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I would like to make a race of raptor people for my world: The Mitarn.

Mitarn

Your are a member of the Mitarn race, a species of sapient maniraptorans (Raptors). Mitarn seek to live in harmony with nature, using tooth and claw to survive.

Racial Traits

You have a number of traits stemming from your status as a raptor.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2, & your Wisdom increases by 1.

Age. Mitarn mature and age similar to humans.

Alignment. Mitarn are normally neutral good, tending to seek to protect nature.

Size. Mitarn are 4 to 5 feet long and 8 to 10 feet long, and weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 40 feet, and you also have a climbing speed of 30 feet.

Claws. Your middle two toes have wickedly sharp curved claws, which are natural weapons, usable to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, rather than the bludgeoning damage typical for an unarmed strike.

Bite. Your maw is lined with sharp teeth, and is a natural weapon, usable for unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, rather than the bludgeoning damage typical for an unarmed strike.

Pounce. If you move at least 20 feet on a turn in combat and hit a creature with your claws with an attack, you can make an attack with your bite attack.

Survivalist. You are proficient with Stealth and either Perception or Survival.

Primeval Surge. You can fill your body with a surge of the speed of the wild for a moment. As a bonus action, you can double your movement for the entire turn. Once you do so, you can't use this trait until you move 0 feet on a turn.

When compared to official races (In the Player's HandBook, Volo's Guide to Monsters, and Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica), is this race balanced?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What does this mean, "Mitarn are 4 to 5 feet long and 8 to 10 feet long"? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Jan 15 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should probably review How can I ask a good homebrew review question?, specifically to add why you have given this race the traits it has, what you have based it on, and why you think it would be balanced and which concerns you have/why you think it might not be. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jan 15 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov given they're raptors, that was probably meant to be 4-5ft. tall and 8-10ft. long, i.e. stretched nose to tail. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jan 15 at 13:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ note in real life raptors would make terrible climbers, far worse than humans. \$\endgroup\$ – John Jan 15 at 15:00
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This is a buffed version of the Tabaxi, with significant unintended consequences.

This race is exceedingly similar to the vanilla Tabaxi race, with some improvements.

Feature Tabaxi Mitarn
ASI +2 Dex, +1 Cha +2 Dex, +1 Wis
Speed 30 feet walking, 20 feet climbing 40 feet walking, 30 feet climbing
Darkvision Yes No
Feline Agility (Primeval Surge) Yes (no action cost) Yes (costs bonus action)
Natural Weapon 1d4+STR 1d6+STR
Skills Perception and Stealth Stealth and choice of Perception or Survival
Pounce No Yes

This race is just an improvement on all of the Tabaxi traits, and trades Darkvision for the Pounce ability. Darkvision will be situationally better than Pounce - it depends on the campaign, with Pounce usually being the more useful feature. The ASI is a bit of an improvement over the Tabaxi as well in terms of saving throws - Charisma saves are exceedingly rare compared to Wisdom saves.

Pounce is an odd ability, and will be very strong at early levels, as it gives an extra attack which is huge before classes start getting Extra Attack, but will become obsolete to most classes except for Monk (see section below for problematic design).

Conclusion: Unbalanced (compared to the Tabaxi), but balanced compared to inherently unbalanced races such as the Variant Human and Aaracokra, I suggest just reflavoring the Tabaxi, following the guidance found in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything for Customizing Your Origin or using the rework I put at the end of this answer.

Pounce has problematic design: make it cost a bonus action.

As written, pounce is not limited to one use per turn. Pounce says:

If you move at least 20 feet on a turn in combat and hit a creature with your claws with an attack, you can make an attack with your bite attack.

A 5th level monk is capable of making 4 attacks with Extra Attack and Flurry of Blows. That is four unarmed strikes. As written, if you move at least 20 feet, Pounce allows you to make a bite attack after each of those four strikes, for a total of 8 attacks in one turn at level 5. This is wildly broken.

Pounce should cost a bonus action, or at least be limited to once per turn. My rewrite is:

If you move at least 20 feet on a turn in combat and hit a creature with your claws with an attack, as a bonus action you can make an attack with your bite attack.

Primeval Surge needs to be reworded.

First problem with Primeval Surge:

you can double your movement

As written, it only doubles your remaining movement. It should rather read as the Tabaxi's Feline Agility and double your speed.

Second problem:

you can't use this trait until you move 0 feet on a turn.

It doesn't specify your turn, so you can use this on all of your turns as it would refresh as soon as you don't move on someone else's turn. The full rewrite is:

You can fill your body with a surge of the speed of the wild for a moment. As a bonus action, you can double your speed until the end of the turn. Once you do so, you can't use this trait until you move 0 feet on one of your turns.

My proposed rebuild

Mitarn

Your are a member of the Mitarn race, a species of sapient maniraptorans (Raptors). Mitarn seek to live in harmony with nature, using tooth and claw to survive.

Racial Traits

You have a number of traits stemming from your status as a raptor.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 2, & your Wisdom increases by 1.

Age. Mitarn mature and age similar to humans.

Alignment. Mitarn are normally neutral good, tending to seek to protect nature.

Size. Mitarn are 4 to 5 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet long (nose to tail), and weigh 50 to 100 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet, and you also have a climbing speed of 20 feet.

Claws. Your middle two toes have wickedly sharp curved claws, which are natural weapons, usable to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, rather than the bludgeoning damage typical for an unarmed strike.

Bite. Your maw is lined with sharp teeth, and is a natural weapon, usable for unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, rather than the bludgeoning damage typical for an unarmed strike.

Pounce. If you move at least 20 feet on a turn in combat and hit a creature with your claws with an attack, as a bonus action you can make an attack with your bite attack.

Survivalist. You are proficient with Stealth and either Perception or Survival.

Primeval Surge. You can fill your body with a surge of the speed of the wild for a moment. As a bonus action, you can double your speed until the end of the turn. Once you do so, you can't use this trait until you move 0 feet on one of your turns.

I've brought this into line with the Tabaxi. Here is the new comparison table:

Feature Tabaxi Mitarn
ASI +2 Dex, +1 Cha +2 Dex, +1 Wis
Speed 30 feet walking, 20 feet climbing 30 feet walking, 20 feet climbing
Darkvision Yes No
Feline Agility (Primeval Surge) Yes (no action cost) Yes (costs bonus action)
Natural Weapon 1d4+STR 1d6+STR
Skills Perception and Stealth Stealth and choice of Perception or Survival
Pounce No Yes (costs bonus action)

Making Pounce cost a bonus action, which forces you to decide between Pounce and Primeval Surge, brings pounce into balance with the tradeoff for not having Darkvision. I have also refined the language of Primeval Surge to make it consistent with the Tabaxi's Feline Agility.

In my estimation, this is only slightly stronger than the Tabaxi, but still balanced overall.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I intended Pounce to be used with a bonus action due to using the bite attack. \$\endgroup\$ – The Darke Lorde Jan 15 at 15:23

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