Is this “Faetouched” homebrew race balanced?

I have here attempted to create a race that is to humans and half-humans like Eladrin is to elves. I am slightly worried that it is overpowered and if it is, please let me know how I can fix it.

Faetouched

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.

Age. Faetouched mature very slow compared to humans, reach the maturity of a 20 year old by 200. They have been known to live up to 1250 years.

Alignment. Most faetouched are chaotic due to the wild nature of there heritage and seelie faetouched lean towards good while unseelie are usually neutral or evil, but there are exceptions.

Size. Faetouched stand between 4 and 6 feet tall and have slender builds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Used to the twilight of the Feywild you have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.

Faerie Cunning. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightend, and magic can’t put you to sleep against your will. In addition you suffer no memory loss upon leaving the Feywild.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.

Subrace. Faetouched are divided by which Faerie Court they have a stronger connection to. Choose one of these subraces.

Seelie Faetouched

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity increases by 1.

Protection of the Summer Court. You have resistance to fire damage.

Blessings of the Queen of Summer. You know the produce flame cantrip. When you reach 3rd level you can cast the faerie fire spell once with this trait without using material components and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the charm person spell as a 2nd-level spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Unseelie Faetouched

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 1.

Protection of the Winter Court. You have resistance to cold damage.

Blessings of the Queen of Air and Darkness. You know the thaumaturgy cantrip. When you reach 3rd level you can cast the Snilocc’s snowball swarm spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Is this “Shadetouched” homebrew race balanced?

Designed to be a Shadowfell counterpart to the Faetouched race, this race is humans/half-humans or descendants of humans/half-humans who stayed in the Shadowfell to long. Well here it is.

Shadetouched.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma scores all increase by 1.

Age. Shadetouched show no physical signs of aging but usually live around 200 years.

Alignment. Shadetouched are usally neutral.

Size. Shadetouched are about the same size as humans. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. Used to the gloomy darkness of the Shadowfell you have darkvision with a range of 120 feet.

Dark Resilience. You have resistance to necrotic and psychic damage.

Shadow Stealth. You are proficient in Stealth. In addition you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when in dim light or darkness.

Shadow Weaver. You know the Toll the Dead cantrip. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Shadow Blade spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. when you reach 5th level, you can cast the Darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Sunlight Sensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.

Languages. you can speak, read, and write Common and one language of your choice.

Is this “Slowed Spell” metamagic balanced?

I was thinking about the uses of the Sorcerer’s Quickened Spell Metamagic option and came up with my own metamagic: Slowed Spell:

When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 bonus action, you can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 action for this casting.

This would allow them to cast a spell that usually requires a bonus action and then use their bonus action on something else.
I am wondering if there are balance issues that arise from this versatility.
One potential problem is that the spiritual weapon spell could make two attacks on the turn you summon it (the first from it being cast as an action and the second when you use your bonus action).
However I am unsure if this is a problem as the Quicken Spell Metamagic already has the opposite effect: Spell like witch bolt can be quickened so you can activate their action effect on the turn you cast them.

I am also worried about the effects this would have on the War Caster feat as this new metamagic would allow you to cast spells that usually require a bonus action (and thus usually can only be cast in your own turn) to be cast as actions, qualifying them for War Caster and thus allowing them to be cast even when it is not your own turn.

Note: I do not particularly care if the Sorcerery Point cost is balanced (and believe actual playtime would be the best show of that). I mostly care if having this as an option makes for some unforeseen effects.

Is this Slowed Spell Metamagic balanced?

Are those magic Items too strong for lvl 3-4 characters? Are they balanced?

So i’m running my first ever campaign. The party of 4 are trying to unite a valley commuity (kobolds tribe, human village and dwarven expedition) together against the incoming orc invasion.If they ever succed, I wanted to gift them some magic items from the communities. But I’m afraid that they’re too strong for lvl 3-4 and maybe one is too strong compared to the others.

To the warrior a gift from the dwarves: a really big, high quality 2h sword: -Reach -if it kills something it damages another nearby enemy for 1d6.

To the dragonborn Paladin a gift form the kobolds – a Shield made from Egg Shells that we’re broken by the orcs (The idea is that kobols eggs are really hard at first, and they become softer and softer toward the end to let the kobold get out.) +1AC when under half hp. -1 physical damage

To the fat Halfling Life Cleric a magic mace: when you heal somebody, the weapons becomes +1 for one turn.

To the Mage an amulet from the alchemist daughter: Once per day you can cast a spell as it was one spell slot higher.

Is this homebrew “Thoughtseize” spell balanced? [Round 2]

See the previous round of feedback here.

I was inspired by the Thoughtseize card from Magic, the Gathering to create a spell that achieves a similar effect.

I intend to introduce this spell as something that must be studied extensively at an academy, is considered “new magic” but also probably taboo, and likely as something wielded freely by a villain or cabal. The PCs will be able to learn this spell eventually, but they can’t just choose this spell when leveling their character unless they’ve done the necessary preparation. I haven’t worked out what that is yet.

Thoughtseize

2nd level, Enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 30 feet

Components: V, S, M (a needle or pin)

Duration: 1 Hour, requires Concentration.

You probe the mind of your target, and can sever a thread of their memory for a time.

Choose a creature you can see within range. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, if the target can cast spells, the affected creature forgets one innate, prepared, or otherwise fixed in mind spell that is one level lower than the spell slot used to cast this spell. You may choose which spell is forgotten from a list of valid choices. If no spells meet these requirements, you may choose a spell of a level lower than the level used to cast this spell, but of the highest level the target can cast. Otherwise, this spell fails.

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, you may cause the target to forget an additional spell for every two levels the expended slot was above 2nd. Additionally, for each spell you can choose beyond the first, you may select a spell up to a number of spell levels lower than the level used to cast this spell, equal to that spell slot level minus 1. You must announce the spell level(s) from which you wish to select before selecting any spell(s). You may only select a single spell from each spell level.

This effect lasts up to 1 hour. Requires Concentration. While concentrating on this spell, you suffer 1d4 psychic damage at the beginning of your turn due to mental strain. This damage cannot be prevented by immunities or magical effects. If you use this spell to cause the target to forget more than one spell, you suffer an additional d4 of psychic damage for each spell chosen beyond the first.

I am looking for any and all feedback, but I am primarily concerned with whether this spell is balanced for PC use and/or for Villain use.

One phrase I’m particularly unsure about is from the first paragraph:

If no spells meet these requirements, you may choose a spell of a level lower than the level used to cast this spell, but of the highest level the target can cast. Otherwise, this spell fails.

If I mandated that full casters take 1 non-spellcasting class level for every 2 spellcaster levels, would they be balanced with 2/3 casters?

I’ve been asking about how to balance player characters, and others have suggested using tier 3 classes only, or using only spellcasters who cast 6th-level spells.

This is not the place to contest those ideas, even if they happen to be the starting point for what happened next.

My players want to run a campaign where they all play dwarves, and dwarves have a malus to charisma. This arguably cuts out the bard, the skald, the bloodrager, the summoner and the paladin unless they take the Tortured Crusader archetype.

Along with the ban on wizards, sorcerers, druids, clerics, shamans, oracles, arcanists and witches, the playable classes are greatly reduced.

What would happen, balance-wise, if I were to introduce full casters again, mandating one level of a non-spellcasting class every 2 spellcaster levels?

Specifically, I have a player who would like to play a druid focused on earth magic, which I think is a great concept, but under the no-full-casters rule this is just not possible.

I expect the reduced caster level to harm those multiclassed characters more than the actual lack of favored class bonuses.

Examples:
Would a hunter 17 be better or worse than a druid 12 / ranger 5?
Would a warpriest 17 be better or worse than a cleric 11 / fighter 6?

Note: I will also be using martial initiators from Path of War, who work best when multiclassing due to their peculiar mechanics. I already expect the answer to be different for them (also because a fighter 6 / stalker 11 can reach level 7 maneuvers).

Would the Four Elements monk be balanced with more disciplines and cantrips?

So I’ve just started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender (it’s quite a few years old now, but I’ve never watched it before), and immediately I am reminded of the Way of the Four Elements monk archetype, which is clearly based on air-bending, water-bending, etc. The flavour of this archetype is really cool.

However, in practice, this is a really lackluster archetype. I believe it is popularly considered to be the weakest monk archetype, but even if that’s presumptuous on my part, I at least think it’s weak; I remember playing one a couple of years back, and I ended up having to multiclass them into Sorcerer just to get the feel I was after.

So, since watching some Avatar and getting more of a feel for what I think this archetype should be, I propose the following (based somewhat on comparing them to an Eldritch Knight):

  • Whenever the archetype says you learn a new elemental discipline (i.e. 3rd, 6th, 11th, 17th), you instead learn two (this is excluding the the Elemental Attunement “cantrip” discipline).
  • You can learn from a subset* of cantrips, and have the same number as an Eldritch Knight does (since Four Elements monks roughly seem equivalent to 1/3 casters to me; so that’s 2 cantrips initially, and a 3rd one at level 10); these cantrips would use Wisdom as your spellcasting ability.

This would make them seem like they have more control over the elements, give them more versatility, but without giving them loads of spells. They still only have a grand total of 8 disciplines by level 17, as opposed to the Sorcerer’s 15 known spells (other full casters have more), the 10 of a ranger (14 if it’s a Xanathar’s ranger archetype; this will become 11 or 15 by level 19), or the 11 of an Eldritch Knight/Arcane Trickster (who would know 13 by level 20).

Would this make them significantly stronger in combat than other monk archetypes, or other casters (such as a Sorcerer or an Eldritch Knight)? Do these suggestions need to be dialed back a bit, or is my assessment of the RAW archetype’s weakness way off?


*This subset is: control flames, frostbite, gust, mold earth, produce flame, ray of frost, shape water – I left out fire bolt because I felt that produce flame was good enough and they really don’t need that d10 damage.

Regarding Amdahl’s balanced system law

One of the paper titled “Rules of Thumb in Data Engineering” (Jim Gray et. el.) mentions some calculations based on Amdahl’s balanced system law.

Link to paper: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ms_tr_99_100_rules_of_thumb_in_data_engineering.pdf

Initially, the paper provides some rules of thumb.

“10. Amdahl’s revised balanced system law: A system needs 8 MIPS/MBpsIO, but the instruction rate and IO rate must be measured on the relevant workload. (Sequential workloads tend to have low CPI (clocks per instruction), while random workloads tend to have higher CPI.)

  1. Alpha (the MB/MIPS ratio) is rising from 1 to 4. This trend will likely continue.

  2. Random IO’s happen about once each 50,000 instructions. Based on rule 10, sequential IOs are much larger and so the instructions per IO are much higher for sequential workloads.”

Later, the paper provides following example.

“Amdahl’s balanced system law becomes more complex to interpret in the new world of quad-issue pipelined processors. Table 2 summarizes the following analysis. In theory, the current 550 MHz Intel processors are able to execute 2 billion instructions per second, so Amdahl’s IO law suggests that each 550 MHz processor needs 160 MBps of disk bandwidth (all numbers rounded). However, on real benchmarks, these processors demonstrate 1.2 clocks per instruction (CPI) on sequential workloads (TPC-D,H,R) and 2.2 clocks per instruction on random IO workloads (TPC-C, W) [7,8]. These larger CPIs translate to 450 MIPS on sequential and 260 MIPS on random workloads. In turn, Amdahl’s law says these processors need 60 MBps sequential IO bandwidth (~450/ 8) and 30 MBps random of IO bandwidth (~260/8) per cpu respectively (for tpcH and tpcC). A recent tpcH benchmark by HP [5] used eight 550 MHz processors with 176 disks. This translates to 22 disks per cpu, or about 70 MBps of raw disk bandwidth per cpu and 120 MBps of controller bandwidth per cpu (consistent with Amdahl’s prediction of 60MBps). Amdahl’s law predicts that system needs 30MBps of IO bandwidth. Using 8KB pages and 100 IO/s per disk implies 38 disks per processor – a number comparable to the 50 disks Dell actually used [4].”

I could not understand two parts of it (marked in bold). Need help to understand it.

1). How Amdahl’s IO law suggests 160 MBps here (or is it 60MBps as indicated later (in bold))?

a. According to Amdahl’s IO law, 50,000 instructions will need 1 IO (but of what size??)

b. Hence, 2 billion instructions (= 2 * 10^9 instrs = (50,000) * (40,000)) will need 40,000 IOs (but of what size?)

c. Should we multiply this 40,000 by 4 (because of quad-issue pipelined processor)? This will give 160,000 IOs.

d. Should we assume 1000 Bytes for each IO? If this is the case, it will give 160MBps!!

e. After this I am lost. Are my assumptions in (c) and (d) correct?Please help

2) How tpcH benchmark by HP translates to 70MBps of raw disk bandwidth per cpu and 120 MBps of controller bandwidth per cpu?

a. I could understand that if 176 disks are used with 8 processors, it is about 22 disks per cpu.

b. But, how this translates to 70MBps of raw disk bandwidth per cpu and 120MBps of controller bandwidth per cpu?

What lvl should a character be to make a CR 4 follower balanced?

I want to give one of my player’s character a follower.
Specifically, the follower needs to be a Flameskull (CR 4). The player character is a necromancer and he has a skull of a spell caster and scrolls and all the other “necessary” components. I plan to use only the Flameskull’s Monster Manual entry(stat block) as it is written in the book. Nothing special on it stat wise.

What lvl should the character be to make this balanced?
And at what lvl will the skull become hard to keep alive?

(IMO Familiars and ranger pets become fairly useless or easy to hit at higher lvls to a point where it’s not even worth it to get them involved in a fight, cause they would just get oneshot.
So I want to make this one more useful and last a while, but I don’t want it to be OP)

Is this homebrew magic item, the Necklace of Peer Pressure, balanced?

The intent of this item is to provide a version of the spell Suggestion that is stronger than the base spell but not as powerful as Mass Suggestion. The party members who would receive this item will be 5th-7th level, this item may be used in or out of combat. Is this item appropriately balanced for use as a rare item?

Necklace of Peer Pressure

Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Duration: 12 hours

This appears to be a necklace made of polished puka shells. In order for the abilities of the necklace to be activated, the necklace must be worn and clearly visible. The necklace can hold a maximum of seven charges, and it regains one charge each dawn.

When the necklace is activated, you cast a version of Mass Suggestion with the following limitations:

You suggest a course of activity (limited to a sentence or two) and expend one or more charges to magically influence up to seven creatures (one creature per charge expended) of your choice that you can see within range and that can hear and understand you.

The necklace regains one charge each dawn. Each target must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it pursues the course of action you described to the best of its ability.