Not really a new idea, but the Hero Points system that Eberron made popular will be coming back to the Campaigns I run. Overall I like them, they give player’s a slight bit of edge to spend to improve their chances of success in a pinch. And with the adjusted experience point chart I’m using these points will come in handy for players.
Hero Point Total = 5 + half of your Total Character Level (rounded down).
Hero Points are refreshed upon gaining a level. Unspent points are lost, they do not roll over when you gain a level.
What Hero Points do…
Heroic Deeds, duh. Hero Points are meant to augment your character, enabling him or her to achieve moments of greatness and heroic feats that lesser people not touched by heroic spirit could not achieve, at least not without a trip to the hospital or infirmary. By spending a Hero Point you can do any of the following actions in the campaign. Unless noted otherwise in the descriptions that follow, you can only spend a single hero point on your turn.
Alter Luck. You can sometimes be at the whim of a d20 roll. And your roll may be somewhat questionable, like a politician. So to help mitigate such circumstances, you can spend a hero point to alter your luck. When you do so, you gain a 1d4 to add to your d20 roll. Note that this expense can be done after rolling, but before the DM announces the result of your roll. It can also be done before the roll, in the hopes of improving your luck. Players can use Alter Luck at the beginning of a combat to improve their initiative roll, doing so counts as having spent an action point on the first round of combat.
At Higher Levels. Beginning at 5th level, you may instead roll 1d6 and add the result to your roll. At 11th level, you may instead roll 1d8 and add the result to your roll. At 17th level, you may instead roll 1d10 and add the result to your roll.
Extra Action. Sometimes a player needs an additional turn to do something awesome in the initiative order. By expending a hero point, you can gain a second action, move, or bonus action on a turn. This action takes place immediately following your first actions for the turn.
Cheat Death. Death sometimes likes to hover over a character and taunt them, like they’re Peter Griffin. For the rest of you, he just comes like a thief in the night and hauls off your character sheet. By spending 1 hero point you can turn one failed Death Save into a success per turn.
Act out of Turn. Sometimes you might not roll as well on Initiative as you’d like, or you really want to assist one of your allies so bad you just can’t afford to wait another second. By spending 1 hero point, your character is treated as if he or she had a readied action with set trigger condition and may act immediately, breaking the initiative cycle to interrupt and do something. This is convenient for when the tank is low on hit points and needs heals badly.
Recall Spell Slot. You can spend up to 3 hero points to cast a spell without using a slot, or to regain a spell slot you’ve already cast through. You can even recall a spell you’ve already cast. Doing so, costs a number of hero points based on the level of the spell or slot you wish to recall: up to 3rd level, 1 hero point; up to 6th level, 2 hero points; 7th level or higher, 3 hero points.
Inspiration will not follow the conventions discussed in the Player’s Handbook. Instead the party will get 1 point of Inspiration per game session that can be used on a single roll. Note that it can be used by anyone in the party at any time but you only ever get one per game as a party so you may wish to discuss with your allies at the table before using it.
The party will get 3 short rests per adventuring day, a 1 minute rest, a 10 minute rest, and a 1 hour rest, to be used in the order presented. The first time you stop to catch your breath in the dungeon, it only takes a moment, but as the day drags on it takes longer for each rest period to take place. You can spend hit dice during these rest periods to heal or use rest utility abilities during these rests. Once these three short rests are used up, you must finish a long 10 hour rest period. During the long rest you automatically recover 1 Hit Die of hit points from the rest, even if you had spent all your Hit Dice during the day.
Hit Point recovery. Player characters can spend Hit Dice when someone applies appropriate first aid to them. A character who is under the effects of a Healer’s Kit automatically spends 1 Hit Die for each use of a first aid/healer’s kit used on the character’s wounds. A character who uses 2 uses of a healer’s kit or first aid kit automatically spends 2 Hit Dice to recover hit points from the bandaging of wounds.
Warlock Spell Slots. A warlock gains a number of spell slots that can be spent as normal. You regain your spent spell slots twice per day when not in an encounter by petitioning your patron.
Abilities that recharge on a short or long rest. If an ability recharges on a short rest, you can use it 3 times per day or triple the number of uses listed for the day (for example, an ability you could use 2 times before finishing a short rest could be used 6 times per day). If an ability recharges on a long rest, you can use it 1 time per day.
So with the new 5th edition rules some of you might be wondering, if I am playing a non-fighter character can I still attempt to trip someone in combat and knock them prone? What about making an attack with intent to push an opponent backward 5 feet? The short answer is absolutely, if you can see your character doing these kind of things, there is no reason that they shouldn’t be able to. While the Fighter class presents an archetype called Battle Master that addresses some basic maneuvers, the guidelines presented here will add into what players already know for combat. You do not need to be a fighter to perform a combat maneuver, a fighter is just likely to be more proficient at it than members of other classes. The combat rules in 5th edition are simplified from what they used to be, which leaves room for improvement.
Combat Maneuvers are performed as part of an attack in 5th edition. You make the usual attack roll hoping to hit the target, dealing damage as normal. If your attack hits, you sacrifice a reaction for the round to perform the maneuver and the target is given a chance to resist the effect with a saving throw. The dc of the saving throw will be calculated as follows:
Maneuver DC = 8 + ability modifier + proficiency bonus, if applicable
For most combat maneuvers, you will base your DC off Strength since they are usually performed with a melee weapon attack or unarmed strike. You may substitute Dexterity for the DC if you are using a weapon that has the Finesse property, however. The target then makes a Saving Throw to resist the effect. If the save fails, the target suffers the effect of the maneuver attempted. If the save is successful, the effect is resisted. If you are a member of the following classes, you apply your Proficiency bonus to the DC: Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, or Rogue. These classes have sufficient training in martial prowess and get to add their proficiency bonus. If the character in question is a multiclass character, a single level in one of the martial classes listed provides proficiency bonus on maneuver checks, as you have spent sufficient time training in martial techniques.
When attempting combat maneuvers, you can only make an attempt if the target is at most one size category larger than you. For example, a Medium sized humanoid could attempt to Bull Rush a creature of Large size or smaller, but a creature of Huge size would be out of the question, the creature is just too big to be affected by a combat maneuver from a puny creature such as that. You must be proficient with the weapon you wield to attempt a combat maneuver with it. Unless noted otherwise, a character must make a melee attack as part of the maneuver. If you are not proficient with the weapon used, or would not add your proficiency bonus to the maneuver DC, you provoke reactions from threatening foes when performing a maneuver attempt. This list of maneuvers is not exhaustive, additional options may be added over time.
Bull Rush. A character may attempt to move into the defender’s space, pushing the target back if it fails a Strength saving throw against your maneuver DC. The creature must have an empty space behind it for this maneuver to be attempted, if there is nowhere directly behind the creature, the attempt automatically fails. Creatures with more than 2 legs gain advantage on the saving throw to resist the effect, while creatures smaller than you have disadvantage on the check, due to their size making them easier to push back. If the attempt is successful, the target creature is pushed by 5 feet.
Charge. Rushing into combat through a charge requires a straight, unobstructed path to the target. A charge does not provide a character with the benefit of saving throw to resist the effects. This maneuver counts as a Dash action combined with a single attack roll at the very end of it. Characters using a lance while charging deal an automatic critical hit if the attack hits the target. Note that a character wielding a spear, trident, or polearm that deals piercing damage can set the weapon to receive a charge as a Reaction, dealing critical damage if their attack hits the charging target. A charging character’s AC is reduced by 2 points for charging into combat, as the action itself is reckless, but the character gains a +2 bonus to hit from using the momentum of the motion as part of their attack roll.
Disarm. As part of either a melee or ranged attack, you can attempt to disarm an opponent, knocking their weapon or shield from their hand to the ground. If you use a ranged weapon to disarm, you must use your Dexterity modifier for the save DC. Ranged disarm attempts may not be made at long range. If your attack hits, the opponent makes a Dexterity saving throw to attempt to maintain its grip on the weapon. If the creature had the weapon strapped to its hand or in a locked gauntlet, the saving throw is made with advantage. If the saving throw is failed, the target drops its weapon into the space it occupies. On a critical hit, if the saving throw is failed the disarmed item instead flies through the air 1d6 × 5 feet in a random direction chosen by the DM. A disarmed character provokes reactions from threatening creatures if it attempts to pick up a dropped item.
Feint. To make a feint attempt, your character rolls a Deception check as part of the basic attack roll just before making the attack, resisted by the opposing creature’s Wisdom saving throw or Perception check. If your attempt succeeds you gain advantage on your attack roll against your foe. The foe gains advantage on successive saves against feint attempts once they fall for this trick once, however. This maneuver is a favorite of rogues for making sneak attacks. If the foe doesn’t buy your feint, i.e. succeeds on the save or opposed skill check, you provoke reactions from the creature as normal.
Fight Dirty. Sometimes you just want to grab a little handful of dirt and throw it in a creature’s face or give it a swift kick or headbutt to the “crown jewels”, so to speak. Fighting dirty is the proverbial “low blow” of combat, used by scoundrels as a way of escaping a fight or otherwise debilitating a foe. The exact results are left for DM interpretation, but a character attempting to fight dirty still does so under the normal rules for a maneuver. The DM decides which saving throw to use for resisting the attack, Constitution for a crotch shot would be considered fair, whereas throwing dirt in someone’s face would call for a Wisdom check. A creature that fails its save might suffer the blinded condition for having dirt in its eyes for 1d6 rounds, enabling the dirty fighter to escape, while a crotch shot might immobilize a character for a like amount of time (anyone that’s ever been hit in the genitals knows how much it hurts). If the character is wearing a helmet or armor in the region to be attacked, however, the DM might grant advantage to the saving throw. Fighting dirty does not provoke reactions, as these attempts are usually done out of desperation and are unexpected. Any creature with an Honor score who uses this type of maneuver loses 1 point of Honor each time they attempt a dirty fighting maneuver.
Overrun or Lariat. To perform an overrun you must move through the opponent’s space. This is done as part of your movement for the round, but still consumes your reaction. You provoke reactions from creatures threatening you before you move through the opponent’s space. To make an Overrun attempt, you make an Athletics or Acrobatics check, opposed by your opponent’s same skill check or Dexterity save. If you succeed, you run past the foe to an unoccupied space behind it. A Dexterity saving throw is to simply dodge out of your way as run past, side-stepping you on a successful save, or being knocked prone on a failure. If attempting a lariat, you must make an attack roll and the opponent must oppose it with a Dexterity save to avoid it or a Strength save to resist it. This is basically an overrun with an attack made with intent to knock the opponent prone instead of simply running past the foe. A character is treated as making a lariat check if the intent is to tackle the foe, but if the opponent fails the save, the foe is prone with the opponent on top of them and considered to be in a grapple.
Sunder. This maneuver can be attempted with weapons that deal slashing or bludgeoning damage only. The intent of a sundering attack is to break the opponent’s weapon, shield, or armor, rather than simply attacking the creature wielding it. Attempting a sunder always provokes reactions from threatening foes, as you are focusing your effort on attacking an item worn or held by a creature. If your attack succeeds, all damage is applied to the item attacked, rather than the creature. If the item breaks, the character wielding it or wearing it suffers penalties, broken armor is cumbersome, reducing a character’s speed by 10 feet until it is removed, and provides only half the usual bonus to Armor Class, while a weapon becomes an improvised weapon or deals less damage than normal. The full effects of a sunder are left for the DM’s interpretation, but generally speaking if a player intends to break a weapon and deals sufficient damage to do so that will happen. It won’t stop the foe from using the broken pieces as improvised weapons, however. You provoke reactions from threatening foes when attempting a sunder maneuver.
Trip. You may attempt to trip a foe with a ranged weapon as well as a melee attack, but suffers disadvantage and cannot be made at long range. To trip a foe, you must hit with your attack roll and the opponent must succeed at a Strength saving throw against your maneuver DC. If the foe fails the save, they are knocked prone. You provoke reactions from threatening foes when making a Trip attempt.
Computer terminals will still exist, however, without electricity supplied by the usual means we are all used to, they will require power. Fortunately there are some arcane experts out there who have figured out to keep the power flowing through the conduits. This means not every wire you encounter will be dead, so watch where you walk. Power sources will be important but there will be functional facilities you can still access. Computers and security systems to be hacked with hacking tools. And that’s where this little area comes into play.
The Grid. Think of the Grid as the next iteration of the internet, a more evolved internet where a character can fully immerse themselves into it, partially immerse themselves, or just plain avoid immersion and stick to the basic terminal access points.
Basic Terminals. These are keyboard and mouse or keypad type systems that allow a character to access the world wide information grid, simply called the Grid by modern folk. Basic Terminals do not allow a character to become immersed into the actual Grid, but they are required to write source code and scripts so many hackers still keep a computer system handy for the purpose of writing new programs when necessary.
Augmented Reality. Also known as AR, this type of partial immersion combines network access with the real world. Users may have optical prosthetics or wear specialized goggles or masks that provide real-time feedback from the Grid where the user can see the data. AR is not commonly found everywhere, but it has become a staple in the lives of those in regions where technology was minimally affected by the sundering of the world.
Virtual Reality. The user can fully immerse themselves into a network by “Jacking-on” to it. This can be accomplished with cybernetic augmentations that allow a character to enter the Grid. When in this state, the character’s full consciousness is removed from the real world and fully immersed into the Grid. A character immersed in the Grid in this manner uses a Shadow Avatar created by a program (the avatar can have whatever appearance the user programs into it). While immersed in virtual reality, the user may run programs through their avatar’s hardware (usually a computer core augmented into the body or some kind of VR Rig in the real world that allows full immersion). Once in Grid Space, the character’s number of active programs is restricted by their computer’s processor core. If you try to run more programs it causes your computer to crash, crashes in VR are bad for the user. Shadow Avatars who are up to no good may actually seek ways of breaking into databanks or hacking other terminals through VR access, this is similar to physically breaking into the data, with the tools used being programs that the user accesses. There is no limit to the number of programs a character can have stored in their computer, but physical CPUs can only run so many programs.
See Computer Programs for information on what programs are available and how they work.