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Thread: Dwarf Rebalance/Subrace Conversion

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    Default Dwarf Rebalance/Subrace Conversion

    Ever since I got into D&D with v3.5 Iíve wanted to introduce the idea of exchangeable cultural traits to the races of D&D. All of the recent interest has inspired me to balance the core races to my own standard, in addition to converting all of the subraces from v3.5 which were made for nonspecific settings.
    Traits granted by the racesí cultures are marked as cultural, you may trade all of your cultural traits for those granted by a different race. You can't gain cultural traits from a subrace that replace one or more cultural traits from the base race.

    Spoiler: GENERAL RULES TWEAKS
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    Fighters get a d12 hit die.
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    This just makes sense to me.

    Add back in the Constitution (Endurance) skill.
    Make a Constitution(Endurance) check to stave off ill effects and to push yourself beyond normal physical limits. You can hold your breath for long periods of time, forestall the debilitating effects of hunger and thirst, and force yourself to move for extended periods of time.
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    I added this from 4E because it makes sense that characters can undergo resistance training to press themselves harder.

    Outlanders get proficiency with (endurance) instead of (athletics).
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    Because I added it back in, I felt that one of the backgrounds should get proficiency with it. The outlander's athletics made the least sense of the three that got athletics, so I replaced it.

    Split the two benefits of Darkvision into seperate features.
    Low-light Vision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light.1
    Darkvision: You can see in darkness within 60 feet of you as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.1
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    Call me a grognard, but I like the distinction made between these two abilities in v3.5 and because Iím working with races from that edition (many of whom have Low-Light Vision) I feel this is appropriate.

    Iíve seen Musicusí Race Analysis and I think it makes for a great baseline for judging the races by, but there are a few features that I feel are improperly valued. I will explain my re-evaluations where appropriate.

    Following up my Human subraces come the Dwarves. Again they are balanced to be a value of 7 on the adjust Musicus scale, with 1 value of cultural traits.

    DWARF (5)
    Spoiler: Age and Alignment
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    Age: Dwarves mature at the same rate as humans, but they're considered young until they reach the age of 50,\. On average, they live about 350 years.
    Alignment: Most dwarves are lawful, believing firmly in the benefits of a well-ordered society. They tend toward good as well, with a strong sense of fair play and a belief that everyone deserves to share in the benefits of a just order.

    Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2. (2)
    Size: Dwarves stand between 4 and 5 feet tall and average about 150 pounds. Your size is Medium. (0)
    Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet. (-0.5)
    Darkvision: Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark conditions. You can see in darkness within 60 feet of you as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. (0.5)1
    Dwarven Resilience: You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage. (1)2
    Steadfast: Your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor. If you are using the variant rules for encumbrance, your speed is not reduced when encumbered and reduced by 10 while heavily encumbered. (0.5)3
    Stonecunning: Whenever you make an Intelligence(history) or Wisdom(perception) check related to the origin of stonework or noticing unusual stonework, you add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply. (0.5)4
    Tool Proficiency (Cultural): You gain proficiency with the artisan's tools of your choice: smith's tools, brewer's supplies, or mason's tools. (0.5)
    Trained Focus (Cultural): At character creation, choose one ability score. As a bonus action, you gain advantage on all ability checks for the chosen ability for a number of rounds equal to your proficiency bonus. You canít use this feature again until youíve completed a short or long rest. (0.5)
    Languages (Cultural): You can speak, read, and write Common and Dwarvish. Dwarvish is full of hard consonants and guttural sounds, and those characteristics spill over into whatever other language a dwarf might speak. (0)

    Spoiler: HILL (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1. (1)
    Toughness: Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level. (1)5

    Spoiler: MOUNTAIN (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 2. (2)
    Iron Born (Cultural): You gain proficiency with light and medium armor. This feature replaces Tool Proficiency and Trained Focus. (0)

    Spoiler: BADLANDS (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 1. (1)
    Heat Endurance: You automatically succeed on (endurance) checks to avoid the ill effects of extreme heat. You only require 1/2 gallon of water per day and do not require more if the weather is hot. (0.5)
    Stability: You have advantage on (athletics) and (acrobatics) checks made to resist being shoved or grappled. (0.5)4
    Waterwise: Whenever you make a Wisdom(perception) or (survival) check to sense, locate, or forage for water, you add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply. This feature replaces Stonecunning. (0)4

    Spoiler: DEEP (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1. (1)
    Superior Darkvision: Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet. (+0.5)1
    Spell Resistance: When you make a saving throw against the effect of a spell, you can use your reaction to gain advantage. You canít use this feature again until youíve completed a short or long rest. (0.5)
    Stability: You have advantage on (athletics) and (acrobatics) checks made to resist being shoved or grappled. (0.5)4
    Sunlight Sensitivity: Centuries underground have stripped deep dwarves of their ability to tolerate the harsh light of the sun. You suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence(investigation) and Wisdom(perception) checks that rely on sight when you or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight. (-0.5)6

    Spoiler: DREAM (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1. (1)
    Dream Sight: Dream dwarves can see ethereal creatures as easily as they see material creatures and objects. You can see creatures in the border ethereal plane within 30 feet of you. You can easily distinguish between ethereal creatures and material ones, because ethereal creatures appear translucent and indistinct. (1)

    Spoiler: GLACIER (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence score increases by 1. (1)
    Cold Endurance: You have resistance to cold damage. (0.5)
    Icecunning: Whenever you make an Intelligence(history) or Wisdom(perception) check related to the origin of ice constructions or noticing unusual ice construction, you add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply. This feature replaces Stonecunning. (0)4
    Stability: You have advantage on (athletics) and (acrobatics) checks made to resist being shoved or grappled. (0.5)4

    Spoiler: GRAY (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Strength score increases by 1. (1)
    Superior Darkvision: Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet. (+0.5)1
    Duergar Magic: Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the enlarge/reduce spell on yourself using only the spellís enlarge option once per short or long rest . Once you reach 5th level, you can cast the invisibility spell as a 2nd level spell on yourself once per short or long rest. You canít cast these spells while youíre in direct sunlight. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells. (1)7
    Duergar Resilience (Cultural): Duergar train their minds and bodies to resist debilitating magic. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or paralyzed. This feature replaces Trained Focus. (0)
    Sunlight Sensitivity: Centuries in the vast Underdark have stripped gray dwarves of their ability to tolerate the harsh light of the sun. You suffer disadvantage on all Intelligence(investigation) and Wisdom(perception) checks that rely on sight when you or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight. (-0.5)6

    Spoiler: KOROBOKURU (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity score increases by 1. (1)
    Size: Korobokuru are slighter in stature than other dwarves, usually standing under 4 feet and weighing around 130 pounds. Your size is Small. (-0.5)
    Toughness: Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level. (1)5
    Self-Sufficient: When you forage, you find twice as much food as you normally would. (0.5)
    Wilderness Lore (Cultural): Korobokuru are familiar with the wild lands in which they dwell. You are proficient with the (nature) skill. This feature replaces Tool Proficiency. (0)
    Savage Attacks (Cultural): When you score a critical hit with a weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon's damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit. This feature replaces Trained Focus. (0)

    Spoiler: SEACLIFF (+2)
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    Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 1. (1)
    Hold Breath: Seacliff Dwarves have adapted to a nearly amphibious lifestyle. You are able to hold your breath for a number of minutes equal to 4 + 4 times your constitution modifier (minimum 2 minutes). (1)
    Strong Swimmer: Whenever you make a Strength(athletics) or Constitution(endurance) check related to swimming, you add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply. This feature replaces Stonecunning. (0)4

    1I believe Darkvision should still be valued at 0.5 even without the dim light bonus, because it negates two hefty penalties.
    2This is worth 1 because it gives resistance to a damage type which is worth 0.5, and also gives advantage on saves against poison. You could argue that advantage against poison is not worth 0.5, but I wanted to keep the calculations easy.
    3I separated this feature out from speed so they could be valued individually. I also expanded it to include encumbrance like it did in v3.5, because without it it seemed a little weak. I welcome suggested alternatives for games without encumbrance.
    4I believe granting circumstantial double proficiency to one skill is only worth 0.25. Granting regular proficiency to a skill for 0.5 applies to every use of the skill, and in D&D NEXT all skills have more than 2 uses. Even though the bonus is doubled, it applies to less than half of the uses of any skill. Most of the time I will be adding circumstantial double proficiency to two skills to make the feature more meaningful.
    5For 2 points, you can gain 2 Constitution, which is guaranteed to increase your modifier by 1. That gives you 1 hit point per level AND +1 on a primary save (not to mention the new Endurance skill). I feel that 1 hit point per level is only worth half of a full 2 to Constitution.
    6 I believe Sunlight Sensitivity was too disadvantageous, so I replaced the penalty to attacks with the other third of the ability from v3.5.
    7 According to my understanding of valuing spellcasting: If you receive a cantrip it is valued at 0.5. If you receive a spell on a 1 spell level delay (i.e. a first level spell at 3rd level, or a second level spell at 5th) it is also valued at 0.5. I think this should mean gaining a spell at the appropriate level should value it at 1. This is the case for the Duergar learning enlarge/reduce at 3rd level, but I think limiting it to enlarge self only lowers it to the value of a 1st level spell. In addition, I feel like it is more fun to cast racial spells per short rest.
    Last edited by thoroughlyS; 2019-07-27 at 09:31 AM.
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