d20 LogoSystem Reference Document v3.5

Unearthed Arcana


pict The variety of class options available to characters can seem overwhelming. Though that variety can lead to interesting and exciting combinations, a game master who desires to run a simpler campaign (while still allowing for character variety) can use these "generic" character classes in place of the standard character classes.

The three generic classes here - warrior, expert, and spellcaster - cover the common roles of a group of adventurers. (Despite sharing names with NPC classes, the warrior and expert presented here are very different from those classes.) But despite these classes' basic approaches to character building, each one allows a wide variety of archetypes through the selection of skills and feats.

If you use these generic classes, you shouldn't also use the standard character classes (or variants of those classes). You can still include prestige classes, if you wish to add that level of complexity to your game, but you may have to tweak some prestige class prerequisites that include class features not available to these classes.

Each generic class has one or two good saves and one or two poor saves. At 1st level, the character designates which saves are good or poor. If the character later gains a level in a different class, he designates which saves are good or poor for that class.

For example, Daniel is creating a 1st-level warrior, a class with one good save and two poor saves. He wants to create a swashbuckling-type character, so he designates his good save as Reflex and his poor saves as Fortitude and Will.

Later, Daniel's warrior gains a level of expert, a class with two good saves and one poor save. He wants to keep his Reflex save high, so he designates that as a good save. He also decides that he wants his character to become better at resisting enchantments, so he designates Will as his other good save, and Fortitude is left as his poor save.

Each generic class has a specific number of class skills, as given in the class description. When a character takes his first level in a generic class, he chooses which skills to designate as class skills. Once these are selected, the character can't change his choice of class skills (though if he gains a level in another class, he can choose different skills as class skills for that class).

For example, a warrior has six class skills, plus Craft. Daniel wants to play an agile, crafty warrior who uses his high Dexterity and Charisma scores to good effect. At 1st level, the character designates his class skills as Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

When Daniel's warrior gains a level of expert a class with twelve class skills plus Craft and Profession, he must choose a new set of class skills. Daniel wants his character to be able to continue purchasing the same skills as class skills, so he starts by designating all the skills he chose for his warrior as class skills. Since his character has taken up life as a thief and second story artist, he adds Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Disable Device (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), and Open Lock (Dex) to his list of class skills.

Each class gains a bonus feat at 1st level, and additional bonus feats at specific levels throughout the character's career. Each time the character gains a bonus feat, he may select any feat for which he meets the prerequisites. There is no list of bonus feats to select from.

For the purposes of these classes, the following class features can be selected in place of bonus feats (unless noted, each may only be selected once).

Evasion (Ex): As the monk ability. Prerequisite: Base Reflex save +3.

Familiar: As the sorcerer ability. Use spellcaster level to determine familiar's abilities. Prerequisite: ability to cast arcane spells.

Favored Enemy (Ex): As the ranger ability. May be selected more than once; each additional selection improves any one favored enemy bonus (including the one just selected) by 2.

Greater Sneak Attack (Ex): Add +4d6 to your sneak attack damage. Prerequisites: Hide 18 ranks, Move Silently 18 ranks, sneak attack, improved sneak attack.

Improved Evasion (Ex): As the monk ability. Prerequisites: Base Reflex save +7, evasion.

Improved Sneak Attack (Ex): Add +3d6 to your sneak attack damage. Prerequisites: Hide 11 ranks, Move Silently 11 ranks, sneak attack.

Smite Evil (Su): As the paladin ability, once per day, plus one additional daily use per five character levels. Prerequisite: good alignment.

Sneak Attack (Ex): As the rogue ability, but +2d6 on damage rolls. Prerequisites: Hide 4 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks.

Turn undead (Su): As the cleric ability. Prerequisite: ability to cast divine spells.

Trap Sense (Ex): Combines the rogue class features trap sense and trapfinding. Prerequisite: Search 4 ranks.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Combines the barbarian class features uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge. All class levels stack to determine the minimum character level required to sneak attack the character.

Wild Empathy (Ex): As the druid ability. Prerequisite: Handle Animal 4 ranks.

You can't recreate all of the standard character classes with these generic versions, particularly classes with complicated, unique, or specialized features such as bardic music, a wizard's familiar, or a druid's wild shape ability. If your game master allows it, you might be able to select other class features in place of one or more feats.

Table: The Expert
Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st+0+2+0Bonus feat
2nd+1+3+0Bonus feat
4th+3+4+1Bonus feat
8th+6/+1+6+2Bonus feat
12th+9/+4+8+4Bonus feat
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5Bonus feat
20th+15/+10/+5+12+6Bonus feat

The expert can be a jack-of-all-trades or a master of a limited area of expertise. Based on his selection of skills and feats, he can focus on diplomatic matters, stealth, combat, wilderness survival, thievery, or any of a number of critical tasks.

At first glance, the expert appears similar to the rogue; it shares that class's combat ability, wide range of class skills, and tendency toward simple weapons and light armor. Unlike a rogue, however, the expert has no special class features, but instead defines his specialty by his selection of bonus feats.

Hit Die: d6.

Base Save Bonuses: Two good saves and one poor save.

Class Skills: Choose any twelve skills as class skills, plus Craft and Profession.

Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier (or four times this number at 1st level).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple weapons, one martial weapon; light armor.

Bonus Feats: The expert gets one bonus feat at 1st level, another at 2nd level, one at 4th level, and another one at every fourth class level thereafter (8th, 12th, and so on).

Table: The Spellcaster
Level Base
Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st+0+2+0Bonus feat42
5th+2+4+1Bonus feat653
10th+5+7+3Bonus feat666542
15th+7/+2+9+5Bonus feat66666653
20th+10/+5+12+6Bonus feat6666666665
Table: Spellcaster Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th

Whether arcane or divine, the spellcaster has an array of magical effects at her beck and call. Depending on her choice of spells, she can be a healer or an enchanter, a necromancer or a trickster.

The spellcaster most closely resembles the sorcerer, though she has fewer spells per day than that class. In exchange, she gains a number of bonus feats that she can use to improve her magical aptitude, increase her survivability, heighten her combat skills, or achieve any of a wide variety of other goals.

Hit Die: d4.

Base Save Bonuses: One good save and two poor saves.

Class Skills: Choose any four skills as class skills, plus Craft, Knowledge (all), and Profession.

Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier (or four times this number at 1st level).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: One simple weapon; no armor.

Bonus Feats: The spellcaster gets one bonus feat at 1st level, one at 5th level, and another one at every fifth class level thereafter (10th, 15th, and so on).

Spellcasting: A spellcaster learns and casts spells as a sorcerer. She may select her spells known from the cleric, druid, and sorcerer/wizard spell lists.

A spellcaster must choose at 1st level whether to be an arcane spellcaster or a divine spellcaster. This choice has no impact on the spells that she may learn, but affects what kinds of scrolls she can use and which ability score controls her spellcasting. An arcane spellcaster may designate either Intelligence or Charisma as the ability score that determines the highest-level spell she can learn or cast, and the Difficulty Class of her spell's saving throws. A divine spellcaster must use Wisdom to determine the highest-level spell she can learn or cast, and the DC of her spell's saving throws.

Multiclassing: A character can multiclass between arcane spellcaster and divine spellcaster.

Table: The Warrior
Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st+1+2+0Bonus feat
2nd+2+3+0Bonus feat
4th+4+4+1Bonus feat
6th+6/+1+5+2Bonus feat
8th+8/+3+6+2Bonus feat
10th+10/+5+7+3Bonus feat
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4Bonus feat
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4Bonus feat
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5Bonus feat
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6Bonus feat
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6Bonus feat

The warrior is the basic combatant of the trio of generic classes. He has the fighter's hit points, combat prowess, bonus feats, and weapon selection.

Unlike the fighter, the warrior can choose a different array of class skills, can designate any one of his saves as a good save, and can select his bonus feats from the entire list of feats available. Also, if he wants to be proficient in heavy armor, he must take the Armor Proficiency (heavy) feat.

Hit Die: d10.

Base Save Bonuses: One good save and two poor saves.

Class Skills: Choose any six skills as class skills, plus Craft.

Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier (or four times this number at 1st level).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons; light and medium armor; shields (but not tower shields).

Bonus Feats:A warrior gets one bonus feat at 1st level, one at 2nd level, and another one at every second class level (4th, 6th, and so on).

With only three classes to choose from (four if you count arcane spellcasters and divine spellcasters as separate classes), multiclassing in this variant system offers a much smaller variety of combinations than in the standard game. Thus, the game master probably shouldn't apply an XP penalty for characters who multiclass.

If you wish to retain the "favored class" element of the standard game, treat any race whose favored class is barbarian, fighter, monk, or paladin as having warrior as its favored class. A race whose favored class is bard, ranger, or rogue has expert as its favored class. A race that has cleric or druid as its favored class treats divine spellcaster as favored, while a race with a favored class of sorcerer or wizard treats arcane spellcaster as its favored class.