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stitchlipped
2014-09-22, 04:02 AM
I have no idea if any of the people I play with are members here; but if you belong to the London D&D Meetup Group and are one of the people who will take part in Adventures in Osse, turn back now. Don't be a spoilsport!

Hi all,

I'm working on a 5e campaign set in the Forgotten Realms setting that involves the exploration of the recently discovered continent of Osse.

Considering that there's a whole continent to explore I want the races encountered to be different from races found all over Faerun.

So far I've created a couple of homebrews - one a full race, and one a small tweak to the Dragonborn (I'll explain below).

I'd greatly appreciate any feedback about the design or balance of both!

Ekidan
The ekidan are humanoids who organise themselves into tribes and have adapted to dwell in most areas of the continent - tending to dwell in underground burrow complexes, rather than constructing homes above ground. Their villages can be found anywhere from bushland and woodlands, rocky areas as long as the soil is loose enough to dig, snowy mountains, sandy plains, heath, grasslands, semi-arid environments and desert.

The ekidan consider themselves native to Osse. This may or may not be true, but in either case it is very possible that their race was created or at least artificially evolved thanks to the manipulation of the aearee. While they have much in common with mammalian humanoids, they curiously reproduce by laying eggs, like a bird. If the aearee did create the ekidan, they have lost interest in them, and rarely interfere with the primitive tribes. It is possible that they are simply watching them as part of some grand experiment.

Ekidan are very spiritual and believe in a form of animism, telling stories of a place beyond time and space in which the past, present, and future exist wholly as one. In this world view, every event leaves a record in the land. Everything in the natural world is a result of the past, present and future actions of the archetypal beings, who reside in the Dreamtime and whose actions are continuously creating the world.

The archetypal beings often resemble amalgamations of animals found in nature - the animals themselves only imperfect echoes of the original archetypal form.

In their dreams, in an altered state, or at their death, the ekidan claim to visit this dream plane, and even to commune with its inhabitants.

An ekidan is covered in coarse fur, and has a snout-like nose. In some tribes this snout is quite long and pronounced, appearing beaklike, while in others it is far shorter. From their head down to between their shoulder blades the ekidan grows spines rather than hair. These grow very long and are supple, curving down behind the ekidanís back rather than sticking upright. Traditionally, these spines are often tied together by dyed cords.

Ekidan Traits

Ability score increases. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Ekidan live for about 70 years, reaching adulthood at around 12 years old.
Alignment. Ekidan believe in the natural order and strictly abide by the rules and rituals of their belief system, which provides both their Lore and their law, so they are often Lawful Neutral.
Size. Ekidan range from 4 and a half to just under 5 and a half feet in height, and tend to have stocky builds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Ekidan dwell in underground burrows. They therefore have superior vision in dark or dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 get of you as it it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern colour in darkness, only shades of grey.
One with the land. You have proficiency in the Survival skill.
Dreamer. The strange realities of the Dreaming are an ever-present truth in your life, and you therefore are used to the odd and eerie. You gain advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Ekidan's endurance. Ekidan are hardy folk who are able to dwell in all manner of harsh environments. You gain advantage on saving throws against exhaustion.
Burrower. Ekidan have clawed hands which they use to dig through soft soil or loose earth to make their burrows. You have a burrowing speed of 5 feet when digging through such surfaces. You can dig through packed earth, but at a quarter of the speed (it take 4 rounds to dig 5 feet). You cannot dig through harder materials, such as stone. Furthermore, because of your claws you deal 1d6 damage with your natural attacks.
Languages. You can speak Ekidan, and you can understand and draw the pictograms your people use to leave tangible records of your lore. If you have spent any great length of time among the settlers you also speak Common, though are unlikely to read or write it (Your DM may approve you to be an exception).


Dragonborn, Abeir
My group plays in a shared world which is based on Forgotten Realms but has gone in its own direction over the years. Since 4th edition and the introduction of Dragonborn to the Realms there have been significant Dragonborn NPCs in the setting. When it comes to my turn to GM I therefore don't want to rule that anything about those Dragonborn NPCs changes. Therefore, I plan to introduce 5e's take on Dragonborn as a related race that was created in Toril, rather than in Abeir.

Since The Toril Dragonborn encountered in Osse will be the dragonborn from the 5e PHB, this small adjustment to the dragonborn is meant to represent the ones already encountered in the setting.

Abeir Dragonborn Traits

No tie to chromatic or metallic dragons. A Dragonborn from Abeir (4e) is cosmetically different from one from Toril (5e). No matter what type of breath weapon they have, their scales are scarlet, gold, rust, ocher, bronze, or brown. Their colouration is unrelated to the nature of their breath weapon.
No damage resistance. You are not as strongly linked to the castes of your draconic ancestors as dragonborn from Toril, and therefore you do not share all of their strengths.
Draconic fury. Confident in your abilities and proud like a true dragon, you seldom believe you're truly in danger. This is well for your foes, for a dragonborn is never as dangerous as when they feel threatened. In the round following your hit points being reduced to half or less your maximum, you gain advantage on any attack rolls made. Once used, this ability cannot be used again until after you take a short or long rest.

Steel Mirror
2014-09-22, 10:12 AM
So far, so good. The only things that jumped out at me were that you don't list languages for the races, and that you might want to consider making the Draconic fury trait usable only once per short rest or something. Otherwise you could have someone constantly healing slightly and then falling back to below half, and gaining advantage on attack rolls each time. Granted that is something of a risky strategy to gain advantage on an attack roll, so it may not be too powerful all things considered, but I just wanted to mention the possibility!

stitchlipped
2014-09-22, 12:13 PM
So far, so good. The only things that jumped out at me were that you don't list languages for the races, and that you might want to consider making the Draconic fury trait usable only once per short rest or something. Otherwise you could have someone constantly healing slightly and then falling back to below half, and gaining advantage on attack rolls each time. Granted that is something of a risky strategy to gain advantage on an attack roll, so it may not be too powerful all things considered, but I just wanted to mention the possibility!

Thanks, excellent feedback.

I forgot about languages completely, mainly because Abeir dragonborn should be as per the PHB race, and when first encountered in my game Ekidan will only speak their own language. If/when any player wants to actually play one, I suppose they'd know Ekidan and Common.

You're quite right about putting a limiter on draconic fury. I definitely only intended on it being used once, not spammed - Resetting on a short rest sounds good.