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To give a little background on this race, I wanted to create something akin to the Lizardmen from Warhammer Age of Sigmar. They're different from the Lizardfolk race in Volo's Guide to Monsters in that they're not swamp-dwelling savages, but rather they have a highly ordered and developed (although strange) social order.

According to the unofficial Detect Balance spreadsheet, it seems pretty reasonable, but I wanted to make sure there aren't any unintended synergies (or that it's just out of whack in general).


The description for my homebrew race is below:

Cuetzpali

Cuetzpali are a race of man-sized, lizard-like humanoids decorated with a frill of feathers around their neck that sometimes extends down their backs or arms as well. They live regimented lives in vast temple-cities following a rigid caste system which dictates their life path from the moment they hatch from their leathery eggs. They worship the sun as the source of all life and spend significant time charting the motion of the sun, moon and stars as an act of devotion and to determine the caste of newly laid clutches of eggs.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increase by 2, and your Strength score increases by 1.

Age. Cuetzpali reach maturity around age 10 and often live to be 80 years old.

Alignment. Virtually all Cuetzpali are lawful. Their society is bound by a strict caste system and all Cuetzpali can instinctively sense whether a given Cuetzpali is higher or lower on the social ladder than them.

Size. Cuetzpali are similar in height and bulk to humans. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Cold Blooded. Cuetzpali feel emotions less strongly than warm-bloods. You have advantage on saving throws against effects which cause the charmed or frightened conditions.

Slow Metabolism. Cuetzpali commonly eat things which would be toxic to warm-bloods. You have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against the poisoned condition.

Stargazers. Cuetzpali spend significant time observing the heavens and charting the movement of heavenly bodies. You have proficiency with Navigator's Tools.

Theocratic. Cuetzpali society is based on a deeply theocratic caste system. You have proficiency in the Religion skill.

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

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thematically, the bit about charting the motion of the sun, moon and stars makes me think that one of the stat boosts might ought to be Intelligence... But regardless, I love this and am already planning a future cuetzpali character! \$\endgroup\$ – DM_with_secrets May 9 at 9:51
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Yes, this is a balanced race

It is clear from your design of this race that you were attentive to the abilities and powers of other races. Good job.
You already ran it through Detect Balance, so I am going to assess your race by comparing it to a race with a number of similar features: the Stout Halfling.

Ability Score Increase: The Stout gets +2 Dex and +1 Con. This seems balanced with the Cuetzpali bonuses because while a +2 bonus to Con is going to be more universally useful it it also less likely to be crucial to a particular class. In addition, Str is a less common save than Dex and fewer classes rely on Str, so I would say the Stout is actually a bit better off than the Cuetzpali in general.

Age: The Stout matures slower but lives about twice as long. The Cuetzpali's age therefore seems balanced and, in terms of the game, fairly realistic for a humanoid species.

Alignment: Doesn't really affect balance but the details about the race are good design.

Size: Medium is the standard size. The size of the Stout is best compared with reference to speed.

Speed: The Cuetzpali has a standard speed for a Medium creature while the Stout has a standard speed for a Small creature. The reduced speed for the Stout is balanced by being able to move through larger creatures' spaces.

Cold Blooded. This is a bit stronger than the Stout's Brave trait but still within reasonable bounds.

Slow Metabolism: This is exactly the same as Stout Resilience.

Stargazers: The Stout doesn't get any tool proficiencies, so this is a bonus but not a particularly large one.

Theocratic: Same as above.

Languages. Common and an additional language is pretty standard. I would suggest that Primordial is more likely than Halfling to be a useful language because it is exotic and Halflings are not a common choice of enemy.

Lucky: This is a great Stout feature that Cuetzpali do not have. It only provides an average of +0.475 to each roll but it is applied to a vast number of rolls, can stack with advantage, and, importantly, will help make it much harder to roll a natural 1 on death saving throws and attacks (and ability checks, if your DM rules that a nat. 1 on an ability check has a special effect regardless of the total). This feature easily balances out a couple of proficiencies and advantage on saves against being charmed.

Overall, I would say your race is well designed for flavor and mechanically balanced with the Stout Halfling. If anything the Stout Halfling has a more distinctive, powerful feature and you could add something to Cuetzpali and it would still be balanced.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd not thought to compare them to the Stout Halfling; I was mostly looking at Dwarves and Elves. Good catch! \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Rick May 8 at 21:55

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