New OOTS products from CafePress
New OOTS t-shirts, ornaments, mugs, bags, and more
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default 5e benchmark race/class

    Feel like this will be a thorny issue, but here goes.

    My DM is (as all DMs will) home-brewing a LOT of new races (he's folding in all published races and still got at least twenty races to choose from) and new subclasses and a brand new class. The class stuff I'll address at another time. The race stuff is, from a quick eyeballing, very underpowered and buggy (he's got a thing for giving beast races disadvantage on sight but advantage on smell? And weirdly situational skill uses like "Survival checks to find food?") compared to, say, a lizardfolk (what I currently play as, which even suboptimal is a fun race to play as). I built a few playtest characters with these limitations then realised the question was: why would I choose a Bearfolk Fighter over a Lizardfolk one?
    Lizardfolk, however, are much better mechanically than humans. As are Tieflings. And Elves. And most of the nonhuman choices, but I digress. I'm looking for a good benchmark race to compare the new races to, not over or underpowered comparatively. I can then go to the DM with advice for interesting tweaks and abilities to grab imaginations (like Hobgoblins did with me) for good builds (something which humans have never done for me) which aren't overpowered.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: 5e benchmark race/class

    This is tough because, as you've noted, the power spread on player options is pretty massive. It's not just race & class: subclass (Champion vs Rune Knight), feat (Savage Attacker vs GWM), even spells (burning hands vs frost fingers) are all over the place.

    Race in particular depends heavily on factors that vary a lot by campaign, so perspective is going to vary by author. For example, WotC clearly thinks flight is just a run-of-the-mill feature, but a lot of folks online consider it a premium feature and I've known DMs to outright ban every flying race. When it comes to homebrew at your table, only the folks at your table are going to know how important features like alternate speeds, trancing, sunlight sensitivity, etc are.

    But I hear you on wanting some kind of easy reference for drafting races. I am going to tentatively recommend the detect greater balance spreadsheet from thoroughlysketchy, which is a framework for assessing the power budget of races. This recommendation is only tentative, because (1) it takes a strong stance on those contentious options noted above without room for adjustment, (2) it makes the mistake of assuming "ribbon" features are interchangeable with legitimately useful ones, and (3) it tends to grade features bizarrely (e.g. climb & swim speed scaling). That said, it's still a decent way to eyeball a race's power budget to see if they need room.
    All work I do is CC-BY-SA. Copy it wherever you want as long as you credit me.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default Re: 5e benchmark race/class

    Just to ask a silly question: what does 'ribbon' abilities mean? I assume it's "fluffy effect that has negligible value in actual gameplay" like proficiency in cooking utensils or advantage on Performance checks.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Just to Browse's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: 5e benchmark race/class

    Yeah, pretty much. It also applies to features that are ostensibly combat-relevant, but are so weak as to never come up. For example, having a low unarmored AC like 11 + Dex is a ribbon, because a PC is likely to just wear light armor or cast mage armor on themselves, so the feature isn't likely to ever come up.
    All work I do is CC-BY-SA. Copy it wherever you want as long as you credit me.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 5e benchmark race/class

    I like to use Dwarf and Elf as my eyeball references. Theyre common and accessible, have distinct features and ribbons, trend towards the more strong end of the spectrum and are well supported (subraces, racial feats, magic items, etc).
    If its distinctly better than some variety of Elf or Dwarf its probably too good, if its rendered completely redundant by some variety of Dwarf or Elf then it isnt good enough to consider.
    Roll for it
    5e Houserules and Homebrew
    Old Extended Signature
    Awesome avatar by Ceika

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •