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The Monster Manual and Dungeon Master's Guide provides a few examples of how to adapt monsters into full-fledged PC races, but they're limited to only a few options.

Are there any resources or other guides, either online or in print, that assist in the creation of a relatively-balanced custom PC race?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's a thread on the house rules form of the wizards site devoted to this topic: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19939894/Fireclaves_Guide_to_4e_Race_Mechanic_Creation

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Can you give some basic details about the creation mechanics described here? –  wax eagle Jun 22 '12 at 14:58
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Thankfully, 4e has really gone a long way in balancing stats so that just about any race can be boiled down into a similar template.

  • +2 to one stat plus +2 to your choice of one of two stats
  • +2 to two skills
  • 3-4 minor abilities at least one of which is an encounter power, often one of the abilities will be defensive (bonus to saves, resists or defenses) and one will be offensive (weapon profs, attack powers), but not always.

I think of these minor abilities totaling about 1.5 to 2 feats worth of power.

For example:

Kender

small,
+2 Dex, +2 to Con or Chr

+2 thievery, +2 Bluff

+5 saving throw bonus vs fear

*Kender Bag* encounter power

proficiency with staff, slings

Can shift through large enemies space without provoking AoO

I'm not a big Dragonlance fan, so forgive me if my Kender interpretation isn't perfect thematically, but I think balance wise that's about right. You could always give them an extra speed if you feel they are a bit underpowered.

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That encounter power is actually pretty brilliant. Might have to be balanced to a Daily (which would still be appropriate). I was actually thinking that 4E Halflings were already a lot like Kender thanks to the +5 bonus vs fear. –  migo Mar 18 '11 at 2:43
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Buy and love Hard Boiled Cultures. (Sorry about the sales link; Highmoon Games doesn't have a product page.) It's a breakdown of the official 4e races as they existed in January 2010, with guidelines for making new ones and adjusting the old ones. It's really good work, and will help with both mechanics and cultural fluff aspects of race creation.

It is out of date in one regard -- current state of the art gives races a +2 bonus to one stat, and another +2 bonus to the player's choice of two stats.

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