Substitution levels are unusual talents developed by some people in Realmspace. Each is specific to a given character class. Often they are linked to a specific race, or a particular personal background.

In order to gain a substitution level, the character usually has to give up what would normally be a feature of their character class.

Examples of Substitution LevelsEdit

Waste druid

A wasteland druid with a a hare companion.

  • Some kobold fighters eschew medium and heavy armors in favor of added mobility and expertise with spears. They also train to increase their stamina and physical strength.[1]
  • Certain drow warlocks whose powers are derived from Lolth's handmaidens exhibit increased resistance to poisons. Their blood itself becomes poisonous. Experienced individuals can even apply this venom to their eldritch blasts.[2]
  • Some paladins who walk the planes take on traits that aid their abilities. Heroic tier paladins eschew the ability to turn undead in favor of being able to smite fiends. Their special mount gains celestial traits, and eventually they are able to resist the effects of evil or chaotic planes.[3]
  • Instead of resistance to mind-affecting spells and enchantments, Broken One monks sometimes learn to heal by laying on hands, like a paladin or divine champion. They may also learn to track subjects while moving at speed, and even use locate creature to hunt Loviatans.[4]
  • Dwarven sorcerers sometimes eschew familiars in exchange for an ability to draw energy from the earth, increasing their perception and resistance to damage. They can increase spell range against creatures that touch the ground. Experienced dwarven sorcerers can meditate to increase the number of spells they can cast.[5]
  • Some druids who live in desolate wastelands can travel swiftly across the sands. They gain increased heat resistance, and can transform into desert vermin rather than animals.[6]


  1. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Kolja Raven Liquette (2006). Races of the Dragon. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-3913-3.
  2. Ari Marmell, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, Greg A. Vaughan (May 2007). Drow of the Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-4151-3.
  3. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel (July 2004). Planar Handbook. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-3429-8.
  4. Thomas M. Reid, Sean K. Reynolds (Nov. 2005). Champions of Valor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-3697-5.
  5. David Noonan, Jesse Decker, Michelle Lyons (August 2004). Races of Stone. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-3278-3.
  6. Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes, Bruce R. Cordell and JD Wiker (March 2005). Sandstorm: Mastering the Perils of Fire and Sand. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-3655-X.