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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Hello all, as a frequent DM of 5e and Pathfinder I constantly look for ways to shake up the table and throw interesting and new things at my players. Lo and behold I stumble across this beauty, 4e D&D which is so uniquely fluid from other versions (save from the awkward 'power' terminology making it feel like a Diablo game.) After discussing it with my most trusted player, we both felt it would be a great addition to our table in the setting of Jim Henson's 'The Dark Crystal' in honor of its revitalization in Netflix's 'Age of Resistance' series. Now, I love this franchise. I have consumed nearly every amount of media (save from the young adult novels which I am currently reading at this moment) but after watching the film and Netflix series, and reading the Creation Myth comics and sequel comics I cannot hide my love for this world and its inhabitants any longer. As sort of a surprise for my players I would invite them to visit a world foreign and new thrown into the bodies of native races as if in some strange body swap movie. Though I have familiarized myself with the rulings of 4e, there unfortunately is no published work of how to create and balance homebrew race options. Seeing as this will be a long campaign, that will be the most important piece of homebrew that needs to be balanced. I hope that with your help I can balance these races to keep the same feel of their original concept. I'm also happy to share and chat about my ideas for anyone looking to run a similar game at their own table.

    Now, I think it must be stated that for my vision I plan to base these events after all canonical events of Thra's history so as all possible races are potential player options and are explored. Many of Thra's inhabitants change throughout its history this is why my selection of player races are limited to; Podling, Fireling, UrRu (Mystic), Skeksis, and 5 variation of Gelfling (as canonically their clans have changed throughout time.) I am currently polishing the last of the Gelfling clans, so I will post the Gelfling race later once it is complete

    Spoiler: Podling
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    Average Height: 3' 3" - 3' 7"
    Average Weight: 60 - 100 lb.

    Ability Scores: +2 Charisma; +2 Dexterity or +2 Wisdom
    Size: Small
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Normal
    Languages: Common, Podling
    Skill Bonus: +2 Acrobatics, +2 Nature

    Animal Soul Speaking: You can communicate with natural beasts and fey beasts.
    Eager: You have a +2 racial bonus to initiative checks.
    Nimble Reaction: You gain a +2 racial bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.
    Oblivious Tune: You can use oblivious tune as an encounter power.


    Oblivious Tune
    Podling Racial Power
    ____________________________
    Unaware of the events around you, you hum a cheerful tune that refreshes the creature you play it for.

    Encounter
    Minor Action ✦ Close
    burst 5
    Target: You and all allies inside the burst.
    Effect: You allow each ally that can hear you to immediately make a saving throw against one condition its enduring with a + 5 racial bonus to it. Creatures that are deaf are immune to this power.


    Spoiler: Fireling
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    Average Height: 5' 6" - 5' 10"
    Average Weight: 90 - 130 lb.

    Ability Scores: +2 Strength; +2 Constitution or +2 Charisma
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Normal
    Languages: Common, Fireling
    Skill Bonus: +2 Arcana, +2 Endurance

    Elemental Origin: You are native to Thra's burning core, so you are considered an elemental creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
    Fire Resistance: You have resist fire 5 + one-half your level.
    Fiery Assault: You can use fiery assault as an encounter power.
    Firefast: You can use firefast as an at-will power.

    Fiery Assault
    Fireling Racial Power
    ____________________________
    An arc of fire lashes out from your hand to sear your foes.


    Encounter ✦ Fire
    Minor Action ✦ Close
    blast 3
    Targets: All creatures in area
    Attack: Strength + 2 vs. Reflex
    Hit: 1d6 + Constitution modifier damage.
    Increase to +4 bonus and 2d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 11th level,
    and to +6 bonus and 3d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 21st level.




    Firefast
    Fireling Racial Power
    ____________________________
    With a gentle touch, you can collect the warmth of a dying flame and witness past events around you.


    At-Will
    Standard Action ✦ Melee Touch
    Target:
    A small flame
    Effect: You consume a dim fire, such as a candle or dying torch, melding your consciousness with the flame and all it has witnessed. Firefasting allows the user to view past events from the fire's perspective, being able to see as far back as when the fire was first lit. Firefasting requires concentration and a session typically lasts at least 10 minutes. When Firefasting, a Fireling sheds light as a torch and is unconscious, fully unaware of their surroundings.



    Spoiler: UrRu
    Show
    Average Height: 7' 1" - 7' 5"
    Average Weight: 300 - 340 lb.

    Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom; +2 Constitution or +2 Intelligence
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 5 squares
    Vision: Normal
    Languages: Common, UrRu, Primordial
    Skill Bonus: +2 Heal, +2 Religion

    Fractured Soul: UrRu and Skeksis are each one half of the same consciousness trapped in separate bodies. For each UrRu, there is a Skeksis counterpart bound by their origin. Anything that affects your UrRu character (damage, healing, conditions, powers, death, etc.) also affects your Skeksis opposite and vice versa.
    Radiant Resistance: You have resist radiant 5 + one-half your level.
    Stonespeech: You can communicate with stone and minerals.
    Resonating of Psalm: You can use resonating psalm as a encounter power.


    Resonating Psalm
    UrRU Racial Power
    ____________________________
    Telling ancient stories to the earth itself, you cause the soil to shift and loosen in an area you choose.


    Encounter
    Minor Action ✦ Area
    burst 2 within 10 squares
    Effect: The burst creates a pit of loose earth that fills the area until the end of your next turn. The space is considered difficult terrain for each creature that starts their turn inside the area.



    Spoiler: Skeksis
    Show
    Average Height: 6' 4" - 6' 8"
    Average Weight: 90 - 130 lb.

    Ability Scores: +2 Intelligence; +2 Constitution or +2 Charisma
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 5 squares
    Vision: Darkvision
    Languages: Common, Skeksis, Deep Speech
    Skill Bonus: +2 Bluff, +2 Intimidate

    Escape from Mortality: You gain a +2 racial bonus to death saving throws. This increases to +4 at 11th level and +6 at 21st level.
    Fractured Soul: Skeksis and UrRu are each one half of the same consciousness trapped in separate bodies. For each Skeksis, there is a UrRu counterpart bound by their origin. Anything that affects your Skeksis character (damage, healing, conditions, powers, death, etc.) also affects your UrRu opposite and vice versa.
    Necrotic Resistance: You have resist necrotic 5 + one half your level.
    Life Everlasting: You can use life everlasting as an encounter power.


    Life Everlasting
    Skeksis Racial Power
    ____________________________
    Through the power of your own greed, you elect to drain the life force of those foolish enough to cross you.

    [B]Encounter ✦ Necrotic, Healing[B]
    Minor Action ✦ Area burst 1 within 10 squares
    Targets: Each creature in burst
    Attack: Intelligence +3 vs. Fortitude
    Hit: 1d10 + Constitution modifier damage, and you can spend a healing surge.
    Increase to +3 bonus and 2d10 + Constitution modifier damage at 21st level.


    Spoiler: Gelfling
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    Average Height: 5' 6" - 5' 10"
    Average Weight: 90 - 130 lb.

    Ability Scores: +2 to one ability score of your choice
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 6 squares
    Vision: Low-Light
    Languages: Common, Gelfling

    Bonus At-Will Power: You know one extra at-will power from your class.
    One of Five: You choose one of five clans to align, which will further develop your character.
    Dreamfast: You can use *dreamfast* as an at-will power.

    Dreamfast
    Gelfling Racial Power
    ____________________________
    At your touch, you suspend consciousness to share a brief memory with those you choose.

    [B]At-Will
    Standard Action ✦ Melee Touch
    Targets: Any Willing Gelfling
    Effect: You along with the willing Gelfling you touch are transported to a plane of visions, thoughts, and memories. Here, each participant is able to exchange events they have witnessed through their point of view. While Dreamfasting, all participants are unconscious and unaware of their surroundings. A Gelfling cannot be forced to Dreamfast.

    One of Five
    The clan a Gelfling is allied to not only defines their values, culture, and appearance but also distinguishes them from other Gelfling. The five clans co-govern the entire Gelfling race through a matriarch of blood nobility. When you make a Gelfling character, choose one of these five clans to be aligned to.

    • Ayata Clan - The Peace-Touched
    • Chenrie Clan - The Sea-Ventured
    • Fjhit Clan - The Great-Minded
    • Latha Clan - The Grey-Winged
    • Ophae Clan - The Storm-Chased


    Spoiler: Ayata Clan
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    A peace-loving clan of Gelfling that arose from the union between two star-crossed lovers from rivaling clans. The fierce Stonewood and the fearless Spriton had wages many battles between each other, yet the romance between these two had cause all of their kind to cease battle. Ayata Gelfling bear dark skin with pale facial markings, which notably glow when under the three suns. Ayata are kind to all and aid in the diplomatic disputes between other races. Though their charity is known worldwide, many are unaware of the great lengths these Gelfling will go to protect others. Many accounts during the end of the 'Age of Division,' note a few captive Ayata used their faith to protect their comrades from the grasp of death.

    Skill Bonus:+2 Diplomacy, +2 Heal
    Generous Vitality: You have one additional healing surge. As a Minor Action, this healing surge can be gifted onto an ally with a melee touch. You regain this spent healing surge along with all of your others after an extended rest.


    Spoiler: Chenrie Clan
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    A nomadic group of Gelfling that live on the open seas in small seafaring ships. Claimed descendants of the Drenchen, Chenrie sport blotchy patches of pink or orange pigment and excess skin around their face that resemble fins. Known for their beauty, the Chenrie flaunt their sparkling skin, shimmering eyes, and shining hair to easily catch the affection of other Gelfling they meet. After exploring the oceans at night, the Chenrie port into a city bringing festivals and celebration the whole day until sunset. A secretive people, no one knows why the Chenrie leave before nightfall, but rumor has it that an ancient Sifan curse afflicts them after the three suns set.

    Skill Bonus: +2 Bluff, +2 Thievery
    Aquatic: You can breathe normally in water and ignore rough water while swimming. You also have a swim speed of 4 squares and never need to make an Athletics check to swim.


    Spoiler: Fjhit Clan
    Show
    A highly intelligent group of Gelfling that live in a beautiful stone castle at the site of the Mystic Valley. The Fjhit clan are proud of their radiant skin, adamantly clothing in only sheer transparent robes so as not to obstruct their brilliance. Unique to the Fjhit, two thin antennae rise out from the Gelfling's forehead a symbol they associate with their intelligence. The noble Fjhit pronounce themselves heir to the Vapra clan due to their incredible minds. Arcane scholars have noted an increase in their people's intellectual activity at the Great Sun's peak, over time this empowered thinking has evolved into the ability to Dreamfast with objects and connection with nearby creatures pain.

    Skill Bonus: +2 Arcana, +2 History
    Superior Dreamfast: You are able to initiate a Dreamfast with an unattended object. With a successful Arcana check, you are able to experience thought and emotions associated with the Gelfling that most recently held the item. This session of Dreamfast lasts at least one minute and does not provide visuals, preventing the user from having to be unconscious.


    Spoiler: Latha Clan
    Show
    A nocturnal tribe of Gelfling that live among the treetops in woodland-canopy bungalows. The Latha clan shroud their fair lavender skin in dark cloaks and bear round milky eyes that allow them to see perfectly in the dark. Unlike other clans, the Latha favors the respect of paternal Gelflings as they, instead of the women, bear dusty-gray moth wings from their backs. The Latha clan is governed by two blood-noble male figures known as 'Dusk Brothers.' With their affinity for darkness, they have adapted to become skillful huntsmen and many believe they are descendants of the Grottan due to their weakness to sunlight.

    Skill Bonus: +2 Perception, +2 Stealth
    Midnight Flight: Accustomed to a nocturnal lifestyle, you can see perfectly in the dark. You have Darkvision. You also gain a fly speed of 6 squares (altitude limit 1). You cannot use this speed if you are carrying more than a normal load and you must land at the end of your turn.


    Spoiler: Ophae Clan
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    A desert dwelling tribe of Gelfling that dwell in deep canyons to avoid violent storms that seem to follow their people. The Ophae clan model their lifestyle off of the ancient Dousan by face painting and shaman rituals. Often seen as diviners or soothsayers, the Ophae put their expertise in fortune telling towards predicting inclement weather. None can explain the Ophae's strange lightning attraction, yet one legend tells of an ancient Dousan shaman whose skin was blackened from being struck by lightning. By some miracle, the Gelfling survived a feat that horribly embarrassed and offended the force of storms swearing the Dousan's legacy as a mortal enemy.

    Skill Bonus: +2 Intimidate, +2 Nature
    Lightning Lure: You have resist lightning 5 + one-half your level. All lightning attacks used within 6 squares of you become ranged and target you as a priority.








    I'd love any and all help to polish these races, and soon the Gelfling. Please let me know what you think and if there is anything I may have underestimated or missed.
    Last edited by RandomNigel; 2019-10-09 at 05:02 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    The good thing about all-homebrew race ensembles, is that they only have to be balanced internally. It doesn't matter if your races end up five times stronger than the dragonborn and human combined, they will never be compared anyways, since they are not presented as player options.

    Have fun with it, and make sure to use the simplest mechanical way to represent each narrative element, that each mechanical feature encourages a fun playstyle, and that you have the most common fantasies fulfilled. Also remember that "racial drawbacks" never work. They don't help tune down a race's power level, since a players will alwys find a way to ignore the downside anyways. You're better off just not including downsides at all.

    I also recommend floating ability score increases, so your players are free to pick the race the want, not the race that best fits their class. This is especially true when there's only a handfull of races available.

    UrRu feels underpowered and theres a typo in firelings.
    Last edited by Bjarkmundur; 2019-10-04 at 04:33 AM.

    Spoiler: How to Make Custom Monsters
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    The damage column shows total damage output on hit over an entire round, and is modified based on factors like recharge, AoE etc.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    So, I don't know the series (didn't follow the original and the netflix revival is behind stranger things on my list), so this is coming at it from the perspective of an outsider familiar with the system

    General
    Common is Common for a reason, having IC language barriers inside of the party tends to just be a huge pain. It either gets handwaved away as "okay, we have a translation chain that gets used but we're not going to roleplay it for time's sake" or "we're going to spend half an hour repeating the same things for what could have been a 10 minute conversation so that Jerry can misinform Sarah about what Dan said to Phil." The only time it had any merit is when one PC is trying to deceive another, and 4e is not a good system for playing that kind of game imo.

    Seconding Bjarkmunder's comment about making sure there are some +2 any stat races, you'll see a fair amount of class/race repetition with a small pool of locked races

    Podlings
    Xenophobic: drop this. It has no mechanical impact and does nothing except impede how people want to play their characters. Maybe someone wants to play a podling who doesn't share this trait. PCs are, pretty much by definition, the exception to the rule, the odd one out, the one who leaves the boring day to day life at home and sets out on adventure. It's also...weird that this is considered a drawback when only one of the other races you've shown speaks common at all.
    Oblivious Tune: This power is almost completely useless. The main problem is the standard action cost. A standard action to grant one ally a save that MIGHT remove an effect is a very bad trade, and would only ever be remotely worth it in the case of effects like stun and dominate. It's also a ranged power (so it provokes OAs) and it's a short range at that. Either move it to a minor action or make is a close burst 5 that helps all of your allies.

    Fireling
    Dimming: this is pretty awful. Weakened is a horrible nasty condition for strikers, an annoying one for some defenders, and one that can frequently be completely ignored on controllers and leaders.
    Fire Resistance: I think this is a copy/paste error from podling, because i don't see why fire resistance makes you good at hitting people with chairs.
    Fiery Assault: the main issue here is that you're giving a racial power that is locked to a stat that the race doesn't have (int) and that calls for an implement, which i don't think most firelings will have (I think the only Str/Con or Str/Cha classes with implements are paladin, cleric, and sorcerer, and only one of those, sorc, really focuses in on implements). So while this looks nice, it's actually almost completely useless. I would just give them something that looks like scorching burst but with the inherent scaling instead of implement and keyed to your highest stat.
    Firefast: this is actually pretty cool. I'd go ahead and make it a standard to make it clear this isn't for combat use (because it's not)

    UrRu
    Fractured Soul: i hate this. This kind of ability feels like it is just designed so a DM can randomly deal damage to you or apply other conditions because your counterpart got into a fight. I cannot see any situation where this comes up that doesn't piss someone off. And as written it's...so broad. So you can put manacles on an UrRu and somewhere on the other side of the planet their counterpart becomes restrained?
    Hymn of Ages: This power is bad. It would be maybe not great as an encounter minor action, but as a standard it just does not have enough impact. The range should also be personal, melee touch means you would be putting this on someone else.

    Skeksis
    Tongue of the Grave: most undead have language capabilities already, if they are intelligent. Might be a setting thing, i dont know.
    Life Everlasting: in the statblock this is copy paste errored as Hymn of Ages. And this racial power is completely broken, in the opposite direction of the others. This is the kind of thing that people would take as like...a level 22 daily utility that forced you to lose a surge. Straight up damage immunity for an entire round 1/encounter is as close as you're going to get to actually being immortal without managing it.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Kelon by nijashe

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    I note that you have not addressed the 4 arms on either Mystic or Skeksis. Is that intentional or an oversight?
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

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    RedMage Prestige Class!

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    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Thank you all for such an overwhelming amount of help :) I will try to explain original thought process in response to your concerns

    @Bjarkmundur - I appreciate the insight. As these will be the most frequently used player races, I hope that they can become balanced between each other. The original concept of the campaign was that a group of adventurers travel to a dungeon in order to test their strengths with promise of an ancient treasure 'as my table is unfamiliar with the rulings of 4e, this would allow players to settle in for a few sessions and get to develop their character personality.' At the end of the dungeon they encounter a large crystal (we learn in the Dark Crystal: Creation Myth comics that there are many crystals alike the one found in the film and can act as inter-planar travel.) As a trap is set off, the crystal shatters and flings the party into the world of the Dark Crystal, inhabiting the bodies of one of these species. Although some have already seen the film and series, I imagined this an experience where they would be able to explore the world and their new forms over time. [Ex. a player who may have re-awakened as a Podling suddenly learns that he can speak with animals.] The Gelfling (unlisted) were intended to have a +2 racial bonus to one ability score of choice, as they represent the most diverse species in the world. Additionally, can you notify me to the typo you found among the Firelings?

    @Keledrath - Hey, thank you so much for the amount of detail and analysis! While I usually do not create a language barrier in campaign settings, this would not be set in place for characters. As my original concept is for them to be body-swapped into one of these races, I imagine that they retain any original languages learned from their previous life (including Common). Perhaps it should be left for flavor text in terms of how creatures speak to one another.

    Podlings - [Oblivious Tune] Thanks for the insight! I had no idea that was a relatively short range. I do like the idea of it being a burst, so I think I will change it to that. Is that a sufficient bonus to the save? Essentially I thought the ability to save before the end of your turn was massively helpful, but is the bonus to the save mediocre?

    Fireling - [Dimming] I had no idea of the implications of this condition. In its first draft, this would apply a penalty to Endurance checks and remove the Fireling's light source in cold or aquatic environments, yet I wasn't sure if that made any impact.
    [Fire Resistance] - Thank you for noticing that! It is intended to be Fire Resistance as the Tiefling.
    [Fiery Assault] - Ah I do see that, coming from 5e one mostly assumes you use your racial bonus score for 'once per day' or 'spell-like abilities.' The power does not need to be anything special, just showing the ability to use fire as an attack.
    [Firefast] - Yes I agree, it is quite a unique ability that I was enamored by in the sequel comics. The amount of information at this race's fingertips is truly quite remarkable!

    UrRu - [Fractured Soul] Yes, unfortunately harming either one of these creatures has no bounds in distance (as shown in the movie if a Skeksis even dies, the UrRu counterpart will suffer the same fate.) This trait was one of the most impactful part of the show, where:
    Spoiler
    Show
    One mystic leaps off a cliff in order to kill his counterpart and protect the heroes.
    It is one of their trade characteristics, yet these races (UrRu and Skeksis) are incredibly outnumbered by the other races. Canonically, there were 18 each of Skeksis and UrRu yet over time many have perished through the course of the Dark Crystal's history. Now only 7 remain (10-12 non-canon). While it is definitely a major downside, I figured it would also work with beneficial effects such as healing and temporary hit points. My final thought on the matter, was that perhaps it would become more beneficial if one's counterpart was either in the party or an NPC. A tug of war where you essentially share one health pool. On one hand, you spend less resources to heal this duo, yet they're sort of all in. While not as close to the movie, perhaps it can be changed to have a range limit as the species are slowly dying out.
    [Hymn of Ages] - An encounter minor power, with the ability to sustain as a minor action? Currently, its effects act as an aoe to anyone in the aura unless you delegate them to be immune. (In case you should ever come across your Skeksis counterpart and would prefer to sacrifice your movement in order to hamper theirs,) yet perhaps it should ignore allies altogether?

    Skeksis: [Tongue of the Grave] The amount of use does seem limited, yet the Skeksis are obsessed with immortality. Is there something else you would rather recommend?
    [Life Everlasting] Again, this is the entire development of these creatures. Perhaps it can only be used before damage is rolled, then you won't be sure of when to use it? Another option is perhaps a life leech attack as they are seen draining the life force of many creatures in order to cheat death.

    @RedMage125
    While aware both Mystics and Skeksis have 4 arms, in my experience they have been a very strong trait to give (in pathfinder specifically.) During the events of the film and even Netflix series, the second set of arms have withered to become almost vestigial and only provide the hunter Skeksis, SkekMal, any use.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Oblivious Tune: So, yes, a granted save at +5 is powerful. The core problem here was the action cost. Spending your standard action means spending the majority of your turn. You're unlikely to be able to also attack effectively without your standard action. For comparison, the following power, Knack for Success, is generally considered the weaker of the two half elf racial options (the other being an encounter use of an at will power from another class, generally considered one of the stronger racial features in the game)
    Quote Originally Posted by Knack for Success
    Encounter
    Minor Action Close burst 5
    Target: You or one ally in the burst
    Effect: Choose one of the following.
    * The target makes a saving throw.
    * The target shifts up to 2 squares as a free action.
    * The target gains a +2 power bonus to his or her next attack roll made before the end of his or her next turn.
    * The target gains a +4 power bonus to his or her next skill check made before the end of his or her next turn.
    So this gives no bonus, but it's a minor action (equivalent to a 5e bonus action), it has a longer range, it can self target, and it does not provoke opportunity attacks (because it is a burst, not a ranged power). And it has 3 other options it can be used for.

    Dimming: That would be more in line with the idea of it being more of a ribbony effect (something designed to create flavor more than impact power). Weakened is a very debilitating condition for any character who focuses on dealing damage.

    Fractured Soul: I figured this was mostly setting loyalty, it's just...this ability would make me infinitely wary to play the race. It's literally handing the DM carte blanche to randomly screw with you. And honestly having your paired person in the party with you sounds like a nightmare. You get double blasted by AoE powers, and you're twice as likely to end up getting hit by conditions. And potentially it would also negate investment put by one of them into being able to remove conditions. If my UrRu and their Skeksis pair are both slowed (save ends) and I use a power to get out of my slow, i get slowed again because the other guy is still slowed.
    Honestly speaking, I would at the very least drop the conditions, because a lot of 4e conditions are related to your surroundings. Grabbed, for example, would end up being replicated across the link. My earlier comment about manacles wasn't just theoretical, manacles do by RAW apply the restrained condition. It's a really messy mechanic that takes the shared HP and amplifies the punishment of that to extreme levels.

    Hymn of Ages: I would go with minor action, sustainable as a minor, can choose to affect self and allies.

    Life Everlasting: The thing is, the damage is irrelevant. It's complete immunity to damage for the first round of every encounter. You pop it the first time you get targeted, every time. I would definitely go for something in the vein of the orc's warrior surge (a smack with a heal)

    Four Arms: Thri-kreen actually have you covered there with a strong but balanced racial trait to represent being a 4 armed mantis person
    Multiple Arms: Once per turn, you can draw or sheathe a weapon (or retrieve or stow an item stored on your person) as a free action instead of a minor action.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Kelon by nijashe

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    I'm not very familiar with the source material but I'll take a look at these races mechanically.

    • Podling: fairly weak. Its abilities are rarely needed (fear effects are rare, improvised weapons are pretty bad, and PCs can already communicate with animals to some extent with Nature or Intimidate). The encounter power is not something you'll use every encounter (since most encounters don't have save-ends effects) but is pretty good when used. Overall, decent for leaders but not very impressive.
    • Fireling: origin rarely if ever matters. Fire damage is fairly common, so resist fire is very good to have. Fiery assault should default to your highest ability score (whichever that is) otherwise most classes can't use it well; then it's a good power comparable to dragon breath. Firefasting is flavorful but only rarely useful. Overall, decent race in combat, regardless of role.
    • Urru: range-based skill bonuses are annoyingly fiddly, especially when only +1; I'd suggest changing that. Talking to stone is actually fairly good out of combat. Hymn of ages should be a minor action, otherwise it's not worth using in combat. If so, that makes this a decent race for any defender class, but not really for anything else.
    • Skeksis: bonuses to death saving throws are situational but solid. Communicating with undead isn't needed, if you check the monster manual you'll see that most undead speak common. Life Everlasting is a very powerful defensive ability. Overall a solid choice for any frontliner class.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    @Keledrath - I have been able to make the following edits so far but am still wary on which direction to go in balancing.

    [General] - All races have Common as a language. Though it won't apply in my setting as players will bring over any existing languages they knew as an Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, etc. Perhaps others would like to use it for their settings.

    [Podlings] - Removed Xenophobic
    [Oblivious Tune] - Changed to a Minor Action to activate and affects the user and all allies within a Close Burst 5.

    [Firelings] - Removed Dimming
    [Fiery Assault] - Now mimics damage of the Dragonborn's 'Dragon Breath' and the range of the Wizard's 'Scorching Burst.'
    Uses Strength as a key stat and scales.
    [Firefast] - Now requires a Standard Action to activate and clarifies that this should be attempted outside of combat as you need at least 10 minutes of uninterrupted concentration to perform a session. This ability consumes the fire.

    [UrRu] -
    [Hymn of Ages] - Now requires a Minor Action to activate and is an Encounter Power. You can choose whether it affects you and allies within range upon casting. Also increased the Aura range from 2 - 5.

    I am still concerned about the 'Fractured Soul' as you have described, yet still want to keep some sort of homage to their ties together. Perhaps a counterpart does not take full damage, but a fraction in addition to healing? Does not contract the same conditions either. [Ex. Instead of taking 2d6+ Int from a Wizard's 'Burning Hands', perhaps instead a counterpart would take 1/4 of the damage dealt? Perhaps the attacker would have to make a separate attack against the counterpart instead of dealing automatic damage?

    I still need to compare 'Life Everlasting' to the Orc power you mentioned, and I would like to replace Tongue of the Graves with something a little more impactful.

    @Kurald Galain - Thank you for your overview.
    On the subject of Podlings I'm sorry to hear they appear under powered. Their only ability in universe is the ability to speak with animals and I tried to fill in the gaps as best as I could, yet the fear bonus and improved weapon can be replaced if you can think of something with a little more oomph.

    Firelings have been changed so their racial attack uses Strength, yet I wonder if I should mimic the options that 'Dragon Breath' provides. I had no idea origin mattered so little, would something as them producing light as a torch be more impressive?

    UrRu have been changed so their racial power is more accessible, yet I will research if there is something more favorable to replace the Diplomacy bonus with.

    I will also have to look if I can find something to replace speaking with undead as I was unaware they speak common. I am also hoping to change the Skeksis' racial power.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Encounter ? Fire
    Minor Action ? Area Burst 1 within 10 squares
    Attack: Strength + 2 vs. Reflex
    Fails to scale with level; lacks implement or weapon keyword.

    Just make it Attack: Level+3 vs Reflex.

    Alternatively you can do:

    Encounter ? Fire
    Minor Action ? Area Burst 1 within 10 squares
    Attack: Strength or Dexterity + 3 vs. Reflex, +6 at level 11 and +9 at level 21
    level/2 + stat + 3 per tier is roughly on-par with weapon/implement attacks.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Hymn of Ages strikes me as maybe a bit too powerful, especially for defenders, and especially in smaller environments. It also grants combat advantage if you take the Vicious Advantage feat. Put that on a paladin or fighter (which UrRu can do well with the Wis/Con boosts) and you're looking at any melee enemy without a strong disengage mechanic being near-permanently slowed. I think that's a bit much for a racial power, and it's the sustain minor that's the problem.

    Maybe make it minor action, close burst 5, creates a zone that lasts until the end of your next turn. Any enemy entering the zone or starting its turn there is slowed until the end of your next turn. I think that's still strong, but it's not as encounter defining as something that can be sustained forever.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-10-08 at 04:04 PM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    @ Excession: Hey thanks for the input! After looking on it, it does appear to be a little strong at beginning levels. Perhaps I'll shelf the idea of slowed for Paragon levels. After digging a little bit I found 'Difficult Terrain' and maybe that would be a better alternative? Therefore there is at lease some attempt to escape? Since these creatures command earth, the loose soil could give way and cause those who tread near to sink making 'Difficult Terrain'.

    @ Yakk: I'm curious as to why racial powers need to scale so closely with level. Historically, racial attacks wouldn't progress (like a claw attack) or progress at certain milestones, yet in all of my experience racial attacks have used a key ability score not a player's level. Even the Dragonborn's 'Dragon Breath' uses one of ability scores. So I'm not sure what point you have attempted to make. I'm a little confused.
    Last edited by RandomNigel; 2019-10-09 at 10:15 AM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    UPDATE: Through various suggestions the races have undergone the following changes:

    Spoiler: Podling
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    • Main ability score bonus has been switched to Charisma.
    • +5 racial bonus against fear saves has been replaced with a +2 Initiative bonus.
    • Proficiency with improvised weapons has been replaced with +2 AC bonus vs opportunity attacks.
    • Oblivious Tune racial power specifies an ally must be able to hear the music in order to benefit.



    Spoiler: Fireling
    Show

    • Fiery Assault racial power has range changed to a [Close Blast 3].
    • Firefast racial power has specified that this ability makes the user shed light as a torch.



    Spoiler: UrRu
    Show
    • +1 Diplomacy to all allies within range has been replaced with Radiant Resistance.
    • Immortal Origin has been removed.



    Spoiler: Skeksis
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    • Main ability score bonus has been changed to Intelligence.
    • Speak with undead creatures has been replaced with Necrotic Resistance.
    • Immortal Origin has been removed.
    • Life Everlasting racial power has been changed to be an area attack that deals necrotic damage and allows the user to spend a healing surge.



    I have also just finished the Gelfling if someone would like to comment on those as well. They will be posted shortly in the main topic post.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomNigel View Post
    @ Yakk: I'm curious as to why racial powers need to scale so closely with level. Historically, racial attacks wouldn't progress (like a claw attack) or progress at certain milestones, yet in all of my experience racial attacks have used a key ability score not a player's level. Even the Dragonborn's 'Dragon Breath' uses one of ability scores. So I'm not sure what point you have attempted to make. I'm a little confused.
    Powers without the Weapon or Implement keywords, over the course of the game, fall significantly behind because they don't get bonuses from Enhancement and Expertise feats. Even your example, Dragon Breath,, has a built in additional scaling
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Breath
    Attack: Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity vs. Reflex. You gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll.
    Level 11: The bonus increases to +4.
    Level 21: The bonus increases to +6.
    The +2/4/6 allows them to scale with enhancement, but they still end up behind but the +1/2/3 feat bonus that most players will have (and that 4e's math assumes you will have)
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    @ Keledrath: 'Dragon Breath' was the only example I was able to find as, (level 1 at least) many races do not have attacking powers, but like utility I would say. (Although I know that terminology is aligned with something else in 4e.) I suppose what I mean to say is; the Orc's 'Warrior's Surge' is the only racial power I've found so far that uses a Weapon keyword and deals damage. I can see how having a weapon or implement keyword would make it scale more, but I'm confused as to where adding Level into the calculation helps. Nothing else really uses level except for Resistance.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomNigel View Post
    @ Excession: Hey thanks for the input! After looking on it, it does appear to be a little strong at beginning levels. Perhaps I'll shelf the idea of slowed for Paragon levels. After digging a little bit I found 'Difficult Terrain' and maybe that would be a better alternative? Therefore there is at lease some attempt to escape? Since these creatures command earth, the loose soil could give way and cause those who tread near to sink making 'Difficult Terrain'.
    I think there is a Warden power (possibly a daily) that creates a temporary zone of difficult terrain, but only affecting enemies. It's a solid option because unlike slowed it prevents the normal 1 square shift and also affects movement powers with a built in speed. Does nothing to enemies that can fly though. It's also nice because it can stop things before the get to you rather than slowing them after they're already within range of you. Probably still more useful to defender than any other role.

    I would still recommend avoiding encounter powers that can be sustained. In general only daily powers are supposed to last for the rest of an encounter.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-10-09 at 03:45 PM.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Thanks for the tip! I wasn't able to find a power as you described under the low level Warden Powers, so perhaps it was a Druid power. The closest I saw, was an at will that slid and slowed a target if they were marked by the user as a trigger effect.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomNigel View Post
    Thanks for the tip! I wasn't able to find a power as you described under the low level Warden Powers, so perhaps it was a Druid power. The closest I saw, was an at will that slid and slowed a target if they were marked by the user as a trigger effect.
    Looked it up, the power is Hungry Earth, level 1 encounter power. Close bust 1 attack with the extra effect that each square in the burst becomes difficult terrain for your enemies until the end of your next turn. Not as powerful as it looks, because moving off difficult terrain doesn't cost anything extra, so it doesn't do much for the Warden's stickiness. Harder to get past, but doesn't stop anything from moving away.

    I had remembered something bigger, so maybe there are other powers that do similar things.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-10-09 at 04:33 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Such a shame, it did look a little bit lacking in terms of what I had intended. Yet off of your suggestion, I have edited Hymn of Ages to be an area of difficult terrain that lasts until the users next turn affecting all creatures that start their turn inside. I hope that appears a little more pleasant in terms of balancing :)

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomNigel View Post
    Such a shame, it did look a little bit lacking in terms of what I had intended. Yet off of your suggestion, I have edited Hymn of Ages to be an area of difficult terrain that lasts until the users next turn affecting all creatures that start their turn inside. I hope that appears a little more pleasant in terms of balancing :)
    I would probably go with just "creates a zone in burst that counts as difficult terrain for your enemies, the zone lasts until the end of your next turn". It's simpler, can be used more flexibly because you don't need to place it on enemies, and won't annoy allies. I don't know if that loses some flavour though, it's been a long while since I watched Dark Crystal.

    Making it Area is good, as it lets ranged classes use it better, but that also means it would provoke opportunity attacks. Maybe add an explicit "does not provoke" clause so front liners can use it as well.
    Last edited by Excession; 2019-10-09 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Form of Winter's Herald, Warden Daily Attack 1, has the following as part of its effect: " In addition, each square within 2 squares of you, wherever you move, is difficult terrain for your enemies." The great thing about that is that it does impact flying creatures.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e Hombrew Races: The Dark Crystal (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by tiornys View Post
    Form of Winter's Herald, Warden Daily Attack 1, has the following as part of its effect: " In addition, each square within 2 squares of you, wherever you move, is difficult terrain for your enemies." The great thing about that is that it does impact flying creatures.
    Ah, yes, that's the one I remember someone using. Thanks.

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