Is this homebrew Kerbal race balanced compared to the official races?

Kerbal Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. Kerbals mature after just one month, but no Kerbal has lived long enough for their natural lifespan to be determined.

Alignment. Without exception, Kerbals tend towards Chaotic alignments, and have such little interest in worldly affairs that they are often neutral as well.

Size. Your size is Small. All Kerbals are exactly 2 feet and 5 inches tall, and weigh 206 pounds.

Speed. Your speed is 25 feet.

Permanent Spacesuit. Kerbals always wear a spacesuit that cannot be removed, which grants you resistance to radiant and cold damage. This prevents you from wearing or benefiting from armor, though you can still use shields. Your AC is equal to 13 + your Dexterity modifier.

As an action, you can activate your headlamp, which shines bright light in a 30-foot cone in front of you; you can also turn the lamp off as an action. You can also hold your breath for up to an hour.

Jetpack. Once per short rest, you can cast the jump spell, targeting only yourself, without needing material components. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell. You are immune to the reverse gravity spell.

Bouncy Head. Whenever you would take fall damage, you can use your reaction to make a DC 20 Dexterity (Acrobatics) check, taking no damage on a success.

Photosynthesis. If you are in direct sunlight for at least 8 hours in day, you do not need to eat food that day, though you still require water.

Not Intimidating. You have disadvantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks.


Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.

Take Sample. Your have proficiency in Arcana or Nature (your choice). You can cast the identify spell a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, regaining all uses after a short rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.


Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence and Wisdom scores each increase by 1.

Engineer's Eye. Whenever you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check related to searching for damage or determining the operating mechanisms of an object, vehicle, or structure, you are considered proficient in the Investigation skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.

Repair. You know the mending cantrip, and Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it. When you cast mending with this trait, its casting time is only 1 round instead of 1 minute.


Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Stupidly Brave. Your have advantage on saving throws against being frightened and against effects that would render you unconscious or asleep against your will. Your Wisdom and Intelligence scores each decrease by 1.

Piloting Skill. You are proficient in Vehicles (Land) and Vehicles (Water), and Spelljammers if they exist in your campaign setting.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to review this: How can I ask a good homebrew review question? and add a question (to the body and not just title) and include some context. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Dec 29, 2019 at 21:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why is Is this homebrew Olympian race (including its subraces) balanced compared to the official published races? and Is this homebrew Mind Flayer race balanced? not closed but this extremely similar question has 3 close votes? \$\endgroup\$
    – qazwsx
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 0:28
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't know. My best guess is that some users read my comment without actually reading the question properly (which is a pure guess). I wouldn't worry about it though, unless the question actually gets closed. There are still things in the linked meta post that you could do to improve the question though, but I don't think it's strictly necessary for it to be answerable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 0:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Note that "1 round" is not a meaningful casting time in game mechanics; the casting of a non-reaction spell is only done on your turn (even for spells with longer casting times), so a casting time of "1 round" would ostensibly be the same as "1 action" (unless it's meant to be a bonus-action spell). Also, for the Pilot, ability score modifiers for the same race or subrace are usually grouped into the same trait; I would not expect to find ability score increases in one trait of the subrace and then decreases in a different trait of the same subrace. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 1:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx: Mending is not a concentration spell (its effect is instantaneous)... Though all spells with longer casting times do require concentration to be maintained for the full casting time. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 4:57

2 Answers 2


The base race is nearly as good as many official races even before assessing subraces

I am going to attempt to evaluate this using the unofficial Detect Balance homebrew evaluation spreadsheet:

  • ASI +1: 4 points
  • Permanent Spacesuit: Radiant and cold resist, 5 points. AC 13 + Dex mod, 3 points. Hold breath (1 hour), 4 points (1 per 15 minutes). Lamp, 1 or 2 points.
  • Jet Pack. 1st level spell at first per long rest: 3 points, on a short rest +2 points. Ignores other spell, +1 point?
  • Bouncy Head: Maybe +1 point. You have to either a) roll a natural 20 or b) have proficiency in Acrobatics.
  • Photosynthesis: I count this as +2 points; no food but still need water, and only in sunlight.
  • Not Intimidating: -2 points
  • Speed: -2 points

All together: 22 points. The recommended range for homebrew races is 24-27.

Scientist subrace:

  • Intelligence +2: 8 points
  • Identify Life: Off the top of my head, 5 points.
  • Base race: 22 points

All together, the base race + Scientist subrace: 35 points (which better than the variant human, at 33 points)

Instead of evaluating the rest of the subraces, I will direct you to the Detect Balance spreadsheet. Use this document to evaluate your other subraces and to evaluate races you may make in the future. (This is the same document I used to evaluate your base race and scientist.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. I've edited your header to indicate your overall evaluation; please check to make sure it reflects your intent. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 0:23

It seems mostly OK, but it could probably use a few tweaks.

First off, I rather like the theme on these guys. Secondly, this is fairly balanced overall, but some of the numbers are a bit high, and I think we could stand bringing a few things down by a small amount.

For the base characteristics of the race, I think the Jetpack, the Bouncy Heads, and the Spacesuit need a bit of reduction. Cut the breath holding back to only 15 minutes. Drop the casting of Jump to only once per Long Rest. Change the Bouncy Head to an Acrobatics roll to reduce falling damage by half at a DC based on the fall distance (maybe 10 + 1 per 10 feet fallen?). One last thing, the headlamp is basically the Light cantrip, so I would reword the headlamp to something along the lines of "They learn the Light cantrip. When cast using this feature, it emits bright light in a 30' cone and dim light for an additional 30' instead of the normal shape for this spell".

The Scientist seems fairly decent overall, but the casting Identify so many times per day is a little excessive. Let's change it to once per long rest, to be more in line with other races that can cast spells as racial abilities. Plus, it's not likely to be useful more often than that anyways.

Adjust the Engineer to grant a +2 to Wis, rather than a +1 Int and a +1 Wis. Having a +1 to three stats is a bit on the strong side, plus, this will help differentiate it from the Scientist subrace. By extension, we'll need to edit the free cantrip to work off of Wisdom as well (not that it'll matter). I also think you should remove the cast time reduction. The intent of the 1 minute cast time was to make it not useable while in combat, and I think it should stay that way.

For the test Pilot, change stupidly brave to just resistant to any effects that would cause fear or sleep, and remove the stat penalties. We should also adjust the stat bonuses, as having a +2 and two +1's is pretty strong. Adjust stat bonus to an additional +1 to Dex (making it a +2 total) and a +1 to Con, or have it grant just +2 to Con. I think this will be more thematically appropriate as well, to make them more survivable when they inevitably crash one of their "ships" This will help set them apart as more of a melee themed subrace.


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