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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Justicar's Avatar

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    Sep 2007

    Default Avian PC Race (and a couple others)

    TL;DR Please look over these races and heritages to see if they are balanced.

    So, my 11-year old nephew approached me last week and asked how to play D&D. Having played roleplaying games for 25 years and owning numerous different system, I quickly offered to teach him, although I did ask his father for permission first. I then went to work creating a custom world just for him to play in.

    While I could have used any of the multitude of systems that I own, I ultimately decided that it would be in his best interest to start off with D&D like he asked about. I had not yet played 5e, due to playing other systems like Onyx Path games or 13th Age, but I went out and got the main books as well as many of the pdfs. I quickly noticed that there were basically five different bird races: Aarakocra, Kenku, Sirens and two breeds of Avens. Those last come from the free pdfs that they put out for the Magic the Gathering settings. I then kept the Humans, added the Kor, Vedalken and Ixalan Goblins from the previously mentioned setting documents and jettisoned the rest of the races since I didnít want to bog him down with too many options for his first campaign. Iíll post the links to the MtG races below.

    So I came with the Chained World. After some long-forgotten cataclysm known as the Shattering, the world had been fractured into countless shards that now reside among the clouds. Some are barely big enough for a house, others can hold entire cities and there are many that are just the right size for planting fields. The only thing that they all have in common are numerous interconnected giant chains attached to the underside of the shards that descend into the dark, unknown roiling clouds below.

    When the Shattering happened, some men turned to the gods for salvation and were turned into the numerous Bird folk those flocks now fly between the shards. Other men decided to rely upon their own means to survive the catastrophic event. Those in the few remaining cities became the Vedalkan, building the wondrous ships that allow man to travel between the shards, while those outside the walls remained unchanged. Some men clung to the sides of the more inhospitable mountain shards and are known as the Kor. Finally, some men decided to descend deeper into the unknown territory known as the Mooring and were twisted over the generations away from the sun into the goblins.

    ------------------------------

    Now, for 5e, this setting was simple enough. All of the races already existed within officially published Wizards of the Coast supplements. I could have stopped there. However, while browsing at the local book store, I saw the Pathfinder 2e book. I had never been able to play Pathfinder outside of a couple attempts to join games that never lasted more than a session or two before collapsing and knew no information at all about 2e since I generally avoid playtesting until the polished material is released. I decided immediately that I would get the book so that my nephew could have the option to start off with two similar, yet slightly different systems to learn from.

    What I did not factor on was the newness of 2e. There are basically no supplements yet and very little homebrew either that I could find. None of the races there were quite what I wanted and there were definitely no avian races to choose from. I was ready to dismiss my purchase as an ultimately failed attempt, but then I started thinking about the Half-Elf and Half-Orc changes 2e (which I absolutely adore). I could simply make Vedalkan and Kor as Heritage options for Humans and make a new Goblin Heritage to reflect the Ixalan Goblins, now called Mooring Goblins. Furthermore, I could bundle together all of the avian races together and then make the various kinds into Heritages as well. Now I am not making 5-7 new races, but merely one with whole bunch of additional Heritages. Iíll worry about the Ancestry Feats a little later.

    This was what I was able to cobble together this today. If you could, please look over them to make certain I didnít make them too overpowered or underpowered compared to other races. Any construction advice would be welcome.

    Human Heritages:
    Vedalken: You gain the Adopted Ancestry Feat for Elves.

    • Vedalken Cunning (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, Reaction, 1): You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your Will saving throw against the triggering spell or magical effect.
    • Vedalken Dispassion (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, Reaction, 1): You gain a +1 circumstance bonus against attempts to influence you with Charisma-based skill checks. (May need some help polishing the phrasing.)
    • Vedalken Lore (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, 1): You gain the trained proficiency rank in Arcana and Craft. If you would automatically become trained in one of those skills (from your background or class, for example), you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. You also become trained in Artifact Lore.
    • Vedalken Precision (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, 1): When you take this feat, choose an Intelligence or Wisdom-based skill that you are trained in. Whenever you make a skill check with the chosen skill, roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the check's total.
    • Arcane Smith (Ancestry Feat, Vedalken, 5): You can cast 1st-level mending as an occult innate spell once per day.
    • Serene Wielder (Ancestry Feat, Vedalken, 5): Once per day, when you used a focused item, you gain two Focus Points instead of the normal one.
    • Eldritch Artificer (Ancestry Feat, Vedalken, 9): You gain dispel magic and knock as 2nd-level occult innate spells. You can cast each of these occult innate spells once per day.
    • Vedalken Meticulousness (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, Vedalken Precision, 9): Whenever you make a skill check with the skill chosen with Vedalken Precision, roll a d6 instead and add the number rolled to the check's total. You may choose a second Intelligence or Wisdom-based skill that you are trained in and gain a +2 circumstance bonus with that skill.
    • Vedalken Determinacy (Ancestry Feat, Human, Vedalken, Vedalken Meticulousness, 13): Whenever you make a skill check with the skill chosen with Vedalken Precision, roll a d8 instead and add the number rolled to the check's total. You also get to roll a d4 for the second skill chosen instead.


    Kor: You gain the Adopted Ancestry Feat for Halflings.

    • Cliffside Traveler (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 1): When Climbing cliffs or with ropes or other climbing aids, you move at half your speed on a success and at full Speed on a critical success (and you move at full Speed on a success if you have Quick Climb). This doesnít affect you if youíre using a climb Speed.
    • Kor Bravery (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 1): Reduce any penalties for being Frightened by half.
    • Kor Luck (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, Reaction, 1): Once per day, you may get a +2 circumstance bonus to any reroll attempts.
    • Kor Weapon Familiarity (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 1): You have trained proficiency with chains and hooks. In addition, you gain access to all uncommon kor weapons. For you, martial kor weapons are simple weapons and advanced kor weapons are martial weapons.
    • Kor Weapon Aerialist (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, Kor Weapon Familiarity, 5): You are particularly adept at fighting with your peopleís favored weapons. Whenever you critically succeed at an attack roll using a picks, spiked chain, or a kor weapon, you apply the weaponís critical specialization effect.
    • Heroic Derring-do (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 5): You start the session with an extra Hero Point and your maximum Hero Point limit is now 4.
    • Inspirational Deeds (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 9): You gain heroism as a 3rd-level divine innate spell that you can cast once per day.
    • Unchained Movement (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 9): When you take a Stride action to move half your Speed or less, that movement does not trigger reactions and you may ignore difficult terrain. Special: You can use Unchained Movement when Climbing, Flying, or Swimming instead of Striding if you have the corresponding movement type. If you have the Mobility feat, you may move your full speed with an Stride action that movement does not trigger reactions and you may ignore difficult terrain.
    • Kor Weapon Expertise (Ancestry Feat, Human, Kor, 13): Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons, you also gain that proficiency for picks, spiked chain, and all kor weapons in which you are trained.


    Kor Weapons
    • Kor Climbing Hook (Uncommon Martial Weapon)
      Price: 2 gp Damage: 1d6 P Bulk: L Hands: 1 Group: Pick Weapon Traits: Fatal d8, Kor, Parry, Trip
    • Kor Long-Chain (Uncommon Martial Weapon)
      Price: 3 gp Damage: 1d8 S Bulk: 1 Hands: 2 Group: Flail Weapon Traits: Kor, Reach, Sweep
    • Kor Swing-Hook (Uncommon Advanced Weapon)
      Price: 4 gp Damage: 1d8 P Bulk: 1 Hands: 2 Group: Flail Weapon Traits: Disarm, Kor, Reach, Sweep


    Goblin Heritage:
    Mooring Goblins: Climb Speed of 25.

    Bird Folk
    Hit Points: 6
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 25 feet walking. 20 feet flying. You canít use your flying speed while you wear medium, heavy armor or are encumbered.

    Ability Boosts:
    Dexterity
    Charisma
    Free

    Ability Flaw:
    Constitution

    Languages:
    Common
    Avian

    Traits:
    Bird Folk
    Humanoid

    Bird Folk Heritages

    Aarakocra Heritage: Your flight speed is 40 feet.
    Hawk-Headed Aven Heritage: Half the range penalty for your ranged weapon attack roll. Attacks beyond the sixth range increment are still impossible.
    Ibis-Headed Aven Heritage: You receive the Untrained Improvisation feat.
    Siren Heritage: You can cast the daze cantrip as an arcane innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up.
    Kenku Heritage: You receive a +2 circumstance bonus to Society (Create Forgery) and Deception (Impersonate; sounds and voices only)

    • Avian Lore (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): You gain the trained proficiency rank in Diplomacy and Religion. If you would automatically become trained in one of those skills (from your background or class, for example), you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. You also become trained in Avian Lore.
    • Brilliant Plumage (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): Whenever you meet a Bird Folk in a social situation, you can immediately attempt a Diplomacy check to Make an Impression on that creature rather than needing to converse for 1 minute. You take a Ė5 penalty to the check. If you fail, you can engage in 1 minute of conversation and attempt a new check at the end of that time rather than accepting the failure or critical failure result. Special: If you have the Glad-Hand skill feat, you donít take the penalty on your immediate Diplomacy check if the target is a Bird Folk.
    • Eagle-Eye (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): Whenever you roll a success on a Perception check to find something hidden, you get a critical success instead. Whenever an ambusher rolls a failure on a Stealth check, they get a critical failure instead.
    • Fleet Feather (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): Your Flight Speed increases by 10 feet.
    • Flight Elocutionist (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): You recognize the chattering of flying creatures as its own peculiar language. You can ask questions of, receive answers from, and use the Diplomacy skill with animals that have a Flight Speed, such as birds, bats and other such creatures. The GM determines which animals count for this ability.
    • Razor Talons (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): You gain a talon unarmed attack that deals 1d6 slashing damage. Your talons are in the brawling group and have the finesse and unarmed traits.
    • Wind Dancer (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 1): You ignore difficult terrain from moving against the wind and the base DC for Arresting a Fall is 10 instead of 15.
    • Buffeting Wings (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 5): You can cast 1st-level gust of wind as an arcane innate spell once per day.
    • Swooping Attack (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, Razor Talons, 5): [Action 2] You gain the Flyby Attack ability.
    • Gale Coryphťe (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 9): If you roll a success on an Acrobatics check to Maneuver in Flight, you get a critical success instead. If you have Wind Dancer, when you roll a critical failure on an attempt to Maneuver in Flight, you get a failure instead.
    • Typhoon Wings (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, 9): You can cast 3rd-level wall of wind as an arcane innate spell once per day.
    • Enchanted Claws (Ancestry Feat, Bird Folk, Razor Talons, 13): You can cast 1st-level magic weapon on your talons as an arcane innate spell once per hour.



    Oh! As promised, here are the MtG D&D 5e pdfs that I drew upon for inspiration. They are all free on DriveThruRPG:
    Amonknet
    Innistrad
    Ixalan
    Kaladesh
    Zendikar
    Last edited by Justicar; 2019-08-13 at 09:14 PM.
    ~There is nothing more tragic than when a loving family is torn apart by something as simple as a pack of wolves.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Justicar's Avatar

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    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Avian PC Race (and a couple others)

    Update #1: Created Level 1 Ancestry Feats for all of the Races
    Update #2: Created upper level Ancestry Feats for the Kor as well as the Kor Weapons.
    ~There is nothing more tragic than when a loving family is torn apart by something as simple as a pack of wolves.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Justicar's Avatar

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    Sep 2007

    Default Re: Avian PC Race (and a couple others)

    Update #3: Completed upper level Avian and Vedalken Ancestry Feats. Please let me know if there are any ways to improve upon them.
    ~There is nothing more tragic than when a loving family is torn apart by something as simple as a pack of wolves.

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