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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Half-Rakshasa (Race) & Empathy (Cantrip) [PEACH]



Sir_Popard
2018-12-30, 12:57 PM
As someone who has felt the impractical urge to play a variety of powerful monsters over the years, one of my coping mechanisms is to create playable options that break down said monsters to a more... approachable level.
On a side note, the Empathy spell was inspired by a spell of the same name in the Dragon Magazine #313 article "Strange Bedfellows" written by Wade Norton. I do worry that it's trying to do too much for a cantrip.

HALF-RAKSHASA TRAITS
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age: Although half-rakshasa reach physical maturity at the same age as humans, they typically claim adulthood around the age of 100, and can live to be 750 years old.
Alignment. As a rule, half-rakshasa are driven by hedonism and self-interest, making them neutral at best and thoroughly evil at worst.
Size. Half-Rakshasa are built much like humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your infernal heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You canít discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Fiend. Your creature type is fiend, rather than humanoid.
Conniver. You have proficiency in the Deception and Insight skills.
Lesser Magic Immunity. While nowhere near the power of a true Rakshasa, you have some limited ability to resist magic. As a reaction, you may negate a single spell's effects on you when it is cast, so long as the spell is of a level equal to or less than your proficiency bonus. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.
Innate Spellcasting. You know the Empathy cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Disguise Self spell as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the Detect Thoughts spell. You regain the ability to cast these spells with this trait when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Infernal.

EMPATHY
Divination cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S
Duration: Conc. Up to 1 minute
When you cast the spell, you can focus your mind on any one creature within range. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw: If it fails, you gain advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks toward it for the duration. If it succeeds, the target knows that you are probing into its mind and the spell ends.
Once before the spell ends, you can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one Charisma check of your choice against the spellís target. You can roll the die before or after making the ability check. The spell then ends.

1/1/19: Changed wording of Innate SPellcasting wording and adding racial trait Lesser Magic Immunity as suggested by JNAProductions

JNAProductions
2018-12-30, 01:40 PM
If anything slightly underpowered. To add an ability aping the Rakshasa's most BRUTAL ability (their magic immunity), I'd perhaps add the following feature:

Vestigial Magic Immunity
While nowhere near the power of a true Rakshasa, you have some limited ability to resist magic. As a reaction, you may negate a single spell's effects on you when it is cast, so long as the spell is of a level equal to or less than your proficiency bonus. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Sir_Popard
2018-12-30, 02:30 PM
If anything slightly underpowered. To add an ability aping the Rakshasa's most BRUTAL ability (their magic immunity), I'd perhaps add the following feature:

Vestigial Magic Immunity
While nowhere near the power of a true Rakshasa, you have some limited ability to resist magic. As a reaction, you may negate a single spell's effects on you when it is cast, so long as the spell is of a level equal to or less than your proficiency bonus. Once you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Valid criticism. My balance issues tend to run more to the overpowered than under-powered, so I usually try to err on the side of caution. I wasn't sure how to replicate that ability in a balanced fashion. Tying the levels of resistible spells to your proficiency bonus is clever (is there a precedent for this sort of effect elsewhere?). Do you think this ability would be balanced recharging on a short rest?

JNAProductions
2018-12-30, 02:36 PM
Valid criticism. My balance issues tend to run more to the overpowered than under-powered, so I usually try to err on the side of caution. I wasn't sure how to replicate that ability in a balanced fashion. Tying the levels of resistible spells to your proficiency bonus is clever (is there a precedent for this sort of effect elsewhere?). Do you think this ability would be balanced recharging on a short rest?

That's a good way to think. Err on underpowered-people like buffs more than nerfs.

And short rest is probably too much. Especially level 6 and down-you're blocking the highest level of spell available to casters of the same level!

Perhaps make it a racial feat to recharge on a short rest? Something like...

Improved Heritage
Requires Character Level 8

The blood of Rakshasas flows through you with greater potency. You gain the following benefits:

-You have advantage on saves and resistance on damage against Cantrips
-Your Vestigial Magic Immunity recharges on a short or long rest
-When you cast Disguise Self using your racial trait, it lasts 8 hours instead of 1



Also, I just noticed you have the spells as "Once per day". Make it "recharge on a long rest" instead. Just cleaning up wording.

Sir_Popard
2019-01-02, 09:30 AM
That's a good way to think. Err on underpowered-people like buffs more than nerfs.

And short rest is probably too much. Especially level 6 and down-you're blocking the highest level of spell available to casters of the same level!

Perhaps make it a racial feat to recharge on a short rest? Something like...

Improved Heritage
Requires Character Level 8

The blood of Rakshasas flows through you with greater potency. You gain the following benefits:

-You have advantage on saves and resistance on damage against Cantrips
-Your Vestigial Magic Immunity recharges on a short or long rest
-When you cast Disguise Self using your racial trait, it lasts 8 hours instead of 1



Also, I just noticed you have the spells as "Once per day". Make it "recharge on a long rest" instead. Just cleaning up wording.

I've adjusted the wording and added the racial trait you've described.

I like the idea of Improved Heritage - it shores up some aspects of the race and certainly lives up to its name - but it feels... cluttered? over-full? I'm just not sure about it.

Quintus Vorenus
2019-01-03, 09:50 AM
Congratulations this is a very cool race, plans for subraces? Or else you should give it a +1 to some attribute.

Cheers!

Sir_Popard
2019-01-11, 11:25 PM
Congratulations this is a very cool race, plans for subraces? Or else you should give it a +1 to some attribute.

Cheers!

I wasn't planning on subraces, no. That was an oversight. Thank you for the compliment and the reminder.

ravencroft0
2019-01-13, 11:41 AM
There have been 3 or 4 types of rakshasa in D&D's history. It's thematically conceivable to have at least 2 subraces.