View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other The Races of My World and Balancing Woes

Platypus Fries
2014-10-31, 03:35 PM
I've been working on a 3.5 setting for a while now, and have even run a bit of playtesting of it. While the playtest included standard DnD races, gods, and languages, I cared more what my players thought of the framework of the world and the NPCs I had made, without needlessly complicating things for them. I recently moved to a new city, and I'll be putting together a new play group here. That gives me an opportunity to take what I learned and actually finish making my setting while showing it to fresh eyes once the group has settled in and will be more open to some homebrew.

So now I'm fleshing it in some more. I've broken the world into chunks, and I'll be working on them one by one. Chunk One has a heavy influence of European Folklore and Christian Theology. The entirety of the world is dominated by humans, as there are no elves, dwarves, orcs, etc. I will, however, be allowing every player two first level character feats, an origin, and a background, and these will allow wider character creation options despite the small pool of playable races. The core races I have, which aren't likely to be expanded, are as follows:

Humans - What we are. Or at least me, anyway. Instead of the standard "jack-of-all-trades" approach I want humans to have something that separates them from the others. I emphasize humans as tough and strong-willed.

Nephilim - Those who have some angel blood in them. These guys are wise and majestic. Modified Aasimar, essentially.

Cambions - Like nephilim, but with demon blood instead of angel. Guileful and cunning. Modified Tieflings.

Damphyrs - Half vampires. Agile and tough, with heightened senses.

Those descriptions led me to start thinking of racial traits. I also decided that because I wouldn't need to balance the races against other 3.5 races, but only against each other, I could get away with a higher power level than normal. These are the stats I came up with:


+2 Con, +2 Wis. Humans are tough and strong-willed.
Humans have Endurance as a racial feat. If they would ever earn Endurance as a class feat they instead learn Diehard.
+1 to saves against spells of the Enchantment school. Human minds are harder to dominate.


+2 Wis, +2 Cha. Nephilim inherit the majesty and wisdom of angels.
Darkvision 60ft and low-light vision.
Daylight (Sp): up to three times a day, nephilim may use Daylight, as the spell, with a caster level equal to their character level.
Blood of Heaven: For all effects related to race, a nephilim is considered both a human and an angel.
+2 to Diplomacy and Sense Motive.


+2 Int, +2 Cha. Like their demon ancestors, cambions are cunning and guileful.
Darkvision 60ft and low-light vision.
Darkness (Sp): upt to three times a day, cambions may use Darkness, as the spell, with a caster level equal to their character level.
Blood of Hell: For all effects related to race, a cambion is considered both a human and a demon.
+2 to Bluff and Sense Motive.


+2 Dex, +2 Con. The taint of the undead provides damphyrs agility and durability.
Low-light vision.
Taint of Death: Damphyrs are immune to energy drain effects and disease. For all effects related to race, a damphyr is considered both a human and a vampire. Damphyrs can sense the presence of a vampire within 50 ft, but cannot identify the vampire.
+2 to Listen and Spot.

I think the three cross-breed races are roughly equal in terms of power, though if anyone points out an issue with their balance I'll be happy to listen. My issue is giving humans more to let them catch up without making them overpowered. I thought about adding to their Will and Fort saves, but that seems redundant with their ability adjustments. I could give them bonus in certain skills as well, but I'm not sure which ones would be appropriate. On the other hand, while Endurance may be quite situational it is an extra feat, and does provide a prerequisite that could be used quite effectively depending on the build. I'm not sure if that one feat alone really makes up for the lack of supernatural prowess, however.

Edit: BTW the setting has no Favoured Classes, Multiclassing Penalties, or Alignment mechanics.

2014-10-31, 11:00 PM
The Damphyr definitely win for racial abilities. Immunity to energy drain is a way bigger deal than a darkness or daylight effect. I would suggest either changing the damphyr to having bonuses against negative energy, or if you wanted to keep them the same, giving the Nephilim and Cambions an additional ability, maybe tied into an element you want them associated with. As for humans, maybe an action point/reroll sort of ability to represent their determination to succeed regardless of the difficulty?

I like the name choices!