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As it is my first time making a homebrew race, I'd like to know if this race is somewhat balanced. I've used Detect Balance to try and achieve this purpose, but I would like to see what others think first before properly publishing it. I have more lore written for this race, but as it is more flavor than mechanics, I've decided to not include it here. I also apologized if the wording in anything seems a bit strange, English is my second language.


The Fiorel is a race of humanoid flower-like creatures, who live in small tribes. They're a lot like an invasive species, taking over entire areas and consuming the resources that would go to other creatures who live there. Much like weeds, they're incredibly resilient, and once a Fiorel has set up camp somewhere, it's incredibly difficult to get rid of them.

Ability Score Increase: Your Constitution score increases by 2, and one other ability score of your choice increases by 1.

Age: Fiorel live for approximately 30 years. They are considered adults by 7 years old. Their growth is very rapid at the start and then slows down considerably.

Alignment: Fiorel aren't really accustomed to concepts of good and evil, and don't find much use for laws and order, so they tend towards chaotic neutral or true neutral.

Size: Fiorel tend to be around 4'7~5'2 (1,45~1,60 cm) tall, and are rather lightweight, weighing around 66~88 lbs (30~40 kg). Your size is medium.

Creature Type: Despite how closely Fiorel mimic plant creatures, they are still considered humanoids.

Speed: You have a speed of 30 ft.

Languages: You speak common and a language of your choice. In addition, you can freely communicate with any creature of the plant type.

Flower Magic: You know the Thorn Whip cantrip. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the Entangle spell with this trait. Starting at 5th level, you can also cast the Plant Growth spell with this trait. Once you cast Entangle or Plant Growth 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. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells when you cast them with this trait.

Nature's Way: You move at normal speed in difficult terrain that is caused by the presence of plants or plant-like creatures.

Sturdy as a Weed: You have resistance to poison damage. You can also go two days without being fed.

Plant Food: In order to be considered "fed", you must consume nutrients from the soil, drink water, and be under direct sunlight for at least 1 minute. If more than two days have passed without being fed, you will begin to starve. Besides the usual effects, when starving you are also unable to use Commune With Plants.


Roots

Within you is a complex system of roots, which you can use to interact with the environment around you in specific ways. You can bring forth part of these roots at will, they will protrude from the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. 5 roots protrude from the ends of each limb, each root having a reach of 5 feet. You can move each individual root freely. These roots can be used to manipulate objects that weigh no more than 4 lbs (2 kg) but cannot be used for anything that requires manual precision, such as using tools or magic items or performing the somatic components of a spell. It also cannot wield weapons or shields, or perform unarmed strikes, but it can be used to trip or restrain a creature; to do this, the creature must fail a dexterity saving throw. The creature may remain restrained for a number of turns equal to your strength modifier, after which it will then break free.

These roots are hardy and strong, and can easily crack through any type of naturally occurring soil. If there are cracks present in a surface (even if imperceptible), you may choose to perform a strength check; if you pass, your roots are able to push through the soil, breaking it apart somewhat.

You can only consume nutrients from the soil and drink water through these roots. If the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet are covered, you will not be able to bring forth your roots. As these roots are part of your body, cutting them or harming them will also bring harm to you. If a root has been cut, it will slowly regrow over a 10-day period.

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Commune with Plants

You must stay still for a minute, with at least 5 of your roots underground, concentrating on the plants all around you. By doing this, you become aware of the location of all plants around you in a 150 feet radius, as well as gain knowledge on basic information concerning these plants. You are then able to speak with any and all plants within this radius, provided you and the plants you're looking to speak to must be in the same patch of land – if any material that isn't naturally occurring soil (such as water, stone, marble, etc) is between you and your target, you will not be able to communicate with them. After you've initiated the communion, you no longer need to concentrate on this. This ability is interrupted whenever less than 5 of your roots are in the ground, and if you want to communicate with the plants again, you must perform this process again.

You are now speaking the language of the inanimate plants, talking to them the same way you would talk to any other sapient creature. You are communicating through your mind and your roots, not your lips and ears, so no one who is not also communicating with plants can listen in on your conversation. You are not magically compelling them to speak, and much like anyone else, they can freely deny you information or even lie. You can ask the plants anything, and if they could reasonably know it (up to your DM's discretion), they may answer. During communion, the plants cannot physically behave in a way they wouldn't, such as by moving. If the plants' bodies are physically affected during the communion, such as by being burnt or cut, their non-physical behavior may change.

You can use this ability three times per long rest. At level 10, you may use it 6 times per long rest.

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Allelopathy

If a creature is within reach of your roots, you attempt to attach your roots to them. Roll a strength check; if you succeed, you will deal 1d8 piercing damage and will heal for the amount of damage dealt. You can also choose to grant that healing to another creature that is not you and that is within reach of your roots. If you fail the check, the creature manages to untangle itself from you, dealing 1d4 damage to you in the process.

This ability can only be used once per short rest. At level 8, you can use it twice per short rest. At level 15, you can use it thrice per short rest.

At level 8, you deal 2d8. At level 14, you deal 3d8.

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Sun Powered

If a Fiorel is under direct sunlight and is healed through any source, be it a spell, a potion, or something else, roll a d4. If it lands on a 4, your proficiency bonus is added on top of the healing you would have received.

When not under direct sunlight, you feel more lethargic and are less aware than usual. You will roll with disadvantage on saving throws against the following conditions: charmed, frightened, stunned, paralyzed; and automatically fail against any spells that may put you to sleep.


Many of the abilities of this race are very situational, that is by design. It's not intended to be super strong or the most useful race ever, but to be mostly ok and something that you pick mostly for the flavor. However, I have no idea if the abilities I have given to it are too weak or too strong as a baseline. I am perfectly fine with adding or taking away power from this race if need be.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, all of the stuff around direct sunlight should probably be simplified when not in dim light or darkness. Inside a building? automatically fail against sleep. In the shade of a tree surrounded by direct sunlight? sorry abilities disabled. \$\endgroup\$
    – IT Alex
    May 6, 2023 at 16:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for the help everybody! you all were right, it was way too complex and convoluted. I trimmed it down and removed most of it, and simplified all descriptions so theyre not multiple paragraphs long. I also removed all of the sunlight requirements/penalties, and split off several of the things into different subraces. All in all, it's way more manageable and simple now! \$\endgroup\$
    – Denjidenji
    May 18, 2023 at 2:26

1 Answer 1

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Too situational and too complex

You have A LOT of abilities there, far more than a race would usually have. Typically races have 3-4 features beyond the standard ability increase, size, alignment, languages etc., whereas yours has 8. What is more, half of them are several paragraphs long. Looking at all the official races, all (or almost all at least) of the features are described with one or two sentences and even the most complex ones aren't as complex as yours. If you have to write this much to describe a racial feature then I would say it's probably too complicated for a racial. Consider making some of them race specific feats.

Also a lot of your abilities are situational and their usefulness will vary greatly from one campaign to another and depending on the DM. So this race can vary from actively detrimental to very strong depending on the type of environment the campaign takes place at.

Btw, what does happen when this creature starve? You have stated that it happens when it goes too long without feeding but haven't described how that works mechanically. Normal humanoid races get exhaustion levels when they don't eat enough so if this works similarly it could very easily be debilitating.

Overall I think it's an interesting concept but what you have now is first of all too swingy, and second, too complex. I'd suggest at least cutting down on the number of features and simplify the ones with multi-paragraph descriptions if you decide to keep any of them. And think through what happens when this race can't feed enough, as there are several official campaigns where the characters very rarely, if ever, see the sunlight (e.g. Curse of Strahd, Frostmaiden, Out of the Abyss, most dungeon crawls) and it seems like the PC would just starve to death not very far into it.

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