View Full Version : SilverLeaf's Homebrew [3.5]

2011-05-03, 01:38 PM
Addition/Change Log
5/3/2011 Revised Orc added
5/4/2011 Minor changes and detail to Revised Orc, Revised Elf added
5/5/2011 Some fixes to Orc and Elf
5/6/2011 Minor fixes to Orc and Elf
2/5/2012 Revised Halfling and Revised Dwarf added

Races and Monsters
[5/3/2011] Revised Orc
I prefer using this different version rather than having monstrous orcs and civilized half-orcs. I personally think that half-elves or half-orcs shouldn't be very special, and such cases should just be handled by the DM on a case-by-case basis. This orc is also much more viable as a PC race.
Orc Racial Traits

+2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha
Medium size
Base land speed 30 ft.
Weapon Familiarity: Orcs may treat any exotic weapon with the word "Orcish" (the Orcish Equipment detailed below doesn't fulfill this condition) in its name as either a martial or an exotic weapon, depending on which is more beneficial at the moment.
+2 racial bonus on Survival, Craft (weaponsmithing), Craft (armorsmithing) and Intimidate checks: orcs have a natural talent for surviving in harsh conditions and crafting quality equipment. They are also truly fearsome in battle.
Endurance as a bonus feat at 1st level.
Low-light vision
Favored Class: Barbarian
Design Notes: These orcs are still meant to be tribal, but not quite as barbaric. They usually live in small communities in the wild, but are also entirely capable of living mostly normal lives in civilized environments, though they still might be drawn towards the career of a mercenary or guard. I also fixed them being worse than humans at Survival and Intimidation :smallwink: Orcs are rarely depicted as living underground, so low-light vision makes more sense than darkvision, but an underground variation can be easily created by simply giving them Darkvision 60 ft. Also, from a roleplaying point of view, orcs should be considered to look mostly like humans, only with slightly pointed ears, green or grayish green skin, more muscular and blocky bodies and being about 8 inches taller than humans on average.

Orcish Equipment
This quality may be added to any weapon, armor or shield crafted either by an orc or a blacksmith trained by an orc. For orcs, the DC to create an orcish item is 20, but for non-orcs it is 25. An orcish item is treated as masterwork for all purposes, but an item cannot be both masterwork and orcish. The market price of an orcish item increases by 300 for weapons, or 150 for armor and shields.
The weight of the item is multiplied by 1.5
The item's hardness increases by 2
A light weapon with this property may be used normally for Power Attacks. The extra damage dealt while Power Attacking with a one-handed or two-handed weapon is multiplied by 1.25. This stacks additively with the normal multiplier for using Power Attack with a two-handed weapon (so an orcish two-handed weapon's damage is multiplied by a total of 2.25).
The armor bonus to AC granted by a medium or heavy suit of armor with this property increases by 1.
The shield bonus to AC granted by a heavy or tower shield with this property increases by 1.
Orcish equipment typically has strong, angular shapes and simplistically skillful carvings all over it. Most orc blacksmith also prefer to leave their personal signature somewhere on a weapon: usually in a somewhat hidden position, such as under the cloth wrappings on a sword's hilt or an overlapping armor plate. A person who finds the signature can recognize the smith's tribe with a DC 20 check (Craft (weaponsmithing or armorsmithing) or Knowledge (local)) and exact identity with a DC 20-30, depending on the fame of the smith. An item can be identified as orcish with a DC 17 Appraise check.
Design notes: Do note, however, that the addition of crafting skills is just adding extra flavor to the orcs. If you think they’re stepping on the Dwarves’ toes, just use the given equipment stats as “Dwarven Equipment” and remove the Orcs’ related skill boni.

Alternate Class Features
These alternate class features may only be taken by orc characters. As they are only single abilities, making them into racial substitution levels would have been rather cumbersome.
Orcish Berserker: An orc Barbarian in action is a truly frightening killing machine. At 2nd level, his racial bonus on Intimidate checks increases by 4 (to a total bonus of +6). At 4th level, he gains Intimidating Rage (Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat. At 6th level, he gains Extend Rage (Complete Warrior) as a bonus feat.
This class feature replaces the Barbarian's Uncanny Dodge gained at 2nd level, Trap Sense (and its later improvements) gained at 3rd level and Improved Uncanny Dodge gained at 4th level.
Orcish Warrior: Even a disciplined and trained orc Fighter may learn to tap into his deepest reserves of strength when necessary. At 4th level, he gains the Rage ability (see page 25 of the Player's Handbook), which he may use once per day. This ability functions similar in every way to the Barbarian class feature, except that the Fighter doesn't later gain additional daily uses of the ability, nor the Greater/Tireless/Mighty Rage abilities.
This class feature replaces the Fighter bonus feat normally gained at 4th level.
Note: A Fighter with this ACF may take the the Extra Rage feat (Complete Warrior) normally. This class feature stacks with the Barbarian class feature of the same name to determine the number of daily uses of Rage.
[5/4/2011] Revised Elf
Minor changes with the elf, generally trying to raise their power slightly and making them better as mobile combatants.
Elf Racial Traits
+2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Str
Medium size
Base land speed 40 ft.
Weapon Familiriarity: Elves may treat any exotic weapon with the word "Elven" (the Elven Equipment detailed below doesn't fulfill this condition) in its name as either a martial or an exotic weapon, depending on which is more beneficial at the moment.
+2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot and Search checks. Elves have keen eyes and ears.
Immunity to magic Sleep effects: elves don't sleep in the same manner that most races do.
Low-light vision
Favored Class: Ranger
Design Notes: I was slightly worried about making the base race too powerful with the speed and stat bonuses, so I took away the resistance to enhancements (why did they have that anyway?), door-spotting and weapon proficiencies, making the latter two into racial feats so that those characters who actually need them would still have access to them.

Elven Equipment
This quality may be added to any weapon, armor or shield crafted either by an elf or a blacksmith trained by an elf. For elves, the DC to create an elven item is 20, but for non-elves it is 25. An elven item is treated as masterwork for all purposes, but an item cannot be both masterwork and elven. The market price of an elven item increases by 300 for weapons, or 150 for armor and shields.

The weight of the item is reduced to 3/4 of the original
The item's hardness decreases by 2
Any weapon with this property may be used with Weapon Finesse.
The maximum Dex bonus of a light or medium armor, light shield or buckler increases by 1.
The armor check penalty of a light or medium armor, light shield or buckler decreases by 1.
Elven equipment is usually noticeably less massive than normal, with delicate and complex carvings twirling on its surface. A suit of armor with this property is typically almost skintight without restricting the wearer's movement.

Elf Racial Feats
Improved Elven Eyes
You have further honed the keen senses granted by your race.
Prerequisite: Elf
Benefit: Your racial bonus to Listen, Spot and Search checks increases by 1 (to a total bonus of +3). In addition, when you pass within 5 feet of a hidden door or trap, you may immediately make a Search check as if actively searching for it. This check should be made by the DM in secret. If you fail the check, you do not know that there is a door or trap nearby.
Design Notes: I included a minor check bonus for flavor. The ability can now also be used to search for traps, not just doors, to make it actually worth a feat for elven skillmonkeys.

Elven Weapon Training [Fighter]
During your life in the elven community, you have been taught how to properly use the favorite weapons of your race, relying on your enhanced agility and grace more than brute strength.
Prerequisite: Elf, Dex 13
Benefit: You gain Martial Weapon Proficiency with the longsword, rapier, longbow (including composite), shortbow (composite), shortsword and any weapon with the word "Elven" (the Elven Equipment detailed above doesn't fulfill this condition) in its name. You are treated as having the Weapon Finesse feat while attacking with those weapons and for qualifying for prerequisites. In addition, you add 1/2 your Dex modifier to damage while attacking with those weapons.
Special: A Fighter may select this feat as one of his Fighter bonus feats.
Design Notes: Weapon Finesse should really just be a basic ability for everyone, but if you want to keep it as is it should still be included in this feat to spare elven warriors from the feat tax.
[2/5/2011] Revised Halfling
Halflings haven't changed much, as I think they already fit their typical archetypes rather well and work okay in such builds. However, as I somehow don't really like gnomes for assorted reasons, I prefer to simply not have gnomes in my settings, instead letting halflings fill their niche. This isn't as thorougly fleshed out as the Elves and Orcs posted above.
Halfling Racial Traits
+2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Con
Base land speed 20 ft.
1 extra skill point per level (4 at first level). Halflings tend to be cunning dabblers with a wide array of assorted skills.
Weapon Familiriarity: Halflings may treat any exotic weapon with the word "Halfling" in its name as either a martial or an exotic weapon, depending on which is more beneficial at the moment.
+2 racial bonus on Climb, Jump, Listen and Move Silently checks. Halflings are agile and stealthy in addition to having acute hearing.
+1 racial bonus on all saving throws. Halflings can be surprisingly hardy and stubborn, but more importantly they're supernaturally lucky.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear effects. Halflings are always ready to brave any challenge they face. Whether this is real bravery or just foolhardiness is debated.
Favored Class: Rogue
Design Notes: The only real change here was the stat bonuses. Halflings are surprisingly strong physically, but usually rather fragile compared to others. They are also cunning tricksters and natural liars, represented by their Charisma bonus. Giving them back their low-light vision or bonus with ranged weapons wouldn't really make them unbalanced. I just though that with the removal of gnomes, humans would be lonely as the only core race without special vision, and that the throwing bonus was a textbook example of forcing fluff onto players through crunch.
Halflings can be depicted in many ways in a setting, but I personally like them as traveling merchants, explorers and nomads. They prefer to be always on the move. Among halflings, material belongings tend to move around as well, stealing being a natural habit for them. The typical response to theft is simply stealing the stuff back.
[2/5/2011] Revised Dwarf
Just like halflings, dwarves haven't changed much. I've just changed the swap bonuses and removed some of the random traits, which dwarves definitely had a lot of and which were specifically made to fit the fluff of a specific setting. You could say that the Orc and Elf were the only real fixes, and that I'm posting the rest just for good measure.
Before you start asking for a human fix: I think all they require to be on par with these races is "+2 to one stat of choice".
Dwarf Racial Traits
+2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha
Base land speed 20 ft. Dwarves are sturdy and thickly built, allowing them to move at their normal speed in medium or heavy armor and with medium or heavy encumbrance.
Darkvision 60 ft.
Weapon Familiriarity: Dwarves may treat any exotic weapon with the word "Dwarven" in its name as either a martial or an exotic weapon, depending on which is more beneficial at the moment.
Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Dwarves have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their underground homes.
Stability: Dwarves are exceptionally stable on their feet. They have a +4 bonus on Strength checks to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when flying, swimming, riding or otherwise not firmly in contact with the ground).
+2 racial bonus on Appraise and Craft checks related to stone, metal or gems. The dwarves' stonecunning grants them extraordinary insight on these materials.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease and poison effects. Their general hardiness, in addition to generations spent in cramped conditions with toxic animals crawling all around, has given dwarves a natural resistance to the effects of sickness and poisons.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities: Dwarves have a strong resistance to magic, in whatever form it is encountered.
Favored Class: Fighter
Design notes: Not much to say here. Dwarves are now a fairly good Cleric race, trading a single turn attempt for a higher Wisdom. Also, as mentioned earlier, I removed the miscellaneous combat bonuses against different races... in fact, they came into play so rarely, if you really want to for some weird reason you can just give some of them back without really affecting the game balance. As a side note, I gave them a +2 to saves against disease to go with their poison resistance.
From a fluff viewpoint, my current setting's dwarves retreated underground after their patron god lost a fight with the god of magic and withdrew there to sulk. This explains their resistance against magic, granted by their god to somewhat even the chances against those pesky elves.
As mentioned earlier, the Orcish Equipment detailed in the "Revised Orc" section can act just fine as Dwarven Equipment with minor fluff changes.

Please share any opinions or comments about my homebrew. Any constructive criticism will be appreciated.

2011-05-03, 10:23 PM
The ability scores are a bit too good. I'm not saying that strength bonus race deserves to be nerfed, just that combined with constitution as well as 2 scores that are simply dump stats it's just a bit too good. I suggest adding in a wisdom penalty, as that hurts more than intelligence and charisma which they likely won't benefit much from anyway.

Apart from that, all around very solid. :smallwink:

I'm actually considering using this stuff in my own games, nice work.

2011-05-04, 01:10 AM
Having an Int and Cha penalty somewhat turns them away from Wizard, Archivist and Sorcerer, the most powerful spellcasting classes, as well as Factotum, Warblade and all other Int-o-mancers. I personally like the idea of orc Druids, which should naturally be quite common among a "wild" race, and having a Wisdom penalty would also make them worse at Survival, Spot and Listen. In fact, the only Wisdom-based skill that would deserve a penalty would be Sense Motive (even Heal is quite essential in a tribal community).

So overall, a Wisdom penalty might make them more balanced, but on the other hand wouldn't make much sense. Any other ideas on how to balance them slightly? My personal goal is to raise the other PC races to the same power level as Humans, the bonus feat being the most powerful racial feature in the PHB.

2011-05-04, 05:15 AM
Well seeing your elf there now, it doesn't look as strong as it did before. And the int penalty isn't actually a problem for warblades, especially since they get a bonus to 2 of their primary ability scores.
If you really want to balance them out more though, you could ditch the CON bonus and simply give them a +2 bonus against poison, disease, and non-lethal damage effects( thirst, hunger, forced march). I'm not sure if it's neccessary though if all your races are this strong.

2011-05-04, 05:23 AM
I might just remove the Con bonus, it isn't that big of a deal anyway and is probably the most unbalancing thing about them.

Yes, I'm planning to raise all the base races to this power level. Being stronger than earlier doesn't matter if everyone else is, too.

Edit: To even things up, I added Elven Equipment for flavor.

Moose Man
2011-05-04, 10:49 PM
Yes, I'm planning to raise all the base races to this power level. Being stronger than earlier doesn't matter if everyone else is, too.It does if the characters total all encounters.

2011-05-05, 05:11 AM
At 1st level, an orc may choose a single feat from the Fighter bonus feat list that he meets the prerequisites for.
I'm not entirely sure about this feature. It is, of course, weaker than the human one, which allows the choice of any feat (provided they have the prereqs), but still; most melee players who choose human do so because of the extra (battle) feat.
With the penalty to int, and the heavy reliance on many stats, orc tactical fighters might be somewhat rare still; a fifteen is much harder to get by than a 13, and to only use it for the Combat Expertise tree is maybe not worth it, but I would think you'd replace the human race nearly entirely for fighters, barbarians and rangers.
I think the effects of granting +2 strength paired with the bonus feat will create an orc monopoly on melee classes.

2011-05-05, 06:34 AM
Slight spelling thing with elvencraft weapons, it says "orcish" instead of elven at one point.

2011-05-05, 07:01 AM
I doubt they will be that powerful, and if they are, a DM should always be ready to adjust the difficulty anyway.

I removed the bonus feat and fixed the typo.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-05-05, 06:18 PM
I think the elves are somewhat underpowered, you should give back their immunity to sleep effects.

Either that, or replace their strength penalty with a constitution bonus.

2011-05-05, 11:44 PM
Ok, I gave them the sleep immunity back. With the additional Dex, speed and racial feats, I think they're pretty favorable for Finesse combatants, especially skill monkeys.

2011-05-06, 12:05 AM
How about giving orcs endurance as a free feat? It's not very strong, but makes them great survivors, mercenaries, and the like and it also qualifies them for diehard.

2011-05-06, 04:16 AM
How about giving orcs endurance as a free feat? It's not very strong, but makes them great survivors, mercenaries, and the like and it also qualifies them for diehard.
Great idea, that pretty much fulfills the reason I originally gave them the Con bonus!

2012-02-05, 08:56 AM
Bump, added the Revised Dwarf and Halfling.

2012-02-05, 09:07 AM
Bump, added the Revised Dwarf and Halfling.

You might want to edit the dates on those, given that 2/5/2011 was a rotation around the sun ago.

2012-02-05, 09:14 AM
Oops, thanks for pointing that out.
Any other feedback? :smallwink:

2012-03-31, 01:17 AM
They all look nice... except, ironically, the orc.

Looking at it, I can't really see a compelling reason to play an orcish barbarian over a human barbarian.

Humans get their normal 3.5e stuff in addition to a +2 to any stat, correct?

In that case, you still have an extra feat (and an average of 2 extra skill points a level), compared to the orc's Endurance feat, small skill modifiers (that the human can catch up with in 3/4 levels due to increased skill points/intelligence), weapon familiarity and low-light vision. I know which one I'd pick, EVERY time.

Quick question, though - why are the racial modifiers different? Dwarves (or Dwarfs, if you prefer), Halflings and Elves all get a +2 overall modifier, but the Orc is stuck with a -2 modifier? I can see your stance there, but even though CHA is the best stat for a primarily martial character to lose, don't you think the -2 vs. the +2 is a little steep?

That and the racial abilities for the orc (especially compared to the +2 races) are a little... underwhelming.

Have you seen Gnorman's E6 revised races? There's some excellent stuff to look at there.