View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Turtlefolk Race

2017-07-27, 09:08 PM
I've never tried to make a PC race before, but I set out to create a ninja turtle style race, but I got a bit off track. Recommendations for that direction would be welcome. In the meantime, here is the Turtlefolk race I created. I doubt it is balanced, and I doubt the subraces are balanced. How can I make it better?


Ability Scores: +1 to any two abilities of your choice. You can choose two of the same ability, but with your subrace you cannot gain a total of +3 to one stat.

Size: Your size is medium. You are human-size.

Age: Turtles mature at the same rate as humans, being fully grown by 20 years of age, but they can live much longer, some as much as many as 250 years.

Speed: Your speed is 30 feet.

Natural Defense: Your shell gives you natural defensive abilities.
• You gain +2 to AC.
• By using 5 feet of movement you can Crouch down behind your shell, gaining the benefits of half cover.
• If you aren’t incapacitated, you can add your shell’s AC bonus to any Dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect.
• If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, interposing your shell between yourself and the source of the effect.

Inconvenient Shell: Wearing humanoid clothing and armor is more complicated for you than for your shell-less neighbors. It costs half the price of such an item to tailor it to fit you, or you can do so yourself with 8 hours of work if you have the appropriate tools and tool proficiency.

Turtle Transformation: Starting at 17th level, you can cast True Polymorph on yourself once per long rest to transform into a Dragon Turtle. You retain all of your mental faculties, but your statistics and abilities change to those of a Dragon Turtle. You can transform back at any time with an action, bonus action, or reaction. You may choose any ability as your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Subrace: Land Turtle (Tortoise)

Your Constitution score increases by 1.

Natural Camouflage: You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide on land.

Tortoise Resilience: As an action you can transform into a tortoise.
• The transformation takes a toll on your decision-making abilities: you must remain in this form for at least 10 minutes.
• Everything you are holding, wearing, or carrying transforms with you.
• Your AC in this form is 20, and your HP is your character level times 10.
• You have disadvantage on Dex, Wis, Int, and Cha saving throws.
• While in this form, your speed drops to 5 ft, and your actions are limited as follows:
•• Hide. As an action, bonus action, or reaction, you stick to whatever surface you are on and hide completely under your shell: your effective weight is 450 lbs, you cannot move, and you become immune to all damage and conditions. While hiding, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks for hearing and smell, but your vision is limited to 5 feet.
•• Stop Hiding. As an action you can stop hiding. You cannot move on the turn that you stop hiding.
•• Transform. Any time after 10 minutes, as an action when you are not hiding, you can transform back into your normal form, in the Crouched position. You cannot take any additional actions, bonus actions, reactions, or movement on this turn.

Subrace: Sea Turtle

Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Natural Camouflage: You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide within 100 feet of a natural water source or a volume of water of at least a 20x20x5-foot cube.

Watery Origin: Everything you can do on land you can do in the water. You have a swimming speed of 45 feet, your senses are not obscured by water, and you can breathe underwater.

Cantrip: You know the Shape Water cantrip.

2017-07-28, 09:56 AM
How good is this ability? I tried to give it drawbacks to balance out the benefits.

Tortoise Defense
As an action, bonus action, or reaction you can transform yourself and everything you are wearing and carrying into a tortoise. You must remain in this form for at least 10 minutes.
- You retain your ability scores.
- Your HP changes to 10 times your character level.
- Your speed drops to 5 feet.
- You have disadvantage on Dex, Int, Wis, and Cha saving throws.
- You lose Concentration.
- You are limited to the following choices each round:
- - Move: You can move up to 5 feet.
- - Hide: As an action, bonus action, or reaction, you shrink into
your shell and stick to whatever surface you are on. Your weight
changes to 450 pounds, you cannot move, you cannot see beyond 5 feet,
you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks using hearing and
smell, and you become immune to all damage, effects, and conditions.
- - Stop Hiding: As an action while Hiding you can stop hiding. You
cannot do anything else, including move, on the turn you Stop Hiding.
- - Transform: Any time after ten minutes in this form, you can use an
action to transform back to normal. You cannot do anything else,
including move, on the turn you Transform.

2017-07-28, 01:06 PM
Natural Defense seems overpowered, while the rest of the abilities seem kinda mediocre. +2 AC, which as worded stacks with armor, is really powerful. Maybe word it as your AC is never lower than 12 + Dexterity modifier, but it does not stack with armor?
The half cover power seems really good for almost no cost. 5 feet of movement usually isn't critical.
The other powers emulate parts of a feat, which seems... well, seems powerful since feats are rare and considered worth +2 to a stat.

I think just the AC bonus would be good enough. Maybe half-movement to use the shield as cover, or even doing so taking up all movement.

Other Comments
Give them another language. Primordial (for Aquan) makes sense.

The Shapechange power seems out of place, since racial abilities can generally be used at level 1. It does seem to fit thematically, just not in line with 5e's general races.

The transform into a tortoise power seems to have some many detriments that it's not really useful. Also, you probably should word it as "for anyone trying to lift you, your effective weight is 450 pounds".

As written, you increase massively in weight when you Hide, so... that just seems odd and also might break what you stand on. I doubt that is what you intend.

The line about clothing seems awkardly worded. I think you mean that it costs 1.5x the normal price for clothing and armor. It almost sounds like its half price. Maybe just reword, "To buy clothing or armor that fits you requires 1.5x the normal cost of the item," with the caveats that you can modify gear to fit yourself.