View Full Version : Some Homebrew Races[PEACH]

2008-03-09, 11:17 PM
I've been working on some LA +0 creatures for use by players. I've got a total of 17 'standard' races in my setting, and I've changed them all a little bit. I'm also using classes that have been rewritten or homebrewed from scratch, but right now I just want feedback on these races, specifically whether they're more or less balanced.

1. Pekes

Pekes are a race of canine humanoids (image search for Pekingese) distantly related to celestials. They are small and benevolent, but also forceful, and they often manage to set themselves up as minor nobles by being clever, wise, and generally well-liked. They usually prefer a life of pampering and quiet study to one of adventure, but several pekes have been known to crusade for justice and triumph over evil. They are especially fierce when protecting those who serve them. Pekes are enemies to all evil creatures; except, of course, for the very rare peke who rails against his heritage and enthusiastically does harm wherever he is able.
Racial Traits
• +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength: Pekes are very knowing, but their small size makes them physically weaker than larger humanoids.
• Small: As a Small creature, a peke gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
• Peke base land speed is 15 feet.
• Low-Light Vision: A peke can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• +1 Dodge bonus to AC when unarmoured. Pekes have very long, fluffy hair that makes it hard to tell just where their vitals are.
• +4 bonus to Move Silently when barefoot. The hair on pekes’ feet muffles their footsteps to near-silence.
• +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Heal checks. In addition, Diplomacy and Heal are always class skills for pekes, as their celestial heritage makes them charming and skilled at healing wounds of all kinds.
• Decadence: Any other creature that spends one full hour cooking for and grooming a peke receives the benefits of a bless spell for 24 hours. The peke cannot grant this bonus to another ally until the duration of the last bless effect runs out. In order to receive this bonus, the ally must succeed on a DC 20 Craft (cooking) or Profession (chef) check. Pekes most enjoy foods prepared with rare spices and herbs, and anybody attempting to prepare their meal without them takes a -5 penalty on their check. These ingredients cost 10gp per serving, but will keep indefinitely if they remain dry.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Celestial. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, and Halfling.
• Favoured Class: Paladin.

2. Illmerrini (name I made up because I couldn't think of anything else, might change it)

The Illmerrini are humanoid fey who are ultimately the rulers of the magical plane of Faerie. As fey, they can exist comfortably in either their home plane or on the material plane, unlike simple humanoids who usually die if they spend too much time in Faerie. Illmerrini look very much like elves, and are in fact ancestors thereof, but they are notably different in that they have large, colourful, transparent wings. Illmerrini make excellent mages, but are not well suited to more physical professions.
Racial Traits
• -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -4 Constitution, +2 Charisma. Illmerrini are graceful and strong of personality, but physically weak.
• Fey: Illmerrini are fey, not humanoids. They can use all equipment as though they were humanoids, but medium or heavy armour costs twice as much to suit their wings. They are not subject to spells or abilities that target humanoids. They take no damage from the magic atmosphere of Faerie.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, illmerrini have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Illmerrini base land speed is 30 feet.
• Illmerrini have a fly speed of 20 feet with poor maneuverability. They cannot fly in medium or heavy armour or while carrying a medium or heavy load.
• Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against mind-affecting spells or effects. Illmerrini, like elves, do not sleep as humans do, and their fey heritage gives them a resistance against magic that charms or compels.
• Low-Light Vision: An illmerrini can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• +4 racial bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks. Illmerrini are masters of manipulation.
• Add +1 to the Difficulty Class of all mind-affecting spells or effects cast by illmerrini. The fey invented such magics.
• Damage Resistance 1/Cold Iron: While not as durable as other fey, illmerrini are still only truly vulnerable to cold iron weapons.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Fey. Bonus Languages: Elven, Gnome, Terran, Ignan, Auran, Aquan.
• Favoured Class: Sorcerer.

3. Minitaurs (keeping that name no matter what)

The origin of the minitaur is hotly debated. Some believe them to be a genetic anomaly, minotaurs with stunted growth that now breed true. Others think they are an offshoot of minotaur that didn't grow large as a result of living in cramped spaces. The minitaurs themselves believe that big people are stupid and if they hear one more theory about the origin of 'midget minotaurs' so help me gods, there will be blood. These tiny beasts are, as a rule, hostile to everything bigger than them, as well as most things smaller or of equal size. They seem perpetually frustrated by their size, and they are prone to taking it out on others. They live on the outskirts of society, making their homes in sewers or other underground areas, forming tight-knit communities. They can fight as well as most larger races.
Racial Abilities
• +2 Strength, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma. Minitaurs are strong despite their size, but are not particularly bright or agile.
• Monstrous Humanoid: Minitaurs are monstrous humanoids, and are not vulnerable to spells such as charm person.
• Small: As a Small creature, a minitaur gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
• Minitaur base land speed is 20 feet. However, minitaurs can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).
• Darkvision: Minitaurs can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and minitaurs can function just fine with no light at all.
• +1 natural armour bonus. Minitaurs have thick hides.
• Natural Weapons: Gore 1d4. Minitaurs have short but pointy horns sprouting from their heads.
• Powerful Charge: When a minitaur charges, its gore attack deals 2d6 damage plus 1½ times its Strength bonus. This is in addition to all other benefits of a charge.
• Natural Cunning: Minitaurs can never become lost and can never be flat-footed. As with their larger brethren, minitaurs have a sort of sixth sense that belies their lack of intelligence.
• Scent: Minitaurs can detect and track creatures by scent.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks. Minitaurs have powerful senses.
• Automatic Languages: Common, Giant. Bonus Languages: Orc, Goblin, Dwarven, Gnome, Halfling.
• Favoured Class: Barbarian.

4. Maganimals (template)

Familiars are among wizardkind's most valuable allies. They are helpful and loyal to the death. Occasionally, two wizards who fall in love find that their familiars exhibit similar feelings. When two familiars of the same kind breed, the offspring is usually intelligent and bears some traces of its parents' magical nature. These so-called maganimals can produce like offspring with mundane creatures of their type, and so city streets have begun to be populated by talking animals without masters. Maganimals feel something of the longing a familiar has to be with its master, but with no other being to fill it. Therefore, they are not above serving as pets to humans, elves, and other humanoids. Some maganimals are instead stubbornly independent, and may become powerful wizards with familiars of their own.
Racial Abilities“Maganimal” is an inherited template that can be applied to any animal or vermin of one hit die or less that can be chosen as a familiar at first level. A maganimal uses the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as listed here.
• Size and Type: Change to magical beast. Do not recalculate hp or base attack bonus; the maganimal replaces its racial hit die with its first class level.
• Armour Class: A maganimal gains a +2 increase to natural armour.
• Special Qualities: A maganimal gains evasion and the ability to speak with animals of its type, as the familiar abilities. It also gains spell resistance equal to 5 + ½ HD.
• Animal-Based: A maganimal is a normal animal that a 1st level wizard could choose as a familiar. It has all the same abilities and qualities of that kind of animal, except that its Intelligence score is on par with that of a human, receiving no penalty and always at least 3. The maganimal differs from a normal animal of its type as follows:
• Abilities: As base creature, but with an Intelligence score of at least 3, but 10 on average.
• Skills: Maganimals have a +4 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks, as they retain some of the empathic qualities of their familiar ancestors.
• Equipment Deficiency: Maganimals have a hard time using armour and weapons that humanoids have no trouble with. Armour for a maganimal follows the rules for barding; twice as expensive as it would be for a humanoid of the same size. Most maganimals are never proficient with weapons, and always take a -4 penalty to attack rolls when using them because they don’t have opposable thumbs. Maganimals with no normal limbs, such as snakes, instead take a -8 penalty. The same penalty also applies to Disable Device, Open Lock, and Slight of Hand checks. Those few maganimals who do have something like hands (rats, raccoons, monkeys, etc) do not suffer this penalty to either attack rolls and skill checks.
• Automatic Languages: Common, Familiar. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Draconic.
• Favoured Class: Wizard.

2008-03-09, 11:51 PM
nifty. i especially liked the concept for the maganimals, though i'm not fond of the name. would make a very memorable pc.

2008-03-10, 01:42 AM
I'd say that the Pekes are overpowered as LA +0, and are probably closer to LA +1. They get a lot of good stuff, and the only real drawback is a low speed (which is easily mitigated). Drop the AC bonus (either completely or just to +1) and change the type (to Natural), drop the Move Silently bonus to +4 or so, and maybe consider adding -2 Con or something like that. A +2 Wis with only a Str penalty is just too good for too many classes (particularly Druids, who can also use Wild Shape to get rid of the low speed).

The illmerrini seem good for LA +0, but if you have access to Races of the Wild, I'd consider changing their flight abilities to match those of the Raptorans from that book. They start out able to glide, and at high HD their flight improves. Seems better than just giving them a fly speed right off the bat.

The minitaurs seem really weak to me. -2 Dex on a Small creature doesn't make sense to me, the abilities adjustments are even worse than half-orcs (probably the weakest core race), and their other abilities are mediocre at best. The skill bonuses are good, but Scent doesn't come into play that often. The only powerful thing I see is the Cunning thing. It's overpowered as-is, since it basically eliminates a whole class ability (Uncanny Dodge) and a big part of a skill (Survival). Maybe just say they always know which direction is North, and retain their Dex bonus to AC while flat-footed (but maybe not against invisible opponents).

Lord Iames Osari
2008-03-10, 02:00 AM
I agree; the minitaurs have too many ability score penalties. My advice is to get rid of the Dex and Cha penalties.

2008-03-10, 10:08 PM
I cut the pekes' skill and armour bonuses in half, and took away the minitaur's penalty to Dex to start with.

I'm familiar with raptorans, and I'm actually using them as a standard race as well, so I wanted illmerrini to have a different way of flying. I had some ideas for making it more balanced. The wings could be fragile and prone to damage, in which case they don't work until they regenerate the next day, or something like that.

Thanks for the feedback so far, I'll look things over again and see what I can think of for fixes.