Per this question here, I asked about grappling hooks as a weapon in D&D 4e, and the community came up with a great answer using cahulaks. Now, as stated in my previous question, I'm trying to homebrew a race whose primary shtick is the use of grappling hooks and rope in all of their endeavors. So this is mainly a balancing issue.

The three feats described in the accepted answer in my previous question, (Cahulaks Novice, Cahulaks Specialist, and Cahulaks Expert) all replace a character's attack power with a power associated with the use of Cahulaks.

Would a race that gave one or more of these feats for free be wildly out of line with the power levels of other races?

Would a race that gave one or more of these feats and did not require losing a class attack power be even more so?

  • Balance requires that we know all the positives and negatives. If one aspect of the race is stronger compared to other races, then another can be weaker to make up for it. Answering this would be easier if we had a fuller race description. So I guess I'm saying that what you're suggesting might be okay, depending on what else the race can do. – DCShannon Mar 20 '15 at 2:23
  • @sillyputty In general Utility Powers are always an option you choose, not a freebie, a Character Theme, Race, Class, or proficiency with a certain skill will open up more utility power options, but ultimately you only get one at the appropriate level. – Joshua Aslan Smith Mar 20 '15 at 12:09
up vote 9 down vote accepted

"I'm really super specialized with a very specific weapon!" Is not in line with the scope of racial abilities in 4e.

Many races have feats which grant both proficiency with and a damage bonus with an entire category of weapons -- hammers and axes for dwarves, heavy blades for githzerai.

So the specific feats you're asking about? I wouldn't, but you could very easily mimic Dwarven Weapon Training and allow your race to take one feat for proficiency with all thrown flails (bolas, nets, and cahulaks), as well as another small boost like +2/tier to their short/long range, or freedom to take their respective multiclass feats without using up the standard multiclass slot?

There are racial features that grant weapon proficiencies, but they never extend to superior weapons, nor to giving specific feats for free.

This appears to be because dictating your weapon or fighting style isn't the role of a race - it's the role of your class, and even then, wizards likes to provide multiple optional feature sets.

Baking thrown flail features into a race is the same as penalizing a Swordmage of that race, because those features are wasted on him. Aim for more generic features, and leave specialization to feats, paragon paths/epic destinies, and classes. Racial feats are a good way to create a feeling of racial mastery of a particular thing and guide players to focus in those areas without forcing their hands or penalizing them for not taking them.

  • There's more I wanted to say, but I felt it was outside the scope of the question. Homebrew is always hard to answer because everything is opinion. – webbcode Mar 20 '15 at 5:29
  • I think you nailed it, the highest freebie bonuses for a race is starting out with proficiency or a racial feat that gives +2/3/4 (vs. +1/2/3) damage. – Joshua Aslan Smith Mar 20 '15 at 12:10
  • +1 for the whole answer, but accepted because of the last sentence. It's guiding how I'm going about making the starting racial abilities feel. – sillyputty Mar 20 '15 at 20:25

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