I want to create a homebrew race for D&D, so that I may use it when I'll find a group (with the DM's approval, of course). The race is wolf related, so what I want to do is give them a night advantage over day.

Its other racial features are:

Ability Score Improvement. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.

Size. This race range from 5 to almost 6 feet tall, and weigh 130-180 lbs. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. 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.

Keen Senses. You have proficiency with the Perception skill.

Natural Weapons. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

Wolf Form. Once per turn as an action, you can transform into a Large wolf form, or return to your normal humanoid form. This transformation lasts until you die, or until you revert to your normal appearance. When you transform, you gain +1 Con and +1 Strength and speed increase by 5 ft.

Full Moon. Once a month, during a full moon, you lose control of yourself until morning. During that time you attack everything you see on sight in a blind rage.

The day/night-dependent feature:

Lets say that a character of this race has a Strength score of 14 and Constitution score of 13. With this racial feature, during the day, this character will have 11 Str and 10 Con (-3 for each Str and Con from base ability score). Then time goes by(as time usually does) and it's now night time. This will give the character 16 Str and 15 Con (+2 for each Str and Con base ability score). Then once it's day time again, it's goes back down to 11 Str and 10 Con.

Now, a problem is that if at some point this character will have 20 Str as its base ability score (without the racial trait modifier during day), it'll have 17 Str during day time. But when it comes to night time, they'll have 22 as their ability score (because of the +2 during night - but that's the highest they go with that trait. Wolf form during night will get them to 23 which is the HIGHEST this race can achieve. Which kinda look overpowered now). Can I make a racial trait that can raise the ability score cap? Or is it too overpowered?

I would like to add:

Tracking. You can detect opponents within 15 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 40 feet; if downwind, it drops to 10 feet. Strong scents can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range.

Wolf Empathy. You can feel basic thoughts and emotions of wolves and dire wolves; however, you can only communicate with them in your Wolf Form.


New Moon. During a new moon, you do not gain +2 Strength and Constitution. You can still transform, and during the day you still get all disadvantage(since the moon is practiacly not there you can't be empowered by it)

as additional racial traits.

I think it is balanced (maybe the part where the ability score cap goes up I can see as a bit unbalanced) as it has disadvantage during day, and I don't know how many night battles this character will have. If you think it is overpowered, is there any other way I can do this? Any ideas for the Wolf Form trait, seeing as it can also raise the cap? Shall I give it up? And if you were a DM would you allow for the ability score cap be raised for this race?


1 Answer 1



There's a common issue with player-made races where they have some very strong ability, with a significant drawback as a balancing factor. These have typically poor balance, because the player will find a way to play or build their character optimally in order to ignore the drawback.

As a result, what you have is basically a race with +2 Str, +2 Con and +1 Wis, which is significantly beyond what is typical for a player character race.

The drawbacks can be trivially negated as follows:

  • The penalty during the day can be almost entirely ignored if the party simply sleeps during the day and only adventures at night. There is usually zero drawback to adventuring in dungeons at night.
  • The rage is easily prevented by planning in advance and locking the character up for one day of downtime.

If you make it harder to ignore the drawback, this just makes the race underpowered, because it will then suffer from an unreasonable drawback. Even if it could be perfectly balanced so that the character actually spends only 50% of their time in the powerful form, it's considered poor design to create a race that is always either overpowered or underpowered in any given combat encounter.

If you just want to a balanced lycanthrope race for D&D 5e, I recommend the Shifter, which appears for free in the Races of Eberron Unearthed Arcana document. Design features of these include:

  • +2 to one ability score and +1 to another
  • Proficiency with one skill
  • Shift once per encounter for 1 minute, gaining temporary bonus hit points and one special ability (e.g. fangs, claws, an AC bonus, or advantage on Wisdom checks, including Perception)
  • No vulnerability to night/day cycle or phases of the moon
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I made this drawback because I don't think, nor want, the group will only adventure in night time. I never intended to play the overpowered character, which is why I gave this race a pretty big(in my opinion) disadvantage during the day. However, that's just me, and I guess it is an option, even if I won't use it. But, what I have is a race with +2 Str, +2 Con and +1 Wis during the night, and -3 Str, -3 Con and +1 Wis During the day. However I can see what you are saying, is there any way you think of that I could balance this trait? Or are you suggesting to get rid of it all together? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2019 at 4:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ how about, it being only Moon dependent. By that i mean that the race will have disadvantages on Con and Str while the moon is blocked. So not just during day time, but everytime the moon is blocked and cannot reach them. It would have to be something solid, and not something like leaves and such, that create shade from the moonlight. I'm talking stuffs like ceilings, caves ect. Is this more balanced? I feel it's just a bit underpowered, but i think it's more realistic as they draw their strength from the moon. When they'll be in the moon's sight they'll get the advantages \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2019 at 6:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MonkeyD.Luffy This is not a forum, so not really worth trying to debate in comments. However, it occurs to me that you may not want a player race here, but a player character concept. It would not matter about racial bonuses then, but the stat choices that you made. For instance, a Half-orc Barbarian/Druid might fit the character concept (by level 5). Perhaps ask another question about that? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2019 at 7:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @MonkeyD.Luffy That still creates a race which is unreasaonably weak in some situations, and unreasonably powerful in others. If you want to play a lycanthrope-type creature which is fair and balanced, try the Shifter, which appears in the Races of Eberron Unearthed Arcana document. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 8, 2019 at 15:16

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