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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Race: Birdfolk - Aarakocra, Kenku, and Cassowary-People



jinjitsu
2016-05-11, 05:48 PM
I love kenku, but I don't like giving them the Ambusher trait; I prefer 3.5's Great Ally trait, which I always found to be great fun. I also loved the idea of a race of flightless bird people. Thinking about it, I realized I could fold both those races in alongside aarakocra as one race and a set of subraces. So here's a quick and dirty rundown of the birdfolk and their traits:


BIRDFOLK
Ability scores - +2 Dexterity
Size - all medium
Languages - Common, Auran, Aarakocra (I figure the other races' personal languages can be dialects of Aarakocra the way the elemental languages are dialects of Primordial)

AARAKOCRA
Ability scores: +1 Wisdom
Speed: 25 ft.
Flight: 50 ft., no medium/heavy armor
Talons: 1d4 slashing for unarmed strikes

KENKU
Ability scores: +1 Intelligence
Speed: 30 ft.
Mimicry: imitate any noise, including speech; Insight check (DC = passive Deception score) to realize they're imitations
Footpad: proficient with Stealth
Great Ally: can use Help action as a bonus action

NEKKATUI
Ability scores: +1 Strength
Speed: 30 ft.; 40 ft. with no medium/heavy armor
Brilliant Coloration: advantage on Charisma checks made to impress others or make self seem important
Talons: 1d4 slashing for unarmed strikes
Territorial: when enemy enters reach, nekkatui has advantage on next melee attack against enemy before beginning of enemy's next turn


I had difficulty nailing down how to translate cassowaries' territoriality into a racial trait, but this seems pretty descriptive. I'm concerned, though, as to how it might work when multiple enemies attack one nekkatui; is this the sort of thing that should only be allowed on one target per round? And aside from that, are these subraces balanced alongside other races? Grazi in advance.

EDIT: Obviously I'm not claiming to have made the aarakocra. This is just how their features breakdown as a birdfolk subrace.

Venardhi
2016-05-11, 07:41 PM
Another feature or two that apply to the race as a whole would seem fitting IMO to make them feel more unified. I think you've still got plenty of wiggle room to keep them within a reasonable power level as it is.

Wulfskadi
2016-05-11, 09:58 PM
Good idea to split birds up into subraces. Wouldn't have thought of that. I agree a unifying trait would be a good idea, but I dont know what you could use that wouldnt conflict with the cannon Aarakocra build.


As per your Nekkatui inquiry, the racial ability does stick out like a sore thumb. Most combat based racial traits are single use per long rest. Additionally, this essentially makes this an amazing wall/striker against a multitude of small enemies as long as you have decent hit points or a lot of attacks per round, or the sentinel and pole-arm master feats. If you managed to get all four of these qualities you'd essentially be able to take on swarms of low level enemies without problems.

Additionally, if you took a couple levels in rogue to get disengage as a bonus action and then took the polearm master and sentinel feats you'd essentially be invincible. Kind of like in OOTS 216

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html

To sum up, yeah it makes the race overpowered, so maybe change it?


Also, what the flipping h**l is a Nekkatui. I googled it and got a grand total of 0 results

jinjitsu
2016-05-11, 11:13 PM
Good idea to split birds up into subraces. Wouldn't have thought of that. I agree a unifying trait would be a good idea, but I dont know what you could use that wouldnt conflict with the cannon Aarakocra build.

How does moving Talons from aarakocra/nekkatui to Birdfolk in general sound? The 3.5 kenku had them, and they're the reason I love the kenku; it's easy enough to say that these PC kenku are just a subset of the larger subrace that have different qualities, like the flind gnolls. Having talons is a pretty bird-like thing, and it marks them all out at a certain level as the fighters/scrappers that they are.


As per your Nekkatui inquiry, the racial ability does stick out like a sore thumb. Most combat based racial traits are single use per long rest. Additionally, this essentially makes this an amazing wall/striker against a multitude of small enemies as long as you have decent hit points or a lot of attacks per round, or the sentinel and pole-arm master feats. If you managed to get all four of these qualities you'd essentially be able to take on swarms of low level enemies without problems.

Additionally, if you took a couple levels in rogue to get disengage as a bonus action and then took the polearm master and sentinel feats you'd essentially be invincible. Kind of like in OOTS 216

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0216.html

To sum up, yeah it makes the race overpowered, so maybe change it?

That's what I thought; as I said, this was a pretty quickly thrown-together race, and the reason I like posting on here is that others can put forward their exploit knowledge instead of me having to try to cover things. As an alternative, how about this:

once per short or long rest, when a creature moves within 30 feet of you, you can "mark" them. For the next minute, any melee attack against the marked creature is made with advantage. That's a similar ability with limited uses, but it's compensated for by lasting longer.


Also, what the flipping h**l is a Nekkatui. I googled it and got a grand total of 0 results

It's a made-up that sounds a bit like aarakocra and kenku. Those are both totally made-up words for bird-people, so since there isn't an existing cassowary-person race, I figured I'd make up my own name.

Wulfskadi
2016-05-12, 12:34 PM
Yup, that cleans everything up pretty nicely. Though you may have to drop the talons on the kenku to get some DM's to accept them I think that everything else pans out


Overall: 5 out of 5 stars, would make it cannon if I could