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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Avolakia Player Race [5e; PEACH]



Sir_Popard
2019-07-29, 04:20 PM
So I was talking to me best friend about a) the bizarre monstrous races we've played and would like to play and b) the relatively mundane/benign motivations they would have. This brought to mind my previous goal of playing an Avolakia chef, who specialized in undead cuisine (ideally making use of Witch+Craft, an upcoming 5e Supplemental by Astrolago Press). This lead me down the dark road of converting the avolakia (an ECL 15 monster in 3e) into a functional (term loosely used) 5e player race. I'm aware that it is quite, quite mechanically bloated and my goal in posting it here is finding a way to prioritize the traits that will make it fun and balanced without losing too much the original feel of the creature.

http://archive.wizards.com/dnd/images/mm2_gallery/88268_620_145.jpg

AVOLAKIA TRAITS
Your avolakia character has the following traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. UmÖ
Alignment. Avolakia care little for law or chaos and are typically neutral evil.
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 20 feet.
Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, 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.
Aberration. Your creature type is Aberration, rather than humanoid.
Natural Weapons. Your tripartite maw and insectoid claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.
If you hit with your claws, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Multiple Arms. You have eight arms. These arms do not allow you to take extra actions, attacks, or gain extra benefits from equipment, but do allow you to hold and interact with additional items. You may take the Use an Object action as a bonus action.
Slime Coating. You exude a protective slime which provides ample protection When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Constitution modifier. You can use your slime coating to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
You have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks to escape a grapple or squeeze through a space. You ignore movement restrictions caused by squeezing through a space.
Horrific Appearance. Your natural form is a nauseating creature that combines the worst aspects of a worm, an octopus, and an insect. Your pallid, wormlike body is coated in yellow slime and borne on six, suckered tentacles - each tipped with a multifaceted eye. Your head consists of a fleshy sheath housing a set of three hooked mandibles. Eight long, spidery arms tipped with tiny insectoid claws that almost look like human hands protrude from a set of ridges about halfway up your body. You reek of death.
You have disadvantage on all Charisma checks in your natural form.
Alternate Form. As an action, you can transform into a unique humanoid shape (you can resemble any medium humanoid race) or revert to your natural form. Your statistics, other than your horrific appearance, multiple arms, and natural attacks, are the same in this form. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn't transformed and you revert to your natural form if you die.
When you reach 5th level, while using this trait you can cast the suggestion spell once and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. A creature within range who can see you while you make the suggestion has disadvantage on this saving throw. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Underdark Trickster. You gain proficiency with one of the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Insight.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Avolakia. You can read and write Common and Undercommon, but you can only speak these languages while using your Alternate Form trait.

AVOLAKIA NECROMANCER
Prerequisite: Avolakia
While most avolakia spellcasters require special training to supply their demand for undead cuisine, you have an inherent magical ability to create and handle undead. You gain the following benefits:

Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You have resistance to necrotic and cold damage.
You know the chill touch cantrip. You can cast Animate Dead once, without expending a spell slot or material components. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Tiadoppler
2019-07-29, 09:53 PM
Would I allow this at my table as written? No.

Major sticking points:

Natural weapon damage is too high (especially at level 1)
Cold immunity and poison immunity? At level 1! Resistance would be more appropriate (especially given that this creature doesn't seem to actually be undead.
Innate Spellcasting - define eye contact. Perhaps "if the target is within 10 feet of you, and is able to see you, they have disadvantage on their saving throw against this ability"
Underdark Trickster - drop this completely. You've got a species with a lot of beefy abilities already. This is more suited to a custom background than an additional racial bonus.



Minor suggestions:

Defensive Aura should be renamed. It's not an aura. Perhaps "slime coating" would be more accurate.
I'd like to get a better description of the Horrific Form. Is it bipedal? Does it have 2 arms? 8 arms? Seventeen and a half legs? Flippers? Calling it 'ugly' may be accurate, but it isn't enough.


Edit: Wait, you've shoved Fire Resistance in there too? Take that out. I would absolutely not allow a species with two common damage immunities, 2 condition immunities, and a common damage resistance as a player character.

sandmote
2019-07-29, 11:20 PM
On detect balance (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vq1kz6PRAbw5LHy6amH-bNb4OuB8DBXL1RsZROt03Sc/edit#gid=0) I'm getting the following:

+2/+1 ASi= +12
Speed = -3
Darkvision = +3
Aberration = +2
Unarmed = +3
Unarmed Poison = +2?
Combat vs. social forms = +2?
Undead Affinity Poison = +2
rest of Undead Affinity = haha, no.
Armor = +7? (1 point less than tortle)
Defensive Aura Advantage = +2
Defensive Aura Crawl = +1, although I'd rewrite it to say you can choose to count as one size smaller for the purpose of squeezing through small spaces.
Defensve Aura Fire Resistance = +4
Standard Delayed Magic = +6
Underdark Trickster = +5


That's a total of 48, a score slightly above RAW yuan-ti purebloods. Ignoring the immunity to paralysis, cold, and poison and disadvantage on the suggestion spell save.

Ironically, avolakia arcanist is a bit weak for a 5e feat.

My suggestions:

If it fits I'd slap on sunlight sensitivity.
Remove the poison effect for the bite attack
Reducing the immunities to resistances and making Undead Affinity a racial feat might work okay.
Reduce the armor to regular Natural Armor
Move chill touch to the avolakia arcanist feat
Drop the disadvantage on suggestion
Remove Underdark Trickster.


I may have made an arithmetic error, but I think that brings the race down to a score of 30, which is about the upper limit you want for homebrew.

Sir_Popard
2019-07-30, 09:10 AM
As a reminder, I knew when I posted this that it was completely unplayable. I was mostly adapting as much of the creatureís mechanics as accurately as possible in order to trim it down to something more reasonable. Also, to let you know I'm not a complete madman, the monsters that inspired this race have Spell Resistance (which is often translated in 5e as Magic Resistance) and I didn't include that in the mix at all.

That being said, thank you all for the feedback. It has been most helpful. Based on your input Iíve:

Adjusted the natural weapons and removed the poison damage.
Dropped the immunities down to resistances and folded them into the Avolakia Necromancer racial feat. Removed the fire resistance entirely. Avolakia arenít undead but they raise, wrangle, and consume undead, so their being resistant to their effects seems prudent.
Removed Underdark Trickster entirely.
Renamed Defensive Aura.
Added a more in-depth description of Horrific Appearance.
Added Sunlight Sensitivity (without adding the additional Darkvision Distance, as I suspect theyíre still a bit much)
Altered Slime Coating to align with Natural Armor.
Altered Innate spellcasting by:




Adding Chill touch to the racial feat.
Removing Cause Fear entirely.
Folding the Suggestion spell-like ability into the Alternate Form trait.



The disadvantage on saves vs Suggestion adds a unique wrinkle to the build that Iím hesitant to drop.
Below is the draft based on your input.

AVOLAKIA TRAITS
Your avolakia character has the following traits.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. UmÖ
Alignment. Avolakia care little for law or chaos and are typically neutral evil.
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 20 feet.
Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, 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.
Aberration. Your creature type is Aberration, rather than humanoid.
Natural Weapons. Your tripartite maw and insectoid claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
If you hit with your claws, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Slime Coating. You exude a protective slime which provides ample protection When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Constitution modifier. You can use your slime coating to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
You have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks to escape a grapple or squeeze through a space. You ignore movement restrictions caused by squeezing through a space.
Horrific Appearance. Your natural form is a nauseating creature that combines the worst aspects of a worm, an octopus, and an insect. Your pallid, wormlike body is coated in yellow slime and borne on six, suckered tentacles - each tipped with a multifaceted eye. Your head consists of a fleshy sheath housing a set of three hooked mandibles. Eight long, spidery arms tipped with tiny insectoid claws that almost look like human hands protrude from a set of ridges about halfway up your body. You reek of death.
You have disadvantage on all Charisma checks in your natural form.
Alternate Form. As an action, you can transform into a unique humanoid shape (you can resemble any medium humanoid race) or revert to your natural form. Your statistics, other than your horrific appearance and natural attacks, are the same in this form. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn't transformed and you revert to your natural form if you die.
When you reach 5th level, while using this trait you can cast the suggestion spell once and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. A creature within range who can see you while you make the suggestion has disadvantage on this saving throw. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Avolakia. You can read and write Common and Undercommon, but you can only speak these languages while using your Alternate Form trait.

AVOLAKIA NECROMANCER
Prerequisite: Avolakia
While most avolakia spellcasters require special training to supply their demand for undead cuisine, you have an inherent magical ability to create and handle undead. You gain the following benefits:

Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You have resistance to necrotic and cold damage.
You know the chill touch cantrip. You can cast Animate Dead once, without expending a spell slot or material components. You can't do so again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Tiadoppler
2019-07-30, 09:41 AM
This is much better, and I'd allow it at my table.



Some things that I'd like clarified:

Slime Coating uses Con instead of Dex? Is that on purpose? I have two qualms regarding this: First, it makes CON the only important defensive stat for this species (not great balance-wise. It makes the race more powerful by making an entire stat irrelevant for most builds), and second it doesn't fit that well with the fluff provided. If this species had some sort of hardened carapace covering it, I could see it using CON for defense (or having a tortle-like shell), but it's described as smooth, slippery, and wormlike, which doesn't scream "Constitution" to me. "I'm too slippery to hold onto and can wriggle my way out of situations I don't like" sounds more like Dexterity.

Horrific Appearance states that this species has 8 arms with hands. How does this interact with using weapons/shields? Can this creature wield 6 shields and a greatsword simultaneously? Do they always count as having a free hand? Can they quad-wield longbows? Or Heavy Crossbows to bypass the loading property?

I'd be sure to specify that Charisma is your spellcasting ability for the spells granted by the feat.

The saving throw disadvantage on Suggestion is probably okay, given that the other racial features are no longer overpowering.

Sir_Popard
2019-07-30, 10:13 AM
Thanks, that is my end-goal (not your table specifically, but the table of any reasonable DM).

Iím having a bit ofÖ dissonance with Slime Coating. The 3e creatureís slime coating uses Charisma as the bases for the AC bonus instead of Dexterity and that seemed more off to me. I elected to use Constitution because the slime is generated by the body, and the heartier the creature the more effective/protective the slime. I see your points, though. Iíll think it over.

In 3e each individual arm each got a 1d4+2 attack but no other mechanical benefit for having extra arms. I supposed I could reword the description to indicate that the armors are individually weak and still roughly equivalent to a pair of humanoid arms, but I could also borrow a trait from Astrolago Pressís Fairie Fire race, the Springenfolk:


Multiple Arms. You have eight arms. These arms do not allow you to take extra actions, attacks, or gain extra benefits from equipment, but do allow you to hold and interact with additional items. You may take the Use an Object action as a bonus action.

Thank you for the reminder on the racial feat.

I was hoping that with everything else toned down the Suggestion trait would be more forgivable.

Again, thank you for the feedback.

Tiadoppler
2019-07-30, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the multiple arms clarification! As long as you're thinking about how players will attempt to abuse them (and they will), it should work out okay.


Further comments

You could probably bump the bite damage up to 1d6 to match the claw damage without any issues.

OPINION: This species seems to have a ton of synergy for one specific character type: It's all CHA and CON stuff. What sort of characters can this species be effectively used for? Ranged CHA-based spellcasters. It seems a bit too focused to me. This is my own prejudice as a DM is showing through, though. I personally dislike power-gaming charisma spellcaster dipping, and it makes me reluctant to recommend big charisma boosting character options.

Do you intend to divide this species into 2-3 sub-species? I think it'd be a good idea.

If you have GGtR (Ravnica), I'd suggest looking at the Simic Hybrid species. It seems like you could take some inspiration from the sorts of options and abilities that that species grants - it gives the character options for mutations at 1st level, and again at 5th level, making them pretty varied.

sandmote
2019-07-30, 03:38 PM
As a reminder, I knew when I posted this that it was completely unplayable. I was mostly adapting as much of the creatureís mechanics as accurately as possible in order to trim it down to something more reasonable. Also, to let you know I'm not a complete madman, the monsters that inspired this race have Spell Resistance (which is often translated in 5e as Magic Resistance) and I didn't include that in the mix at all. Looking back, I think I was a bit harsh. My main goal was to break down strong the race actually was, in order to make it easier to show which abilities were particularly powerful.

By a quicker estimate, I think you're down to 25 points for the new version. That's a good spot to be, and you cn maybe afford to bring back Cause Fear or one skill without issue.

If you want to bring back some of the other features, you could have two racial feats; one focused on dealing with undead, and the other focusing on manipulation spells.


Thanks, that is my end-goal (not your table specifically, but the table of any reasonable DM).

Iím having a bit ofÖ dissonance with Slime Coating. The 3e creatureís slime coating uses Charisma as the bases for the AC bonus instead of Dexterity and that seemed more off to me. I elected to use Constitution because the slime is generated by the body, and the heartier the creature the more effective/protective the slime. I see your points, though. Iíll think it over.
I don't particularly have an issue with it. Although for most natural armor, the idea is that the slime/scales/whatever stops some attacks, but the PC isn't restricted by them and can move to avoid other attacks normally.

Sir_Popard
2019-07-30, 08:54 PM
Thanks for the multiple arms clarification! As long as you're thinking about how players will attempt to abuse them (and they will), it should work out okay.

Further comments

You could probably bump the bite damage up to 1d6 to match the claw damage without any issues.

OPINION: This species seems to have a ton of synergy for one specific character type: It's all CHA and CON stuff. What sort of characters can this species be effectively used for? Ranged CHA-based spellcasters. It seems a bit too focused to me. This is my own prejudice as a DM is showing through, though. I personally dislike power-gaming charisma spellcaster dipping, and it makes me reluctant to recommend big charisma boosting character options.

Do you intend to divide this species into 2-3 sub-species? I think it'd be a good idea.

If you have GGtR (Ravnica), I'd suggest looking at the Simic Hybrid species. It seems like you could take some inspiration from the sorts of options and abilities that that species grants - it gives the character options for mutations at 1st level, and again at 5th level, making them pretty varied.

Itís a valid point. In 5e I tend to assume if a flavorful trait isnít mechanically represented that it isnít intended for use, but I also know thatís not how every player interprets things. Iíve included the extra arms trait to answer that question.

Iíve amended the claw damage.

Warlock abuse does seem like a possible issue that I hadnít considered. Itís another thing Iíll have to mull over.

I have to admit, when I convert a monster into 5e race I usually donít have subraces in mind but that could be fun. I do have a copy of GGtR that I can peruse for inspiration.

Again, thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate it.


Looking back, I think I was a bit harsh. My main goal was to break down strong the race actually was, in order to make it easier to show which abilities were particularly powerful.

By a quicker estimate, I think you're down to 25 points for the new version. That's a good spot to be, and you cn maybe afford to bring back Cause Fear or one skill without issue.

If you want to bring back some of the other features, you could have two racial feats; one focused on dealing with undead, and the other focusing on manipulation spells.

I don't particularly have an issue with it. Although for most natural armor, the idea is that the slime/scales/whatever stops some attacks, but the PC isn't restricted by them and can move to avoid other attacks normally.

You folks werenít harsh. At face-value, the original write-up was insane. I appreciate the way you broke down the traits; you achieved your goal.

I think I like the simplicity of their only spell being a bolstered Suggestion and their other spell-like abilities being granted by racial feat(s). I figured giving them a skill would be moreÖ manageable.

Speaking of, Iíll toy around with the idea of the racial feats a bit more.

Some valid points about the natural armor. Iíve elected to switch to it.

Thank you again for your feedback. Youíve been very helpful and I appreciate it.