: Invocation (two 4th-level spells/encounter)
8: ASI/Feat, Commit to Memory (two 1st-level spells; one 2nd-level spell)
9: Invocation (two 5th-level spells/encounter)
10: Cantrips (4)
11: Invocation (three 5th-level spells/encounter); Commit to Memory (two 1st-level spells; one 2nd-level spell; one 3rd-level spell)
12: ASI/Feat, Mighty Invocation (one 6th-level spell/day)
13: Invocation (three 5th-level spells/encounter)
14: Mighty Invocation (one 6th-level spell/day; one 7th-level spell/day); Commit to Memory (two 1st-level spells; two 2nd-level spell; one 3rd-level spell)
15: Invocation (three 5th-level spells/encounter)
16: ASI/Feat; Mighty Invocation (one 6th-level spell/day; one 7th-level spell/day; one 8th-level spell/day)
17: Invocation (four 5th-level spells/encounter); Commit to Memory (two 1st-level spells; two 2nd-level spell; one 3rd-level spell; one 4th-level spell)
18: Mighty Invocation (one 6th-level spell/day; one 7th-level spell/day; one 8th-level spell/day; one 9th-level spell/day)
20: Invocation (four 5th-level spells/encounter; four 5th-level spells/day; one 9th-level spell/day)
Incantation Book: Whenever you come across a spell, you can study it, learn it and inscribe it into your incantation book.
You can cast any spell from your spellbook as an incantation. This takes one hour per level of the spell, and carries a cost.
The cost is decided upon by the DM. If the archivist is attempting an invocation that is mighty or risky, the cost should be interesting but challenging. If the archivist is performing a routine invocation (such as a low-level and not particularly powerful spell), the cost should be minor.
Example costs are:
* Sacrifices, of property, abilities, creatures, etc.
* Quests, to achieve something or discover something
* Compromises, where the spell does not turn out exactly as planned
You start off knowing two 1st-level spells of your choice.
Invocations: An invocation is cast from your incantation book, but it takes the normal casting time listed in the spell description and has no special cost. You select which spell to cast as an invocation as you cast it – you can choose from all the spells in your incantation book.
After using an encounter power, you must take a five minute rest before being able to use it again.
Mighty Invocations: As Invocations, but after using a daily power, you must take an eight hour rest before being able to use it again.
Commit to Memory: When you gain this ability, choose a spell in your incantation book. You memorise that spell, and thereafter can cast that spell at will. It takes the normal casting time listed in the spell description and has no special cost.
NOTES: Provided that the archivist is diligent in filling his or her incantation book, he or she will have a large list of spells that he or she can cast as incantations and invocations, making him or her very versatile. However, the spells he or she will have committed to memory are much more limited, since they are locked in when they are chosen.
The idea is for a class that is roughly comparable in power to the warlock or the sorcerer, but that is simpler to play. In particular, the requirement to study a spell to add it to your incanctation book may seem onerous or more difficult than picking from a list, but it effectively means that the archivist’s spell selection is left up to chance – which means the player doesn’t need to agonise over which spell is better.
THEATRE OF THE MIND
It’s no secret that 5E is intended to be usable without a grid, miniatures, measuring and so on, but the actual mechanics strongly push towards that style of play.
What follows is my attempt to create something that is tactically rewarding and with interesting choices, but only needs a pen and paper to depict (in practice, I think having tokens for each creature to place on very-quickly hand-drawn maps would be ideal, but pen and paper should be easy).
I’m very interested in your feedback.
Theatre of the Mind
This replaces the Combat chapter of the SRD.
It doesn’t require Microlite5E although they work well together – but if you’re playing standard 5E, any save that you make a creature take is DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your highest ability modifier.
Weapons and Spells
Dual wielding involves two light weapons (always), so they always count as light weapons.
Spells with a range of touch count as light, range of 5′ count as one-handed melee weapons, range of 10′ count as two-handed melee weapons, 30′ or fewer count as thrown light weapons and over 30′ are two-handed ranged weapons.
Combat Step by Step
1. Determine surprise.
2. Establish positions: which sector is each creature in?
3. Roll initiative.
4. Take turns.
5. Begin the next round (from step 4).
The battlefield is made up of any number of sectors, although in practice three to five is sufficient for even big fights, and two or three is sufficient for small ones.
A sector is an area large enough to contain several combatants, but small enough that each of those combatants could quickly engage another in melee combat.
A sector can be described in ways that affect it, like Difficult, Tight or Open, and can have things in it as well as combatants.
Each sector should be connected to at least one other sector in the battlefield. These connections can be described in ways that affect them, like Cliffs, Doorway, Chute, Portal and so on.
You can take a standard action (also known as an action), a move action (also known as a move) and a swift action (also known as a bonus action) in your turn. You can take these in any order and do not need to take all of them.
You can also take one reaction between each of your turns, on someone else’s turn.
You can also engage in various flourishes that do not require actions, like picking something up, dropping something, drawing a weapon, singing a song, etc.
The attack can take several forms.
Distance Attack: You are not in melee with the target or anyone else for the attack.
Closing Attack: You begin the attack in the same sector as the target but not in melee with the target or anyone else, and end in melee with the target.
Close-Quarters Attack: You are in melee with the target (and maybe others) for the attack.
Two-Handed Ranged Weapons: You can make a Distance Attack against creatures one sector away, or – with disadvantage – in your sector.
You can make a Close-Quarters Attack with disadvantage, but take an attack of opportunity.
Two-Handed Melee Weapons: You can make a Distance Attack against creatures in your sector.
You can make a Closing Attack.
You can make a Close-Quarters Attack, but draw an attack of opportunity if your target is armed with a light weapon.
One-Handed Melee Weapons: You can make a Closing Attack but draw an attack of opportunity if your target is armed with a two-handed melee weapon.
You can make a Close-Quarters Attack.
Light Weapons: You can make a Distance Attack against creatures in your sector, by throwing your weapon.
You can make a Closing Attack but draw an attack of opportunity if your target is armed with a two-handed melee weapon.
You can make a Close-Quarters Attack, and if your target is armed with a two-handed melee weapon you get advantage on the attack.
* Shove: A creature in melee with you makes a STR save. If they fail, they leave the melee (but remain in the sector).
* Cast a Spell
* Push: If you are not in melee, a creature that is in the same sector as you but not in a melee, makes a STR save. If they fail, they are moved into an adjacent sector.
* Move action: You can take a move action with a standard action.
* Use an Object: Although this should really say “Activate an Object”. It covers drinking potions, reading scrolls, etc., not just making use of an object.
* Disengage: You leave melee but remain in your sector.
* Grapple: I haven’t thought about this yet, but essentially think of it as a melee-within-a-melee.
* Withdraw: You leave melee but remain in your sector. You draw attacks of opportunity from those with one-handed melee weapons and two-handed melee weapons in the melee.
* Engage: You enter a melee that is in your sector.
* Dash: You move into an adjacent sector. You draw an attack of opportunity from any creature in that sector that is not in melee that is armed with a two-handed ranged weapon.
* Stand Up from Prone
Making an Attack, etc.
Tight: This sector can only have one melee. If a creature would enter a separate melee, all creatures that would be in that separate melee are placed in the one melee.
A creature that ends its turn in this sector automatically enters the one melee, if there is one.
Difficult Terrain: Dash, Engage and Withdraw are standard actions, not move actions.
Passages can either be two-way or one-way.
Cliffs: Unless you have a climb speed, moving through this passage requires a successful ability check. Fail and take damage. Forced movement cannot move you up Cliffs, but it can move you down them – in which case you don’t get to make a check, you just take damage.
Murderholes (point one-way): Shooting out of the murder-holes is not penalised. Shooting into the murder-holes is at disadvantage. Attacks of opportunity from two-handed ranged weapons against those entering the sector the murderholes are at advantage.
Doorway: Cannot be shot through if shut. Each creature that passes through can choose to leave the door open (can be shot through) or closed.