Content of the article: "Homebrew rule to spice up deadly encounters"
I'm currently designing a homebrew rule to make those last couple rounds of deadly encounters more interesting for the players and I'd like some advice. This rule does increase the power of the PCs but for high costs. What I have so far is this:
Last ounce of strength: At the end of an adventuring day or during extremely difficult encounters, characters can easily burn through all of their resources. Sometimes, in order for the party to survive, you might wish to push yourself beyond your normal limitations.
Spellcasters: if you wish to cast a spell but do not have the spell slot required for it, you can cast the spell without requiring a slot. Immediately after your turn is complete, your exhaustion level increases by a number equal to the level of the spell cast using this feature. The level you cast the spell at must be a level for which you can normally cast spells.
Martials: when you take the Attack action, you can make one additional attack, following all other rules as normal. Immediately after your turn is complete, you take a number of levels of exhaustion equal to the number of extra attacks you made using this feature. Rogues may apply half of their sneak attack damage to each of these special attacks, should they qualify, even if sneak attack was already used this turn.
I tend to run very deadly encounters over long adventuring days, so by the time the party reaches the end they're low on resources and hp. What this rule is supposed to do is allow players to have an emergency switch when things aren't going their way and they just need to escape or else probably die. I think it also gives a character a way to heroically sacrifice themselves for the party, such as a Wizard casting chain lightning on a horde of monsters surrounding the party, allowing the others to escape while he falls to the ground and dies.
My main issue is whether this rule allows equally "powerful" moments for the majority of builds. One example was the rogue, they didn't get anything from either feature so I explicitly allowed half of sneak attack. Is there any other relatively common build that doesn't benefit as much from this rule as the other classes, and would there be a way to fix that? Similarly, are there any builds that can take advantage of this?
I'm planning on testing this rule in a oneshot tomorrow, all of my players seem to like the concept
EDIT: Martial version has been changed to 2 attacks at advantage per level of exhaustion. This cancels out disadvantage at exhaustion levels 3 and above. Additionally, spellcasters have been hard limited to 6th level and below spells, as current wording did not explicitly forbid casting a spell above the maximum number of exhaustion levels.
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