"What D&D Character Am I?"
D&D Alignment System

Custom Characters

Selected Basic d20 Downloads:

RC Addendum

Ars Magica d20

Cypher System

Custom Characters and D&D House Rules

A Guide to Free-Form Character Creation and Advancement

Description: Custom Characters revolutionizes the way you create and advance your characters for all fantasy roleplaying campaigns based on the OGL System Reference Document. Experience points are used as currency to buy all character traits resulting in a "classless" system. Unlike other attempts at a point buy system, Custom Characters bases trait costs on your character's level, not the trait level. This results in experience point progressions that closely mirror those found in class-based OGL fantasy games.

Custom Characters contains:

- Rules for Character Generation and Advancement

In Custom Characters, players use XP like currency to buy their characters' traits. Starting with an initial allotment of XP, players build their starting characters to the exact specifications they desire. As players earn XP during play, new traits can be bought when desired (and, of course, when the GM allows!). Players don't have to wait for "level breaks" to see improvement in their characters' abilities. And the best thing is that the character building system in Custom Characters is much simpler than previously offered fare. All trait costs are calculated by multiplying the base cost for a trait by the character's level. Easy!

- Over 300 Special Abilities

Class special abilities for all of the basic and prestige classes found in the SRD are detailed, allowing you to pick and choose exactly what abilities you want your character to possess. Logical prerequisites are listed for each class special ability. Rules are included on how to bring new class special abilities found in other rulebooks into the Custom Characters system.

- Seven New Generic Character Classes

Expanding upon the generic classes found in the SRD, seven new character classes are built from the ground up. The combatant, the expert, the spellcaster, the specialist, the gish, the zerth, and the polymath are detailed and used to illustrate how creative gamemasters can apply the principles of Custom Characters to create unique character classes for their campaigns.

- Spontaneous, Free-Form Magic System

Many game supplements have attempted to introduce a spontaneous spellcasting system for OGL-based games, with varying success. Most systems of "spell-building" are extremely complicated and require an inordinate amount of bookkeeping. Custom Characters contains an extremely simple system for spontaneous spellcasting that can be easily dropped into any campaign that requires no bookkeeping on the part of the players or gamemaster.

- Two Alternate Experience Point Award Systems

Custom Characters offers two new ways to award experience points. The first is a simplified award system that continues to advance characters one "level equivalent" for every 13 or 14 evenly-matched encounters. The second system awards experience for characters who take long amounts of time off between adventures. This "blue-booking" system allows characters to continue to improve their abilities over time, even if adventures are separated by weeks, months, or years.

- Level-by-Level Breakdowns of the Eleven Basic Character Classes

No free-form character building system is worth its salt if it can't build the normal character classes accurately. Custom Characters provides a level-by-level analysis of the experience points required to advance characters along a single class. Experience point totals falling within the proper range for each level occur 85.5% of the time and are never more than one level away in any case. In this respect, Custom Characters is the most accurate "point buy" character building system for OGL-based games on the market.

- Conclusion

Emphasizing simplicity and a minimum of bookkeeping, Custom Characters is an easy, rules-lite way to introduce a free-form, point-buy character building system into your OGL-based fantasy campaign.

- Download Custom Characters Today!

Custom Characters contains only "open" content and no illustrations. Click below to download!

Custom Characters (1.6 MB)

Here's a set of house rules that I developed for my group. From this, I created Custom Characters.

D&D 3.5E House Rules (7.2 MB)

Basic d20

Get back to the basics!

Drawing on concepts introduced in Custom Characters and my D&D house rules, I came up with a rules-lite set of guidelines that can be used with the above documents. These are really just notes; users should be extremely familiar with a wide variety of d20 games including D&D, d20 Modern, and Mutants & Masterminds. Familiarity with the M&M Mastermind's Manual will greatly aid a potential GM as a number of concepts are drawn from it.

The Basic d20 "Rulebook": Basic d20

A Basic d20 Character Sheet: Basic d20 Character Sheet 1

Or maybe you'll like this character sheet: Basic d20 Character Sheet 2

And if you like older versions of D&D (BECMI, AD&D, etc.), try this: Basic d20 for D&D

This document details four new broad skill areas for Star Wars campaigns: Basic d20 Force Skills

Here's a document to help you convert Basic d20 characters for Chaosium games: Basic d20 to Chaosium BRP

A different advancement system for Basic d20 reminiscent of the Chaosium system is detailed in this document: Basic d20 Natural Advancement

How to use fantasy races from the SRD in Basic d20: Basic d20 Fantasy Races

A generic magic system for Basic d20 that does away with class-based spellcasting: Basic d20 Magic Skills

A generic psionic system much like the above document: Basic d20 Psionic Skills

An easy way to quantify and track alignment for Basic d20: Basic d20 Alignment

Some notes on what rules from the Mastermind's Manual were used for Basic d20: Basic d20 Rules Checklist

An even simpler spellcasting system for Basic d20: Basic d20 Spellcasting

A review of skill checks and a new option for combat: Basic d20 Skill Rolls

All class special abilities adapted for use with Basic d20: Basic d20 Class Advantages

A social class system for your Basic d20 campaign: Basic d20 Social Class

Further clarification on Dodge, Parry, and Armor Bonuses: Basic d20 Defense

Yes, there's a way to make spellcasting more basic. This document details the Magic Skill, a broad skill that can be used as the basis for all spellcasting: Basic d20 the Magic Skill

Trait limits based on the campaign's maximum character level: Basic d20 Power Level Limits

Yet another magic system. This time, we get rid of Vancian spell slots and spell points in favor of spellcasting based on an increasingly debilitating condition known as Mindfog: Basic d20 Fairy Tale Spellcasting

Now there are just too many magic systems. Once again, we get rid of Vancian spell slots and spell points, but this time the limitation on spellcasting comes in the form of a temporary loss of spellcasting: Basic d20 Loss-Based Spellcasting

Rules Cyclopedia Addendum

I know this has already been done, years ago, but here's my take on separating race and class in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

Rules Cyclopedia Addendum

Ars Magica d20/5e

I even worked up some notes on how to run a fantasy campaign in the style of Ars Magica Fifth Edition by Atlas Games. It's called Liber Icosahedronis. You may find these notes incomplete or difficult to follow, but here they are:

Liber Icosahedronis (1 MB)

Here's a campaign sketch that uses D&D 5e, the Ars Magica 5th Edition library, and Adventures in Middle-Earth

Adventures in Mythic Europe (1.5 MB Updated November 12, 2017)

Cypher System

Cypher System Notes

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? E-mail Me!