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I want to create a homebrew playable race called Fools. Essentially the idea is court jesters but as a race. They have bright, multicolored skin. I want them to have the abilities of the original Fool character in my short story, but I'm afraid they might be too overpowered and/or unbalanced. I have put the current stat block for Fools in the quotes below.

Language. Fools have a language unique to their race, however, they adopt the most spoken language of their surroundings. You speak Foolish, and any language of your choosing.

Alignment. Fools are rule-breakers at their core. They are almost always chaotically aligned. Fools are a very widespread and variable race, having members be good, evil, and everything in between.

Speed. 25.

Size. Any given Fool can range in height from four feet tall up to just over five feet. Your size is Medium.

Links to the Arcane. Fools are notorious for their innate ability to sense magic. You get +2 to any perception check regarding magic.

Ability Score Increase. Your dexterity score increases by 2. Your charisma score increases by 1.

Magical Boost. You can move ten feet in any direction on your turn. This is an Action. If you do not use this ability again next turn or end you turn on something, you begin to fall back to the ground five feet per turn.

I'll go over each stat individually to explain my stance on them at present.

Language. Fools have a language unique to their race, however, they adopt the most spoken language of their surroundings. You speak Foolish, and any language of your choosing.

I believe this is fine as having the choice of a second language is a common trait.

Alignment. Fools are rule-breakers at their core. They are almost always chaotically aligned. Fools are a very widespread and variable race, having members be good, evil, and everything in between.

Again, I'm very sure about this.

Speed. 25.

Creatures of a similar size have a speed of 25, so I'll use this for Fools.

Size. Any given Fool can range in height from four feet tall up to just over five feet. Your size is Medium.

This plays into Fools being variable. No need for change.

Links to the Arcane. Fools are notorious for their innate ability to sense magic. You get +2 to any perception check regarding magic.

This I'm not so sure about. I certainly want Fools to have some innate link to magic and I feel this ability is a good way to show it.

Ability Score Increase. Your dexterity score increases by 2. Your charisma score increases by 1.

Fools are generally very nimble, so I feel this fits.

Magical Boost. You can move ten feet in any direction on your turn. This is an Action. If you do not use this ability again next turn or end you turn on something, you begin to fall back to the ground five feet per turn.

This is the trait I am least sure about. I'm not sure if I should make it more or less powerful. Or if I should extend the range that they can move on their turn.

Is my race, as it currently is, balanced? What changes should I make? What should I add or remove?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 22 '20 at 13:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ You accepted an answer so I guess what he understood is close enough. But am I understanding this right that Magical Boost can dash upward and bypasses the falling rules untill the character'snext turn? I didn't read it this way the first time \$\endgroup\$ – 3C273 Sep 22 '20 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @3C273 Yeah, pretty much. It's kind of like superman flying but only in short bursts. On per turn \$\endgroup\$ – MintySweeTea Sep 22 '20 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would be funny if the Foolish language had something to do with what is spoken by Gibbering Mouthers \$\endgroup\$ – Oddrigue Sep 23 '20 at 14:09
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This is strong, but generally balanced

Similarities to Aarakocra

I think the most similar race would be Aarakocra, which is generally seen as a strong race, but is officialy published so certainly not ridiculous.

The language, alignment, speed and size seem fine. Size and speed are even the same as the Aarakocra. Generally race descriptions also have some information about the age of maturity and death, but it doesn't really matter for balance.

The ability scores are similar to Aarakocra's, which also has 2 DEX and 1 other.

The most important ability is the Magical Boost. This looks like a weaker version of flying because (1) it takes an action and (2) is very slow. Contrast this with Aarakocra, which simply have a 50' flying speed. However, especially out-of-combat, speed does not always matter. The Fool's ability here has an advantage that it can fly even while armored, whereas medium and heavy armor prevents an Aarakocra from flying. I think the low speed is a reasonable trade-off for the ability to do it with armor equipped. You might however want to specify a little more how movement in the air works, specifically if you stop using the action. Do you float down slowly at 5' per turn, not being able to move until reaching the ground, or does the player also have the option to fall more quickly, thus regaining control over their movement?

Therefore, I assess the Fool as similar in strength and ability to the Aarakocra, which is a strong but balanced race. Note that some DMs do not allow races with flight, and they will probably similarly dislike the Fool.

Links to the Arcane

Just like Aarakocra, the Fool has one more ability (for Aarakocra this is talons as natural weapons). I think your idea is fine balance-wise, but might be better executed some different way. Generally, 5e tends not to add flat bonusses to checks. I would recommend changing it to something with similar mechanical implementation:

  1. Advantage to Arcana checks to sense magical energy, or to perception checks to detect magical things or effects;
  2. Proficiency in Arcana skill;
  3. Detect Magic as a racial ability (once per long rest)

Any of the above would be similar to racial abilities such as: Advantage on saving throws versus poison (dwarf); Proficiency in Perception (Elf); a once-per-long-rest special ability (Half-Orc).

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    \$\begingroup\$ I restructure your last bit to show comparable implementations as recommendations. (Nice answer by the way, and Welcome to RPGSE!). If you don't like the edit, you can always revert. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 22 '20 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I'd probably compare the Advantage on skill checks to Stonecunning of the dwarf rather than Dwarven Toughness \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Sep 22 '20 at 16:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Advantage on all ability checks using a particular skill is very strong, not sure if it is unique even. Compare to the limitations of Stonecunning of Dwarves, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – WakiNadiVellir Sep 22 '20 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron It's expertise, double proficiency, not advantage. Stonecunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Sep 22 '20 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Advantage on perception checks to notice magical things would also be idiomatic \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Sep 23 '20 at 6:08

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