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I have been thinking about this race as being like Frankenstein's monster (or at least the popular interpretation of it including it being unintelligent), and modeled the racial traits after the Orc race from Volo's and the Half-Orc race from the PHB/SRD.

Is this homebrew "Created Human" race balanced?


Created Human

Ability Score Increase: Strength score increases by 2; Constitution score increases by 1; Intelligence score is reduced by 2.

Age: Unknown age of death, but created at about 20 years.

Alignment: Usually aligned to their creators alignment.

Size: They are enhanced to be stronger and bulkier than humans. Your size is Medium.

Powerful Build: You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Empowered: You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.

Darkvision: Due to your enhanced eyes, 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.

Undying: When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Immunities/Resistances: Due to your nature, you are resistant to necrotic and poison damage. You also have advantage on saving throws against the poisoned, charmed, and frightened conditions.

Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and one other language of your choice.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why the int decrease? Please explain that since in the PHB +2/+1 is the standard common racial boost, and only a few Volo's monsters have (-) anything. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 13 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast It's almost a direct rip from the orc race, with added resistance. I'm trying to determine whether or not the Orc race is up to snuff in the first place. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Feb 13 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW another semi-undead homebew race for 5e that's been critiqued for balance on this site: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/125414/… \$\endgroup\$ – Valley Lad Feb 13 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason you didn't base this on a Warforged? It seems like that's a pretty clear parallel to the concept of "created human". While it diverges from what your image of the Monster is, it is potentially a viable analog with fewer tweaks than the Orc and HalfOrc templates \$\endgroup\$ – Paul Feb 13 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Paul I didn't use Warforged because too many of the traits are based on a machine that is alive. the created human has a human body \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Feb 13 at 18:40
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No, it is overpowered

As you've stated in your question, you have modeled this homebrew after the Orc and half-orc races.

Half-Orc Race Comparison

Ability Scores - Homebrew race provides a negative modifier to Intelligence. These are normally reserved for monstrous races, but that's okay. Intelligence isn't used that often, so it's a hindrance, but not an enormous one.

Size - equivalent

Speed - equivalent and skill proficiency is similar to menacing trait

Darkvision - equivalent

Undying - this is a pretty big deal that refreshes on short rest. The Half-Orc's Relentless Endurance is your comparison trait, but that only references on a long rest. Being able to do that after a short rest is a big boost.

Immunities/resistance - Half-Orc has none, this is another feature granting significantly more power.

The Half-Orc does have their Savage Attack additional crit damage die, but that only happens on a crit and only adds a single die. It is not equivalent to resistances or short rest Undying.

Orc Race Comparison

Before we get into this specific comparison, there is a caveat that WoTC included in Volo's regarding monstrous races:

Some of these races are unusual in that they have a reduction to an ability score, and some are more or less powerful than the typical D&D races.

Utilizing these as a basis for creating homebrew may not be the best methodology. The comparison above against the Half-Orc may be better or see my note on reskinning of the Warforged Race at the end.

Ability Scores - equivalent

Size - equivalent

Speed - equivalent and skill proficiency is similar to Orc's menacing trait

Darkvision - equivalent

Undying - this is a pretty big deal that refreshes on short rest. It's similar to the Barbarian's 11th level class feature, but without even needing a save. This is likely overpowered.

Immunities/resistance - Orc has none, this is another feature granting significantly more power.

The Orc does have their Aggressive Bonus action trait, but that's granting more movement to move towards an enemy and is much less powerful than either Undying or immunities.

Overall Assessment

The Undying and Immunities traits make this race much more powerful than the comparable races you've modeled your homebrew after and they are not balanced by the minimal impact negative INT score.

If you really want to add the Undying trait, then modelling your design after the Half-Orc will likely give you a better starting point since they have that trait (including the Long Rest refresh only). This would also allow you to remove the negative INT modifier (which isn't really that big of a deal given the small number of INT saves.)

In which case, the equivalent mechanic you're trying to find/create is that of the Savage Attack. However, Resistance to damage is definitely not that and is generally more powerful than an additional damage die you get approximately 1 in 20 attack rolls.

Take a look at the Warforged

As a sidenote, you may want to also look at the Warforged race for inspiration (or reskinning) as these are very similar to what you're describing.

Warforged are formed from a blend of organic and inorganic materials...While they’re formed from stone and steel, warforged are living humanoids.

This very much has a 'created human' feel to it. You'd just be reskinning the stone/steel with some other background fluff.

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