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    Aug 2019

    Default Re: [Homebrew] Nephilim (Darksiders-based Race) (v0.2) - Looking for feedback

    Alright, v0.3 is out! The updated PDF can be found here:


    For those who don't want to click through, here's the updated text, with the altered text in italics for ease of picking out the changes.

    Nephilim Traits

    Your nephilim character has a number of traits in common with other nephilim
    Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
    Age. Nephilim reach adulthood in their late teens and stop visibly aging between 20-30 years, with the oldest appearing to be in their mid-30s. They do not die of old age.
    Alignment. Nephilim carry the legacy of their progenitors in their blood, and as such tend towards lawful alignments, although some (particularly Scions of Strife and Absalom) carry a more individualistic or even chaotic streak. Regardless, they are almost all categorically good, though this good may take many forms; one living in secret among mortals may dedicate themselves to small acts of kindness that leave the day brighter than it began, while their more boisterous brethren may make a living as demon hunters or even freedom fighters in lands ruled by tyranny.
    Size. Nephilim are quite tall, ranging from 7-8 feet in height - sometimes taller. Even the Ďweakestí of them are quite muscular, weighing in between 200 and 400 pounds. Your size is medium.
    Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Otherworldly Instincts. As a bonus action, you know the type of any visible celestial or fiend within 30 feet of you, though not their identity; you also know the location of any celestial or fiend within 10 feet of you, including any hidden by magical means.
    Child Of Three Worlds. Your creature type is humanoid, celestial, and fiend. You have advantage on saving throws against effects that affect celestial and fiend creature types. Effects that affect humanoids still affect you as normally.
    Natural Weaponmaster. You have proficiency with three weapons of your choice.
    Horsemenís Rage. As a free action at the beginning of your turn, you tap into your nephilim heritage, temporarily taking on the characteristics of your ancestor for one brief, terrible moment. Your weapon gains the reach property and does and additional 1d4 damage (type determined by your Scion on the table) until your next turn; if your weapon already had the reach property, it gains an additional reach of 5 feet this turn. If you are using a ranged weapon, it has an additional 5 feet of range instead. The damage increases to 2d4 at 6th level, 3d4 at 11th level, and 4d4 at 16th level. Additionally, if you do not move or take any other action this turn, you may make an attack on every creature in front of you within range, with a separate attack roll for each. You may not use this ability again until after a long rest.
    Scion Table
    War: Fire
    Death: Necrotic
    Fury: Psychic
    Strife: Force
    Absalom: Poison
    Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common. You can also understand Celestial and Infernal, and can speak, read, and write your choice of those two.
    Subrace. All Nephilim trace their heritage back to either one of the Four Horsemen or to the hidden child of Absalom, resulting in five subraces: scion of War, scion of Death, scion of Fury, Scion of Strife, and scion of Absalom. Choose one of these subraces.

    Scion of War
    As a descendant of the Horseman War, battle is in your very blood, the clash of steel on shield your meat and drink. Scions of War have tanned, bronze, or otherwise sun-touched skin, with piercing white eyes and matching white hair, and are built with broad shoulders capable of sporting the heaviest arms and armor.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength or Dexterity score increases by 2.
    Weapons Enthusiast. Whenever you make a skill check to identify a weapon, its construction, quality, or history, or marks or wounds left by a weapon, you are considered proficient in the related skill and add double your Proficiency Bonus to the check, instead of your normal Proficiency Bonus.

    Scion of Death
    As a, however unlikely, descendant of the Horseman Death, you are nimble and quick as a ghost, sure as death itself. Scions of Death have highly desaturated skin that often has a purple, blue, or green tint to it, with inquisitive orange eyes, and shining black hair. They are the tallest of the scions, and their thin builds, far from looking emaciated, serve only to highlight their bone-taut muscles.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score increases by 2.
    Macabre Affinity. Undead, if conscious of your presence, will not attack you unless you attack them first. Sentient undead can understand you no matter what language you are speaking, and you can understand them as well.

    Scion of Fury
    As a descendant of the Horseman Fury, you come alive in combat and contest, a living storm of movement and pain in the heat of battle. Scions of Fury tend to look the most Ďhumaní of all the Fourís descendants except for their fierce white eyes and wild shocks of purple, magenta, or even flame-orange hair that billow in an unseen wind. Furyís children are built like dancers, their elegant forms both alluring and intimidating.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Strength or Dexterity score increases by 2.
    Acrobatics Pragmatist. As long as you are currently wielding a weapon with the reach property, you are considered proficient in Acrobatics. If you are already proficient in Acrobatics, add double your Proficiency Bonus to any Acrobatics check instead of your normal Proficiency Bonus.

    Scion of Strife
    As a descendant of the Horseman Strife, you are fast on your feet and faster on the draw, always ready to cash in action whatever check your mouth writes. Scions of Strife possess jet-black, drow-like skin, expressive yellow eyes, and hair that collects in sleek, spike-like shapes. Strifeís descendants are lithe and long-legged, perfectly built for walking the earth - or running from trouble.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity or Charisma score increases by 2.
    Fast On The Trigger. When you use a Charisma skill on a sentient creature not in combat, if you succeed, then you have advantage on your next Charisma skill check on the same person. If you fail, you have advantage on the first attack roll you make against that same creature. Regardless of success or failure, this ability cannot affect the same creature more than once a day.

    Scion of Absalom
    As a descendant of the nephilimís greatest hero, you are forever marked by the bitterness of the Horsemenís betrayal, the rage of your forefatherís last moments roiling within even as it gives you strength. The spawn of Absalomís cursed bloodline have blueish-green skin, menacing yellow eyes, and bone-grey hair; in addition, blackish shapes seem to swirl just beneath their skin like a roiling ocean, adding to their already unsettling appearance. Like Absalom once was, his descendants are hulking and muscular, as tall as they are broad.
    Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma, Intelligence, or Strength score increases by 2.
    Corrupted Heart. You are immune to poison damage. As an action, you may also absorb poison from a poisoned creature by touching them, neutralizing the poison and regaining hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier; use Charisma if you have no default spellcasting ability modifier. You cannot absorb poison from the same creature until after they take a short rest.

    For those who don't want to comb through the full text looking for what's different, here's the full changelog:

    - Otherworldly Instincts: Completely revamped, now functions closer to a Paladin's Divine Sense as originally intended, but in a different form to emphasis the nephilim race's ability to intrinsically recognize angels and devils. Nephilim can pick out any visible celestial or fiend as such within 30 feet, and can 'sniff out' the specific location of any celestials or fiends close to them - including those trying to sneak up on them.
    - Child of Three Worlds: Added a sentence clarifying that nephilim are still affected by humanoid-affecting spells as normal.
    - Unwavering Will: Removed! The evil is gone from here!
    - Horseman's Rage: Kept it as a free action, but changed some other parameters; now it can be used EITHER for a little added oomph on a single attack (or however many attacks the player would make that turn, anyway) while still letting them use bonus actions and move around, OR players can use it to go medieval on every enemy within range, but if they do so, then their turn ends immediately after all of the attacks are resolved. No bonus actions or moving for them.
    - Languages: Remained as is for now. The ability to understand a spoken language, but not being able to read, write, or speak it doesn't feel too strong, although I wish I could come up with more concise language for the rule.
    - Scion of War: Can now choose between Strength and Dexterity for the ASI. Weapons Enthusiast now gives a bonus when identifying a weapon, its construction, quality, and origin in addition to including identifying marks and wounds left by weapons. This should hopefully make it a little less niche.
    - Scion of Death: Can now choose between Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma for ASI since Death is more magically-inclined than the other Horsemen.
    - Scion of Fury: Acrobatics Pragmatist completely revamped. I didn't like the flat Acrobatics proficiency idea just by itself, so now it gives a double Proficiency bonus on Acrobatics checks as long as the nephilim is wielding a reach weapon. I realize double Proficiency on Acrobatics is pretty powerful, which is why I put in the reach requirement.
    - Scion of Strife: Can now take Charisma or Dexterity for ASI. While the ability mechanically remains the same, there's a few changes that should discourage exploitation. For one, the ability now only works on creatures that are NOT in combat; no more intentionally failing Charisma checks in the heat of battle to get an advantage. Secondly, it now affects the same creature only once every day, which should keep players from constantly engaging the same NPC to constantly maintain advantage.
    - Scion of Absalom: Can now take Charisma, Intelligence, or Strength for ASI. Revamped. Replaced the healing via poison damage with a flat immunity to poison. Absorbing poison from a creature now requires an action, and the creature must take a short rest before the player can absorb poison from them again. Also included language that specified Charisma as the spellcasting ability modifier for nephilim playing classes that have no spellcasting ability (i.e., Barbarians).

    My aim this time around was to encourage more class variety by having multiple ASI options for each subrace (Death and Absalom are now prime picks for casters, Strife has potential as a ranged combatant or a party face), to balance out the mechanics that were too strong to be ignored, and to remove any easy exploitation of mechanics. Players are gonna do what they're gonna do, but I want to make it as hard as possible for them to get up to shenanigans. The only mechanic I'm not entirely happy with yet is Absalom's poison absorption, because it currently doesn't stop players from carrying around a bag of rats, poisoning them, then absorbing poison from each one as a quick health pick-me-up. Doing so would be pretty tedious anyway, but I'm sure someone out there would attempt it. My only thought would be to put a limitation on how small the creature being cured of the poison can be, but then I thought about 'Well, what if the player wants to absorb from a friendly faerie or something and can't do it because they're too small! That's awful!' So I'm at a wall with that.
    Last edited by SaigonTimeMD; 2019-08-27 at 12:15 AM.