• Justin Handlin

Reskinning/Reflavoring Classes

Listen to Episode 48: Reskinning/Reflavoring Classes Here


When it comes to game such as Dungeons and Dragons, many players find themselves always associating class mechanics to specific details outlined in the books they are reading. This leads to a sort of tunnel vision. Rogues, sneak attack, barbarians rage, bards inspire, and that is pretty much it. Players treating classes as their mechanics is the single largest reason for players wishing there are more options. What many fail to grasp, is that the descriptions in the books, are just the beginning of your roleplaying options.


You can easily reflavor or reskin any mechanic to be anything you want. In this episode, Crit Academy is joined by a close friend and excellent roleplayer. He brings his own unique idea to life by replacing descriptions of rage, spells and bardic inspiration in a fantastic way. By stripping away his blinders, he re-envisions a multiclass into a look and feel of a character class that can summon the spirits his ancestors to aide himself and allies in battle. This new reflavored class is called "The Voice of the Ancients".


The beauty of reflavoring, is there is simply no change to mechanics, thus no risk for the Dungeon Master introducing unbalanced, untested material. Reflavoring can revitalize old classes, and bring a new fresh look at multiclassing.

You can find a PDF of his Voice of the Ancients Character Sheet below.

Voice of the Ancients PDF


Class: Voice of the Ancients

Reskinned: Bard/Barbarian Multiclass

Features: Compare and Contrast

PH Rage:

  • In battle, you fight with primal ferocity

Reskin: Ancient Spirit Bond, Harald Valdur First Warrior King of the Valsun Empire

  • The spirit of an ancient warrior appears over you. He is transparent and moves with you granting you strength and protection.

PH Bard Spellcasting

  • Playing music as a form of spellcasting.

Reskin:

  • All bardic spells and songs are performed in the form of rhythmic chants in the forgotten language of Ancient Vülric. While the words are impossible to understand the power of the Ancients Call makes the meaning of the chants unmistakably clear.

PH Bardic Inspiration:

  • You can inspire others through stirring words or music. Bardic Inspiration Die

Reskin: Ancients Call: Ancients Help Die

  • You tell an ancient spirit to assist a player. When they use the Help Die a spirit appears to help them with their attack or ability check or protects them from the saving throw.

PH Jack of all trades:

  • Basically you have studied many skills, add half proficiency bonus to non proficient skills.

Reskin: Ancients Experiences

  • Ancients who are more capable or knowledgeable than you will assist you in your skill checks.

PH Song of Rest:

  • You can use soothing music or oration to help revitalize your wounded allies during a short rest

Reskin: Chant of Recovery

  • A tale of forgotten battles won heals all friendly creatures

PH College of Lore:

  • Gain 3 bonus proficiencies

Reskin: Ancient Knowledge:

  • Your ancestor possesses you, working their craft through you.

PH Cutting Words:

  • You learn how to use your wit to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others

Reskin: Ancients Interference:

  • Send an ancient spirit to harass your enemies.


PH Inspiring Leader Feat:

  • You can spend 10 minutes inspiring your companions, shoring up their resolve to fight.

Reskin: Inspiring Epic

  • You spend 10 minutes telling the tales of great heroes who have come and gone. Those spirits come forth to protect you in battle.

Spell Samples: (Compare to original spells)

  • Ancients Memory (Minor Illusion)-Vision or sound based "illusions" are the memories from any of the ancients.

  • Thunderous Call (Thunderclap) - The power of the Ancients Call manifest as a sonic shock wave.

  • Ancients Mockery (Vicious Mockery)-Ancient spirit torments and distracts the target.

  • Ancients Mending (Cure Wounds) - Ancient healer joins with you to sooth the injuries of you or your allies.

  • Ancients Distraction (Bane) - Ancient spirits appear to distract your foes and defect their strikes.

  • Nattmara's Terror (Dissonant Whispers) - Summons an Ancient Nattmara spirit {Norse Banshee} who's horrifying appearance torments the soul of the enemy.

  • Ancient Artificer's Knowledge (Identify) - An ancient Artificer reveals the workings of magic items.

  • Ancients Forge (Heat Metal) - The fires of an Ancient blacksmith heats metal items to a searing red glow.

  • Giants Grip (Hold Person) - An Ancient Giant spirit grabs the soul of the target paralyzing their body.

  • Summon Ancient Spirit (Phantasmal Force) - A creature sees a spirit/spirit object/spirit memory


Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept:

Improvised weapon master-(Jackie Chun)

  • This character does anything and everything to beat people with items lying around the area. Works best with the tavern brawler feat.

Some examples:

  • Kitchen - Frying pan or iron pot, chair, bottles of ale, table or chairs

  • Armory - weapon rack, barrel or box, suit of armor, weapon sheath

  • Cave - rock or boulder, torch sconce, support pillar

  • Forest - small or large tree, river(drown), poisonous or thorny bush, vines

  • It's important to note, that in the PH - any improve item that resembles a weapon can also use the dmg die of that weapon as well as gain proficiency in it. Example: table leg, used as a club. Kitchen knife as a dagger.

Monster Variant: The Incarcerator

  • Origin: The Spy

Features:

  • Fast Hands: The jailer can use a bonus action with its cunning action to use thieves tools to disarm a trap, open a lock or take the use an object action.

  • 2/day: This creature can use the metal manacle restraints to bind a small or medium creature. Escaping the manacles requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check. Breaking them requires a successful DC 20 Strength check. Each set of manacles comes with one key. Without the key, a creature proficient in thieves’ tools can pick the manacles’ lock with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Manacles have 15 hit points.


Encounter: Listener Jason Simmons

  • The Demonic Ritual! This is something I thought of as part of the climax to a one shot i'm working on. A fiend was battled by heroes and long ago was barely stopped by being bound into an item hidden away. Now a cult is trying to resurrect him into his true form and the beast has been released to possess a new human form. The cult is confronted in a ritual chamber where they have kidnapped a number of sacrifices required to release their object of worship. A head cultist works through the rite while others defend and try to stop the heroes from disrupting it. Every so many rounds another sacrifice is completed and if all of them are killed the fiend takes form and must be contended with.


Magic Item:

Magic Item: Mana Channeler (staff)

This staff is made from an Ironwood tree branch with blue crystal veins traveling up the shaft with a large blue crystal at its head.

2/day

Allows the user to transfer one of their spell slots to another creature within 30 feet of a level they can cast at. The creature must already have spell slots for the transfer to be successful.


Dungeon Master Tip:

Give your enemies consumables.

  • Potions that buff their stats or let them breath fire can add some wonderful variation to a simple creature.

  • When an enemy uses a healing potion, it can add a bit of difficulty and surprise to a combat encounter

  • Magic scrolls can change the tide of combat,without leaving powerful magic items behind for the players to loot.

  • Generic items such as alchemist fire can shock and aww the players.


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick!

  • Ask yourself, what else can I do here? Improvise

  • You can get a lot of roleplay and memorable moments out of improvising concepts, ideas, and actions:

  • In a ballroom? Ask if there is a chandelier you can shoot down on top of enemies.

  • Enemies climbing a ladder to reach you? Knock it over.

  • Everyone on a rope bridge being pursued by enemies? Hold on tight, and cut the rope.

  • In a kitchen with the bread baking in the oven? Smash the enemies head into the flame.

If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on twitter and facebook @critacademy.

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