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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Need help trimming back/polishing some WIP races.



Venardhi
2016-02-03, 06:58 AM
I'm putting together a batch of races mostly inspired by Norse and Celtic folklore for an arctic/northerly setting. They are on the "OP" side and could benefit from some racial feature trimming/finessing, which is where I thought ya'll might be able to lend an assist. Some features lack details or need rewriting, this is very early days. If you can think of a better way to format some of the sloppier features, I would appreciate help there.

Any other critique, suggestions or discussion are most welcome.

Frostkin
"Halfbreed" race of Dwarves descended from the slaves of Frost Giants who eventually overthrew their masters. A young people with a culture more akin to the Inuit mixed with Vikings (following the Frost Giant example) rather than traditional dwarves. (See my 3.x version Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?161349-3-5-Player-Race-Frostkin-Dwarves-PEACH)) Tall as a man but far stockier, with coloration inherited from the Frost Giants.
Size: 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet tall, 250 to 350 lbs. Due to the volatility of their mixed blood, some individuals range even further. Medium size.
Age: Frostkin lifespans are similar to their Dwarven forebears at around 350 years, but mature faster and are considered adults by their mid 20s.
Speed: 25
Ability increase: +2 Str, +1 Wis
Languages: Common, Dwarven and Giant.
Ice in your veins: The prospect of pain or death does not frighten you; they are inevitable in your cruel world. You have advantage on saving throws against fear effects and attempts to physically intimidate you.
Heritage of Frost: Your Frost Giant heritage gives you resistance to Cold damage and adapts you naturally to cold climates.
Powerful build: You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
The North Remembers: You are raised never to forget the trials of your ancestors and taught the means to assure it never happens again. You may double your proficiency bonus to History(Int) and Insight(Wis) checks regarding Giants and add one extra damage die to critical hits against them.
Survivalist: A lifetime in the unforgiving climes of your homeland gives you proficiency with the Survival skill. You may double your proficiency bonus to this skill in Arctic and Forest environments.
Stellar Navigators: Proficient with Navigator's tools.


Merrow
Semi-aquatic and nomadic ursine race. Appearing somewhat like a humanoid cross of a polar bear and river otter. These guys live in small nomadic tribes or solo; farming, hunting and gathering along shorelines and up and down rivers. With a cultural flavor akin to the "Skraelings" of the Norse histories (North-Atlantic Native American tribes).
Size: 5 to 5 1/2 feet tall and between 140-160 lbs. With men tending towards the smaller end and women towards the larger. Medium Size.
Age: Merrow come to maturity by their mid-teens and rarely live beyond their 50s.
Speed : 25
Languages: Common, Ahwa(Sylvan). Ahwa is a dialect of Sylvan made up equally of spoken words, hand signals and gestures for use underwater. Native speakers of Ahwa are often considered terse and imprecise when speaking in true Sylvan and other entirely vocalized languages.
Ability Increase: +2 Con +1 Dex
Natural Weapons: Proficient with claws as a finesse weapon dealing 2d4 slashing damage
Amphibious: Swim speed 30, can hold breath 4x longer than land races and see in dim or murky water as if it were clear.
Shake it off: Re-roll one failed saving throw to resist physical status effects (Blinded, deafened, paralyzed, stunned) once per short rest.
Au Naturale: Proficient with the Nature skill.
Water diviners: Merrow always know in which direction (though not necessarily the distance) to find the nearest major bodies of water, even underground. Merrow can often be found in the greater world as hired dowsers.


Lurikeen
Small, leporine race found in northern forests. Clever and charismatic by nature. Manipulative and avaricious by reputation. These guys look kinda like someone crossed a human, an arctic hare and cheetah and then shrunk it down (sketch (http://i.imgur.com/xoeqSgE.jpg)). They are the more cosmopolitan of the bunch. Crafty, charming, industrious. Large communities of extended family groups build cities in foothills and among the evergreens of the alpine forests.
Size: Around 3- 3 1/2' not including their ears, which are usually held down, 45-55 lbs. Small size.
Age: The Lurikeen may be argued to be adults by their 20s, but maturity often comes decades later and Lurikeen society does not view them as such until they have taken a spouse and settled down. They can live well past a century.
Speed: 35
Languages: Common and Sylvan
Ability Increase: +2 Cha +1 Int
Fast Talker: Proficient with Persuasion. Once per short rest re-roll any use of persuasion.
Effortless leaping: 2x Jumping distance. 1/2 falling damage.
Tuck and roll: Once per short rest when subject to an opportunity attack but before it is rolled, you may choose to negate the attack and move up to 5 feet into unoccupied space. This movement does not count against your total for the round.
Ooh, Shiny: Double proficiency bonus on Intelligence checks to determine an item's value.


Uldre
Fey-blooded race of the far north. Secretive and suspicious as they are beautiful. These guys were inspired by the legends of the same name. Mysterious Elves of the north, diverging a bit further from the family tree than the Elven subraces. A civilization built on keeping their existence hidden from the other races for centuries until tragedy forced many to reveal themselves. Their fey blood gives them access to a form of "invisibility." (think perception filter from Doctor Who). Uldre are universally feminine in appearance, though a trained eye can spot the subtleties of their gender. They tend to be pale, with long dark hair kept in a single traditional braid they never cut.
Size: 6 foot to 6 1/2 feet, generally thin and long-limbed compared to most races, 140-170 lbs. Medium Size.
Age: Though not as long as their seemingly ageless cousins the Elves, Uldre often live into their 5th or even 6th century. Social adulthood comes in highly ritualized stages throughout their first fifty years, though they are mentally and emotionally mature by their 20s.
Speed: 30
Languages: Common, Elvish and Sylvan
Ability Increase: +2 Wis +1 Cha
Fey Ancestry
Born of secrets: Proficient with either the Deception or Stealth skill.
False Friend: Has access to the "Friends" cantrip.
In plain sight: Eyes look right past you and short-term memories of you fade in an instant as you tap into the natural Fae magics that have kept your people a myth to so many for millennia. Once per long rest when hidden, you may embrace these magics as if casting invisibility on yourself without material components. The illusion has no effect on creatures actively looking for you or to whom you pose a clear and present danger. The effect lasts one hour with concentration or until you are noticed by such a creature.
Fertile hands: The green thumb of an Uldre is nearly unmatched. They are able to grow plants in exceedingly inhospitable environments. You are proficient with the Herbalism kit and can add twice your proficiency bonus to Nature(INT) checks regarding agriculture and cultivation.

Note: I have made Sylvan something of a common language of the northern wilderness which these races call home in lieu of creating any additional racial languages.

Ninja_Prawn
2016-02-03, 10:07 AM
Okay, let's see here... my comments in magenta.


Frostkin
"Halfbreed" race of Dwarves descended from the slaves of Frost Giants who eventually overthrew their masters. A young people with a culture more akin to the Inuit mixed with Vikings (following the Frost Giant example) rather than traditional dwarves. (See my 3.x version Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?161349-3-5-Player-Race-Frostkin-Dwarves-PEACH)) Tall as a man but far stockier, with coloration inherited from the Frost Giants.
Size: 5 1/2-6 1/2', 250-350 lbs. Medium
Age: Frostkin lifespans are similar to their Dwarven forebears at around 350 years, but mature faster and are considered adults by their mid 20s.
Speed: 25
Ability increase: +2 Str, +1 Wis
Languages: Common, Dwarven and Giant (From Favored Enemy)
Ice in your veins: The prospect of pain or death does not frighten you; they are inevitable in your cruel world. You have advantage on saving throws against fear effects and attempts to intimidate you.
Heritage of Frost: Your Frost Giant heritage gives you resistance to Cold damage and adapts you naturally to cold climates.
Powerful build
Favored enemy: Giants As the Ranger ability. You'll need to do something about this. Class abilities don't work as racial ones, even weak abilities like Favoured Enemy. Depending on which direction you want to go, you might be able to crib off of the Troll Lore ability I gave the Huldufolk in my fey homebrew.
Survivalist: A lifetime in the unforgiving climes of your homeland gives you proficiency with the survival skill. You may double your proficiency bonus to this skill in Arctic and Forest environments.
Oral Tradition: The Frostkin pass down their knowledge and history orally, word-for-word. Those raised in Frostkin society have superior echoic memory. (the ability to recall sound, song and conversation) I'm not clear on what this does. Is it meant to work like the Keen Mind feat? Maybe just cut this.
Stellar Navigators: Can navigate flawlessly using only the stars. A useful ability during months of endless night on the featureless tundra. Might be cleaner if it was downgraded to proficiency in Navigator's Tools. As is, this race has almost all of the powers of an outlander-ranger packaged into it, which I feel is a mistake. It almost lets you have two classes & backgrounds right from the off, and makes one it even less likely that anyone will play a ranger as long as this race is on the table.


Merrow
Semi-aquatic and nomadic ursine race. Somewhat resembling humanoid pinnepeds. Imagine somewhere between a polar Bear and a Leopard Seal in appearance but standing slightly smaller than a man. These guys live in small nomadic tribes or solo; farming, hunting and gathering along shorelines and up and down rivers. With a cultural flavor akin to the "Skraelings" of the Norse histories (North-Atlantic Native American tribes).
Size: 5'-5 1/2', 140-160 lbs. medium.
Age: Merrow come to maturity by their mid-teens and rarely live beyond their 50s.
Speed : 30
Languages: Common, Plus one of your choice.
Ability Increase: +2 Con
Natural Weapons: Proficient with claws(2x) as a finesse weapon dealing 1d4 slashing damage (raises to 1d6 at level 5 and 2d4 at level 10) There's no precedent for scaling natural weapons in the published material. I would tend to stick to their example.
Swim speed 2x, can hold breath 4x longer than land races. It's clearer to phrase it as a 30ft swim speed rather than 'double'.
Shake it off: Re-roll one failed saving throw to resist physical status effects (Blinded, deafened, paralyzed, stunned) once per long rest.
Grappler Feat I would just drop this. Feats are a tool to allow PCs to be specialised into a defined role, but giving the same feat to every member of the species pigeonholes them into a narrow range of roles. Also it's a significant amount of power, in a race that's already very good.
Au Naturale: Proficient with the Nature skill.
Water diviners: Merrow always know in which direction to find the closest body of water. What exactly qualifies as a body of water? It's not a major issue; I like this ability. But it needs to be clarified.


Lurikeen
Small, leporine race found in northern forests. Clever and charismatic by nature. Manipulative and avaricious by reputation. These guys look kinda like someone crossed a human, an arctic hare and cheetah and then shrunk it down (sketch (http://i.imgur.com/xoeqSgE.jpg)). They are the more cosmopolitan of the bunch. Crafty, charming, industrious. Large communities of extended family groups build cities in foothills and among the evergreens of the alpine forests.
Size: 3 1/2', 55 lbs. Small.
Age: The Lurikeen may be argued to be adults by their 20s, but maturity often comes decades later and Lurikeen society does not view them as such until they have taken a spouse and settled down. They can live well past a century.
Speed: 35
Languages: Common and Fey It's called Sylvan.
Ability Increase: +2 Cha +1 Int
Fast Talker: Proficient with Pursuasion. Once per short rest re-roll any use of pursuasion. It's spelled 'persuasion'.
Effortless leaping: 2x Jumping distance. 1/2 falling damage.
Tuck and roll: Once per long rest when drawing an opportunity attack, move 5 feet and force disadvantage on the attack. Any other opportunity attacks taken against you in the round are also at disadvantage. I'm a little unclear as to how this works... I'd like to see the final phrasing.
Ooh, Shiny: Double proficiency bonus on Int checks to determine an item's value.


Uldre
Fey-blooded race of the far north. Secretive and suspicious as they are beautiful. These guys were inspired by the legends of the same name. Mysterious Elves of the north, diverging a bit further from the family tree than the Elven subraces. A civilization built on keeping their existence hidden from the other races for centuries until tragedy forced many to reveal themselves. Their fey blood gives them access to a form of "invisibility." (think perception filter from Doctor Who). Uldre are universally feminine in appearance, though a trained eye can spot the subtleties of their gender. They tend to be pale, with long dark hair kept in a single traditional braid they never cut.
Size: 6'-6 1/2', thin and long-limbed.
Age: Though not as long as their seemingly ageless cousins the Elves, Uldre often live into their 5th or even 6th century. Social adulthood comes in highly ritualized stages throughout their first fifty years, though they are mentally and emotionally mature by their 20s.
Speed: 30
Languages: Common, Elvish and Fey Sylvan.
Ability Increase: +2 Wis +1 Cha
Fey Ancestry
Born of secrets: Proficient with Deception and Stealth skills.
False Friend: Has access to the "Friends" cantrip.
In plain sight: Eyes look right past you and short-term memories of you fade in an instant as you tap into the natural Fae magics that have kept your people a myth to so many for millennia. Add proficiency to a Cha roll to appear "unremarkable" to all but the most vigilent, even in clear view. Once noticed, you must have a long rest before using this ability again. This is powerful and confusing. I'd drop it; the race already has enough stuff. And it's spelled 'vigilant'.
Fertile hands: The green thumb of an Uldre is nearly unmatched. They are able to grow plants in exceedingly inhospitable environments. Needs some kind of mechanical impact - or to be transferred to the fluff section.

Venardhi
2016-02-03, 01:49 PM
Much appreciated. Corrected some spelling mistakes and a couple other minor details, will do further revision a bit later. More feedback is of course welcome.

The Uldre 'perception filter' was really in the base concept of the race. Not sure that is something I want to lose entirely, so any ideas on how to make it workable would be especially helpful.

Venardhi
2016-02-04, 04:26 AM
Made quite a few changes. Hopefully at least some of them are for the better.

Ninja_Prawn
2016-02-05, 02:22 AM
Looks a lot better now. I have slight balance concerns regarding the Uldre, but it's probably within acceptable bounds.

I'm having a hard time seeing how Tuck and Roll is useful, but maybe I'm just not enough of a tactician. How do you imagine it would be used?

Venardhi
2016-02-05, 03:31 AM
It is limited, certainly. I may have pulled it back a bit too far. Basically just gives you the opportunity to move into enemy reach, attack and then withdraw 5 feet without risking damage and/or force an enemy to use their reaction for the round so another ally can move freely. You could also move 5 feet to attack an enemy currently out of your reach, without being hit by the enemy you're currently engaged with.

What about the Uldre is particularly concerning for you? The "In plain sight" is really intended to be mostly flavorful but there are only so many limitations I can put on it before it stops being worth using at all. You can go into or out of town without being noticed so long as the guards aren't looking out for you, sneak into someone's barn for the night, browse a black market, or listen in at a back-alley pub without anyone seeing/remembering you. Etc.

PotatoGolem
2016-02-08, 02:02 AM
Seem mostly balanced. I'd take one skill prof off the uldre though- they're a bit much as is

Venardhi
2016-02-08, 10:07 PM
Seem mostly balanced. I'd take one skill prof off the uldre though- they're a bit much as is
I don't have my books on me at the moment; is there any precedent for an "either" in racial skill proficiency without having subraces?

Ninja_Prawn
2016-02-09, 05:55 AM
I don't have my books on me at the moment; is there any precedent for an "either" in racial skill proficiency without having subraces?

Can't think of any off-hand, except for the variant human and half-elf, which give 'pick any skill' type features.

There's no reason why pick X or Y would be unbalanced, and I don't find it overly complicated. Indeed, the dwarf gets a choice of three tool proficiencies.

Venardhi
2016-02-09, 07:41 AM
I think that is that then, unless anyone else has some last bit of input. Just need to tidy up some language and rewrite it all in the appropriate format now.

Well, and write a page or so of flavor text for each. . . and draw some heroic looking examples. . . and actually put it all together. Easy peasy.