This campaign we elected to go with Point-Buy instead of rolled stats. That’s the biggest chunk of crunch attached to character creation for this campaign.
Why? Well, we were looking for a more balanced campaign. One where tactics mattered. If you can start off with an 18 in a key stat then you come out the gate swinging really hard. You wind up with characters starting with a +6 to hit bonus (Ability Modifier + Proficiency) OR a spell caster with a 14 Spell Save (and a +6 spell to hit bonus). That means walking onto the stage green as an unripe cucumber… players are hitting and blasting things pretty much all the time!
Rolled stats are great (we used them for the last campaign, and for many related one-shots) they make for heroic figures who excel in their trades. OR they make for bungling morons who can’t do much. We’ve played on both sides of that coin before and no matter how positive your attitude when you’re saddled with a low-score character that can’t accomplish much at all during combat frustrations abound.
SO… Gritty, tactical, dangerous! That’s what we wanted for our mercenary-based campaign. So we went with Point Buy this time. From behind the DM screen things are a lot more fun! Characters are all competent and dangerous but none are untouchable savants!
Other Crunchy Stuff:
Artificer: We’re using the UA artificer stuff for the artificer in our campaign. We’ll see what the next UA artificer looks like before we make a call on adopting it or not. The only real crunchy change we made was that the Healing Draughts are limited to your level +1/Day. Otherwise you’ve got a seriously OP healer on your hands!
Not really crunchy but flavor wise we also though the Artificer stuff about little bottles disappearing was kind of cheesy. So we changed the bottles to little globules (this had the player running our artifcer inspired to bring delicious Mochi to game-night one week! So everyone wins)
Also, you can find the current UA Artificer info here: https://media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/1_UA_Artificer_20170109.pdf
Superstitious 1/2 Orc:
So in-game the 1/2 Orc was always making these little tokens and giving them to their companions. With exhortations like, “This give you luck near water,” or, “Hmmph, here – protect you from boar!” It was such a super cool character development thing that we decided to put some mechanics behind it. Basically the 1/2 orc can have a total of 3 of these totems active at any one time (granted she makes far more than that haha). The can provide advantage or impose disadvantage once per day for the wearer in a specific situation. It requires working closely with the DM and the other players haven’t experienced the real advantage of Jung’s good luck charms yet but it’s good fun and should add some real flavor to the game!