Is my Quickling homebrew race balanced?

I have adapted the Quickling for a homebrew playable race. Is this race balanced in proportion to other official 5e races?

I used information from the DMG (p. 285-287) as well as the entry from Volo’s Guide to Monsters (p. 187). I have imposed some disadvantages to bring into balance, e.g. armor restriction and

I have also incorporated information from: How to handle a Tiny Player Character in 5e?


Your Quickling character has certain traits deriving from your fey ancestry and the curse of the Queen of Air and Darkness of the Gloaming Court.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 4, your Strength score is reduced by 3, and your Charisma score is reduced by 2.

Age. Quicklings mature much faster than most other humanoids, reaching adulthood by the age of 5. They age noticeably faster and rarely live longer than 15 years.

Alignment. Qucklings are full of mischief and tend toward being chaotic and they are not strongly inclined toward good. Quicklings who live out their lives among their own communities tend to be evil.

Size. Quicklings are tiny and light. They are up to 2 and feet tall and can weigh about 20 pounds. Your size is Tiny. You are unable to grapple creatures that are two sizes larger than you.

Speed. Quicklings are exceptionally fast creatures. Your base walking speed is 120 feet. You must not be wearing armor or wielding a shield, otherwise your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Slight Build. You count as Tiny when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Darkvision. Thanks to your fey ancestry, 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 w ere dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.

Quickling Weapon Training. You have proficiency with the dagger, rapier, whip, and blowgun.

Quickling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size Medium or larger. You gain proficiency in the Acrobatics skill.

Blurred Movement. Attack rolls against you have disadvantage unless your are incapacitated or restrained. You must not be wearing armor or wielding a shield to use this ability.

Quickling Evasion. If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity Saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail. You must not be wearing armor or wielding a shield to use this ability.

Sneaky Quicklingses. You gain proficiency in the Stealth and Sleight of Hand skills.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, and Sylvan.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Quick notes: Slight Build and the first half of Quickling Nimbleness are superfluous. Slight Build says they count as tiny for encumbrance--but they're already a Size Tiny creature, so that's an unnecessary statement. And the first half of Quickling Nimbleness--you can already move through the space of a creature 2 sizes larger than you...so any Tiny creature could easily move through a Medium creature's space. Likewise, the callout that you cannot grapple creatures more than 2 sizes larger than you is superfluous, as that's already a general rule. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2020 at 13:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ For future reference: How do I evaluate whether my homebrew race is balanced? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2020 at 20:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be just me, but down-voting a question which is about balance in a homebrew creature or race is totally lame. That is the whole point of the question! You don't have to like it, but it does not mean that it is not a valid question. May Mother Luthik save us all - except for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Jan 24, 2020 at 8:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I haven't downvoted, but my hunch is you're seeing downvotes because there are some pretty big problems that should have come up in your own review. Discussing what you think is balanced and highlighting areas you are concerned about show you've put some effort into this and can help guide reviewers. What did you like about this? What were you concerned about after your own reviews? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jan 24, 2020 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I definitely didn't upvote because of the same concern. But what you should do is take the feedback as-is and re-write the class. Do some homework around further review against another official race you think is close, and then try and do some playtesting if you can. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jan 24, 2020 at 19:03

4 Answers 4


This homebrew is extremely unbalanced

1. Ability Scores

A +4 to Dexterity makes this race unbalanced. In a point buy system the character would start with 19 Dexterity and be able to hit 20 Dexterity and 16 Constitution at Level 4. That makes this race ideal for a Rogue, Monk, or a Dexterity-based Fighter/Ranger. This is way ahead of any other race including the very strong Mountain Dwarf at +2 increases to Strength and Constitution. Strength and charisma are often dump stats (ability scores that are used for low ability scores to allow other scores to be high) for Dexterity characters because the saving throws for these two stats are much less important than the primary saves of Constitution, Dexterity, and Wisdom. In addition, Dexterity is widely considered to be the most important ability score in the game because it affects to hit, damage, armor class, a very common saving throw, initiative rolls, and several useful proficiencies. The only downside is the poor social proficiencies the character would have from a low charisma and a low carrying capacity from low strength. A dice roll character generation could easily (actually likely) result in a 20 Dexterity at level 1.

The only way I would see allowing a +4 for a primary stat (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Intelligence, or Charisma) would be to take -2's in in two of the primary save stats (Dexterity, Constitution, or Wisdom). You could view this as an extreme form of Min-Maxing (where some stats are improved to the maximum at the expense of other stats deemed less important to the character build). Even here I would hesitate to allow such a strong Dexterity. A +4 Dexterity puts the 4th level character at a +1 for armor class, to-hit, and damage, versus other races, which is the equivalent of giving the character a +1 weapon and +1 armor, plus improved proficiencies and saves.

2. Movement

120 foot movement is way beyond any other race (the next fastest is at 35 feet). This is beyond high level monks. Being able to kite around (move at will around the periphery) the battlefield is way too powerful.

3. Blurred movement

Imparting disadvantage against all incoming attacks is equivalent to an always-on Cloak of Displacement (a rare item already). There are actually no magic items available that are this strong, so this would be a Legendary item. Disadvantage is generally considered to be a -5 to hit for enemies. This alone makes the race over-powered.

4. Quickling Evasion

This build already has the strongest Dexterity saves and now it gains the 7th level Rogue Evasion feature at level 1. This is also something that no other race can do.

5. The disadvantageous features are not to the same level as the advantageous ones

Age seldom comes into play in a 5e campaign (players can easily reach level 20 within a game year). Slight build means the character can't move life or carry very much, but this is a minor thing in a party where a fighter, barbarian, or paladin is assured of a good strength score.

6. Sneaky Quicklingses

Points just for the title.

Conclusion: This race is completely over-powered.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't find that in the character creation section. 20 is the max for ASI's. Obviously with published racial bonuses and a max dice roll of 18 it's assumed, but this new race breaks that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Jan 23, 2020 at 14:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's actually an interesting point. I've always assumed "You can’t increase an ability score above 20." to be a general rule applying regardless of means of natural progress (innate bonuses, ASI, feat) but you're correct it's not unambiguously so. \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    Jan 23, 2020 at 14:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would posit that it only refers to ASI because there isn't a way for any PC to start with an ability score of greater than 17 (using point-buy) or 20 (using dice). The highest bonus to a single stat on any official race is a +2. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2020 at 16:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ScottDunnington while not in the character creation section, in the Ability Scores section it says: "Adventurers can have scores as high as 20." That seems like a pretty concrete "general" statement that will only be superseded by "specific" cases that explicitly allow it. Source: dndbeyond.com/sources/phb/… \$\endgroup\$ Jan 23, 2020 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @guildsbounty perfect! Thanks. Edited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Jan 23, 2020 at 19:30

It's overpowered

I will highlight specific problem points.

The ability score increase of four dexterity is too much, and the corresponding decrease does not balance it out. This is because normal character builds in DnD tend towards not using all ability scores equally, resulting in almost any trade that results in more primary at the expense of a "dump stat" a beneficial one.

Having disadvantage against all incoming attack rolls except when already restrained or incapacitated is extremely powerful and should not be an (almost) always-on racial ability. The "not wearing armor" restriction is easily bypassed by playing a class that has good unarmored defensive options, primarily Monks (who also benefit from the high Dexterity, already encourage unarmored gameplay and mitigate downsides of low Strength). A Quickling Monk could easily get a very good starting AC (16 with the Standard Array), which coupled with the disadvantages for incoming attack rolls would make them extremely resilient. Even the main counter against high-AC characters, being saving throw spells, is hindered by the the Quickling Evasion trait. The ability to reduce damage on saving throw effects is usually restricted to second-tier class abilities, not innate racial abilities!

The speed of 120 feet is way too high to be balanced in any sense. The downside is easily bypassed by playing a Monk, again. A character with this high speed has far too easy time kiting enemies in many environments while being able to pop back into safety, with lots of freedom to choose places with cover. Again, the synergy with Monk is excessive, as Monks unlock the ability to move a single turn's move on vertical surfaces at level 9, and this ability gains a lot of use from having such a huge amount of movement.

In a nutshell, this race has far too strong advantages when playing any build that can avoid the bulk of the penalties imposed by the downsides, such as Monk. Therefore, depending on the class it's either overpowered or underpowered, never just right. I really recommend reading through our earlier homebrew review questions to get a picture on how to avoid the most common pitfalls, such as the pattern of strong bonuses "balanced" by avoidable penalties.


Detect Balance is a tool used to evaluate homebrew races. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vq1kz6PRAbw5LHy6amH-bNb4OuB8DBXL1RsZROt03Sc/edit#gid=0 The average race has 30 points, the weakest, with 17 points is the human, and the strongest at 47 points is the Yuan-Ti pureblood.

ASIs: +12, -10

Movement speed with armor restriction: Equivalent to aarokokra's limited flight, 16 points

Blurred movement: Mathematically equivalent to Tortle's natural armor, 9 points

Slight Build: -2

Darkvision: 3

Weapon Training: 2

Quickling Nimbleness: 2

Quickling Evasion: 8 (advantage on very common roll)

Sneaking Quicklingses: 4

Total: 44

This is a quite powerful race, though not as overpowered as the other answerers think. However, it runs contrary to 5e's design, which avoids allowing for massive penalties in exchange for massive benefits. The penalties against armor also wouldn't matter if it was a monk.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think equating Blurred Movement to Tortle natural armor is off; Blurred Movement is better. Sure, with a base Dex of 10 + 4 racial bonus, and an effective -5 on attack rolls from Blurred Movement, you have effective AC 17 (real AC 12, rough -5 to attacks). But that's just base, and unlike the Tortle (where the 17 AC is fixed, at most benefiting from a shield), every reasonable Quickling build would use a higher Dex (I can't see many reasonable Quickling builds with Dex below 18), which would mean effective AC closer to 19-20, at or beyond even a Tortle w/a shield. And that ignores Monks… \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2021 at 3:15

it is so overpowerd i would probaly say it would just break the game as you are though converting from montster to player what you should do is remove the disadvantage but allow them to use the dissengage attaction for free and for the speed give them fortry feet of movement speed if they are wearing light or no armour and 20 other wise also giving them a plus four is just ridicoulous unless you give them a minus to contistutuion as well it would be intresting though please tell me how to improve i am new to this and would lik to learn

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. \$\endgroup\$
    – Community Bot
    Oct 14, 2021 at 23:48

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