Using Build Points To Make Characters For Dungeons and Dragons

Those of you who are familiar with Shadowrun will get the concept of using Build Points (BP) to create characters, but it's also possible to modify this basic system to create new and altogether more awesome characters for D&D. My group plays a heavily modified version of 2nd ed. AD&D, but with a little tweaking (and in some cases, none at all) it's possible to use this system and these rules to roll up characters for 3rd edition, 3.5, and even fourth!

Remember: These are fan made rules. They've been playtested, and they're a lot of fun, but I'm not the guy who owns D&D, Shadowrun, or any of the other books, movies, etc. I've pulled from to create this system. So feel free to use them in your games and, most importantly-- have a blast!


Beginning pool of Build Points: 600

1. Choose Your Race:

Human (0 BP bonus, no abilities)
Elf: (-30 BP, Stat adj: +2 DEX, +1 CHR, -1 CON. Abilities: Low light vision, Well liked, first spell free.
Dwarf (-30 BP, Stat: +2 CON, +1 STR, -1 CHR. Abilities: Low light vis, liver of steel.)
Gnome: (-30 BP, Stat: +1 WIS, +1 INT. Abilities: Three free craft/repair abilities.)
Halfling: (-30, Stat: +1 CON, +1 DEX -1 STR. Abilities: Three free knowledge/physical abilities
Orc: (-30 BP, Stat: +1 CON, +2 STR, -1 CHR. Abilities: Three free THACO points. [-1])
Half-Breed: (any race. Half cost. Half benefits. Or double up. (I.e. half elf, half dwarf)
Android: (-50 BP, Immune to healing spells, [must be repaired] but gains the maximum HP every time HP would be rolled. Never needs to sleep. Some modifications/implants don’t work with this race. Skills cost half the BP to learn.

2. Buy Stats:

    All stats start at 9 (average), and Hit Dice = 1d8
    Spend 10 BP per stat point or hit die to raise, (max 18).

3. Positive and Negative Qualities:

Negative qualities give you extra BP, but Positive qualities cost BP. See list below.

4. Skills, Equipment, and THACO.

All skills cost 10 BP each (including languages)
Money spent on equipment uses BP. Spend 1 BP for every $100 you spend on gear.
THACO on all weapons starts at 18. You can lower this by 1 point for every 10 BP you spend.

5. Housing, Vehicles, vehicle mods, cyberwear, etc.

   Everyone needs a place to stay and/or hide out.
        Average Prices:
            Living on the street: 100/month
            Flophouse: 300/month
            Apartment with Roommate: 700/mo
            Own Apartment: 900/mo
            Renting a House: 1400/mo
            Luxury: 2500/mo
            Corporate Exec: 5000/mo

    Everyone needs a vehicle to get around with.
    You can even buy modifications, like turrets, hidden weapon slots, etc.
    Cyberwear will boost your stats, and give you other advantages

6. Spells:

10 BP/level of the spell. Can learn to cast them any number of times (as BP allows)

7. Contacts:

Pay BP to have a contact you can call upon for help when things get tough.
Decent contact: 10 BP
Good contact: 20 BP
Excellent contact: 30 BP
Priceless contact: 40 BP

8. Leftover Points:

Leftover points can be converted to steady cash (100 per BP spent) or can be used to influence die rolls in an encounter (adjust rolls up or down by 1 for every BP spent) It can also be saved for later character upgrades. Essentially, it becomes the new EXP/Levelling system.

Qualities

.

Positive Qualities:

Class Qualities:
Magic User (Mage Spells, -30 BP)
Religious Adept (Cleric Spells, -30 BP)
Shamanic Path (Druid Spells, -30 BP)
Illusionist (Illusionist Spells, -30 BP)
Weapon Knowledge (Type based, i.e. firearms. -2 to THACO on all of that type. -30BP)
Martial Artist: (Character’s fist/hand/foot attacks do 1d6 damage. -30 BP)
Stunning Fist: (10% chance to temporarily stun with a fist/hand/foot attack. -30 BP)
Channeling: (Character can imbue items with cast spells as a conduit mage. -30 BP)
Transcendent: (Transcendent spells, EP pool, etc. -30 BP)
Affinity for Paper: (Papermaster skills. -30 BP)
Alchemist Training: (Can brew potions, toxins, etc. -30 BP)
Psychic Vampire: (Can drain psychic energy and convert it to HP by touch. -30 BP)
Dimension Weaver (Limited access to dimensional pockets, planes, etc. -30 BP)
Psyker: (Psionic Spells, -30 BP)
Performer (Bard Spells, -30 BP)
Turn Undead: (-30 BP)
Necromancy: Character can resurrect simple undead. 1 at a time + 1 for every 20 BP spent. -40 BP)
Graft Flesh: (Character knows how to graft any kind of flesh onto himself or others. -40 BP)
Hemocreator: (You can create a copy of any material object you’ve seen with an equal amount of freshly spilled blood. Complex items take time [concentrating] familiarity, [i.e. taking apart a gun] and practice. -100 BP)
Cortical Stack: (If character “dies” his Stack can be retrieved and installed in a new body -30 BP)


Skill-Based Qualities:
Aptitude: (Skill based, i.e. pickpocketing. Character is a professional at this skill. -15 BP)
Ambidextrous: (Can use a small weapon in each hand with no penalties. -10 BP)
Animal Empathy: (Character has an unusually strong connection with animals. -10 BP)
Ace: (Character has a skill that he or she is an unquestioned master at. -25 BP)
Stunt Master: (Driving/piloting. You can do maneuvers no one else can. -20 BP)


Miscellaneous Qualities:
Endurance: (+1d10 HP [+ stat modifier] -10 BP each time)
Athletic: (Character moves at 2x the speed. -10 BP
Guts: (Character is rarely frightened. -10 BP)
Astral Chameleon: (Character’s signature is half as visible on the astral plane -10 BP)
Blandness: (Character knows how to make himself blend into crowds. -15 BP)
Codeslinger: (Character is extremely skilled at hacking, programming, etc. -20 BP)
Double Jointed: (Character is a natural escape artist and can squeeze where others cant -10 BP)
First Impression: (Character is skilled at making excellent first impressions. -10 BP)
Focus: (Character can cast spells with less chance of being interrupted. -20 BP)
High Pain Tolerance: (Character is a master at handling pain. -20 BP)
Home Ground: (The character has a strong, universal advantage on his home turf. -20 BP)
Human-Looking: (A non-human character can/chooses to pass as human. -5 BP)
Lucky: (Each BP spent to adjust die rolls allows you to roll a 1d3 for advantage adjustment instead. -20 BP)
Magic Resistance: (Every 5 BP spent = 1% of resistance, [max: 95])
Mentor Spirit: (A spirit or animal familiar linked to the character. -15 BP)
Murky Link: (Character is hard to track by his/her astral signature. -20 BP)
Natural Hardening: (Character is less susceptible to neural damage from cybertech -10 BP)
Natural Immunity: (To a specific disease or toxin. -20 BP)
Photographic Memory: (Character never forgets anything. Just ask the DM. -30 BP)
Quick Healer: (+2 HP effect per healing spell, skill, etc. -15 BP)
Spirit Affinity: (The character is naturally attuned to a specific type of spirit. -15 BP)
Diehard: (Character can continue to fight until up to -10 HP [-10 BP])
Reader: (Character can sense motives, emotions, basic thoughts by concentrating. -30 BP)
Quick Reload: (Character can reload twice as fast. -20 BP)
Quick Reflexes: (Character gets a +1d6 to initiative rolls. -20 BP)
Quick Hit: (Character can make two attacks in the space of one. -30 BP)
Mean Left Hook: (Character deals +2 HP physical damage per punch/kick. -20 BP)
Mechanical Empathy: (Character has great luck with machines) Can be taken up to 4 times, -10 BP each
Natural Linguist: (Learn languages for -3 BP. -10 BP)
Natural Charm: (Most people just like you. They can’t help it. -10 BP)
Reflexive Dodge: (Attack rolls against must be at least 2 higher than the target number, or they glance off and do 1 point. -40 BP
Imposing: (People are generally afraid of you. -10 BP)
Good at Range: (No penalty for extended range shots -20 BP)
Blind Fighting: (No penalty for fighting in the dark. -30 BP)
Ranged Disarm: (Reduced penalties for knocking weapons out of opponent’s hands. -20 BP)
Cleave: (Extra damage from a hit is transferred to nearby targets. -20 BP)
Catch Missile: (Ability to DEX check to catch an incoming, arrow-speed ranged projectile. -30 BP)
Empower Spell: ([Specific Spell] Double the yield of a spell. -15 BP)
Bull Rush: (Added benefit for charging to ram. -10 BP)
Improved Critical: (Double damage on a 19 or a 20. -20 BP)
Silent Casting: (Spells with verbal components can be cast silently. -40 BP)
Still Casting: (Spells with somatic components can be cast without movement. -40 BP)
Resourceful Casting: (Spells with material components can be cast without them. -100 BP)
Fame/Reputation: (People know your name. Not all people, but most people. -20 BP)
Juryrigging: (You can repair almost anything, but at a cost to the machinery. -25 BP)
Pathfinder: (Character can always locate a path through terrain – increases party move. -20 BP)
Holy Artifact: (Character possesses a holy (or unholy) artifact that has some special power. -30 BP)
Efficient Hunter: (When in the wilderness, character can easily provide food for a number of people equal to his wisdom modifier, and gains advantages when rolling to feed more. -20 BP)
Resourceful: (Sometimes you just happen to have the part needed, or know someone who does. -30 BP)
Guerilla Trapsmith: (Character knows how to put together basic traps with simple tools in an urban environment. -20 BP)
Undead Empathy: (Character has unusually strong influence over the undead -20 BP)
Ecclesiarch: (Character is a highly respected member of a particular religion. -20 BP)
Master Manipulator: (People have a really hard time saying no to you. -20 BP)
Protected Destiny: (Once per day, if you roll a 1, you may reroll it. -15 BP)
Graceful Drop: (If you fall, treat the distance as half. -20 BP)
Hibernation: (For each day you sleep, regain 1d10 HP. -20 BP)
Pidgin: (You can easily pick up the basics of a new language in 1d4 days. -10 BP)
Natural Leader: (Groups or mobs of unfamiliar people will usually rally under you. -30 BP)
Raised in the Dark: (Low light vision, or better low light vision for races that have it. -15 BP)
Deep Breather: (You can hold your breath underwater for 2x as long. -10 BP)
Earth Ally: (Touching the ground with hands reveals locations of enemies within 10 feet + 10 feet per 10 BP spent. -30 BP)
Crackshot: (Once per day, you may call a shot and not suffer a penalty. -20 BP)
Deflection: (You are skilled at bouncing a thrown weapon off an object before it hits it’s target. May be taken up to six times, each time being another object it can be bounced off of before hitting the target. -10 BP/each)
Moving Shot: (No penalty for attacking a fast moving object. -20 BP)
Blessed by the Gods: (Pick a quality. Double it’s effect. -50 BP)
Monkey Grip: (Somehow you never manage to lose your grip on your weapon. -20 BP)
Tunnel Fighting: (No penalties for fighting in a cramped space -10 BP)
Improvised Parry: (You can use your in hand weapon(s) as defense, -1 AC for each. -20 BP)
Weapon Frenzy: (Make as many hits in a turn as you can. The first is at a +3 THACO penalty, and each one after that incurs an additional, cumulative +3. -20 BP)
Ranged Pin: (You are skilled at pinning people to things with arrows or knives. No penalties. -20 BP)
Consecutive Strike: (Each time you hit an opponent consecutively, you get a cumulative -1 THACO bonus. [Max -5] -20 BP)
Healing Touch: (Character can heal 1d2 HP by concentrating and touching the injured. -30 BP)
Imbue: (You can charge a part of a living, undead or otherwise creature with a spell. -40 BP)
Glide: (You don’t walk, you glide everywhere like a spirit. -50 BP)
Item Familiar: (Pick an item. You may call this item telepathically from up to 5 feet + 5 additional feet for every 10 BP spent, away. -30 BP)
Bene Gesserit Voice: (You can give commands with your voice that people find hard not to obey. Using your power wears you out [sacrifice a spell or BP equivalent for the day for each use] -30 BP)
Haunting Voice: (You can whisper in the ear of a chosen individual from up to 1 mile away/lev -20 BP)
Necrotic Touch: (Character can do 1d2 HP damage by touching an opponent. -30 BP)
Skincaster: (Character tattoos his spells on his skin instead of in a book. -10 BP)
Verminous Graft (Turn one part of your body into an insect colony. These insects breed and are under your control, but you lose most or all function there. -40 BP)
Walk on Water: (Like Jesus or a Ninja, but only when concentrating on it. -30 BP)
Spirit Vessel: (Once per day, you may call a specific spirit or allow a random spirit to possess you and speak through you temporarily. -30 BP)
Transfer Affliction: (You can transfer diseases or injuries by touch to or from yourself or others who are willing or unaware. -30 BP)
Playdoh Face: (You can rearrange your facial features just enough to change your appearance. -30 BP)
Spell Snatch: (By touching a willing or unaware spell caster for an extended period of time and concentrating, you can copy one spell [other caster loses it for the day] -40 BP)
Steel Will: (50% resistance to gazes. -30 BP)
Hardened Veins: (25% resistance to poisons and toxins. -30 BP)
Raised Among the Waves: (You can move without any restrictions in the water. -30 BP)
Change Polarity: (Once per day, you can change the element of a spell when you cast it. -20 BP)
Ambulatory Shadow: (You can control your shadow as a body by concentrating hard. -30 BP)
Born by the Forge: (25% resistance to fire and heat -30 BP)
Born in the North: (25% resistance to cold and ice -30 BP)
Mercantile Background: (Merchants are much more likely to cut you a deal. -30 BP)
Silver Palm: (When a few bucks are needed, you almost always seem to have just enough. -30 BP)
Strong Soul: (50% resistance to drain attacks. -30 BP)
Inhuman Strength: (If the character [or someone the character really loves] is about to die, the character may experience a sudden burst that doubles their strength [max 25]. The cost is half his HP, and the effect lasts for only one round. -30 BP)
Bond Link: (By psychically bonding with a creature or person by touch, you will always know where they are. 1 person at a time, unwilling targets can try to save. -10 BP)
Visionair: (Once per day, by taking a round to focus on a target, you can know exactly how far away they are and take a shot at them as if they were an AC: 10 creature. Ranged only. -20 BP)
Preceptair: (You can take a moment to concentrate and “sense” for anything supernatural or heavily immaterial within 100 feet of you. -20 BP)
Diclon Arm: (You have an invisible “spirit arm” of 18 STR and 18 DEX that comes out of your back with a maximum range of 2 foot + 1 foot/10 BP spent on it. May be taken (individually) up to four times. -30 BP)
Apothecair: (With concentration, you can speak to plants and discover their ancient names and uses, occasionally allowing you to double their effectiveness when not rushed. -20 BP)
Artifact Reader: (You can get psychic impressions and/or visions from touching an object and concentrating. Repeated use makes you tired. -20 BP)
Summoner’s Lineage: (Creatures you summon have twice the HP and last twice as long. -30 BP)
Hermaphrodic: (You can change sex at will, though it only slightly alters your appearance. -20 BP)
Elemental Bond: (You have an affinity for a specific element– it reacts to your call, though the effect on the element is limited by your Wisdom and Intelligence, your use of the ability, and the effort/concentration you put into it. -30 BP)
Third Eye: (You have a third eye that, when open, has ultravision. -30 BP)
Shield Breaker: (You may target a foe’s shield instead of them. Make a STR check to break. -10 BP)
Wings: (You have wings that allow you limited flying capability, but they’re large and awkward in social situations. Wings have a STR of 9, but it can be raised at -10BP/point. At 12, you can carry others and fly. -30 BP to start.)
Acid Blood: (Your blood is highly corrosive and will melt or etch most things it touches. -30 BP)
Bone Spike: (You have the ability to grow/project a spike of bone out of your body and use it as a 1d6 dmg weapon. (Touch) -20 BP)
Echolocation: (You can “see” by projecting sound waves no matter the conditions. -20 BP)
Living Hair: (Your hair is magically animated, prehensile, and will follow your commands. -30 BP)
Electric Manipulation: (You can naturally act as a conduit for [or a battery, temporarily] for up to 1d6 points + your constitution modifier of lightning per round. This requires concentration to prevent overload. (damage). -30 BP)
Busy Shot: (If an ally is engaged in melee combat with an enemy and you are firing a ranged weapon, you may add your dexterity bonus to your THACO (as a bonus) -30 BP)
Necropotent: (+1d6 damage versus undead +1d6 for every 10 BP spent. -20 BP)
Pierce Magic Concealment: (You may spend a round dispelling (by touch) a magic (spell-based) form of concealment (i.e. invisibility, sphere of darkness, etc.) -30 BP)
Debris Fighter: (THACO = 9 when using debris as a weapon. Cannot be improved. -30 BP)
Doublecast: (Once per day, you may cast two spells at once. -20 BP)
Hot Linkage: (You may draw healing from electrical outlets [up to 1d4/round] -40 BP)

Negative Qualities

Class Based:
Lawful to a Fault: (Character is bound by a rigid code, will injure self if code is broken. +10 BP)
Too Fashionable for Plate: (Character can’t wear anything heavier than chain +10 BP)
Leather or Less: (Character can’t wear anything heavier than leather +20 BP)
Armor is for the Weak: (Character can’t wear armor. +40 BP)
Rigid Ethics: (Character can only use blunt hand weapons. +40 BP)
Busy Hands: (Character may only use small weapons. +10 BP)
Restricted Sphere: (Character only uses one magic class [i.e. summoning, abjuration, etc.] +30 BP)

Skill Based:
Incompetent: (Skill Based: Character is inept at this skill. +5 BP)

Miscellaneous Qualities:
Addiction: (Pick a substance. Mild: +5 BP, Moderate: +10 BP, Heavy: +20 BP, Burnout: +30 BP)
Allergy: (Pick a substance. Mild: +5 BP, Moderate: +10 BP, Heavy: +15 BP, Deadly: +20 BP)
Astral Beacon: (Character is highly visible on the astral plane. +5 BP)
Bad Luck: (Bad stuff happens to this character regularly. +20 BP)
Combat Paralysis: (This character cannot act on the first turn of a combat. Roll 1d6 each turn, on 1, character is paralyzed for a turn. +30 BP)
Elf Poser: (Non-Elf character thinks he’s an elf and has mods to look like one. +5 BP)
Orc Poser: (Non-Orc thinks he’s an orc and has mods to look like one. +5 BP)
Vampire Poser: (Non-vampire thinks he’s a vampire and has mods to look like one. +5 BP)
Technologically Inept: (Character has bad luck with machines) Can be taken up to 4 times, +5 BP each
Infirm: (Character is old, fat, or sick. All stat points in STR and CON, and all physical skills cost double. [+30 BP]
Low Pain Tolerance: (Character is highly susceptible to pain. +10 BP)
Scorched: (Bad experience with Cyber or hacking has left character with penalties. +10 BP)
Sensitive Neural Structure: (Double damage from stun weapons, short outs, etc. +10 BP)
Sensitive System: (Character has regular problems with cybernetic or bio implants. +15 BP)
FBI file: (Feds have watched the character in the past and start looking if something happens. +10 BP)
Spirit Bane: (A specific spirit type hates the character. +10 BP)
Uneducated: (Character never had any official education. Skills cost double. +30 BP)
Weak Immune System: (Character is more susceptible to disease, toxins, etc. +5 BP)
Psychosis: (Character has a severe mental problem. +10 BP)
Bleeder: (Gets tired easily, bleeds lots from small cuts. +5 BP)
Carrier: (Character has a disease that is mostly held at bay, but immune to all drugs. +10 BP)
Bad Limp: (Character moves significantly slower. +5 BP)
Blind, Deaf or Both: (+10 BP each)
Brand or Barcode Tattoo: (Character is marked for something he did in the past. +10 BP)
Amnesia: (Regularly forgets things. +10 BP)
Borrowed Time: (Character has an implant that is almost impossible to remove which contains an explosive or poison, etc. that could go off and kill him at any moment. +30 BP
Dependent Family: (Character has a family that is a huge weight in their life. +5 BP per dependant child and +5 BP for a spouse.)
Crippling Flashbacks: (Character randomly has flashbacks that paralyze him. +10 BP)
In Debt: (Character owes a huge sum of money to a powerful organization. +1 BP per 5000 owed. (Up to +20 unless the DM says otherwise.)
Mysterious Implant: (Character has an implant in his body that doesn’t seem to do anything. +10 BP)
Haunted: (A spirit/animal/familiar follows character everywhere, making his life harder. +10 BP)
Jihad: (An angry religion wants the character dead and randomly sends assassins to kill him. +20 BP)
Stunted: (Character can’t learn any other languages than his native one. +5 BP)
Things Don’t Go Smooth: (Worse than bad luck– Trouble actively looks for you. +20 BP)
Puritan Past: (Spells cost 2x as much. +20 BP)
Feedback: (Implants and Magic have negative effects on each other if used within a 10' radius +20 BP)
Eldrich Erosion: (You lose BP where others gain it, losing abilities and stats until death. +100 BP)
Mother Cyst: (A hungry cyst of undead flesh lives within you, slowly eating you from within. +30 BP)
Biomimetic Implants: (Character must “recharge” a series of implants that maintain his or her body functions once per month [+5 BP] once per week [+10 BP] or once per day [+20 BP]. This charging takes four hours and is done in addition to sleeping. [unless character is an android.)
Stigmata: (Casting spells or using psychic abilities causes the character to bleed from his eyes, ears, hands, etc. The damage is only 1 hp per casting, but it’s pretty scary looking. +10 BP.)
Darkness Within: (A demon was sealed within you as a child. Occasionally it grants you extraordinary powers, but mostly it just makes you go steadily more mad as it tries to take your body away from you. +20 BP)
Oath of the Deep Wood: (An insidious sapling has taken root within you and will slowly transform you into a tree. +30 BP)
Undead: (You’re dead, essentially. Unless that fact is well hidden, people will notice. +10 BP)
Etheric Entity: (You cannot be healed by any normal means– you must draw healing from dying creatures or high energy bioetheric sources. -20 BP)

Notes:

Good skills to have:
Driving, Motorcycle (or car, or truck– whatever you’re driving.)
At least 1 language (English)
Tracking, Astral Tracking, urban tracking
Acrobatics
Repair, automotive/small engine/motorcycle/airplane, etc.

Buying things:
Use $'s as equal to GP, Yen, etc, then consult the source books of your choice from any system and use the prices therein (Check with your DM)

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Comments 3 comments

deltamonk profile image

deltamonk 6 years ago from UK

Awesome! I don't really play much D&D, as we didn't like 4th too much. How come you prefer 2nd edition?


Stainlesssteele4 6 years ago

@deltamonk

Dude, D&D 4th ed. wasn't that bad. It did a really good job of balancing everything. Just look at rifts, the most unbalanced tabletop rpg in existance. I still prefer shadowrun anyway. The classless, build point system is more fun.


Porshadoxus profile image

Porshadoxus 5 years ago from the straight and narrow way

I learned RPG on D&D 2E, so it feels like home to me. I have an adequate understanding of 3.5. I prefer 2E to the other. Here's why:

In 2E, a character begins the game as a mostly ordinary person and must work hard to become a hero. In 3.5, the character begins as a hero already and must work toward demi-god, or whatever term you insert there. I dislike the overpowered feeling of the characters in 3.5. I prefer to work for my abilities/powers.

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