This is just a question I have been wondering about. Having strong debates with my group's DM over this ruling.

CONTEXT: DM created a couatl race to play for his first campaign ever. the abilities were as followed:

  • 60 feet flying speed (did not emphasize with or without armor)
  • Truesight (insanely powerful)
  • Active venom: add 1d10 to a melee weapon attack for one minute as a bonus action; recharges after a long rest.

While I will agree this was incredibly powerful, it went through some minor changes. Going from truesight always-on to 3 1-minute charges of it. And 3 one-time charges of 1d10 poison.

Just for reference, the player is a paladin (oath of redemption).

Once we all reached around level 8, about a half year of play time later, he completely overhauled the race.

Final revision:

  • Flight = 30 feet while not wearing medium and heavy armor
  • Bite = 1d6, plus DC 10 Con check to take 2d8 poison damage (half on a successful save)
  • Favor of the Divine: Can only activate once a day. You gain the following benefits for 1 minute:
    • 35 feet flight speed regardless of armor
    • truesight
    • and 1d4 poison on melee/ranged weapon attacks.

Now my question is, with these changes, would this change how a character plays and would buy items and train their character along the way?

Since the player just bought 500g worth of heavy armor they requested that they be able to swap it for light armor so they could still fly freely. Also they were wanting to maybe multiclass into wizard or bard to get some helpful cantrips.

The DM ruled that these changes could not be made and we would have to keep playing if we wanted to do that, arguing that the character wouldn't have changed regardless of the race balancing.

Just looking for others' input on this situation.

Thank you.

closed as primarily opinion-based by KRyan, Mike Q, David Coffron, V2Blast, Miniman May 16 at 4:26

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    RPG.SE is a Q&A site; it's not a general discussion forum. As such, this doesn't really seem answerable here in its current form. How a homebrew race plays is almost entirely opinion-based, and people can't really answer based on their own experiences because that homebrew race doesn't exist outside your campaign - any responses would be speculative in nature. – V2Blast May 16 at 3:48
  • 3
    Everything @V2Blast said except the first sentence is not true. – the dark wanderer May 16 at 4:05
  • 1
    What is the core question you want answered here? Right now it is unclear if you want a general discussion about retconning character choices after homebrew modifications or if you want to talk about the specifics of this particular case about armor. And even then it is unclear what problem you actually want us to solve. Can you edit your question to clarify this please? – Rubiksmoose May 16 at 11:20
  • 1
    @LeonardTrahan Confused about the multiclass part: is the DM not allowing multiclassing? What is the issue there? Is the player saying they would have multiclassed earlier had they known what changes were going to be applied to the homebrew? – Rubiksmoose May 16 at 11:58
  • 1
    I think the crux here is that, if this were an officially published race and these changes were made, the player base would expect that ret-conning of their character be allowed, on the basis of armor alone, and opting into a different race would not be out of the question. That might be how you should rephrase the question, though I don't know if that would satisfy the RPG.SE requirements. – cpcodes May 16 at 16:10

As others have said, this is a discussion to have with the DM out of game. You, the players and the DM should collaborate here. In fact, this should not be a "I am DM; I rule"

The DM says the character would not change how they play if their race was overhauled. Well, actually they would. They would also freak out, go into major psychosis and probably be hospitalized if their biology changed. Can you imagine if all of a sudden our walk speed dropped in half, your eyesight instantly got way worse, and something you could normally do (e.g. drive a car) could no longer happen?

Yea, if I were a DM and I decided to do a change I would let my players make appropriate changes, including (in this case) swapping race and possibly class if this was a race/class concept.

Your DM needs to lighten up to help the player. Swapping heavy for lighter armor is the player taking things well within stride. The DM, also, can NEVER dictate to a player how their character thinks. That is strictly a player purview. Frankly, if the DM told me no, I'd consider quitting.

  • "The DM says the character would not change how they play if their race was overhauled. Well, actually they would. They would also freak out, go into major psychosis and probably be hospitalized if their biology changed. Can you imagine if all of a sudden our walk speed dropped in half, your eyesight instantly got way worse, and something you could normally do (e.g. drive a car) could no longer happen?" - to be fair, I think the DM was arguing from an out-of-character perspective, not an in-universe perspective. – V2Blast May 16 at 21:01
  • That said, I agree that such substantial rules changes would definitely warrant a discussion over potentially retconning past character choices; if the DM retcons the racial stats of that character, they should also be open to retconning some of the gear choices and such of the character of that race. – V2Blast May 16 at 21:02
  • @v2blast thank you. Your discussion helps out alot. – Fluff3panda May 17 at 17:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.