I want to know whether this is balanced compared to the other race options. If not, what can be changed?


A race of Humans transformed into semi-undead beings long ago by their own profane rituals. They combine Spells with Armor to great effect.

Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution increases by 2, and another stat of your choice increases by 1.

Age: Necrolytes reach maturity as 20, but can live as long as 1000 years of age.

Alignment: Necrolyte society holds pragmatism over law or chaos, with no sympathy or mercy shown towards Non-Necrolytes. As such, they are typically Neutral Evil.

Size: Necrolytes are slightly shorter than humans in height, and weigh a bit less than them as well. Your size is medium.

Speed: Your speed is 30ft.

Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Necrolyte Magic: You know the Inflict Wounds spell, and can cast it once per short or long rest. When you reach 3rd level you learn the Blindness/Deafness spell, and can cast it once per short or long rest. When you reach 5th level, you learn the Animate Dead Spell, and can cast it once per short or long rest without material components. You cast these spells at the same spell level as your highest level spell slot or at their lowest level if you lack slots of the spell’s level. Constitution is your spellcasting modifier for these spells.

Necrolyte Training: You gain Proficiencies in Light and Medium Armors.

Necrotic Skills: You gain Proficiency in two of the following skills: Arcana, Religion, Perception and Deception.

Fetid Attack: Your unarmed attacks are wretched. You deal 1d4 Bludgeoning Damage with your unarmed attacks, and critical hits with them inflict the Poisoned Status for a minute.

Radiant Weakness: You have Disadvantage on all saving throws against Radiant Damage, and Attacks that Deal Radiant Damage have Advantage when aimed at you.

Languages: You can speak Common, Abyssal and Deep Speech.


2 Answers 2



This race is too strong, and includes one ability that, even on its own, is too much to grant to a race.


I'm making a breakdown using this guide for balancing new 5e races. It suggests that on average, a race is about 6 points worth of options. Most of the suggested abilities for your race are listed there, and counting them up, you end up with around 9 points. That means they're on the "very strong side" of races (beating out the Mountain Dwarf, which is currently the most powerful race), and could do with some fewer options. Especially considering I am not counting extra points for flexibility with the skills and +1 ability point.

However, that's ignoring one thing in your race which is incredibly powerful, way beyond anything another race gets (and pretty much forces the race down a single path) and that's the ability to cast the innate spells at your highest spell slot level.

This means that your race is able to cast 3 extra spells at their highest level spell slot every short rest, which is incredibly powerful. No other race has a leveled spell that's available every short rest. No class besides the Warlock even has that, and the Warlock only reaches 3 spell slots per short rest when they hit level 11.

Additionally, as they grow in level, they will ultimately be able to cast 4 9th spells per day, while any other character in the game only gets 1. (And the same applies at lower levels). Since all 3 spells you picked for them to get benefit from being cast at higher level, this is incredibly powerful; way beyond anything what other races grant. It also pretty much forces you down a spell-casting path, as you'll be missing out arguably the most powerful racial trait in the game.

Also, I'm not counting any point deduction for the vulnerability to Radiant damage. The number of creatures in the book that deal Radiant damage is next to none, so that trait isn't to come up very often.

Full breakdown of points

  • Ability scores: 3 points (not increasing it for flexibility)
  • Darkvision: 0.5 points
  • Necrolyte magic: 1.5 points (ignoring the part about the spell slots scaling)
  • Necrolyte training: 1 point
  • Necrotic skills: 1 point (ignoring the flexibility, again)
  • Fetid Attack: 1 point
  • Radiant Weakness: I'm ignoring this because it comes up almost never and races usually don't have Weaknesses
  • Languages: 1 point for 2 extra languages
  • Everything else: 0 points; those are baseline


Definitely drop the scaling spell slots on the spell-casting. I don't think you'll be able to balance that. You should cut down on the superfluous features a bit; I'd suggest dropping the bonus skills, the unarmed attack and maybe one of the languages and/or the Darkvision. Dropping all of those would bring you to 6 points, which is balanced with other races.

Maybe even replace the two languages with "one language of choice". That still gives them a bit of that human flexibility (along with the +1 ability) that comes being based on them, while not making them too strong compared to other races.

I'd also drop the Radiant vulnerability. Not even most genuine Undead have that; it's unlikely to come up, and the one time during a campaign it comes up, it might well end up killing your character (or just being forgotten because it's never come up before.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've taken away the Spell Slot Scaling(So the spells will be lowest level), the Deep Speech, Fetid Attack and one of the skills. That should put the Race at 7 Points, 1 more than 6 but 1 less the the Mountain Dwarfs 8. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 30, 2018 at 12:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SkulltechStuff that makes them balanced but a bit on the strong side, which will probably be okay. But please don't edit your original post, as that invalidates the answers to it. (It's already been rolled back by another user now). \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 30, 2018 at 12:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SkulltechStuff we sometimes work a little different from other sites on the web :) Anyway, welcome to the community. Hope you have fun with your stay here, and with your homebrew race. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 30, 2018 at 12:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the spellcasting trait: It could also do without them being able to cast them once per short rest. \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Jun 30, 2018 at 13:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ This one is better \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Jun 30, 2018 at 13:12

I concur with Erik's answer wholly, but also wish to point out that the inherent imbalance of Fetid Attack's effect on a critical hit is that it bestows the Poisoned condition for 1 minute. There is no save nor a chance to save after the effect has occurred. This isn't unheard of in 5e, but it is reserved for things that are incredibly powerful.

Were a character to take this race down the Monk path, they've a very high chance of inflicting Poisoned status on anything susceptible to it, which will pretty much ruin that creature's ability to hold up in a fight.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note the chance of a crit (1 in 20) is lower than a standard hit + save. For example, with an AC16 with a DC10 save, poisoning will occur 1 in 10. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Jun 30, 2018 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ravery not exactly true as you're not considering the roll modifiers that come into play when doing these rolls. So what you say is most certainly true in lower levels, but at higher levels the critical option is more probable \$\endgroup\$
    – Lymakk
    Jun 30, 2018 at 17:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lymakk - roll modifiers increase the chance with to hit and save, however they do not affect crit. a crit is a natural 20, on some weapons 19 or 20. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Jun 30, 2018 at 18:17

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