View Full Version : First Homebrew Race Attempt! Critique welcome! For D&D 5E

2018-03-12, 08:51 AM
The Monster Manual has a Revenant as a person who died unfairly and horrifically and is granted time as an undead to exact vengeance. I think that would be an amazing character to play as and tried my hand at making it as a race.
I honestly have never tried this before and very possibly did this very poorly. But I thought Iíd post it here and see what happens


Size: Medium
Speed: 30
Dark Vision: 60 feet

Armor class: Without Armor itís 13 plus Dexterity modifier
Ability Increases: Strength +2 Const +1 Int +1 Wis +1 charisma -1 (cant be very charming if theyíre dead)
[if youíre making a revenant of a premade character Cary over their bonuses instead]

Age: A revenant maintains the age mentally of how it was when it died. Itís physical courpse maintains that as well and slows decay. They can live for a year or longer if granted extra time.

Languages: common, Abyssal

Armor: medium proficiency

Weapon + Tool: carries over from prior character, otherwise All basic weapons and alchemists tools

Damage Resistance: Necrotic, Psychic

Damage immunities: Poison

Skill Profficencies: Intimidation, History, Survival

Can choose 2 extra skills, languages and weapon profficencies


Level 1: Chill touch. (wisdom)
Level 3: Speak with Dead (Wisdom)

Features/ Traits

Regeneration: During a short rest add 1 D10 HP to your hit dice roll

Let The Dead bury the dead: necrotic Damage done by a revenant can add +2 to overall Damage (may use 3 times per day)

Undying Vengeance: A revenant can add 1 D4 to its initative Roll (can use once per day)

Like I said this was my first attempt and itís probably not great
I tried to make it versatile enough to work for most classes, and tried to add some fun abilities,
I also like the idea that a dead character in a campaign could become a revenant at the discretion of the DM. Thus a lot of this would just be adding the features and some small additions to the character premade.

Let me know what you think!

2018-03-12, 11:29 AM
Why does it get natural armor? And why is it so good?

Why do you get so many stat bonuses, and why the penalty?

Why do you get Medium Armor Proficiency?

Simple weapons, okay, but why ALCHEMIST'S tools?

Why resistance to physic?

And no-do NOT give an immunity to a player like that.

Why do they get 5 skills?

And then even more?

There's no ONE thing here that's broken (though a lot of it is... odd, to say the least) but you just piled WAY TOO MUCH on.

2018-03-12, 03:58 PM
Yeah, I've got to agree with JNA -- like a lot of first-time designers, you're giving your new race way too many abilities. Instead of asking yourself "what are all the things I could add to this race that would be cool?" try asking yourself "what is the minimum set of abilities I need to give this race for it to be thematic and balanced?" If you don't absolutely need a feature, then 95% of the time you should get rid of it. That's hard to do, but it's important.

You also need a "core concept" for your homebrew. In other words, you need to be able to articulate how and why your custom race gets its special features. Right now you have a story (revenant rises from the dead for revenge) but no way of linking that story to most of your special abilities. E.g. are revenants stronger than average? Why? Are revenants smarter than average? Why?

For example, for elves, the core concept is something like "Elves are slender and graceful forest creatures, which gives them an advantage at dexterity-based tasks. Their unusually long lives give them time to master advanced weaponry, especially longbows, which can be crafted out of the leather, wood, and feathers found in their forests. Therefore, Elves get +2 DEX and proficiency with the longbow."

You're only halfway there so far. "Revenants are angry corpses that have risen from the dead for revenge. ... Therefore, Revenants get a bunch of ability modifiers and five skills and immunity to poison and a third-level spell and medium-armor proficiency." I mean, OK, maaaybe. But you have to fill in the red dots in a way that makes the paragraph make sense.

2018-03-12, 04:48 PM
My biggest question is why nobody's linked the official Revenant subrace, yet. (https://dnd.wizards.com/sites/default/files/media/upload/articles/UA%20Gothic%20Characters.pdf)

Morphic tide
2018-03-12, 05:06 PM
To take the critiques already offered and give my own version, here's an example:

*fluff here*

Ability Score Increase: Your choice of Wisdom, Intelligence or Charisma increases by 1
Age: The unquiet dead feel little from the wear of ages, and Revenants in particular hold no care for age, having experienced death already, one and all. Where they do care about such things, it is usually a holdover from their life before death.
Alignment: Revenants, typically animated by a powerful desire to right wrongs done to themselves, tend towards extremes of Good and Evil, with a bias towards Lawful behavior.
Size: As varied as those who die, Revenants can be any height or weight found among Humanoids, especially as the young may die with the same thoughts of revenge. You size may be Small or Medium, as you choose.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 ft and is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Type: Revenants are Undead
Memories of Life: Like most Undead, Revenants typically do not recall precisely who they were before death and lose much of their skills. However, they always recall at least some of the skills they had in life. They gain one tool or weapon proficiency and one skill proficiency or language of their choice.
Tomb-Touched Soul: Having felt and rejected the touch of death, a Revenant gains resistance to Necrotic damage and may be healed for half the Necrotic damage done by a spell, as long as the caster chooses to heal them and may cast a spell capable of restoring health to others.
Vengeful Hunter: You may cast the Hunter's Mark spell as a 1st level spell with this trait once per long rest. At 12th level, you may cast it as a 3rd level spell. At 20th level, you may cast it as a 5th level spell.
Languages: Revenants can speak, read and write Common.

Baelnorn: (subrace)
As a Baelnorn, your undeath came from a mastery of magic used in sworn duty, rather than base desire for vengeance.

Ability Score Increase: Your choice of Intelligence or Dexterity increases by one, and your Intelligence increases by an additional one.
Cantrip: You learn a Cantrip from the Wizard spell list.


The reason for the subrace option is that it can then represent a more varied set of Undead characters that share similar themes and mechanics to the Revenant, letting you make subraces for basically every sort of "vengful dead". The Baelnorns used to be a subset of Elf Liches, but 5e's Liches don't really work with that and they're pretty close to Revenants, thematically. This is probably a bit overpowered, given that you can get a +3 to a mental score and have one of the best 1st level spells in the game, but it's not wildly beyond the example of the core races and subraces.