In D&D 5E what race is a good balance point for homebrew races? [on hold]

When making a homebrew race what published race should be used as a benchmark for the purpose of balance?

My first thought is is the Half-Elf variant “Drow Half-Elf” because it gets:

  • Total +4 Stat Bonuses.
  • Walk Speed 30
  • Darkvision
  • Bonus Resistances
  • Cantrip at 0, and 1/day spells at later levels

Is there a better reference point we should use?

What variables do I have to take into consideration when I homebrew armour?

The variables that are clear to me are shown in the Armor-table (PHB 145):

  1. Type of armour: Light, Medium, Heavy (also limits Dex mods).
  2. Cost, commonly displayed in GP.
  3. Armour Class.
  4. Strength prerequisite.
  5. State of disadvantage on Stealth checks.
  6. Weight.

A description of the armour is also necessary. Considerations of which classes have access to the armour types seems necessary. Considerations of worldbuilding implications seem optional. Considerations of the feats that grant access to armours and improve the efficiency of armours (PHB 167-168) appears necessary.

Have I missed any important variables, such as specific class feature interactions with armour?

Is this homebrew Warlock Magister patron balanced?

In D&D 5e’s Warlock flavor, it would make sense that incredibly powerful (>level 20) spellcasters could become the patrons. So, in preparation to a new campaign (with my DM’s permission), I am creating a new Magister subclass. It essentially hinges on my Warlock being taught in some way by a more powerful caster.

Before I play this campaign (and possibly future campaigns, if it proves balanced), I would like to see how balanced this is, so as to avoid having to change the features throughout the campaign.

Here it is:

The Magister

You have made a pact with the spirit of an exceptionally powerful mage who draws from unfathmable vestiges of magical power, and you have gained further arcane knowledge through their tutorship.

Magister’s Spell List

When you choose this path at first level, you may choose the type of spellcaster you are learning from. The spells on the corresponding spell list count as Warlock spells for you, and you always have them known.

Wizard Spells

-1st Level: Magic Missile

-2nd Level: Blur

-3rd Level: Major Image

-4th Level: Greater Invisibility

-5th Level: Wall of Force

Sorcerer Spells

-1st Level: Chaos Bolt

-2nd Level: Aganazzar’s Scorcher

-3rd Level: Haste

-4th Level: Banishment

-5th Level: Cloudkill

Warlock Spells

-1st Level: Hex

-2nd Level: Invisibility

-3rd Level: Hunger of Hadar

-4th Level: Shadow of Moil

-5th Level: Synaptic Static

Okay. This is a pretty big deviation from the typical “expanded spell list,” but if you think about it, the flavor works. This patron has taught you these spells from its own experience, not just granted you the chance to learn them.

Lesser Mystic Arcanum

At 1st level, the Magister has taught you a magical secret called an arcanum. Choose a first level spell from the Warlock spell list as this arcanum.

You can cast your arcanum spell once at its lowest level without expending a spell slot. You must finish a long rest before you can do so again.

At higher levels, you gain more warlock spells of your choice that can be cast in this way: one 2nd-level spell at 3rd level, one 3rd-level spell at 5th level, one 4th-level spell at 7th level, and one 5th-level spell at 9th level.

This is the defining feature of this subclass. Usually, Warlocks begin getting Mystic Arcanums at 11th level, to offset their lack of spell slots, but this feature grants you a few low-level ones at the lower levels (1-5). This gives this Warlock a bit of a safety net of one-time-use spells.

Strategic Spell

At 6th level, when you cast a Warlock spell, you may use a bonus action to Dash or Disengage.

This gives the average Warlock some ways to escape combat easily, but then again, what self-respecting (non-Hexblade) Warlock would find themselves in melee? Dash, however, is a very practical option, and may be too overpowered. Should I only allow the Disengage option? Or perhaps I should include Dodge instead?

Eldritch Weave

At 10th level, you can use your action to weave a web of magic around yourself. For 1 minute, you gain temporary HP equal to twice your Warlock level, and your concentration cannot be broken until you lose all of these temporary hit points. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Some potent defensive magic, much like other Warlock features at 10th level.

Greater Mystic Arcanum

At 14th level, you gain the ability cast your 1st-level Mystic Arcanum at-will. At 18th level, you may cast your 2nd-level Mystic Arcanum at-will.

The capstone ability for this subclass stacks at 18th level, and allows you to cast (probably utility) spells at-will, from a very limited (cough) Warlock Spell List (cough) list of options. Additionally, it hinges on an ability you selected a LONG time ago, back at first and third levels.

So, is this balanced against the other Otherworldly Patrons?

Is my homebrew Awakened Bear race balanced?

So I wanted to play an awakened bear, and decided to create my own race. I used this link to create it, but I’d like to know how it would stack up in game. Is the unarmed strike a bit much?

Awakened Bear

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.

Age. Awakened bears, while intelligent, only live about 30 years. They tend to mature at about a year old.

Alignment. Awakened bears tend towards neutrality, though they can be fiercely loyal if they do choose a side.

Size. 5-7’ and 600-1000lbs. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet.

Bear Paws. You have proficiency with your claws and teeth. Your claws deal 2d6+Str slashing damage and your teeth deal 1d8+Str piercing damage. Due to your clumsy paws, you can’t use any tools requiring intricacy, light weapons or finnese weapons.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light as if it was bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. Your range is 60ft.

Thick Fur. You have resistance to Cold damage.

Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

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

Balancing homebrew magic items for my players

Warning for my players: Ayla, Lothar, Okazaki and Agmar: GTFO spoilers ahead!!

So I created some magic items and I want to know if I made them about equally, I’m aware these are probably broken, what I want to know is are the about the same in terms of power, practicality, thematic and fun over all. All of them require attunement.

For barbarian, totem warrior, basic brute who loves smashing I made Maul of conqueror: he absorbs enemy strength. If he gets killing blow he can use the slain enemy’s strength score instead of his own until he finishes long rest. If he kills a giant kin the strength becomes permanent. that’s the simplest one

next is the monk, open hand, loves to pick losing fights, he gets Grit of the underdog (fist weapon): this one evolves in stages

+1 to attack rolls and damage, you score critical hit on rolls 19-20. Additionally when you score a crit or your opponent score crit on you, you regain 1 ki point. If the number of ki points exceed your Monk level you lose all extra points after short or long rest

+2 you can spend 1 ki point to heal yourself. Spend 1 hit die and add your constitution modifier. you can use this even when unconscious.

+3 spent 5 ki points, for next minute you can add your opponent’s Strength bonus to your damage rolls

-Since he often saves ki points he rarely uses them and ends up not spending them.

for swashbuckler rouge, likes fancy stuff, plans to multiclass into fighter to get fighting style and riposte as battle maneuver. Basically Cabal’s ruin (I couldn’t think of cool armor that boosts riposte so I copied Matt T.T) but he +1/+2/+3 to AC to improve chances to riposte:

+1 Cabal’s Ruin has 4 charges, and regains 1d4 expended charges daily at dawn. When the wearer is targeted by an enemy’s spell, they can use their reaction to have the cloak swallow part of the spell. The cloak gains a number of charges equal to the spell level of the triggering spell. The wearer is still subject to whatever effects the spell would normally inflict on them. The ability cannot be used again until they finish a short or long rest. When the wearer hits with an attack, they can choose to expend any number of charges from the cloak, dealing an additional 1d6 lightning damage per charge expended, which is inflicted on the target of that attack. If the attack strikes multiple targets, the wearer must choose one target from the group to be subject to this damage.

+2 Cabal’s Ruin grants the wearer advantage on all saving throws against spells and other magical effects. The cloak’s maximum charges becomes 6, and it regains 1d4+2 charges daily at dawn. When using the cloak’s ability to swallow a spell, the wearer gains resistance to the damage of that spell.

+3 The cloak’s maximum charges becomes 10, and it regains 1d6+4 charges daily at dawn.

And lastly for Beast master ranger, she has a wolf and she kinda feels under powered. Her’s is most complicated and not 100% done. Link of the devourer, 2 piece item, collar and bracelet must be equiped by both companion and ranger:

Base form- when you cast a spell with a range of touch, your companion can deliver the spell as if it had cast the spell. Your companion must be within 100 feet of you, and it must use its reaction to deliver the spell when you cast it. If the spell requires an attack roll, you use your attack modifier for the roll.

Evolved form- the bond with companion evolves beyond natural. When either you or your companion take damage, you can chose which one of you takes the damage. Damage must be transfered whole and cannot be split betwen the two.

Ascended form- your link is complete, you are always aware how far your companion is away from you and in which general direction. While your companion is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through your companion’s eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special that the companion has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses.

now for complicated part: based on what companion devours it gains traits of it’s prey, the traits also apply to you. you can switch unlocked forms during short rest.

Feral form: devour Beast to unlock. Use dire wolf stat block for companion, Ranger gets +10ft speed and temporary hit points equal to character level

Fey form: devour Fey to unlock. Use blink dog stat block for companion, Ranger gets +2 to Charisma, can cast invisibility without spending a spellslot once per short rest

Dragon form: Apply dragon template from monster manual to companion, Ranger gets +1 to AC, resistance to elemental damage based on dragon’s color and can add 1d6 of same elemental damage to damage rolls

Fiend form: not finished

Abberation form: not finished

Celestial form: not finished

So that is basically it. Any Ideas if some of them are more powerfull than the others, did they follow the theme and any ideas for 3 remaining forms forms??

How to playtest homebrew material? [on hold]

We frequently receive homebrew questions which are on topic, and we have a meta on how to ask good homebrew questions that includes playtesting as the third step of creating a good question.

This third step advises us to do theoretical playtesting, and simulations of short situations to improve the understanding of the homebrew material by the questioner, who then can ask for more specific advice. The first step advises us on where to start.

But how do you do more thorough playtesting?

For some systems, we have good answers for specific mechanics within that system that give us an idea about how we should playtest homebrew material. In this question, we explore when to playtest your systems. We also have several questions that cover where to find playtesters 1, 2, and 3. We also know that playtesting can be a difficult and long process with a lot of uncertainty in the results of the playtesting. In this question, we explore how changes in playtesting material should be handled

So, again, how to playtest homebrew material?

This question is inspired by comments in this meta question, in particular by linksassin.

Is the homebrew weapon attack cantrip ‘Arcane Strike’ balanced?

I have created some new cantrips which include making a weapon attack as there are only two official ones to choose from. I’ve tried to follow these principles based on Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade:

  • Melee weapon attack only, 5 foot range
  • No unavoidable extra damage to the primary target at level 1
  • Damage no more than 2 targets
  • Spellcasting ability modifier doesn’t have to affect the spell at all
  • Only available on the Warlock, Sorcerer and Wizard spell lists

But with such a small amount of official content to compare them against, it’s hard to say if they’re balanced.

Is this spell balanced with Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade?

Arcane Strike

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: Instantaneous

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.

On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, except all bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from the attack is converted to force damage.

At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 force damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Is the homebrew weapon attack cantrip ‘Astral Smash’ balanced?

I have created some new cantrips which include making a weapon attack as there are only two official ones to choose from. I’ve tried to follow these principles based on Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade:

  • Melee weapon attack only, 5 foot range
  • No unavoidable extra damage to the primary target at level 1
  • Damage no more than 2 targets
  • Spellcasting ability modifier doesn’t have to affect the spell at all
  • Only available on the Warlock, Sorcerer and Wizard spell lists

But with such a small amount of official content to compare them against, it’s hard to say if they’re balanced.

Is this spell balanced with Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade?

Astral Smash

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.

On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and it becomes outlined in sparkling light until the end of your next turn. While outlined, it sheds dim light in a 5-foot radius and cannot benefit from being invisible.

At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d6 radiant damage to the target. The damage roll increases by 1d6 at 11th level and 17th level.

Is this homebrew Energy Shield spell balanced?

Is this homebrew spell extension to the “shield” spell balanced?

The spell is supposed to be a more powerful version of the shield spell that produces a shockwave back to the attacker when the enemy hits the shield.

Energy Shield

3th-level abjuration

Casting Time: 1 reaction*
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack, and you take no damage from magic missile or lighting bolt.

When an attack misses due to the AC bonus:

  • An energy shock erupts from the energy shield back to the attacker dealing the original damage of the original attack and knock him prone in a failed save or half damage on a successful save.
  • The energy shock stops the weapon and delivers shock damage due to the force of impact. Subpar weapons automatically break. Standard weapons have a 20% chance to break on impact. Magical items are not broken.
  • If the attack was a magic missile, the magic missile is rebounded randomly to another nearby creature (including friendlies) or the original attacker. Lighting bolt simply dispels.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the duration of the spell is increased in one turn per level above 3.

If it’s not balanced, could a change in the base level of the spell fix it?

Is the homebrew weapon attack cantrip ‘Battery’ balanced?

I have created some new cantrips which include making a weapon attack as there are only two official ones to choose from. I’ve tried to follow these principles based on Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade:

  • Melee weapon attack only, 5 foot range
  • No unavoidable extra damage to the primary target at level 1
  • Damage no more than 2 targets
  • Spellcasting ability modifier doesn’t have to affect the spell at all
  • Only available on the Warlock, Sorcerer and Wizard spell lists

But with such a small amount of official content to compare them against, it’s hard to say if they’re balanced.

Is this spell balanced with Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade?

Battery

Evocation cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 5 feet
Components: V, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round

As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails.

On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects, and you become charged until the end of your next turn. While charged, you deal an extra 1d8 lightning damage when making a melee attack with a weapon. If you become charged while you are already charged, the charged damage increases by 1d8, up to a maximum of 2d8.

At 5th level, the attack deals an extra 1d8 lightning damage to the target and the maximum charged damage increases by 1d8. The damage roll and maximum charged damage increase by 1d8 at 11th level and 17th level.