Your baby Owlbear is mostly balanced save for a few adjustments.
The bonus to damage should not include proficiency. So the attacks should be plus three, not plus five when determining damage.
For comparison it is best to consider “The Beast of the Earth” stat block from a recently published unearthed arcana.
This beast is developed as a generic spirit ...
Almost everything about Overwhelming Soul just makes a kineticist worse.
As with a lot of other archetypes, Overwhelming Soul trades out class features for things that look like they might fill the same role. Unfortunately, these are all pretty much downgrades from what a normal kineticist would have. Going over the replacements:
Mind Over Matter
It's not gonna change your tier
If you are playing the kineticist as tier 4:
You are essentially trading the ability score modifiers from Elemental Overflow for increased social skills. This somewhat lowers your damage output from Kinetic Blade, but not by enough to ruin things. You have to make up the difference via increased utility from your social ...
As a general rule you should avoid having every feature of a subclass being combat oriented.
The Assassin is built around getting close to someone and attacking them before they know there is a risk of combat. Its 3rd level feature gives it nice damage from doing so. Its 9th and 13th level abilities make it easier to do this. And its 17th level ability ...
It's probably balanced
In the grand scheme of things, having a (much) better chance to crit one enemy isn't all that over powered. Sure at level 20 you get 20d6+2*weapon damage, but really a Wizard doubles that with one cast of Meteor Swarm anyway. It also adds a little more of a team player aspect for 1 round.
The Real Changes
The problem I see with this ...
It would only be unbalanced if left written as is.
The theme behind Assassin Rogues feels centered around solo abilities and surprising your opponent. Let's look at their sub-class features:
Starting at 3rd level, you are at your deadliest when you get the
drop on your enemies....any hit you score against a creature that is surprised is a critical hit.
It's only a bit unbalanced
As @NathanS comments, Assassin has weak Level 9 (Infiltration) and Level 13 (Imposter) features. You may not ever have a chance to use them. This is balanced by the powerful Levels 3 (Assassinate) and situational Level 17 (Death Strike) features. Compare to the L3 Thief features (Fast Hands and Second Story Work), which give no ...
I think this change would be fine
A common complaint about the Assassin roguish archetype is that its level 9 and 13 features are quite lackluster. They only make sense in specific scenarios, which may not come up in your campaign, making them completely useless. I agree with your player that Supreme Sneak does suit the Assassin from a flavour perspective, ...
It actually wouldn’t make much of a difference at all. By level 9 either getting advantage/huge bonuses on sneak attempts or disguising yourself as another person aren’t terribly hard to pull off if you have spellcaster friends or access to magic items (Invisibility and Pass Without Trace just to name a few, let alone that your sneaky assassin probably ...
The limited metamagic is very niche, and you'd have to search hard to really find combos that are worth investing many levels into this class for. The worst thing I can think of is twinned simulacrum, but you can already do that (albeit at 3 levels higher than this class would enable). However...
The one level dip
For the cost of never being able to learn ...
I'd like to preface this with the fact that I'm usually a GM and have only seen my players use high level wizards before, so you know where I'm coming from.
The things you're giving up from being a level 20 Wizard are not made up in the prestige class. I'm making the assumption that you're meant to supplement your wizard levels with ...
Wild Magic was already the weakest of the sorcerous origins. While ordinarily its problems stem from requiring the GM to tell you to roll at every possible moment just to stay relevant, now the class gives you a one in 6 chance of your spell having advantage at the cost of every spell you cast also draining 2 hp (or more at higher levels). ...
The Balance Is Bad
Wild Magic Surge appears to be mandatory, making spell use fatal at low levels.
Chaotic Synergy is really strong. The benefits are enough that might be worth slogging through the uselessness of being unable to use your primary class feature for five levels, without killing yourself.
Controlled Chaos is suicide.
Spell Bombardment seems ...
For starters, I'm not quite clear on whether you're proposing that a character can restrain a grappled creature in one action without having the feat, or whether a character can both grapple and restrain another creature in one action. It reads to me more like the latter is intended, but I'm not sure.
In any case, it doesn't seem overpowered
to still have the Grappler feat be a worthwhile investment for a "grapple build"
This assumption is only true in some fairly specific circumstances, so most guides that give builds for grappling tend to ignore/discard the Grappler feat. My reading and experience tells the same, "Grappler" is not the first (second, third, fourth) choice of feat for a ...
It is underpowered, better stick to damaging cantrips instead.
Your staff damage dice is comparable to longbow or light crossbow, but:
Deals less damage than longbow or light crossbow in hands of someone built to use them.
Has pitiful range
Costs 2/4 times as much as longbow/light crossbow
Cannot make extra attacks (not that it matters for Druid...)
Has a ...
The staff is underpowered and won't likely be used
The staff is a suboptimal damage dealing trade-off compared to cantrips
Yes, you'll get an extra 1 damage by using this over produce flame at early levels, but once you hit level 5, you'll get more consistent damage from that cantrip at the same action cost.
So for levels 3-4, you may eek out an extra ...
Too Many Charges
The damage output of the staff (1d8+1) approximates the Warlock's Eldritch Blast (1d10) which is a cantrip and the Warlock's most frequent means of dealing damage. For the Warlock this is ok because she has a limited set of spells and abilities to choose from, however, the Druid has way more. E.g., at level 3 the Druid can cast 6 spells in ...
A few notes expanding on @Joe's excellent answer:
The most obvious impacts are likely to be:
Average damage vs large things - almost nothing: 5% chance to do 3 damage -> .15 extra damage per attack
Party is advantaged - even up through 10th level, many mooks die from overkill, and a little +3 damage hit may save an attack that usually does 10, perhaps a 20-...
So we’re looking at the following health systems in question:
Standard, aka critical existence failure
Your homebrew, which I’ll call ‘injury levels’ here (after the exhaustion mechanic it resembles).
Injury levels vs standard is barely a comparison; the PCs are being directly downgraded with nothing to show for it. Their ...
It slightly favors certain character types
I agree with T.J.L. that this won't make any PCs dramatically more powerful or break bounded accuracy, and also that it's probably not worth the complexity. But since you asked about balance, I also think it's worth noting that this rule doesn't apply equally to all character types.
Most obviously, the houserule ...
Is it balanced?
Sure, it's balanced if you apply it to all sides of a combat equally. It's a very minor change. Even taking into account characters with multiple attacks each round, it's a couple of HP here or there - not worth worrying about.
Is it worthwhile?
No. You're adding complexity in the pursuit of verisimilitude. That's a fine idea, except that ...
I would say these alterations significantly improve the subclass.
It's hard to compare to the other monks because of how simple they play, and because they have direct specializations.
At first glance it still seems a little expensive to me, but I would need to see it in action to be sure.
I don't think it compares well to Paladin or Eldritch Knight ...
I'm assuming the intended use of this spell is to sacrifice your own HP to save someone else, and so any use that doesn't result in the caster being depleted of HP is abusive.
Recovering the spent HP
The basic abuse of this spell is to grant someone a temporary hit point (THP) buffer, then use a healing spell or other source of healing ...
This is almost exactly the official Duergar subrace
In Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, there is actually an official Duergar subrace, which you've almost exactly recreated. Besides missing an additional language and some (mostly inconsequential) additional text on Duergar Magic, your version has one issue that could be problematic for a player race.
This is unlikely to be balanced, and probably never will be
The main problem here is that this class allows you to turn into various types of monsters with special abilities that are not balanced for players, and those monsters get those abilities at a CR where they are appropriate for use against the players, not by them.
For example, a 5th level Shifter ...
For me the main problem is the interaction between spells and the beast, it is really cool to have shared spells at the capstone but will be great to be able to use spells like zephir strike in your best companion and not you, as it was previously stated the lack of synergy between some spells like hunter´s mark is not optimal.
One common idea in which I ...
The class is fairly well written and shows signs of editing. Most of the problems left with it are stylistic textual errors any experienced player or GM will have no trouble correcting and the authors probably didn't notice existed (e.g "You can cast animate dead" but it needs to say "... and it is a Summoner spell for you", Major Magic should ...
I don't think so.
The basic issue I see is that the minion seems too good. It gets radically more powerful as the Summoner progresses, is easily commanded, and can be replaced very quickly and easily with no penalty. It costs nothing to maintain. It seems very much like this class offers the ability to play with two PCs, subject to some restrictions, and ...
Hmm... race looks okay to me. I will evaluate using detect balance.
ABSI. Con, Int, Wis all +1. (12) Triton's get 3 seprete plus 1's.
Age, Alignment, Size, and Speed. (0) age and alignment don't matter. Size is medium, which is the standard, and speed 30ft, which is also standard.
Darkvision. 120ft is a 4, drow get this and they live in the underdark.
No feat needed; bonus actions without triggers can be taken at any time.
Setting aside the fact that Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings (just unofficial guidance):
Rules designer Jeremy Crawford did tweet the statement you quote in your question. However, this caused some confusion in the replies, so he made a followup tweet clarifying what ...
That's what surprise rules are for.
Surprise rules do exactly that. A surprised creature cannot use actions or reactions until after their first turn in combat (meanign they just pass). After that, it is combat as usual. What you are trying to bring are the flat-foot rules of 3.x . One that gave great benefit to those with large initiative bonuses. In 5e, ...
Whether or not it's too strong depends on your characters level and how hard the campaign is. I believe the musket is 1d12, which is pretty solid damage output considering its on par with the Great Axe and Great Sword. The thing is with the melee weapons, they can swing as many times as allowed without having to reset or reload. However they are also melee, ...
IMO the key point here is this one:
Deliver on my players' desire to feel like they can surprise their opponents without needing to roll for stealth.
The whole roll for stealth concept is based on the unfortunate reality that how stealthy one feels may be inaccurate.
The main impact of the change as you've described it would be to remove a lot of ...
I find this change fairly unbalancing as this would effectively nerf quite a few abilities:
Reaction spells (Shield in particular)
Defensive reactions (Rogue's dodge)
Martial Maneuver Reactions
I'll add that that this also nerfs the advantage of achieving surprise. Not that getting surprise would be worse, but because ...
Squishier creatures will be harder to protect
The largest, most general consequence will be that frontliners will have a harder time protecting their squishier allies. In my experience, both PC and enemy groups almost always travel through dangerous areas with tankier melee characters in front and squishier casters and ranged characters in back. Normally, ...
As you mention, rolling well on initiative becomes far more important for the creature.
A partial list of things PCs/NPCs would then not be able to do include:
Reaction spelling (including shield & counter spell)
Some feats (Sentinel for example)
Rogue's Uncanny action
Any reactions / special abilities granted to monsters
Some of ...