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I've been working hours on top of hours on a race I'd like to call, a dragonewt. The problem is that I don't know if its traits are to overpowered, especially "infinite genius." I'm wondering if you think this race is balanced or a good race.

The Homebrew race, Dragonewt:

Arcane Dragonewt Traits:

Ability Score Increase: Your wisdom and intelligence score increases by 2, but you have a -2 in strength. You also have a -1 to constitution.

Age: A dragonewt lives to be around thousands of years old. Dragonewts have lived even longer than elves and reach adulthood at around the age of 100 like the elves. Dragonewts have a culture were dragonewts test there wisdom and intelligence to see if they’re actually worthy of adulthood.

Alignment: Some dragonnewts are evil and some are good. It’s hard to tell the difference since evil dragonewts tend to be mischievous and can easily blend in. Mostly all dragonewts believe in different things, but the most dragonewts tend to be lawful.

Size: Dragonewts are very short and come around a size smaller than a halfling. Dragonewts can be from 2ft-3ft tall. Your size is small.

Speed: You have a walking speed of 20 feet and a flying speed of 20 feet.

Infinite Genius: Your Intelligence ability score can go up to 22 instead of 20.

Natural Armor: You gain a +1 to your AC while wearing armor, and an AC of 14 +your dexterity modifier when not wearing armor.

Cantrip: You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.

Magical Levitation: An arcane dragonewt has the power to levitate 1 foot off the ground at 6th level. You can move around normally while levitating using your foot speed. Magical streaks float around you when you levitate, but they do nothing in the dark. These streaks of magic power can be any color you wish. You can not levitate any other objects except yourself. You can levitate for up to your spell casting ability modifier per hour. After you have levitated the max amount for how long you can levitate, you must take a short or long rest to gain the trait again.

Dragonewt Variety: You may gain a +1 to one of you modifiers besides wisdom and intelligence, but a -1 to one other ability score including wisdom and intelligence. With this modifier comes a color. Dragonewts have way to many different coloring and patterns to count. Literally, every dragonewt looks different. Each Dragonewt has a breath attack as well like the dragonborn, but it works differently.

Dragon Breath Table:

Basic Dragon Breath:

  • Acid 5 by 15 ft. line (Dex. save)
  • Lightning 5 by 15 ft. line (Dex. save)
  • Fire 5 by 15 ft. line (Dex. save)
  • Lightning 5 by 15 ft. line (Dex. save)
  • Acid 5 by 15 ft. line (Dex. save)
  • Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
  • Poison 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
  • Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
  • Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
  • Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)

All of these Dragon Breath Attacks do 1d12 damage and half as much on a successful save. You can attack with this Dragon Breath as a bonus action. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. You can only use a Dragon Breath once before you need to take a long rest to use it again. The damage increases by 1d12 on level 6 (2d12), then 11 (3d12), and 16 (4d12).

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    \$\begingroup\$ For future reference: How do I evaluate whether my homebrew race is balanced?. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey May 23 at 0:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some things that might help us to know. 1) Why are you making this? What is your goal that is not covered by an existing race? 2) What process did you use to make this? Did you borrow features from existing races? 3) What balance checks have you already made? Why do you think it is balanced or not? \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 23 at 0:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ender, please review this (How can I ask a good homebrew review question?) meta post regarding our policies on posting revisions of homebrew. \$\endgroup\$ – Purple Monkey May 23 at 2:41
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Yes, this race is extremely overpowered.

Ability Score Increase: Your wisdom and intelligence score increases by 2, but you have a -2 in strength. You also have a -1 to constitution.

This is actually pretty underpowered. +2 to two scores is very strong, but two mental scores doesn't synergize well with any class. Then on top of that you've got ability score penalties, which is normally a sign that you're trying to balance something overpowered by giving it weaknesses. That usually doesn't balance it at all, because players will avoid the weaknesses, but a penalty to Con is a problem for everyone. With that said, if you're relying purely on -1 to Con to balance out how overpowered this race is, it's not enough. Also, 5e has mostly moved away from balancing strengths with weaknesses - the general philosophy is to just have a balanced amount of strengths.

Age, Alignment, and Size are all fine, although the unusual longevity and unusual lack of height are likely to attract players who want to be "specialer" than everyone else.

Speed: You have a walking speed of 20 feet and a flying speed of 20 feet.

Having a flying speed out of the box is always overpowered. The fact that both speeds are 20 is technically a weakening factor, but in practice it's just going to be annoying for everyone at the table.

Infinite Genius: Your Intelligence ability score can go up to 22 instead of 20.

As you suspected, this is extremely overpowered. A wizard playing this race will be able to become objectively more powerful than wizards of other races. The only feature in the game (other than legendary magic items) that allows this normally is the one Barbarians get at level 20.

Natural Armor: You gain a +1 to your AC while wearing armor, and an AC of 14 +your dexterity modifier when not wearing armor.

Once again, extremely overpowered. A flat +1 to AC means they will always have better AC than if they were playing any other race. Every other unarmored AC is 13+Dex, so even unarmored they still have better AC than any other unarmored character. The exception here is the Barbarian and Monk unarmored AC, but that requires major stat investment, not to mention that it's one of their major class features.

Cantrip: You know one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it.

This isn't inherently overpowered, but here it's just one more thing this crazily powerful race has going for it.

The Magical Levitation would normally be pretty good, but on a race with an inbuilt flying speed it's essentially pointless. Which should demonstrate how powerful a flying speed is.

Dragonewt Variety: You may gain a +1 to one of you modifiers besides wisdom and intelligence, but a -1 to one other ability score including wisdom and intelligence.

Continuing the trend, this is very powerful. On top of already getting +2 to two scores, they get another +1 they can put almost anywhere they want. The -1 to another stat is completely meaningless, since they can just assign it to something they don't care about.

Dragon Breath needs some serious editing to be readable, but it's basically the Dragonborn's breath weapon, except recharging on a long rest instead of a short rest. This would normally be pretty weak, but here it's just yet another thing this race gets.

In summary, this race has a ton of features, mostly overpowered ones, many of which break fundamental design assumptions of the system. It is overpowered to the point of ridiculousness, and would need to be completely rewritten in order to be in any way balanced.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The "Dragonewt Variety" feature explicitly excludes WIS and INT from the increase. If anything, I expect that it would most often be used to sacrifice one of the mental skill bonus points to remove the CON penalty. \$\endgroup\$ – c0ldspark May 23 at 0:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're both right, I missed that. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 23 at 0:43
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This is literally double the power level of a balanced race

I'm going to use Detect Balance to try to demonstrate just how powerful this race is. This tool assigns scores to various racial features based on how useful they are. A good homebrew race should score between 24 and 27 and should never exceed 30. Here's how the calculation comes out for your race:

enter image description here

Notice the total score of 54?! This race is completely unbalanced and has about twice as many features as it should. Lets go through the features:

  • Base ability modifiers: The only official race to get +2 to two stats is the Hill Dwarf which is rated as one of the strongest races. As Miniman says trying to balance this with strong penalties doesn't work as players can easily work around the penalties.
  • Age, Alignment: These are both flavour things and make no real difference during gameplay. However the extremely lifespan could be seen as another buff in some campaigns.
  • Size: "Dragonewts are very short and come around a size smaller than a halfling." - this is misleading, a size smaller than halfling would be tiny which no playable race is. Other than that size small is fine.
  • Speed: 20 ft walking speed sucks, but it doesn't suck so much to outweigh the massive benefit of a fly speed. The ability to fly at 1st level can completely negate most low level encounters.
  • Infinite Genius: I conservatively rated this as the same a +2 ASI but it is likely much stronger than that. This feature alone makes this hands-down the best class for wizards. If you want this feature you need to scrap pretty much everything else and only have this, it's that strong.
  • Natural Armor: This is straight better than Mage Armor negating the need to ever waste a spell slot. Other natural armor races only get 13 + Dex. This is too strong.
  • Cantrip: This is fine. Lots of races give cantrips. Giving a free choice of wizard cantrips make this even better and synergises with being completely OP as a wizard race.
  • Magical Levitation: This feature is a bit weird. It does absolutely nothing since you have a fly speed but otherwise is lacking a clear definition of what you can actually do with it. "spell casting ability modifier per hour" is not a standard unit in 5e and doesn't make sense.
  • Dragonewt Variety: Just in case you weren't OP enough already. You now get a free choice to modify 2 abilities beyond the limits of point buy. Dump stats are dumped for a reason +1/-1 ASIs are not a net neutral effect.
  • Breathe Weapon: I don't understand why you didn't just straight copy this from the dragonborn race. This feature is only ok, limited to 1/long rest is pretty significant. But it still adds to the overall power of the race.
  • Languages: None?? You didn't mention them, I would assume Common, Draconic + potentially others due to high int?

The only way to balance this race would be to bar them from playing Wizards, Druids or Clerics. The three classes whose primary stat benefits from the huge ASI bonuses. Even then they would likely be stronger at level 1 than most characters would be at level 2.

This is not balanced.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oka oka, I think according to my calculations i got dis down to 6.5. now that i started improving. \$\endgroup\$ – Ender R May 23 at 1:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EnderR Please make sure you wait at least 3 days and do a decent amount of testing/validating before posting a new version. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 23 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did it but for some reason it didnt save... I posted the updates, went back to it, but it didnt work. Welp imma wait 3 days cause I'm getting bored of dis. \$\endgroup\$ – Ender R May 23 at 2:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @EnderR your edits were actually saved successfully, but they were undone (correctly) by a member of the community. The correct way to ask for feedback about revisions to your homebrew is to wait at least three days, do testing, and then How to Ask a new question. Don't edit this one at all. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose May 23 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin just pointing out that Mountain Dwarfs (not Hill Dwarfs) get the +2 to two ability scores. \$\endgroup\$ – Q Paul May 23 at 12:04

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