Dark Sun homebrew update! I’m thinking I want psions, magic users, and similar powers to be from backgrounds rather than classes. Everyone will be starting with at least one psychic talent anyways because it’s Dark Sun and in my headspace all that wacky shit is a side pursuit for PCs… dedicated casting is a thing for NPCs. The classes are gonna be barbarians, bards, fighters, monks, rangers, rogues, and templars, and most (if not all) of those will have an archetype or class option for branching into wacky powers. Below is my current playtest rules for freaks, the replacement for clerics/druids/warlocks. They don’t get any bonus proficiencies, ability score bonuses, or bonus equipment (in addition to what their class provides) since they’ve been enslaved nearly their whole lives and exploited for their crazy powers.
A note on backgrounds in this homebrew: normally backgrounds in my rules will provide some ability score bonus (usually +1 to one score) in addition to all the other things backgrounds normally provide.
Freak. From a young age you’ve had an innate connection to a natural element and were discovered by a guild, wealthy noble, or other entity/organization and either purchased from your family or kidnapped. You’ve escaped somehow and are still hunted by whoever owned you previously and due to the value you can offer settlements and organizations, you will likely be hunted your whole life. Talk with your DM and determine who it is that’s actively after you. You must always endeavor to keep your nature a secret from even those closest to you, lest you be a target. You get no ability score bonus or proficiencies from this background. When you reach 20th level you transform into an embodiment of your power source, stats for which can be found in Chapter Seven.
Choose an element: Magma, Storm, Flesh, and Ooze. There are other more exotic elements, but these are the most common.
Magma freaks have natural control of flame and heat. You can produce flame anywhere within 15 feet of you (or in your own hand, for throwing) as an action at will (as the produce flame cantrip, though this effect is not magical and does not require spell components), you can increase the ambient temperature of a 30’ x 30’ room by 20 degrees, and you have resistance against fire damage. You dream in and are fluent in Ignan. At 20th level, you permanently transform into a Large-sized mound of always-hot magma.
Storm freaks have natural control of wind and lightning. You can create a strong wind in up to a 15’ x 15’ space that you are in or adjacent to, you can shock with a touch as an action at will (as shocking grasp but non-magical and without components), you have a hover speed of 10 feet, and you have resistance against lightning damage. You dream in and are fluent in Auran. At 20th level, you permanently transform into a Large-sized whirling cloud of sand, dust, and arcing electricity.
Flesh freaks have natural control over organic systems; bone, muscle, flesh, brains, and blood. You can stabilize a dying creature with physical and definable anatomy (this works on corporeal undead but not constructs, plants, or oozes) within 30 feet as an action at will, you can communicate telepathically up to five miles with anyone you’ve met or up to fifty miles with any other creatures capable of telepathy that you’ve met, and you have resistance against mundane poison damage. At 20th level you permanently transform into a Large-sized fleshy boneless mass of limbs, eyes, and mouths.
Ooze freaks are some of the most sought after individuals in Athas since they have natural control over water. You can produce up to your Constitution score in gallons of clean (unless you have a disease) water per day by vomiting it up (you can only vomit one gallon at a time, you must wait an hour before producing another), you can spray acid from your mouth as an action at will (as acid splash but non-magical and without components), and you have resistance against acid damage. You dream in and are fluent in Aquan. At 20th level you permanently transform into a Large-sized translucent blob of wet slime.