View Full Version : One Man's trash...(Player Race)- Maerla

2007-09-26, 01:35 PM
I had wanted to build a couple Custom Monsters for a campaign i am running (still kind of do, but i am BAD at home brewing monsters) but decided it would probably be easier in the long run to create a template and just apply Class levels to it. This is the result: The Maerla. The story behind the Maerla is that they build their society using Junk from other Races. They live in small communities so that they can easily sustain themselves, and work very, very well together.

The reason for the Particular bonuses i provided is that i have a REAL hard time hitting my party members. they all have ridiculously high AC, and the bonus to hit and damage really tips the scales in my favor a bit. Originally, i was going to have 3 Maerla monsters.. A spellcaster who could essentially create trash golems, a Barbarian-esque monster who could actually remove another creatures rage and use it to fuel their own, and a rogue type creature... Ultimately, all the monsters i wanted to create were at least in some sense like a class available, so i created this template. Maybe one of these days i will make my Monsters, or maybe i will ask for everyones assistance here... but for now, my Homebrew race.

As of right now, i am not sure if the Level Adjust is too low, or if it should even have a level adjust. My gut instinct tells me this is at least an LA 1...

Medium Humanoid

Maerla possess the Following Racial Traits

• -2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom
• Medium Size
• A Maerla’s base land speed is 30 feet. However, they retain that speed even if passing over difficult terrain.
• Adaptive Learning: Maerla are skilled at working with what they have available. Instead of the normal -4 applied for using improvised weapons, Maerla suffer only a -2 penalty.
• +2 racial bonus on search checks while scavenging.
• +1 racial Bonus on Fort Saves
• Cooperation: Maerla receive a +1 Morale Bonus to attack and damage rolls (to a maximum of +5) for each other Maerla within 50 Ft.
• Human Aversion: Maerla suffer a -2 penalty to Diplomacy, intimidate, and bluff checks that target a human.
• Low Light Vision 30 ft
• Maerla always treat Search and Spot as class skills
• Automatic Languages: Maerl, Common.
• Favored Class: Any
• Level Adjust +1

Maerla live in small tribes of 6 – 12, living off of the materials provided by the land, and what they consider to be the most wasteful of races: humans. Maerla are commonly found within a few miles of Dumps, as it is fairly typical for the Maerla to salvage items that were thrown out for one reason or another and find a new use for them.

Maerla adults stand between 5’2” and 7’0” tall and have the same general appearance as a human. However, they have very distinct eyes and longer than usual arms. Maerla’s eyes are almost always completely black. Roughly 3 out of every 100 Maerla are born with Blue eyes instead. Those born with blue eyes become leaders of the “tribe” once they reach maturity (15 years of age). Maerla arms are also roughly 6 inches longer than Humans. In addition to those two traits, the only way to tell the difference between a Maerla and a human is it’s voice. A Maerla voice gives the impression of two people speaking at once. Their voice reverberates in their throat and produces a slightly echoed sound.

The Maerla tribes have a peaceful dislike of humans. They feel them to be wasteful and self centered. A Maerla will work with a human, but he won’t like it. Maerla tend to work in groups, so it is very rare to find one alone.

2007-09-26, 01:44 PM
heh, not bad at all. that definitely sounds like a +1 LA to me, but not anymore than that.

2007-09-26, 01:50 PM
Why add +1 level? Adaptive learning is kinda cool, but not good enough to be worth much at all. The skill bonuses are (Almost but not really) equivalent to a Human's extra skill points,
and Cooperation and Human Aversion nearly cancel each other out. The Difficult Terrain thing is useful in some circumstances, like the other abilities, but altogether, his bonuses do not add up to a Human's. As for the ability bonuses, Wisdom and Charisma is a fair trade.

What am I missing?

2007-09-26, 01:56 PM
My thought is that its not much of a trade off if you have a group of maerla.

Imagine this.. a group of 5 level 1 Maerla a Cleric, 2 rogues, a fighter, and a a spellcaster. Every single one of those party members is hitting like a 4th level fighter. +4 to hit and damage is fairly significant especially at low levels. While it doesnt provide a huge bonus later on, early on its very beneficial.

2007-09-26, 02:31 PM
Looks nice, but why Aversion to humans...?

2007-09-26, 02:46 PM
Aversion to humans because they have a general dislike of them. they find them to be wasteful and all in all crude. They are self centered and therefore, disliked by a community which prides itself on teamwork and working for the greater good.

2007-09-26, 03:50 PM
Vrel, granted, this race would be powerful in numbers, but when creating a player race like this, strange (As in not a PHB race) races like this are sparely used, and therefore would rarely be in a party at all, let alone with some friends. My recommendation is to make it an LA +0 race, but add 1 CR so to an encounter featuring 3 or more of them.

But then again, it's completely your monster, your call.

The Neoclassic
2007-09-26, 03:53 PM
I really like them, with one exception. Their dislike of humans seems very, well, human-centric. I'd just change the penalties to all other humanoids (perhaps exceptions for goblinoids or other rejected races? this would depend on the campaign) and drop the LA. The morale bonus is good, but it doesn't stack with other effects that give that, so it's not too powerful. If you lowered it to +3 max or so, you could certainly toss the LA (can you tell I hate LA?).

Anyway, creative and nifty. Good work.

2007-09-26, 04:31 PM
when i created them, i had specifically humans in mind as the target of their disdain, but i may change it to be a grudge towards other humanoids. I am not sure... The morale bonus should stack with other enhancement bonuses, but not with other morale bonuses.

They are mainly around so i can actually HIT my party.. I really dont like Level Adjust either, but for some reason, i cant help but feel like these guys are LA +1. using Variant rules, the +1 level adjust can be bought for almost nothing. i think, 3000 xp. It's good stuff, those variant rules. Anyway, i am not certain what else i can do to tone down the level adjust and i know they wont be used much, but i felt like getting them critiqued. Also, i am horrible at homebrews so i felt i would try my hand here and see where it got me.

2007-09-26, 05:07 PM
As for Adaptive Learning I'd also add that they only take -1 when using improvised tools instead of -2 :smallsmile:

Maybe decrease the charisma to -4 should make it LA +0 Im not sure.

2007-09-27, 10:16 PM

But one thing that strikes me is: You've got an adaptive race without an ability that lets them use (some) skills untrained/increase their amount of class skills/or something of that genre! You could also give them other traits which apply to other scavenger races (they're out there! you just have to look!)/animals. For example the Nath (I've probably mispelled their name.) from planescape are scavengers, and they have a poison barb. Scavengers in real life are usually fast, have a good sense of smell and darkvision. All these make great abilities!


2007-09-28, 08:22 AM
possibly low light vision 60ft and maybe search as an automatic class skill. i dont know. i am hoping to keep the LA low. anyone feel that would raise the LA?

2007-09-28, 11:19 AM
Cooperation seems a bit abusable or weak, depending on the number of other Maerla around. I'd change it to a simple +1 attack bonus if you cooperate with other Maerla. Adaptative Learning can as well just completely negate the penalty for using improvised weapons - it's not that they are overpowered or anything...

If you include my changes, I think they can become a 0 LA race.