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Thread: Homebrew Race
- Join Date
- Sep 2015
- GMT +n
I'm DMing a campaign, and my story calls for a race skilled in transmutation magic, so I came up with one that I think is pretty cool: the Drenginians. The problem is, I've never created a race before, so I need a little help determining if it's balanced. Any feedback would be much appreciated!
+2 Str, -2 Con, +6 Dex, +8 Int, -4 Cha
+1 caster level when casting transmutation spells
-1 caster level when casting non-transmutation spells
Very long lived: Adulthood: 200 yrs; Middle Aged: 350 yrs; Old: 750 yrs; Venerable: 1500 yrs; Max Age: +10d% yrs
50% fortification (as masters of transmutation, Drenginians have unique internal organ placement)
Horn attack: Bludgeoning or Piercing; Crit 20/x2; d4 damage (adult or middle aged), d6 damage (old or venerable)
LA +3 This is the key balancing point (very important)
- Join Date
- Aug 2015
- Québec, Canada
Re: Homebrew Race
I don't really have time to look around, but here's what the D&D 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide says about it (I'll just copy/paste)
While the creatures in the Monster Manual make for interesting PC racial choices, that’s not really what they were made for. Most were made to be opponents for the PCs (which is why they’re
monsters). Thus, some DMs may want to create new races made primarily for giving players new options. Creating new races is difficult. In general, use the races in the Player’s Handbook as examples and guides. When in doubt, make the new race similar to one found there. Monsters in the Monster Manual weren’t created to be PC races and shouldn’t be used as models for anything other than monsters and NPCs. If you want to create a catlike race with a high Dexterity, look to the elves as an example. They gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity but take a –2 penalty to Constitution. For having such a great benefit as heightened Dexterity, the cat people should have a commensurate penalty as well.
Here’s an important point: Not all the ability scores are equal. For example, the half-orc has a penalty to both Intelligence and Charisma but a bonus only to Strength. That’s because neither a penalty to Intelligence nor a penalty to Charisma by itself is equivalent in significance to a bonus to Strength. To return to the cat people example: Dexterity is also a very important ability, and thus
a Dexterity bonus could not be balanced by a Charisma penalty alone—some other drawback needs to be added.
In general, the following table demonstrates appropriate penalties to match equal bonuses. Sometimes the bonus/penalty tradeoff doesn’t work both ways. For example, a bonus to Strength is roughly equivalent to a penalty to Constitution, but a bonus to Constitution is not equivalent to a penalty to Strength.
SpoilerAbility Score Equivalencies
Ability Score Bonus / Ability Score or Scores Penalized
Strength / Dexterity OR Constitution OR Intelligence and Charisma OR Intelligence and Wisdom OR Wisdom and Charisma
Dexterity / Strength OR Constitution OR Intelligence and Charisma OR Intelligence and Wisdom OR Wisdom and Charisma
Constitution / Dexterity OR Intelligence OR Wisdom OR Charisma
Intelligence / Wisdom OR Charisma
Wisdom / Intelligence OR Charisma
Charisma / Intelligence OR Wisdom
Of course, there’s nothing really wrong with penalizing a more important score than the one getting the bonus. You could create a frail race of kindly, beautiful creatures with a +2 bonus to
Charisma and a –2 penalty to Strength, but be aware that some players will not like playing such a race. Some might, however, and that’s for you to judge. Refer to Handling Unbalanced PCs (page 13) for tips on what to do if you think you have introduced something into your game (in this case, a new race) that was a mistake because it was either overpowered or not powerful enough. Basically, the same guidelines that you must consider when creating subraces or using monsters as races apply to creating new races. Beware of special abilities, particularly movement- or combat-related ones. Remember that size changes many aspects of a character. Benefits should be balanced with drawbacks. Pay strict attention to culture and environment for ideas on how to shape the race.
An interesting avenue you may wish to examine regarding new race creation is the idea of half-breed races. The Player’s Handbook already presents the half-elf and the half-orc. The Monster Manual
gives rules on half-celestials, half-dragons, half-fiends, and more mixed races such as the planetouched (aasimars and tieflings). Half-ogres, half-trolls, or elf–orc, orc–ogre (orog), gnome–halfling, or orc–goblin crossbreeds are all interesting possibilities for PC races. You may decide that some crossbreeds are impossible or unfeasible, such as dwarf–elf, halfling–human, or gnome–ogre.
Last edited by Adoster; 2016-01-08 at 09:45 PM.