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I have made 2 orc races (Feral-orc and True-orc) and I recently got the Feral variant looked at and now I am wondering about the other variant, I updated it together with the feral variant after feedback for the feral variant. True orcs are a result of a god evolving them in a less brutish way. (it is initially based on the Eberron variant)

True Orc

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution, Strength and Intelligence scores all increase by 1.

Age. Orcs reach adulthood at age 12 and live up to 55 years.

Alignment. The true orcs of Andremus are a passionate people, given to powerful emotion and deep faith. They are generally chaotic, but can be any alignment.

Size. True Orcs are usually over 6 foot 6 inches tall and weigh between 230 and 280 pounds. Your size is Medium. To set your height and weight randomly, start with rolling a size modifier.

  • Size modifier = 2d8
  • Height = 5 feet + 8 inches + your size modifier in inches
  • Weight in pounds = 180 + (2d6 × your size modifier)

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Thanks to your magical orc blood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. 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.

Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.

Divine Intuition. You have proficiency in two of the following skills of your choice: Arcana, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, and Athletics.

Innate Spellcasting You know the Guidance cantrip. You can cast Command 2 times per long rest with this trait, but you can target only orcs (true orcs, Feral orcs, and half-orcs) and goblinoids (Goblins, Bugbears, and hobgoblins) with it. Starting at 3rd level, you can also cast Aid with this trait. Once you cast it, you can't do so again until you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells. You can also cast either of those spells using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Orc, Common and Celestial.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please don't edit a homebrew review question, as this can invalidate existing answers. Instead, after 48 hours you can ask a new iteration of the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – User 23415
    May 6 at 3:30

2 Answers 2

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Yes, this is good

Having +1 to three different ability score is in line with Tasha's rules.

Darkvision and Powerfuld Build are pretty standard.

As for Innate Spellcasting, many races learn their 1st level spell at 3rd level and their 2nd level spell at 5th level. Limiting the use of Command to Goblins and Orcs only, and limiting its use to twice per long rest is good enough to balance the fact that they get it at first level. As for Aid, it's not too strong a spell to be gained at 3rd level.


Things you might want to consider about Innate Spellcasting:

  • All the most recent race entries have shown Wizards of the Coast is now allowing players to pick the ability score they want to use for casting racial abilities (Int, Wis, or Cha). The exact wording is "Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma is your spell­ casting ability for these spells when you cast them with this trait (choose when you select this race)."

  • Consider if you want to allow your players to cast those spells using their spell slots too. That too has become pretty common with racial spell casting, with its wording being "You can also cast either of those spells using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level."

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    \$\begingroup\$ I took heavy inspiration from the Yuan-Ti Pureblood. And i added the part about spellslots, but the intelligence spellcasting is due to their origins. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2022 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought so, it looked familiar :) You did a good job with this one! Hope your players will enjoy it! \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr_Bober
    Jul 25, 2022 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I really do hope so too. Thank you, have a great one. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2022 at 20:03
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“Good option” is subjective but this is a quite strong race

This is much better designed than the other Orc in your previous post, this race is stronger too. It’s balanced but at the very high end. Putting this through Detect Balance (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vq1kz6PRAbw5LHy6amH-bNb4OuB8DBXL1RsZROt03Sc/edit#gid=0) :

  • Ability Score Increase: Standard, +1 to three separate stats is generally slightly weaker than +1 and +2 but it’s still in line with official races. Strength and Intelligence is a somewhat unusual combination. +12 points.
  • Age, Alignment, Size: Immaterial, doesn’t affect the game enough to be a factor. +0 points.
  • Speed: Standard, the same as probably around 95% of official races. +0 points.
  • Darkvision: The standard darkvision wording, in line with other races that give darkvision. +3 points.
  • Powerful Build: Also standard, the same wording as Goliath’s Powerful Build, no problems here. +2 points.
  • Divine Intuition: choice of 2 skill proficiencies out of a list of 7, this is similar to features such as Kenku Training or Hunter’s Lore (Lizardfolk). Of note here is Perception, which is by far the most useful skill in 5E, the other ones are more situational. By default this is 5 points on Detect Balance but there’s a note associated with it: “Can vary if it is from a limited list depending on how limited it is.”. 7 skills to choose from is quite good, in comparison Kenku Training lets you choose 2 out of 4 and Hunter’s Lore is 2 out of 5. Together with Perception being one of options, I would be inclined to assign to this +6 points.
  • Innate Spellcasting: Unlimited Guidance + Command (only orcs and goblins) twice per long rest + Aid once per long rest.
    • Guidance is a very good cantrip, very versatile, primarily out of combat but can be used in combat too, widely regarded as being among the strongest cantrips in the game.
    • Command is a good 1st level spell, also very versatile, also works both in and out of combat. Limiting it to just goblins and orcs is thematic, a nice, organic way to reduce its strength. How big of a nerf exactly this is depends on your setting though and how common orcs and goblins are compared to other races.
    • Aid is a 2nd level spell that lets you give up to 3 creatures 5 hit points each. Doesn’t sound that powerful but note that it lasts for 8 hours and doesn’t require concentration. In a pinch it can also be used as healing to bring party members up from unconsciousness.

Also all three of those spells are limited by class (Cleric and Druid for Guidance, Cleric and Paladin for Command and Aid) so other classes being able to get them like this is good, e.g. it lets you make a wizard with access to those. Additionally, Command is the only one where Intelligence mod matters so this feature will also be useful to characters with low Int.

According to Detect Balance, a cantrip is worth 2 points, once per day level 1 spell gained at 3rd character level is also worth 2 points, once per day level 2 at 3rd character level is 3 points. Your Command has 2 uses per day but since it’s nerfed, I think it balances itself out. This feature is therefore worth +7 points.

  • Languages: Common + two others, again standard, +1 point.

Added together, this race comes up at 31 points total. This is quite strong, the recommendation is to make homebrew races between 24 and 27 and to not exceed 30. It is within the range of the official races though, if you look at the spreadsheet, there is a lot of them valued at 30-33.

If you wanted to make this race a little bit weaker, my recommendation would be to modify your Innate Spellcasting and make Aid a spell gained at 5th level instead of 3rd, that will shave off 1 point for a total of 30 points and make it more in line with the standard 3-spell Innate Spellcasting package of a cantrip, level 1 spell at 3rd level, and a level 2 spell at 5th level. Alternatively removing Aid altogether would take off 3 points, for a 28 points total.

One thing you might want to consider is how your Innate Spellcasting will interact with things like Spellcasting as a class feature. Do you want the PC to be able to cast those spells using their spell slots or do you want it to be strictly once per day thing? How about Metamagic, do you want them to be able to mix those with Innate Spellcasting? Plus there are probably some other interactions too that you will discover as you playtest.

Edit: With the edits made to the question, this race is now worth 29 points, Innate Spellcasting loses one point and so does Divine Intution.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I forgot to edit the post, i have added that you can use spellslots with the innate. And i see your point with the skills, i will file it down and edit the post. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2022 at 20:57

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