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Lesser Oni are a race of creatures very closely related to true Oni. They appear to be shorter and possess less magical power. Lesser Oni are considered to be younger Oni whose power is still growing. Is this race imbalanced or confusing?

  • Ability Score Increase: +2 Str; +1 Cha
  • Size: Oni stand at around 7 to 8 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed: Your walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. 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.
  • Brutality. When you make a melee attack against a creature that has less than its maximum hit points, you can gain advantage on the attack roll. If the attack hits, the creature's movement speed is reduced by 10 feet until the start of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
  • Oni Sorcery. You know the Thaumaturgy cantrip. At 3rd level you gain the ability to cast the Silent Image spell once and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
  • Menacing. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.
  • Languages. You can speak, read and write Common, Akkhi and Giant. Akkhi is the secret Oni language used for stealthy communication between Oni.
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Thumbs up

This seems pretty balanced and cleanly written. Using Detect Balance, a tool that has pooled a lot of community input to grade the power of various racial abilities on a point scale, this scores as:

  • Stats: pretty standard, 12 points
  • Size, Speed: standard, 0 points
  • Darkvision: 60’, 3 points
  • Brutality: this is the only one not directly listed. Advantage on attacks is very valuable, but you wisely cap it per day. Without doing all the number crunching, I’d eyeball this comparable to maybe savage attacks, worth around 3-4 points1
  • Oni Sorcery: cantrip, 2 points, level one spell 1/day on third, 2 points, total 4 points
  • Menacing: skill proficiency, 2 points,
  • Languages: common + 2 languages, 1 point

Total: 25-26 points, the recommended range is 24-27, the average of the PHB races is 25.

Certainly not over the top.

If I would have one minor qualm, then it is the framing as “younger” Oni. Oni is a type of giant, and younger ones that do not yet have grown into their full powers are still just Oni.

You also might consider changing Silent Image for Disguise Self, because a full blown Oni has a strong ability to alter their own form, but cannot cast Silent Image.


1 It could be stronger on a build that tries to hit for nova damage. Detect Balance assigns 8 points to unlimited advantage on a very common roll, and it this limited variant must be worth a good bit less.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Mm, should I maybe exchange Thaumaturgy and Silent Image for Friends and Disguise Self? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex Sash
    May 28 at 12:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexSash, up to you it's your homebrew class. I likely would do so for consistency. But you could come up with justifications about the "maturing" or "evolution" of the Oni form if you did not want to, I just wanted to point out there is a mismatch \$\endgroup\$ May 28 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be useful to give a brief explanation and/or a link to Detect Balance, doubly seeing as it is a 3rd party tool. And as a second note, I'm not sure it affects your evaluation, but the Brutality feature would be very good in combination with leveled melee attack spells (eg. inflict wounds). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    May 28 at 13:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil, added some language as suggested. Back of the envelope, 2x advantage per day translates to about 2x40% higher expected damage worth of an attack. Savage attacker adds one damage die on a crit, at 5-6 encounters per day of 3-4 rounds of attacks each, that is ~ one crit per day of fighting. So yes, I think this is slightly stronger, especially as it also ups chances for crits. Maybe even 5 points. DB has advantage on a very common roll topping out at 8, and it must be clearly a lot less than that. Even at 5 points, total still is balanced at 27. \$\endgroup\$ May 28 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexSash: a typcial nova character is for example the Paladin, which can burn spell slots when hitting to increase damage. I think answering that question in general would warrant a whole separete Q&A :) Flavorwise a Hexblade Warlock also would be good I guess \$\endgroup\$ May 28 at 14:50

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