Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Uncommon Human

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Uncommon Human

    Uncommon Human Traits and Abilities


    Ability Score Increases: You gain 3 points to spend as you see fit. You can start with an 18 with point buy with this selection.

    Age: Uncommon Human lives about 75 years longer than the average Human.

    Alignment: As Humans

    Size: Medium

    Speed: 30'

    Proficient: Choose one save, one skill, and one tool, you gain proficiency with these.

    Exceptionally Skillful: Choose one skill, you have advantage with that skill.

    Skill Versatility: Whenever you make a skill check with the following pairs of ability score you may use the higher of your modifiers in place of the other.

    Str - Dex
    Wis - Cha

    Quick Skill: You can make any skill check with a bonus action. If you gain a second souce from a class feature that allows you to use the skill as a bonus action, you gain advantage on the roll.
    @@@


    Powerful, flavorful, and useful. Oh and slightly exploitable.

    If you will be using skills then this will be the go to human.

    May need to reduce the power a bit for some games but it really gives human that versatility OOMPH that giving them a feat of a bunch of +1's just doesn't do.

    Being a UC Human Rogue with quick hands will make up for not having darkvision and sucking at seeing in the dark. They can get advantage on stealth checks, probably hide in someone's shadow eventually.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zweisteine's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    The Universe.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    Powerful, flavorful, and useful. Oh and slightly exploitable.
    Yeah. That's the problem.
    See the section on this line down near the bottom of the post, with the bold words. It's important.

    To me, this looks too powerful to use as is. I will note the reasons below.

    Ability Score Increases: You gain 3 points to spend as you see fit. You can start with an 18 with point buy with this selection.
    While this doesn't seem too imbalanced, I see three problems with it.
    1. It doesn't follow any of the existing patterns.
    2. It prevents any ability scores over 15.
    3. It doesn't work unless you use a point buy.

    I recommend replacing this with +1 to two ability scores, which will have approximately the same effect, fits within the existing guidelines, and works with any ability generation method.

    Uncommon Human lives about 75 years longer than the average Human.
    This is where I started to be confused, which is fairly important. More on this later.

    Choose one save, one skill, and one tool, you gain proficiency with these.
    This brings this race, which appears not to be normal human, close to half-elf race and (to a smaller degree) the variant human.

    Choose one skill, you have advantage with that skill.
    This is very, very powerful. IIRC, no race currently has blanket advantage on a skill,* and this can be used to devastating effect (stealth, deception, persuasion, and perception come to mind). This alone could make a powerful race (Skillarian race: +2 to one ability score, advantage on one skill based on that ability).
    Also, this probably should not be in addition to proficiency. Consider the elves, which in the last play test had advantage on perception, were changed to simply gain proficiency. If a race is naturally skilled, it should be represented by skill training, not advantage. Advantage is meant to represent special modifiers such as advantageous conditions, not natural ability (in general).

    *Consider that level 9 rogues get advantage on Dexterity (stealth) checks if and only if they no more than half their speed. You're giving an improved form of a level 9 ability to level 1 characters.

    Whenever you make a skill check with the following pairs of ability score you may use the higher of your modifiers in place of the other.
    This and the following trait are the most overpowered traits this race has. The problems with this trait are fourfold.

    • There is no such thing as a skill check in 5e. Instead, there are ability checks, to which you may be able to apply a skill proficiency. Perception checks do not exist under that name; rather, they are Wisdom (Perception) checks. While your meaning is clear, it will not apply in all situations, and can cause problems when combined with other rules. This leads directly into the next problem.
    • It can defy logic. The ability a check relies on is chosen such that it makes sense. The skills for each ability are associated with that ability because it makes sense. How would one use their Charisma to notice something (perception skill)? *
    • Besides the RAW and logic problems, this trait poses massive game balance problems, mainly through removing the necessity to maintain certain ability scores. The best example of this is a rogue. Normally, a rogue would want at least a little of each ability score. This trait confines almost every skill a rogue will want to two ability scores, Dexterity and Wisdom (Wisdom rather than Charisma because there are more Wisdom saves in the game). Now the rogue really only needs those two abilities, plus Constitution for hit points. This expands

    *To say a bit more on the first two points, the basic problem with this ability is that it relies on an incorrect assumption about the rules. Take a character who wants to do a backflip. The DM might choose that this requires a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check because it takes dexterity and acrobatic skill to make a backflip. Another DM might say that it requires a Strength (Athletics) check, because you have to jump. Another DM (I'd be this one) would ask for both.

    And in situations where it does make sense to do something unorthodox (such as using strength for a brute-force intimidation, or intelligence for a logical argument), there is a variant rule, "Skills with Different Abilities" (basic rules v2, p. 59), which allows just that.

    You can make any skill check with a bonus action. If you gain a second souce from a class feature that allows you to use the skill as a bonus action, you gain advantage on the roll.
    While the previous trait's main problem is with the rules, this one's is with balance. While the nonexistence of skill checks applies here, this one much easier to discriminate the application, because it does not threaten the game's logic as much.

    1. Rules: This ability doesn't fit within the rules because one does not "make a skill check," or even an ability check. Characters take actions, which may require ability checks. How would one make an Intelligence (Investigation) check as a bonus action?
      1a. This problem is easily solved by a modified wording: "When you would use your action to make an ability check, you can use a bonus action to make that check instead." Note, however, that this does not solve the problems with logic and balance.
    2. Logic: This ability allows you to make a Charisma (Persuasion) check as a bonus action. How exactly do you go about doing that? Taking the most direct interpretation, it means you can make a convincing argument in less than one round.
    3. Balance: Bonus actions are not meant to be common, and this is an exceptionally powerful bonus action. Under a strict interpretation of the rest of the rules, this is less powerful, but it is still too strong, as the next point emphasizes.
    4. Balance: Consider that second-level rogues gain the ability to take the Hide action as a bonus action. This trait is a variation of that ability, which is unlike anything any other class receives (barring spells). That means that, besides the first part of this trait being powerful, the second part will apply only to rogues.

    My judgement says that this ability should just be removed entirely, as it does not fit well within the existing framework of the rules, is unclear, and is unbalanced.

    Powerful, flavorful, and useful. Oh and slightly exploitable.
    And here is the important part of my post.
    If you read nothing else of my post, read this section.
    You call this race "powerful, flavorful, and useful ... and exploitable." It is certainly powerful, which leads to the exploitability. By extension of those qualities, it becomes useful for any who wish to exploit that power.

    But flavorful?

    You have not provided any flavor for this race, not even stating that this is a variant human. This, in my eyes, is a bigger offense than any failure to hold precisely to the rules. Without flavor, what are we to look for in the race? What are we supposed to envision? And without flavor, we don't know your intent. While it may seem obvious to you, you created this race, so you know everything there is to know about it.

    Most homebrew races have a short paragraph describing the race's fluff, and some homebrewers (I might call them "good" homebrewers) follow the format given in the books. Here's an example, and here's a really good example (though the formatting (or lack thereof) makes it a bit of an eyesore).



    If you will be using skills then this will be the go to human.
    If this race is used as-is, it will be the go-to race for any build that plans to make frequent use of skills. And many that don't.

    May need to reduce the power a bit for some games but it really gives human that versatility OOMPH that giving them a feat or a bunch of +1's just doesn't do.
    While +1 to all ability scores doesn't look or feel like a lot on paper, it can be a ton, especially if you roll lots of odd numbers. But yeah, it does feel a bit lackluster. It's like comparing a stable job and a nice house to a fun job and a mansion. But the variant human isn't lackluster at all. The feats allow a level of customization unseen in any other race, and can contribute hugely to any build (and they can provide a lot of "OOMPH"). Sure, they don't get much else, but humans are boring. Because most fantasy races are essentially some variation on humans, humans can't be much besides average, and game designers long ago decided that humans, holding that position between all other races, would have the qualities of adaptability and versatility. If someone makes a race with new and interesting abilities, they don't call it human, and it isn't. Sure, this race's abilities aren't specific enough to make it its own race, but you seem to have gone a bit overboard on giving us that "OOMPH."


    Being a UC Human Rogue with quick hands will make up for not having darkvision and sucking at seeing in the dark. They can get advantage on stealth checks, probably hide in someone's shadow eventually.
    Yeah, lacking darkvision is a downside for humans, but there's a reason for it. Humans don't have darkvision. Note that even halflings, the race that goes side-by-side with rogue, don't get dark vision either. Just because a human might choose to be a rogue doesn't mean they need the ability to be perfect rogues.
    And a high-enough-level rogue of any race should (or shouldn't) able to hide in someone's shadow. What a human rogue lacks in natural ability they make up for in other ways. Besides the ever-helpful +1 to dexterity and charisma for sneaking and talking, respectively, they get +1 to strength, constitution, intelligence, and wisdom for jumping, surviving, searching, and observing, also respectively. Humans aren't meant to be a specialized race; they're supposed to be the baseline.

    Here's a whole thread about that.

    And if you're really looking for tricks like hiding in someone's shadow, you should look at 3.5e.


    TL;DR
    This race suffers from four overarching problems:
    1. It is not balanced, and could cause issues with the game.
    2. Some of the race's traits do not work properly within the game's rules.
    3. The abilities are poorly worded in places, which contributes to the first two problems.*
    4. Your intent is unclear.

    *I didn't say much about it before, but better wording could improve the first few traits and partially fix the last two.
    Here's one: Exceptionally Skillful. Choose one skill. You gain advantage on ability checks that involve that skill.


    Oh, and "skillful human" might be a better and more descriptive name for this. "Uncommon human" doesn't really seem to mean much.
    Last edited by Zweisteine; 2014-12-13 at 10:18 PM.
    Jon Snow and Ghost avatar by Gurgleflep 15370262 328.
    How to play a monster.

    I am currently Very Busy, so I can not update my threads, and may disappear for extended periods of time.

    I got a long signature!
    DFTBA! Smilies!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    Only have time to reply real quick but...

    It is already a rule that you can use ability scores with different skills. You can actually use Intelligence (Athletics) as a skill if the DM allows it.

    All this does is takes a variant rule, one that I think is in the PHB, and makes it up to the player.

    Also, this race isn't meant to be balanced with current races, don't think I added that. More of a powered up human in a powered up word.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    I agree with everything Zwei has said.

    I question the wisdom of homebrewing a class, subclass, or race without the intent of balance. If it's not meant to be balanced, is it merely a thought exercise, never meant to be put in to practice?

    That's fine; thought exercises can be fun.

    But then I would never suggest a thought exercise as a serious option for people to use in place of an existing, official option.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    Quote Originally Posted by Leuku View Post
    I agree with everything Zwei has said.

    I question the wisdom of homebrewing a class, subclass, or race without the intent of balance. If it's not meant to be balanced, is it merely a thought exercise, never meant to be put in to practice?

    That's fine; thought exercises can be fun.

    But then I would never suggest a thought exercise as a serious option for people to use in place of an existing, official option.
    Because some people regularly play in high powered games or one shots AMD so far there are no options for high powered races or anything bit common humans. If there are unbalanced class (fighter versus wizard) then there is no reason you can have unbalanced races.

    So while the wizard may be a common human, the uncommon human is a fighter. Or everyone is uncommon races.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    If there are unbalanced class (fighter versus wizard)
    Hey now, I ask you not to bring that squabbling in to this thread.

    Double Standard Wizard is elsewhere.
    Last edited by Leuku; 2014-12-14 at 09:20 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    Quote Originally Posted by Leuku View Post
    Hey now, I ask you not to bring that squabbling in to this thread.

    Double Standard Wizard is elsewhere.
    Try and stop me?

    The uncommon human was made under the same thought. If we can have stronger and more versitile classes then why not have stronger and more versitile races.

    Normal humans are commoners, uncommon humans are heroes and villians.

    Normal monsters don't have legendary resistance and lair actions, legendary monster have both.

    If you don't like that I think the wizard is more versitile, awesome, and overall useful than the fighter then don't bring it up when I explain one of the things that brought me to make this race. Or should I just lie and say I pull this Uncommon Human out of my butt?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    Try and stop me?

    The uncommon human was made under the same thought. If we can have stronger and more versitile classes then why not have stronger and more versitile races.

    Normal humans are commoners, uncommon humans are heroes and villians.

    Normal monsters don't have legendary resistance and lair actions, legendary monster have both.

    If you don't like that I think the wizard is more versitile, awesome, and overall useful than the fighter then don't bring it up when I explain one of the things that brought me to make this race. Or should I just lie and say I pull this Uncommon Human out of my butt?
    Legendary monsters are designed to be a single encounter for higher level parties. Your justification basically says I should have an effective higher level human at level 1 because power now, not because it is necessary at some point later on. As such you are making a race in which acts as if it had class levels and backgrounds already in terms of mechanics. Therefore uncommon humans in a high power campaign are effectively common if they are supposed to be an equivalent threat, not to mention other races.
    Last edited by Amnoriath; 2014-12-14 at 12:06 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zweisteine's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    The Universe.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Uncommon Human

    This time I'll be brief, as I'm short on time.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrusaderJoe View Post
    It is already a rule that you can use ability scores with different skills. You can actually use Intelligence (Athletics) as a skill if the DM allows it.
    I already covered that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zweisteine View Post
    And in situations where it does make sense to do something unorthodox (such as using strength for a brute-force intimidation, or intelligence for a logical argument), there is a variant rule, "Skills with Different Abilities" (basic rules v2, p. 59), which allows just that.

    All this does is takes a variant rule, one that I think is in the PHB, and makes it up to the player.
    This is fine, but I have come to the understanding that part of the goal of 5e was to put power in the hands of the DM. So giving the players control like that seems a bit odd.
    But because the DM would have to approve the race, this isn't really a problem.

    Also, this race isn't meant to be balanced with current races, don't think I added that. More of a powered up human in a powered up word.
    Alright. Then the biggest problem is the wording. The ability check/skill check is still a problem, but only one of semantics. A good DM and good player should be able to interpret that on their own, but clarity is always good, especially when sharing things on the internet. Unfortunately, a concise and unambiguous wording for this race's abilities might be hard to make.

    To summarize:
    Imbalanced things are fine, but it's better if you're clear about that up front.
    The wordings/semantics are still a bit problematic.
    Jon Snow and Ghost avatar by Gurgleflep 15370262 328.
    How to play a monster.

    I am currently Very Busy, so I can not update my threads, and may disappear for extended periods of time.

    I got a long signature!
    DFTBA! Smilies!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •