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They're based on the 4e race of the same name though with my own spin on it. Wondering if it's balanced or not.

  1. Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2 and either your Strength or Dexterity score increase by 1.

  2. Size. Vryloka are about the same size as humans, though they stand taller on average. Your size is Medium.

  3. Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet. You have a climbing speed equal to your walking speed minus 5 feet.

  4. Age. Vryloka have an extended lifespan due to their semi-vampiric nature. They can live up to 500 years old and are immune to any effect that would age them

  5. Ancestral Versatility. You gain proficiency in one skill and one tool of your choice.

  6. Unliving Nature. You retain your creature type, yet you register as undead to spells and other effects that detect the presence of the undead creature type. In addition you gain resistance to necrotic damage.

  7. Blood Sap. When you strike an enemy in combat you regain vitality and vigour. When you hit a creature that isn't an undead or construct, you can regain a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + your Constitution modifier. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus and regain all uses when you finish a long rest.

  8. Lifeblood. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with an attack, your speed increases by 10 feet until the end of your next turn.

  9. Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and one other language of your choice.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What does 'strike an enemy in combat' mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 8 at 11:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you compared this to the classes in the Unearthed Arcana and Von Richten's Guide to Ravenloft? That might be good sources of research (the UA didn't end up in the game as it was a bit OP). \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 13:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have indeed and I think my race is a little weaker than the dhampir in those books \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex Sash
    Mar 8 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack, take the tour when you have a moment. We have some guidance here for getting the most out of homebrew review questions, give it a read and see if there are any more details you can include in your question, to give us a better idea of what you're looking for here. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

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We use the Detect Balance spreadsheet for homebrew races.

  • stats: +12 points
  • climb speed: 30ft climb speed costs +2 points, this is probably the same
  • skill proficiency: +2
  • tool proficiency: +1
  • detects as undead: -1 at worst
  • lifeblood: +1 at best
  • resist necrotic: +3
  • blood sap: hard to decide, maybe +4

It's hard to decide how much Blood Sap is worth. Commenters have suggested that it's similar to multiple free castings of cure wounds, which would be values at 3 points per casting. The "Stone's Endurance" feature prevents 1d12+CON damage once per long rest and is valued at seven. My first instinct was to mark Blood Sap at 2, but I've upgraded it to 4, and there's an argument that it's worth even more than that.

Depending on how Blood Sap is valued, this race would be anywhere from 23 points to... well, more than that.

If you wanted to add a few points, Darkvision would be the obvious choice. You can use the spreadsheet for this.

I also would echo Groody's comment that there already exists a half-undead race called Dhampir, and it seems like you could just use that rather than going to the extra effort for writing homebrew.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The race detects as undead, but retains the original creature type, so isn't actually undead. I would also consider Blood Sap as being proficiency bonus free castings of cure wounds, so between 2 and 6 first level spells. That might push it into the 24-25 range. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 8 at 21:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ The healing of blood sap will heal about as much as a cure wounds spell, and can be used 2/day at level 1, more often later. A level 1 spell/day is +3 in the DBS, this would be worth at least 6 points, L1 at 3rd is 2 points, so maybe the additional up to 4 uses also would add 2 or 1 point, so overall this could be worth 10 or more. Even at 10 it would total to 29, and be borderline too powerful. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I've actually played and very much enjoyed the dhampir from Van Richten's too, but homebrew is very fun to me. Also vryloka were very cool in 4e. I'vs actually got some ideas for a version two now! \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex Sash
    Mar 9 at 9:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I see both sides here, but I do agree that a clearer statement of "My table uses" would resolve this completely. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Mar 17 at 13:49
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Why not use the Damphir?

Comparing this to a Tiefling from the DMG

...because the build includes resistance to damage.

Ability Sorce increase: Both +2/+1 with +1 choice between Strength and Dexterity stronger than tieflings Intelligence, both for choice and because Dexterity is one of the strongest abilities, while Intelligence is a dump stat for most classes other than wizard. Stronger

Age: 500 years vs human life span. No aging effects is an added bonus. Stronger

Alignment full freedom vs tendency towards chaos (and weak tendency towards evil), functionally equivalent

Size: same

Speed: Both walking speed medium, but this adds climbing speed 25 feet. Climbing speed is very powerful, to avoid pit traps, stay out of reach in combat, etc. It is nearly like a permanent spider climb, a level 2 spell. Much stronger

Creature Type: adding undead does not make it stronger or weaker

Damage Resistance is very powerful. A ring of resistance that confers it is a rare magic item with attunement. Necrotic also is not easy to get from resist elements spells. This is comparable to the tieflings Hellish Resistance to fire damage, as fire may be more common

Languages: Common and one free vs Common and Infernal, this is slightly more flexible, but has no bearing on balance

In addition to those, there are the three special abilities, vs only two with the Tiefling

Ancestral Versatility: may be the weakest of them, maybe comparable to the Tiefling's Darkvision with a full skill and tool proficiency.

Blood Sap is quite powerful, providing meaningful healing. In low levels, this can fully heal a character for free. Comparable to 2-6 applications of cure wounds. Compare this with Infernal Legacy which provides a showy cantrip, and later once a day hellish rebuke and darkness (both level 2). I think this is very strong, and stronger, especially in the start

On top of all this you get for free

Lifeblood. Potentially unlimited uses of a 10 feet speed burst. Obviously, compared to nothing, stronger

Overall I feel this is too strong compared to a viable race from the PHB. Most dimensions are stronger than their comparison and one is much stronger. I would essentially always pick this over tiefling, not a good sign.

Comparing to the Damphir lineage in Van Richten's

Ability Sorce increase: Lineages have one score +2, one +1, which is even more flexible. weaker

Age: not mentioned

Alignment full freedom for both

Size: Both Medium, Damphir can choose to be Small, about the same

Speed: Damphir has 35, which is 5 feet faster. You have lifeblood which situationally can add 10 feet speed bursts. I think higher base speed is generally more useful. In addition Damphir gets full speed Spider Climb, from level 3 even on ceilings, which is even more powerful than what you have. weaker

Creature Type: retain detecting as undead vs Humanoid in Damphir. Humanoids are subject to more spells, so being able to chose a non-humanoid type is slightly stronger

Ancestral Versatility: again maybe comparable to the Damphir darkvision. 2 skills is 2/3 of a feat, but darkvision has quite good utility too

Blood Sap matches Damphir Vampiric Bite. The bite also can be used proficiency bonus times and gets advantage when you are bloodied and some other minor tweaks, but deals less damage than a typical weapon attack, and also will heal 2 points less per hit, as it does only d4. Pretty close

Damage Resistance damphir is lacking this, but has no breath instead, which is maybe comparable (diving, no suffocation etc.)

Languages: Common and one free, same

This looks very similar to the Damphir, which has even greater mobilitiy and ability bonus flexibility.

Summary

If you are open to suggestions, what you have looks so close, maybe you can just use the Damphir, which is an official lineage instead of adding a very similar hombrew solution. It seems you considered that already however.

The Damphir like your build is a lot stronger than a base class race like Tiefling. Permanent Spider climb is huge. I'll bite my lip about the apparently unavoidable inflation of powerful character build options in spat books. Overall 5e has been pretty good at keeping it in line.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Using "stronger" to refer to alignment differences feels like a category error to me. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I changed it to better. It gives you more options, which is better, but you are right, stronger maybe not the best way to express it. It seems to me, they are nearly done with AL anyways and it is on the road to optional rule in the next version... \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think "better" even makes sense. It's just different, and I'm pretty sure that difference is largely immaterial to questions about mechanical balance. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8 at 18:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ The standard for 5e race homebrew is to use the Detect Balance spreadsheet. docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Mar 8 at 19:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for effort though, and reference to Dhampir is a good callout \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Mar 8 at 19:45

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