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I've been wondering if this homebrew Medusa race me and my friends thought up was balanced compared to official races. Here are the stats:

  1. +2 Dex, +1 Cha
  2. Darkvision: Not all the medusa’s curse offers up are disadvantages. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  3. Natural Armor: You have tough, scaly skin. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
  4. Size: Your size is Medium.
  5. Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 ft.
  6. Snake Hair: Your hair is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Dexterity or Strength modifier. You can use either Strength or Dexterity for the attack roll.
  7. Quick Read: You gain proficiency with the Insight skill.
  8. Petrifying Gaze: At level 1 you have the ability to cast the Hold Person spell. The spell doesn't require components and while under the effects of this spell, the target is considered three times heavier. Once you cast this spell, you can’t cast it again until you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell.
  9. Languages: You can speak, read and write Common and Abyssal.

The main ability I am unsure of is Petrifying Gaze - I thought straight up petrification was too powerful, so I am powered it down. I am unsure if I powered it down too much or too little.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While the inspiration basis is reasonably clear, could you add your thoughts behind the mechanical implementations? Eg why they were limited to what they are and what why you think the result is balanced and where your concerns about that are? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 13 at 11:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ For some more guidance on what we need to really give you the best possible answer, please review this meta on how to ask a good homebrew review. Highlighting the areas you think may be problematic would also help target our review and show that you've done some analysis as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Apr 13 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil If you're talking about the petrifying gaze - then the reason it's limited in such a way is that it would be rather overpowered otherwise \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch - At first level, I probably would have stated something like "At 3rd level you gain......" \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think I've fixed it now \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13 at 14:49
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This is balanced.

Plugging these features in to the Detect Balance spreadsheet calculator gives a 25, which is exactly the average for PHB races by that calculator. There's really not much to say on this one - a sign of a good homebrew is difficulty finding problems with it. All of your features have precedent in other races and the number and relative power of features is consistent with other races.

This is a perfectly acceptable middle-of-the-road race in terms of strength. I would allow this at my table with no adjustments.

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