View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Raptoran/Otherbird like people.

2015-02-05, 04:46 AM
Hello everyone, I'm Max and I wanted some feed back on a race build. First of all, I would like to thank you for taking a look. I know some of the things I did here might be controversial, but I did it all for a reason so please bare with me. I am trying to make sure that this homebrew 5e version of the race doesn't get pigeonholed, nor do I want to over shadow other options. I am aware of the other Raptoran thread, but I had a different approach to making this race. Before we can do anything, we need to figure out what is important about the race and what isn't. Flying! This ability is the single most important item here. Everything else can take a back seat. We will have to limit the flight though to keep the power level of this race in line with others. Currently there is no sub races but I plan on adding some in the future. I need help with wording and fluff. D:

Primary Goals: Balanced Race. Mobility (Glide->Fly). Keep it simple for players.

Here is what you and players will need to know:

Racial Ability Increase: +2 Strength, +1 Wisdom
Age: Raptorans mature slower than humans and reach adulthood at age 20 year. They often live more than a century.
Alignment: Raptorans value their freedom and tend toward chaotic alignments. Most are good, though some evil ones do exist.
Size: Raptorans are generally taller and weigh more than humans. Average being 6'5" and 190 lb. Your Size is medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30ft. You also have a base gliding speed of 35ft
Wings of Ascension: High jumps are treated as long jumps for determining how high you can go.
Controlled Decent: You have a glide speed of 35ft. You may move up to 20ft for every 5ft of decent. Dive (Treated as a normal charge) while gliding results in up to 70ft of horizontal movement at the cost of 20ft decent. You decent a minimum of 5ft per round. You can not glide under a medium or heavy load. Gliding is treated as a flying movement speed.
Avian Magic: Starting at level 5th level, you can use this trait to cast the Fly spell on yourself once with this trait, and you gain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. At 7th you can cast Fly on yourself twice using this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. At 9th you can cast Fly on yourself three times using this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. At 11th you can cast Fly 3 times using this trait, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a short rest.
Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and Auran. Bonus languages:

This is a quick list of rules you should familiarize yourself with if you decide to use this race. Both Players and DM's can benefit from this info.
Jumping Rules Info on jumping, including long jumping and high jumping, can be found on page 182 of the players Handbook.
Flying/Gliding: Treat gliding the same way you would flying. The important thing to remember here is that if you cant move your wings, you fall. Fly spell is special though. More info on this on page 191 of the PHB.
Higher ground: In 3.5 you had an advantage of +2 on attack rolls for being on higher ground. In 5e there is no exact rule, but higher ground should give you "advantage on rolls" for the attack roll. Talk with your group to determine the minimum for higher ground.
Clarification on Avian magic: You can cast fly on yourself on 3 separate occasions, not all at once. Just want to make sure I adress any potential confusion there.
Spell Casting and Concentration: Rerfer to the PHB for this info. Speficif details on concentration can be found on page 203 of PHB.
Random height and weight: For details on how to use this info, refer to page 121 of the PHB.

Base Height: 5'10"
Height Modifier: 7(+2d6)
Base Weight: 155
Weight Modifier: x5(2d4)

Context for Ability score Increases:
- I sought out to make these guys proficient strength rangers and mobile fighters while also giving them a unique combination of stats that the other races did not. Strength and Wisdom was what made the cut. I picked these two stats because they, combined with the flight, can result in both ranged and melee characters in these classes. Str+Wis makes Clerics a strong choice as well, which happened to be the favored class of Raptorans in 3.5. Happy accidents are the best.
- The primary reason I don't want dex is because the altitude advantage on rolls that you will get from jumping or flying is already HUGE for ranged weapons. It nearly doubles your chances of a critical hit on ranged attacks. There is already plenty of reason to pick this race for a ranged characters; there is no need to give them stats for it as well. The player is forced to consider picking a melee character. Obviously you can take Javelins and take advantage of both this and the Str, but you are less likely to have 30 Javelins than you are to have 30 Arrows. The altitude advantage can still work for melee characters, but you will at least be within reach of the enemy attacks.
- Con is hard to dismiss without contradicting my STR choice. When it came down to it, I figured STR would open up more avenues of variation than con would. Con would only help classes that seek to abuse access to flight. Con would also shift the class options in favor of Druids along with Clerics, which isn't bad, but it wasn't my target classes. That being said, a sub race with STR/CON is definitely a good candidate for a sub race.

The decision to give this race STR is reinforced by the 3.5 climb and jump racial bonuses. STR will naturally benefit the athletics skill (+1) without the need for additional text or traits. But wait, +1 isn't as high as those in 3.5 (+2). True, but climb isn't important enough to get +4 str to this race nor a special trait dedicated to it. We do have a power budget to work with and that would only take away from the important stats. A lot of the power budget of this race is being channeled into the stat increases instead of random racial traits. I did do something special for the jump though - More on that later. Honestly I couldn't decide for the longest time which stat to give with STR. I wanted to avoid the Cha stat so that this race wouldn't take anything away from Dragonborn. Wis was the natural choice to give them. Ultimately I chose Wis over Int for several reasons tied to classes. Str+Int only really helps Eldritch Knights, and I was looking to add variation with the stats, not pigeonholing this race. Wis was ultimately chosen as it would give at least 3 class options. I also didn't want to completely discourage people from picking ranger and going for an archer build. All that being said, I can easily make a sub race of these guys that have one of these other stats. Str+Int would be unique and force people to choose when to give up flight to cast another concentration spell. Same with Str+Cha on the concentration check, but not so much unique.

The Choice of Wis is reinforced by the presents of the unerring direction trait and the racial bonus on spot checks in 3.5. While this isn't a direct connection, a bonus in survival checks will help Raptorans avoid getting lost if they are the navigators, and a +2 Wis will result in a +1 Perception bonus. While these bonuses are not as substantial as the bonuses in 3.5, I am channeling a lot of the power budget into 4 stat points, and these were some of the things that could be cut from trait lists but still present in through the stats.
Context for Special Racial Traits:
After reading up on the rules in 5e, I saw a unique opportunity to give these guys something special. "Long Jumps", or LJ, use your strength score to measure how far you can jump with a 10ft running start. "High Jumps", or HJ, uses 3+Str Modifier. The key difference here is score vs Modifier. Height jumps being treated as long jumps for this race will give their jumps a massive boost at all values, and now the jump will scales better with your str score. Here is a chart with some key values.

Score - Mod - LJ - HJ

05 - (- 2) - 5ft - 1ft
10 - (+0) - 10ft - 3ft
15 - (+2) - 15ft - 5ft
20 - (+5) - 20ft - 8ft

The boost in jump height here makes dealing with the more limited flight a little more bearable while providing some interesting utility out of combat that won't be rendered useless once you have access to the flying ability. What about Long jumps? While you do get a +2 on jumps thanks to the Str boost, there is no direct benefit to long jumps. You can however combine a high jump with gliding. More on this below. This is the reason I know about Raptorans. Raptorans and Hadozee are the only creatures I could find with gliding anywhere in D&D. They both had the same stats -almost word for word- and I liked it. I toned down the movement speed to 35ft to better match the other "Quick" base races. It isn't clear if the "5ft decent" cost any movement so for the sake of simplicity it will not cost movement, but in fact is the cost of movement. Standard movement rules apply. Any decent greater than 10 ft will cost half the distances movement. Therefore, a decent of 20 ft in one round will cost the player 5ft of movement -10ft free from rounds decent and 5ft cost for remaining 10ft, or not -DM's call. You can not glide under a medium or heavy load, you will free fall instead. This movement can be used for jumping. This means with at least one 5ft jump, you can move up to 35ft each round with no special actions required. As you may have gathered, these two abilities have some nice synergy. You can jump fairly high up with this set up and then glide right after. A Strength score of 20 can give you 2 turns of gliding max distance at the cost of 20ft movement for the turn you jumped up. It can give you advantage on ranged attacks consistently but will not put you out of reach for very long. As it is right now, it take 20ft movement cost first round to get into the air to move 35-70 units in the air, maybe even 80 if you take it slow. You lose out on 10 movement at the cost of having higher ground, and a mobility option. Raptornas effectively get +2 on distance because of the Str increase. This isnt as high as +10 like in 3.5. If you really want to bridge larger caps you should jump up or diagonally, then use the glide ability to cover 35 units. This is a more reliable way to give these guys a healthier and easier to manage jump.

This gliding speed is only if you have a light load though, so nothing crazy like carrying several people over a chasm at a time. If you do want to carry people, it will take time, and you will only be able to carry those that are not carrying a lot of stuff OR can result in an interesting choice where everyone takes off their equipment and risk being attacked without their gear. Interesting choices! Flying is a power feat to give to a race. The earliest anyother race can get it is from a 3rd level spell. With that in mind, it makes sence we don't give these guys this ability until at least 5th level. This section was modeled after Drow Magic and Tiefling's Infernal Legacy racial traits in the PHB, as well as an Aasimar's Celestial Legacy trait, and a Eladrin's Fey Step trait in the DMG (pg286). Nearly all of the traits mentioned result in spells inbetween rest. The fact that I am using a spell instead of just out right giving them flight results in the need for concentration and casting. This means a few things that help keep this powerful trait in check. Keep in mind that failing a concentration check will force the Raptoran to glide - if they can.

Getting hit repeatedly can keep you grounded. This means you can't use flying as a get-out-of-jail-free card if you put yourself in a bad position.
It takes an action to activate. It takes an action that you could be using for something else. This forces players to make a meaningful choice. Do I want to use my action on this spell or do I want to take another?
Meaningful Choice. If you get hit while in the air and fail the concentration check, do you take another action to recast the ability? Do you have enough charges? Would another action be better?
Built in mechanics. The Spell has a built in time limit of 10 minutes per use.
It is based on things already in the game! This is really nice so that you do not need to show your players a tons of extra text or teach them something completely new.

Why not give them flight out right? The fatigue mechanic from 3.5 requires additional text and a new rule to learn. This solution results in players learning about various things that can apply to other things, not just this one race. At level 11th you get the ability to regain your charges after a short rest instead of a long rest. This allows the player much more flexibility in their use of Fly without removing ways for the DM to challenge or punish a player. Keeping the power level of this ability low allows other parts of your character shine as well. You may have been stopped from flying, but you still take advantage of everything else you have.

"Fly" spell relevant stats: 3rd Level Transmutation; Casting Time: 1 action; Range: touch; Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minutes; Fly Speed 60ft. Components: V, S, M (a wing feather from any bird). You have winged feathers. If they don't count for what every reason then you can get one from any bird you encounter by the time you are level 5.

Context for other Race stuff.
They are air based creatures. There is no need for them to have their own language when they can easily share. I can give them their own though if this doesn't still well with others though.

Raptoran base land speed is 30 feet.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, raptorans have no special
bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Wing-Aided Movement: Raptorans can use their wings to
help with movement even if they can’t fly yet. The extra
lift from her wings gives a raptoran a +10 racial bonus on
Jump checks.
• Gliding (Ex): A raptoran can use her wings to glide, negating
damage from a fall of any height and allowing 20 feet of
forward travel for every 5 feet of descent. Raptorans glide
at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). Even if a
raptoran’s maneuverability improves, she can’t hover while
gliding. A raptoran can’t glide while carrying a medium
or heavy load.
If a raptoran becomes unconscious or helpless while
in midair, her wings naturally unfurl and powerful ligaments
stiffen the wings. The raptoran descends in a tight
corkscrew and takes only 1d6 points of falling damage, no
matter what the actual distance of the fall.
• Flight (Ex): When a raptoran reaches 5 Hit Dice, she becomes
able to fly at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). A
raptoran can’t fly while carrying a medium or heavy load
or while fatigued or exhausted.
Raptorans can safely f ly for a number of rounds
equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum 1
round). They can exert themselves to fly for up to twice
as long, but then they’re fatigued at the end of the flight.
Raptorans are likewise fatigued after spending a total of
more than 10 minutes per day flying. Because raptorans
can glide before, after, and between rounds of actual
flight, they can remain aloft for extended periods (even
if they can only use flight for 1 round at a time without
becoming fatigued).
When they reach 10 Hit Dice, raptorans have enough
stamina and prowess to fly for longer periods. They can fly
at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability), and flying
requires no more exertion than walking or running.
A raptoran with flight can make a dive attack. A dive
attack works like a charge, but the raptoran must move a
minimum of 30 feet and descend at least 10 feet. A raptoran
can make a dive attack only when wielding a piercing
weapon; if the attack hits, it deals double damage.
A raptoran with flight can use the run action while
flying, provided she flies in a straight line.
• Pact with Wind Lords: Because of the ancient bargain
raptorans made with powerful air elementals, raptoran
spellcasters cast spells with the air descriptor at +1
caster level.
• Unerring Direction: Raptorans have an instinctive sense of
which direction is north, even when they are underground
or otherwise unable to see the sky or other visual cues.
Beyond the Material Plane, this ability doesn’t function.
• Low-Light Vision: A raptoran can see twice as far as a human
in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions
of poor illumination. A raptoran retains the ability to
distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Weapon Familiarity: Raptorans treat the footbow as a
martial weapon rather than as an exotic weapon.
• +2 racial bonus on Climb and Spot checks. Raptorans have
strong grips with both hands and feet, and their eyes are
unusually keen.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Tuilvilanuue.
• Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Orc,
and Sylvan.
• Favored Class: Cleric. A multiclass raptoran’s cleric class
does not count when determining whether she takes an
experience point penalty. These traits have been removed in an effort to balance out the race. This is to document changes made since this was posted.

DarkVision (REMOVED) You can see dim light within 60ft of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. .They had it in 3.5 and nearly every base race has it so I figured i would just tack it on. In all honesty, I'm not entirely sure if I want this as a base trait for this race. It could be one of the traits exclusive to certain sub races. If anyone has an opinion either way, please let me know.
Raptoran Weapon Training: You have proficiency with the Spear, Javelin, Short-bow, Longbow. I gave them Shortbows and Longbows like elves have. It stays close to their weapon familiarity from 3.5 too. Spears and Javelins for those Jump STR Throws.

I began work to work on making this race as one of three races I am making for a homebrew world. The truth is that I actually didn't know Raptorans existed when I started this project. I approached this idea with the goal of making a mobile bird race that made sense for my world without being oppressively overpowered. Sure enough I ended up with a lot of the same ideas as the original Raptorans so I decided I might as well put the two together and post it here. Any attention and feedback will be highly appreciated. If people like how I do things, I'll go ahead and post more homebrew races and sub races when I finish them. Let me know what you think.

2015-02-05, 01:14 PM
Cool race.

My suggestion would be to reduce the ability score bonuses. Only two races get a total of +4 in bonus, half-elves and mountain dwarves. Both of whom get okay racial abilities: darkvision, a minor resistance (charm/sleep and poison), and extra proficiencies. Your race on the other hand gets a rather powerful racial ability, built in feather fall and the ability to fly later on. Plus it also has darkvision and extra proficiencies.

Another suggestion would be to drop some of the extra features, and perhaps add penalties to the flying abilities if wearing heavy or even medium armor.

2015-02-05, 03:00 PM
Thanks for the feed back. I was just thinking about the ability scores but wasn't sure about it either way. I'm okay with changing it to be more in line with other races, and +1 Wis will be the gently nudge. I did mean to put that you can't glide under a heavy load but I must have accidentally left it out while editing. That alone would be huge penalty to flying with a medium/heavy load as the risk of going to great heights almost grantees you will die if you somehow get hit and fail the check. Regarding the extra traits. Tiefling has an ability that gives them Spells and then 2 other special traits. The Aassimar has the same set up. Following those examples, I do in fact have 5 special traits. Darkvision and Weapon Proficiencies are out then. With that info, I wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion of removing the extra traits. There were kinda just tacked on near the end as things that could fit if they were needed.

Thank you for bringing attention to this! I'm not surprised I overlooked these detail as I was so focused on the Wing related traits. After all these changes I have an interesting idea. I could change the Avian legacy to be more like the Celestial/Infernal Legacy. I would just need to figure out which Cantrip, and 2rd level spell, to give them and then give them flight as the last spell. Hmm, research is needed.

Cool race.

My suggestion would be to reduce the ability score bonuses. Only two races get a total of +4 in bonus, half-elves and mountain dwarves. Both of whom get okay racial abilities: darkvision, a minor resistance (charm/sleep and poison), and extra proficiencies. Your race on the other hand gets a rather powerful racial ability, built in feather fall and the ability to fly later on. Plus it also has darkvision and extra proficiencies.

Another suggestion would be to drop some of the extra features, and perhaps add penalties to the flying abilities if wearing heavy or even medium armor.