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Are this homebrew Liscem race and its subraces balanced compared to the official races?


Liscem

  • Alignment: Liscem tend towards Chaotic.
  • Type: Humanoid.
  • Size: Small.
  • Ability score improvement: Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
  • Photosynthesis: While you are in sunlight for at least 4 hours a day, you do not need to eat.
  • Permanent Spacesuit: While you have at least 1 HP, you cannot suffocate, and you have resistance to radiant and cold damage. Your suit shines bright light forward for 15 feet, and dim light for another 15 feet.
  • Agent of Chaos: You have 3 chaos points, and you regain any expended chaos points after a long rest. You spend one point to force any creature you can see to reroll any roll it makes (attack, damage, saving throw, etc.), to perform a wild magic surge, or to roll on this table of 10,000 random magical effects.
  • Bouncy Head: When you fall, you can make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw to attempt to land on your head. On a success, you take no damage from the fall.

Subraces:

Captain

  • You gain +3 to Charisma but -1 to Wisdom.
  • You have proficiency in vehicle use.
  • You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Scientist

  • You gain +3 to Wisdom.
  • You have disadvantage on saving throws against being frightened.
  • You can determine the composition of any substance you touch, but not its magical properties.

Engineer

  • You gain +3 to Dexterity.
  • You have disadvantage on saving throws against being frightened.
  • You have proficiency (or double proficiency, if you already have proficiency) in checks used to analyze or repair machines.
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closed as unclear what you're asking by Miniman, Ruse, Christopher, kviiri, NautArch Sep 14 '18 at 11:08

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    \$\begingroup\$ The list of 10.000 wild surge things you're linking does not appear to be designed for 5th edition play. Is that intentional? \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Sep 13 '18 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its generic, it works with any system \$\endgroup\$ – qazwsx Sep 13 '18 at 20:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx I looked at for literally five seconds and saw a reference to taking "d12 HP damage". That alone is definite proof that it's not applicable to any system. I voted to close this question as too broad since there's no way we can reasonably evaluate the balance of a 10k item random table, especially if it's not tied to the system you're using. \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri Sep 14 '18 at 4:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to discuss the contents of the table or such there's always Role-playing Games Chat though. \$\endgroup\$ – kviiri Sep 14 '18 at 4:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ To be honset this question irks me. A cursory comparison with any official race is more than enough to tell whether this Liscem race is balanced. Either this is a no-effort-expended post, which should be down voted. Or the real question is "how can I pack all these traits into a balanced playable race?" which is an idea generation question and therefore off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Sep 14 '18 at 5:27
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The Ability Score Increases are too high

PHB races, along with Races provided by other sourcebooks, never give a +3 to any ability score, regardless of the other benefits or disadvantages associated with the Race. If you are going to give such a significant bonus, you need to counterbalance it with a pretty significant downside, and your race does not offer significant downsides, regardless of the subrace.

The other thing you might consider is reversing the order of "high stat, low stat", since it's pretty uncommon for any racial subtypes to alter the overall stats by more than 1 point.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence goes up by 2.

Captain
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma goes up by 1.

Scientist
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom goes up by 1.

Engineer
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity goes up by 1.

I would also get rid of the disadvantage to fear effects for the Scientist/Engineer, since those appeared to be an attempt at counterbalancing this effect. The advantage to fear effects for the Captain is probably fine, as are the proficiencies/bonuses given to the other subraces.

The Agent of Chaos feature is too powerful

The effect of being able to force a character to reroll 3 dice per day is equivalent to the effect of the Lucky feat. If you're going to give a character a free Feat, you need to offset it elsewhere, and you haven't.

My recommendation would be to eliminate the rerolling dice effect, and limit the Agent of Chaos feature just to the rolls on the Wild Magic Table:

Agent of Chaos. As an action, you may force another creature that you can see to roll on the Wild Magic Surge table. Once you use this ability, you may not use it again until you complete a long rest.

The Permanent Spacesuit feature is probably too powerful

Given the other features the spacesuit has, also giving permanent breathing is probably too much.

I would instead consider something like this:

When holding your breath, the duration you can safely hold your breath is doubled.

You can keep the other features of the spacesuit. Damage Resistances to Cold/Radiant aren't such a big deal, and the light effect is just a weaker version of the Light Cantrip, which is available to several other races.

The Bouncy Head feature is probably too powerful

As-is, it permits the character to completely ignore fall damage. This might be justifiable if the other features were weakened, but as-is, it's too much. Consider instead

Bouncy Head. You have Resistance to Fall Damage.

Much easier to keep track of, and more in line with the power one would expect from such an ability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What if I increased the DC to 15? \$\endgroup\$ – qazwsx Sep 13 '18 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx That, IMO, would make it worse. "You have a 50% chance of dying or taking no damage" just isn't fun. Compare your fall damage reduction with the fall damage reduction of the Monk. Look at the fact that it scales, and random chance doesn't play much part in its effectiveness, while still allowing fall damage to be a potential threat. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Sep 13 '18 at 20:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx Tweaking the DC results in a different problem, where the feature ends up being useless to any character that doesn't max out their Dexterity Saving Throws. If a character can't count on their racial feature kicking in in a moment where they really need it, then it doesn't feel like a valuable feature. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 13 '18 at 20:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx The other issue you're going to run into with setting any specific DC is that fall damage in-and-of-itself is less threatening at higher levels than at lower levels. So at low level, it'll be difficult to rely on, and at high level, you won't care about relying on it. Giving flat Resistance is generally better, because it's effective at all levels of play. \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 13 '18 at 20:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Did you see the "Agent of Chaos" ability? \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Sep 14 '18 at 3:46

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