Long-Range Grapple Feat Balance

One of my players wants the ability to grapple other creatures at range when using a whip (think Indiana Jones wrapping his whip around things). I think this is a reasonable ability to have, but because it confers a mechanical advantage, I want to make this a feat. The text of the feat would read as follows:

Whip Master

You have trained extensively with the whip, allowing you to use it both within and outside of combat. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • When wielding a whip, you can attempt to grab another creature using your whip. To do so, make a Dexterity check to which you can add your proficiency bonus if you are proficient with whips contested by the other creature’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. On a successful check, the creature cannot move away from you. On its turn, it can make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check contested by your Strength (Athletics) check to try to escape. Once the creature has been grabbed, you can move in a direction opposite it and drag it with you at half your speed unless it is two or more sizes smaller.
  • When wielding a whip, you may use its reach instead of your own on ability checks to grab or catch objects.

Does this seem balanced when compared to other feats?

What are the balance issues around a Tiny playable race?


Background

Every official playable race in D&D, to the best of my knowledge, is either Medium or Small. Even for creatures that should be Large (meaning where the “monster” versions of such creatures are Large, such as Centaur, Minotaur, etc), the official playable race versions of those creatures are considered Medium, even if they are brushing up against the upper limit of Medium.

There are no official playable races that are Tiny. I was reading this question about issues regarding a homebrew pixie race and using equipment designed for at least Small sized creatures and up. This got me thinking about how feasible a Tiny playable race even is. Before I attempt to homebrew anything Tiny, I wanted to find out any potential problems before getting too into it, much like I did with this question.

Potential Issues

Some issues highlighted in that other question (about pixies) include the aforementioned equipment size issue, but also things like (as mentioned at the end of the accepted answer) flying into the mouth of a creature and entering them, dealing damage on the inside (although this was in the context of enlarging an item inside a creature, but still…)

On the other hand, it’s already possible to have a Tiny PC by RAW (although only temporarily) by casting enlarge/reduce on a Small creature (i.e. Gnome, Halfling, Goblin, etc) to make them Tiny. This implies there’s nothing that a homebrew Tiny race could do that a Halfling Wizard couldn’t.

Question

What balance issues (whether to the benefit of or the determent to the player of the Tiny PC) would arise out of having a PC who is Tiny by default, that should concern me should I attempt to homebrew a Tiny race?

Or to put it another way, if I assume that a Tiny race is definitely balanced because you can shrink a Small race down via enlarge/reduce, is that a correct assumption, or am I overlooking something?


For the purposes of having an example, let’s assume I want to homebrew my own pixie race, which will be Tiny. I’m not interested in existing homebrew Tiny races, including pixies, since the focus of this question is the balance implications of the fact that it is Tiny, not that it is a pixie specifically. In other words, this question is not “how to homebrew a pixie”; rather, “if I did, what to watch out for”.

Also, I do not think this is quite a duplicate of How to handle a Tiny Player Character in 5e?, because that question is asking for rules that already exist for a Tiny character, whereas I’m asking about unforeseen balance implications of allowing it. The answers there are useful, but they don’t quite answer my question, which I believe is different.

What balance problems arise by allowing grappling as an option for an Opportunity Attack?

In our last session (with me as the DM), a creature was surrounded by the party and was trying to flee. She cast Levitate on herself to try to float up and get away. As she was going up and thereby out of reach of several party members, they each got an Opportunity Attack against her. Several of them wanted to use this opportunity attack to try to grapple, holding on to her to keep her from getting away, rather than a more traditional melee attack. I wasn’t sure whether this was an allowed way to take an Opportunity Attack, but the scene of her floating up with one of the player characters grabbing onto her legs as she went up was pretty neat, and I figured via Rule of Cool that I should just allow it. And it did lead to a really fun encounter, with the character dangling off the legs of this creature in midair trying to slap some manacles on her to prevent further spellcasting.

Now, after the session, I figured I’d look up the actual rules, and sure enough by the book Opportunity Attacks only allow for a melee attack, not a grapple. So I guess my question is, what issues might I encounter if I maintain this precedent of allowing a more generous set of actions as Opportunity Attacks? It sure seems that trying to tackle or trip somebody as they run past you could make for some fun scenes, and it feels more “realistic” in some sense than only allowing for a melee attack.

I’m a relatively novice DM, and am thus hesitant to go very far outside of the standard rules.

If I just allow for this — substitute in a Grapple for a melee attack during an Opportunity Attack — will this create balance problems?

Modifying insert and remove functions of an AVL tree so that nodes that don’t need to be rebalanced are not checked for balance

Trying to modify an insert and remove function for an AVL Tree so that no nodes are checked for balance that do not need to be. The suggested way to do was was to change the return types of insert, remove and balance, so that they return information about whether more balance checking is needed. In the case of insert, we know that after one node is rebalanced, no other node will need rebalancing. We can let balance(t) return true if the node t was rebalanced and false otherwise. Then insert should also return a bool value to notify nodes further up the tree that no more rebalancing is required.

 void insert( const Comparable & x, AvlNode * & t )     {         if( t == nullptr )             t = new AvlNode{ x, nullptr, nullptr };         else if( x < t->element )             insert( x, t->left );         else if( t->element < x )             insert( x, t->right );          balance( t );     }  void remove( const Comparable & x, AvlNode * & t )     {         if( t == nullptr )             return;   // Item not found; do nothing          if( x < t->element )             remove( x, t->left );         else if( t->element < x )             remove( x, t->right );         else if( t->left != nullptr && t->right != nullptr ) // Two children         {             t->element = findMin( t->right )->element;             remove( t->element, t->right );         }         else         {             AvlNode *oldNode = t;             t = ( t->left != nullptr ) ? t->left : t->right;             delete oldNode;         }          balance( t );     }   void balance( AvlNode * & t )     {         if( t == nullptr ) return;          cout << "balancing <" << height(t->left) << "> " << t->element << " <" << height(t->right) << ">" << endl ;          if( height( t->left ) - height( t->right ) > ALLOWED_IMBALANCE )             if( height( t->left->left ) >= height( t->left->right ) )                 rotateWithLeftChild( t );             else                 doubleWithLeftChild( t );         else         if( height( t->right ) - height( t->left ) > ALLOWED_IMBALANCE )             if( height( t->right->right ) >= height( t->right->left ) )                 rotateWithRightChild( t );             else                 doubleWithRightChild( t );          t->height = max( height( t->left ), height( t->right ) ) + 1;     }  

I am stuck on how to do this. Would I be adding “return true” after any of the following calls: rotateWithLeftChild( t ), doubleWithLeftChild( t), rotateWithRightChild( t ), doubleWithRightChild( t ) and false otherwise? If someone could point me towards the right direction, it would be appreciated

Would this custom Legerdemain feat have any serious balance issues?

From the dictionary:

Legerdemain: skillful use of one’s hands when performing conjuring tricks.

In 5th Edition the Arcane Trickster Rogue subclass is provided with Mage Hand Legerdemain. This expands Mage Hand to be able to use thieves’ tools, pick pocket, and other things typically attributable to the use of a “Sleight of Hand” check.

Mage Hand Legerdemain

Starting at 3rd level, when you cast mage hand, you can make the spectral hand invisible, and you can perform the following additional tasks with it:

  • You can stow one object the hand is holding in a container worn or carried by another creature.
  • You can retrieve an object in a container worn or carried by another creature.
  • You can use thieves’ tools to pick locks and disarm traps at range.

You can perform one of these tasks without being noticed by a creature if you succeed on a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check contested by the creature’s Wisdom (Perception) check.

In addition, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning Action to control the hand.

My bard from the start was a “fast talking street hustler” with extra proficiency in Sleight of Hand and Deception. I generally use this combination for introducing myself with one hand and pick-pocketing with the other, but I recently discovered that Arcane Tricksters get the ability to do this with Mage Hand. That seems really fun but not really worth slowing my Bard progression for.

Would a custom feat that reads as follows have any serious game breaking repercussions?

Legerdemain

Prerequisite: The Mage Hand cantrip

Your mastery over the illusional hand has granted you:

  • Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You can use your Mage Hand without being noticed by a creature if you succeed on a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check contested by the creature’s Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • You can control your existing Mage Hand as a bonus action.

How to balance “Zone of Peace”

I am playing a pacifist paladin. I am trying to create a “Zone of Peace” spell that prevents everything in the zone from attacking. Currently, my idea is that the user rolls charisma, and all creatures have to roll above that number on their attack rolls to succeed. Is this balanced? And if not, how do I balance it?

Feat Observant: What would balance swapping passive perception bonus for active perception

My DM doesn’t tend to use passive perception of the players, he’ll just get us to roll active perception in most cases. We tend to use perception far more than any other skill in the game.

When a new player joined playing a monk, they wanted to take the ‘Observant’ feat, but didn’t like that the +5 to passive perception would probably not be used. The DM said fine, we’ll just make that +5 to your perception skill, which pushes him to +9 perception at level 2. I’m concerned this overpowers the feat, as he’s already getting an ability point boost from it as well.

How might we change the ‘Observant’ feat so that it’s not useless, but also not inbalanced?

How to balance combat for a duet campaign with non-frontliner classes?

I’m in the process of creating a campaign and in the time leading up to it I’ve been running a few duets, or one-on-one, campaigns via a play-by-post format. I’ve been struggling though to create tense or threatening combat without being outright unfair. I’m used to creating combat encounters in which there is a full and diverse party, a couple casters, martials, and utility, but balancing combat for a single player is quite difficult, especially when one of my duets is with a Cleric, and another is with a Rogue.

The players are able to temporarily recruit companions during the Duet, which will usually just be NPCs or friendly creatures, using CR rather than essentially giving the player a second character (entering Trio territory). They will only ever be able to have one of these companions but will typically be alone.

I’m confident with creating encounters for a lone Fighter, Monk, Barbarian or other frontline class, but less so when it comes to pure casters and utility classes like Clerics, Rogues, Bards, etc.
If it helps, I am running a homebrew module and setting, so I have large amounts of flexibility when it comes to how I run the encounters. I also have access to most the official sources for creatures and will use a variety of them, including re-flavours to mimic combat diversity.

How do I balance the combat fairly in a duet campaign for non-frontline classes without diminishing threat or perceived threat?