View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Balancing the Warforged For Exploration-focused Campaign

2019-10-09, 07:08 PM
Our table runs a heavily focused exploration campaign, and a large part of it involves rations and foraging. I wanted to introduce the Warforged and I've managed to balance a lot of it to fit nicely with the setting, except for the "Doesn't need food to survive."

I've drafted an alternative form of nourishment through Solar Energy, but I'm not happy with it. Most of the campaign is in the wild and provide plenty of sunshine, negating the need entirely. But it also proves detrimental for dungeon and cave explorations, which isn't fun. It's also makes things unnecessarily more complicated.

Solar Energy. As a Warforged, you do not need to eat or drink to survive. Instead you charge yourself with sunlight, through a special rune on your body. This rune is usually positioned on the shoulder, arms, or head to provide direct access to the environment. Most warforged prefer loose garments or integrate armor to maintain exposure for the rune.
Solar rune
a. Covering the rune can starve the warforged, even if the rest of the body is exposed to sunlight.
b. During absorption of sunlight, the rune emits a soft orange glow.
a. The Warforged requires 1 hour of exposure to nourish themselves for 1 day.
b. Bad weather is not detrimental, unless the sun is completely blotted out to the effect it is complete
darkness or similar to night time.
c. Can move about and participate in activities while charging rune.
d. Reflecting sunlight with a mirror or other reflective surface will not grant the exposure.
e. If unable to charge rune, gain 1 stack of exhaustion for that day, similar to other races failing to
consume rations. You are forced to consume energy from your reserves until you can recharge from
sunlight again.

I want to keep the flavor of a Warforged's resilience as a living construct, without relying on food and drink but not giving them a free pass on nourishment. Can anyone come up with a better solution, or comment on a change to the Solar Energy rule?

2019-10-09, 07:44 PM
I do not like this. I like the idea but the fact that is linked to a daily exposure is kind of mhe. What happens if you want to explore the underdark? Guess I'll die.
If they can change an exausted rune for a fully charged one you solved nothing since they still do not need to eat or drink (they just have to spend a day of their downtime to recharge the batteries).

You could take the living in Living Construct to the next level and provide them with a "biomass powered core". They eat food like everyone else now problem solved.

Or you could introduce a new resource: mana crystals.
These crystals are rather common and can be found nearly everywhere. They are crystalized mana that can power rituals, vhicles and constructs. Their use is very limited since the refining process to actually get access to that power is long and expensive. Warforged can power their cores with the crystals but unlike other constructs they can't hold much energy and have to convert crystals daily to maintain peak performance.

Bonus: how did you balanced the rest of the race?

2019-10-09, 08:10 PM
They still don't need to eat and drink, but their bodies aren't perfect-- on a daily basis, an active Warforged needs to spend some time replacing damaged or worn bits. Most carry a ready supply of spare parts ("rations"), but in a pinch they can use plant-based substitutes ("foraging.")

2019-10-10, 03:39 PM
Bonus: how did you balanced the rest of the race?

I balanced it around the campaign, so it probably won't translate well for other tables. It's also still a work in progress, and still in its rough draft.

Main Traits
+1 CON
+1 unarmored AC
30 ft movement

Artificial Body
Resistance to poison and disease
Vulnerable to lightning (subject to change)
Don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.
Long rest 6 hours unconscious

0 ft swim speed
-Sink in water.
-Submerged counts as rough terrain (movement walking pace)
-Cannot drown (no air required)
-Cannot rust
-Combat as normal

(Nourishment Method Pending)

Sub Race

Add +1 CON again

Choose 1:

Integrate weapon/Armor:
-Begin with integrated weapon/armor from class list.
-Cannot be disarmed with these
-Can add/replace/remove integrated weapon/armor with appropriate tool during 1 downtime period.
-Spellbooks can be integrated if you have access to one. Requires Calligrapher’s Tools to integrate.
-Instruments can be integrated if you are a bard or multiclass into a bard. Requires Woodworker’s Tools
-Can only choose one weapon OR armor

Fisticuffs Unarmored strikes deal extra damage (need to crunch numbers to decide how much)

Big Bodied – large size bonuses for carrying capacity, grappling, etc. despite medium build

+1 DEX

Choose 1:


Alternate Energy – linked to nourishment, but can benefit 2 days for 1 nourishment, vs 1 day for 1 nourishment.

Fleet foot – 35 movement speed

+1 WIS or +1 INT

Choose 1:
Master of One: Integrate tool or instrument you are proficient with from class/background
-Tool remains with you and cannot be removed.
-Advantage on downtime checks made with this tool
-Instruments: If chose to integrate instrument under this trait while not a bard, but then multiclass into bard, this trait can either replace the integration with a tool you are proficient with, OR integrate weapon/armor trait under the Soldier sub race.

Multi-Talent: +1 Artisan tool or instrument proficiency of choice.

Careful Eye: Proficiency in investigation, insight, or perception