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I come here with a homebrew race for 5e dnd, its history, physical and mental description as well as racial features. I would like to know if the racial bonuses are balanced.

Leshy

Physical Description

Leshen varies in look depending on the age of each individual. While young, leshy is indestinguishable by the looks alone from human child, but as the leshy grows its true nature becomes more visible. Every leshy grows a pair of deer-like horns on their head, and more and more of plant nature of those creatures becomes wisible as years pass, having body hair grow into mold or skin becoming progressively more akin to tree bark. Usually leshen do not wear clothes, rather having bags or belts filled with tools or other items. They do however often adorn their body with small totems made out of bones, often from humanoids or even other leshen, as a token of respect.

Leshen does not have females - funnily, they do not have males either - for they are not humanoids at all, but plants. Their look may be misleading, but seeing leshy from inside, or seeing one that is really old, quickly clears all of those mistakes, as their insides are made out of cork, and bones are almost like hardwood - which can branch off through the skin to the outside.

Those few who become elder leshen transform, resembling more monstrous form between animal and plant, with head withering to the state of bare skull, not uncomon to change their shape entirely to more deer or canine shapes. All of the natural, both plant and bestial, features of leshen are magnified - grand horns or even rows of them grow from head and back of one, literal moss starts covering their wooden skin, tree branches grow through the skin, some even growing fruits, sometimes leshy becomes even bigger, truly becoming a behemoth of nature.

History

In long forgotten times druids not only lived with nature in peace, many tried to integrate with nature itself. Many changed to different animals, but some tried to go the other way - they tried to imitate plants. Some succeded, and with time their very nature changed, losing the ability to change shape and fully transforming into sentient plants, with strong ties to both humanity nad nature still visible.

Attitudes and Beliefs

Leshen do not gather or create societies - they are solitary creatures. It is almost unheard of to see three together in one place, usually seeing lone specimens in forests and jungles. The only time when leshy lives close to another of its kind is when a parent and an offspring live together, older one teaching the younger everything it needs to know about the world, nature and survival. After youngling grows horns it embarks to find its own place to live - this is called by leshen a little journey. After fully growing and maturing leshy have an innate knowledge of a place - similar, but not identical to the one it grew from. Leshy instinctively know the direction and can find a way leading to that place, sometimes localized but a few miles away, sometimes on even a different continent. Only in that place - trip to which is known as great journey - leshy can plant one of its twigs, which in around three months will grow into new, small leshy. After that leshy gains new knowledge about another place, which can become new target for its great journey. Hardly ever more than one great journey is undertaken by each leshen.

Coming from the druidic circles, and almost fusing with nature, leshen are semi-protectors of natural order. Many times in history was noted that leshy helped someone lost or in peril in forests, almost as many as when leshy attacked humans or other humanoids wrecking havoc in its living region. Important to note is that any leshy is against unnatural things - no leshy will furiously attack a person hunting for food, or someone lighting a fire to warm themselves in the cold night. Usually the excess is what agitates leshen, as well as any unnatural perversion. Hags nesting in forests are known to be archenemies of leshen, as they are usually a source of corruption poisoning and changing the land. When one or the other finds themselves out the usual culmination is a confrontation, and this is the only time leshen will band together, as to root out the corruption - leshy will never parley with the hag or agree to bargain with it.

Some leshen gather knowledge and spend long time in elemental nodes. There, after infusing itself with strength of elements and purity of nature leshy can gain deeper contemplation of its own nature and its inner workings. Those are called Elder Leshen. Transformation is risky, as channeling the power of elemental node can draw attention of some minor elementals, that can come and attack leshy midway through transformation. Those thad do manage to fend the attackers off become way stronger than normal leshen. Elder leshy can feel so called Places of Power - small points, where other planes are closer to material plane, but not enough to form natural portals. They channel power from nearby places of power to reinforce themselves and extend their lifespan to great lengths. It is elder leshen who populate the world with their kind, as they have all the time and knowledge to undergo multiple great journeys in their life, as well as teach and care for young leshen in between. Exceptionally knowledgable and powerful leshen stop aging altogether, holding so much power over nature and elements that they become a force of nature themselves, capable of warding off even great threats to their home and driving off even dragons.

Sometimes a leshy will embark on a journey, but not to make an offspring. Those go to experience entirety of the world, not only the limited part of it, and those usually become adventurers.

Leshy Names

Leshy has only one name, which it gives itself after sprouting its horns, marking its coming into adolescence. Any is appropirate, but usually this is strongly influenced by the region in which leshy grew up.

Names: Tane, Muin, Sacharos, Kaktu, Boric, Kraus, Applestan,

Leshy Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and your Wisdom score increases by 1.

  • Age. Leshen matures at the age of 50, when their horns are fully grown, and can live up to 200 years. Elder leshen can infuse their life essence into the nature itself, prolonging their lifespan to over a thousand years old.

  • Alignment. Each Leshy is usually neutral, even if benign naturally.

  • Size. Leshen are hulking creatures, with many well over 8 feet tall. Your size is Medium.

  • Speed. Your base 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.

  • Forest Creature. Your creature type is Plant.

  • Druidic Descent. You know the Druidcraft cantrip. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the Goodberry spell with this trait, without requiring material components. Starting 5th level, you can also cast the Pass without Trace spell with this trait, without requiring material components. Once you cast Goodberry or Pass without Trace with this trait, you can't cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast either of those spells using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level. Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells when you cast them with this trait (choose when you select this race).

  • Hardy. You can use your bonus action on your turn to harden your bark, giving yourself a +3 bonus to your AC until the beginning of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency modifier, and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

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

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

Random Height and Weight

Base Height Height Modifier* Base Weight Weight Modifier**
6′ 5'' +3d6 240 lb. × (3d6) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier

**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Suggested Characteristics

When creating a leshy character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I don't mind slowing down for a while.
2 A sunny day is all I need to happiness.
3 Little critters be annoying sometimes, but what can I say to them humans?
4 Big warrior with a sword, I suggest you taking the axe instead.
5 I judge people by their actions, not their words.
6 I am utterly serene, even in the face of disaster.
7 I will guide you to your destination, better safe than sorry.
8 No one will dominate me, as no mountain bows to howling wind.
d6 Ideal
1 Call off Duty. I will guard all who need my help. (Good)
2 Freedom. Nothing and no one will ever make me dependant on others. (Chaotic)
3 Tranquility. This life is a good life. (Neutral)
4 Power. Solitude and contemplation are paths toward mystical or magical power. (Evil)
5 Order. Everything in the world follows a set of rules, and all are bent to them. (Lawful)
6 Truth. I care about the truth above all else, even if it doesn't benefit anyone. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I would sooner die than set something on fire.
2 I do what I can to protect the natural world.
3 I'm still seeking the enlightenment I pursued in my seclusion, and it still eludes me.
4 I protect those who cannot protect themselves.
5 I will stand like a stone against all my foes, and like a stone I will never be moved.
6 There is one place, where I grew, only there I can find peace.
d6 Flaw
1 I pretend not to understand the local language in order to avoid interactions I would rather not have.
2 I do not like to be in places filled with humans and I actively avoid them.
3 I have great fear of fire and all that uses fire to fight.
4 I like keeping secrets and won't share them with anyone.
5 I will defend the natural order and annihilate anyone and anything trying to harm it.
6 Somehow, my better way of life is not understood by others, and for some reason not immediately copied.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I noticed that "leshy" and "leshen" are used interchangeably, as both singular and plural. Was "leshy" supposed to be singular and "leshen" plural (like children and oxen)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Laurel
    Mar 28, 2023 at 11:53

1 Answer 1

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Race is strong but within reason

Being 8 feet tall is pretty tall but it doesn't have mechanical implications per se and there is precedent with Goliath and Firbolg. 30 ft. speed, ASI +2/+1 and two languages is standard. Note, however that the default is to have a choice of which ability scores to increase in newer official publications. Most of your other features seem to be in line with this new style, including that the second language is variable, that the spellcasting can be done using slots and has a variable spell ability modifier, and that Hardy has proficiency uses per day.

Darkvision 60 and Hulking are minor bonuses which are used by official races.

Druidic Descent is a standard Innate Magic feature and doesn't even have any spells relevant for combat. Your feature removes the need for material components which is unusual (the Tiefling and Triton have a similar feature for example but require components as normal). This seems mostly unproblematic however since the spells have no expensive material components.

Without Hardy the race is approximately equal to the Tiefling which has Infernal Legacy plus two minor bonuses (Darkvision plus fire resistance).

Hardy is more than a minor bonus. AC+3 as a bonus action is slightly worse than casting Shield but still in the ball park and you can do it multiple times per day. With this feature the race is a good bit better than Tiefling and tends more toward the upper tier of official races power wise. But it isn't really off the charts.

Changing the creature type might have unintended consequences

Changing the type has precedent, e.g. with the Centaur having the Fey type, see here for a discussion of the consequences. While this might be unproblematic in most cases it carries a high risk of random spells or other features working differently than expected. Features for Humanoids don't work on your race and features for Plants do. It will be difficult to consider all these things and more will probably appear in future publications that are completely impossible consider right now. This may also cause confusion during play. I recommend that you make sure that you really want to risk these implications of changing the creature type.

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