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Feature Changes

Some character features are modified slightly in this supplement to better support a darker, more dangerous tone—or to include some minor rebalancing issues to a variety of powers, backgrounds, skills, races, classes, and spells.

This chapter introduces a variety of recommended feature changes that can be introduced to your game regardless of the character creation method.

Common

These common changes apply to all character types. Pick the modifiers that are suitable for your game and let your players know which changes they should expect.

Alignment

When deciding on your character alignment, ignore any racial alignment restrictions or suggestions—as a mortal creature, you get to choose your own particular morality.

Background Features

You do not gain any feature automatically from your background—such as Discovery or Ship's Passage.

You can try to emulate these effects in-game, however, by making the appropriate checks during downtime and your roleplaying scenes.

Outlander: Wanderer

If you want to keep background features in your game, apply this change to the Wanderer feature.

You have advantage on Survival checks to guide, navigate, or forage in a favored terrain—choose one of the following: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, swamp, or Underdark.

Darkvision

True darkvision is a rare ability, found only in those who live in the darkest places of the world. To make darkness more significant in your game, apply these changes.

If you have the Darkvision racial character trait, replace it with the Low-light Vision trait:

Low-light Vision

Race, Trait

For 30 ft around you, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light. You cannot see in darkness.

If you have the Superior Darkvision racial trait instead, replace it with:

Darkvision

Race, Trait

For 30 ft around you, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey. Beyond 30 ft, you cannot see in darkness.

Sunlight Sensitivity

If your new character has the Sunlight Sensitivity racial trait, you may choose to remove it by either:

  1. Removing your native Darkvision racial trait entirely so that you have only normal vision.
  2. Replacing your native Superior Darkvision racial trait with the Low-light Vision trait (instead of Darkvision as above).

Initiative

Reaction speed is determined first-and-foremost by your thoughts—the faster you think, the faster you react.

Your initiative is no longer affected by your Dexterity—instead, use your Intelligence modifier.

Wizard: Tactical Wit

If you are a War Wizard, your Tactical Wit class feature now grants a Dexterity bonus—not Intelligence.

This may also apply to other unique class features or item powers, so judge accordingly.

Inspiration

You can hold up to 3 inspiration points at once. You can spend inspiration to make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check with advantage—though you must declare this before you make the roll.

Gaining Inspiration: You gain inspiration by acting in accordance with one of your characteristics in an interesting way for the game.

You can't be "inspired" by the same characteristic multiple times in one game session, so keep it varied.

Languages

You can comprehend a maximum number of languages equal to 1 plus your Intelligence modifier (to a minimum of 1 language). If you have more languages than this—through class or racial features—choose which ones you wish to speak/read/write and discard the rest.

Character Languages

INT Known Languages
-1 or lower You have only a basic grasp of vocabulary in your primary language, and you are illiterate.
0 You can speak, read, and write your primary language with a decent range of vocabulary.
+1 You can speak, read, and write two languages.
+2 You can speak, read, and write three languages.
+3 You can speak, read, and write four languages.

All characters know how to speak Common, but you can't read or write Common without mastering it.

Codes and Communication

Some features allow your character to communicate with others using secret codes and cyphers—such as Thieves' Cant. These are not classed as languages and so don't count towards your language limit.

Viridian spent much of his youth nose-deep in poetry. As a tiefling, his primary language is Infernal. With INT +2, he is able to speak, read, and write in three languages: Infernal, Common, and Elven.

Chansi, meanwhile, never had much time for books. As a halfling, her primary language is Halfing. With INT -1, she can speak Halfling and Common, but can't read or write with either language.

Skills

These skills have been updated to provide a more even balance of utility and improve some lesser-picked skills.

Animal Handling

Animal Handling now measures your ability to recall lore about animals (or creatures with the Beast keyword) and interact with them.

Roll Intelligence (Animal Handling) to recall information about animals, Wisdom (Animal Handling) to try to understand animals, or Charisma (Animal Handling) to dominate and control animals.

Nature

Nature no longer measures your knowledge of animals and beasts—that domain is now a part of the Animal Handling skill.

Spells

These changes update spells that may trivialize certain aspects of low-level adventuring and dungeon delving.

Light

Light is now a concentration cantrip with the same level of brightness as a torch. The spell ends automatically if the light is moved too far away from the caster.

Light

Evocation, Cantrip

  • Casting Time: 1 action
  • Range: Touch
  • Components: V, M
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

You touch one object that is no larger than 10 ft in any dimension. Until the spell ends, or your concentration breaks, or you move more than 120 ft away from the object, the object sheds bright light in a 20 ft radius and dim light for an additional 20 ft. The light can be colored as you like.

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature may make a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

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