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Level Up (A5E) Another New Lineage (Updated!)

Faolyn

Hero
Somehow I don't think this is what @TheHand meant when they suggested a party/carousing culture...

Wild Dancer

There are places in this world and throughout the planes where the line between revelry and madness is blurred to the point of nonexistence. Places where satyrs and nymphs and other faerie folk dance wildly to the rhythm produced by the heartbeat of the world, where gods of joy and intoxication hold court, and where foul fiends and Old Ones break the minds of cultists and innocent alike, turning joyful dance into ecstatic violence. The curious, the carefree, and the unwary are sometimes caught up in the madness—and remain caught, as their mind is altered so they know only the Wild Dance, the music of the eldritch pipers that urge them onwards, the sound of blood pounding in their ears, and the taste of wine and blood on their tongues. They are a whirlwind of movement, with no thoughts beyond their need to move and sing and consume. Should they come across someone not of the Dance—a Still One, as the Dancers call them—the Dancers may attempt to entice them to join… or if their mood is soured, they may try to tear the Still Ones apart. Their past life, sometimes even their name, is completely lost to them, as they are now one with the troupe.

Until something stops the music for that a Dancer, forcibly removing them from the Wild Dance and stranding them forever in the real world. Perhaps the being that drew them into the dance grew bored with them, or was slain. Perhaps they suffered an injury or the infirmities of age and were abandoned by their uncaring fellow dancers. Perhaps their former family and friends broke the curse that bound them. Or perhaps, the individual had a burst of sheer willpower and managed to break free on their own.

But even then, their mind is still filled with the dance, and their memories from before they were taken are blurry. Many people freed from the Wild Dance are despondent, desperate to get back to the troupe, the safety of its mob mind, and the freedom from reality that they knew for so long. But just as many are relieved to be free and to have their minds back, or are filled with a need to destroy the troupe that took them, to prevent others from being taken as well.

Characters who were in the wild dancer culture share a variety of traits in common with one another.

Capering Movement. When you take the Dash action, your movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks. Additionally, you can forgo your movement on your turn to teleport 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Once you have done so, you can’t do so again until you complete a short or long rest.

Dance of the Wild. You are proficient in the Performance skill, and gain an expertise die when dancing. You also gain proficiency with one of the following skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Religion, or Nature. You were exposed to many supernatural entities in your time as a Dancer, and you still remember some of what learned from them.

Raving. You have known only the freedom of the Dance for so long that the thought of orderly conduct is abhorrent to you. You have the Chaotic alignment for the purposes of any spell or ability that would detect or affect Chaotic creatures.

Standing Still. The Wild Dance taught you how to move your body. Being severed from it taught you how to remain in one place. You have advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws against any effect that would cause you to move.

Telepathic. Wild Dancers think as one. You can speak telepathically to any creature within 30 feet of you that you can see. The creature understands you only if the two of you share a language. You can speak telepathically in this way to one creature at a time

The Unending Dance. While you were part of the Wild Dance, the music kept you going, long after your body should have dropped. You still hear echoes of the music, keeping you company on those quiet nights. You need to spend only 4 hours sleeping each night. A long rest remains 8 hours for you as normal, but you can spend the remainder of that time engaging in light activity—or in dancing.

Languages. You can speak, read, sign, and write one of Abyssal, Celestial, or Sylvan, as well as one other language of your choice.


(I kind of want to give them a trait where they always fail their saves against irresistible dance, but that's so niche I don't think it's worth it.)
 

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Faolyn

Hero
I hope you plan to make a book of these!
I might just! If I can format them nicely, and get some decent art for them. GMBinder and Homebrewery give me a lot of problems when I try to do large documents, so I may have to go back to formatting everything in Word.
 


Faolyn

Hero
So fun fact: githyanki and githzerai aren't included under the OGL. Strangely, there's no such restriction on the word gith.

Still, I decided to play it safe. Here are the Starrovers. They might be pretty powerful, what with the psionics, so I'm definitely looking for criticism here.

Therocephalian, Centaur, Starrover_page-0005.jpg


Therocephalian, Centaur, Starrover_page-0006.jpg

Also... y'all missed I forgot the centaur's paragon gifts! Gasp! I only just realized it myself.
 

TheHand

Explorer
These look great! I may have a chance to put them into play here soon. At first glance the psionics powers seem to be in line with what the original gith races had, done in "advanced" style of course.

One thing jumped out at me is under Psychic WarrIor, Psychic Blows seems like it should only be usable once between short or long rests. It's otherwise a lot of extra damage.
 
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Faolyn

Hero
These look great! I may have a chance to put them into play here soon. At first glance the psionics powers seem to be in line with what the original gith races had, done in "advanced" style of course.

One thing jumped out at me is under Psychic WarrIor, Psychic Blows seems like it should only be usable once between short or long rests. It's otherwise a lot of extra damage.
You're right. I'll change that on my copy. Thanks!
 



TheHand

Explorer
Actually, is Starrover an OK name, or should it be Star-Rover?
Hm, yeah, the dash might make it read easier!

Also, I was looking at the Gifts; I think they're all great but I feel like Empath could use a little boost. Maybe they could use their ability to gain a temporary bonus (Expertise? Advantage to a roll?) to a persuasion or intimidation check?

Otherwise, isn't making Insight vs Deception checks to read into someone's mood already inherent to the Insight skill? (Or am I just too generous as a GM ha!)
 

Faolyn

Hero
Hm, yeah, the dash might make it read easier!

Also, I was looking at the Gifts; I think they're all great but I feel like Empath could use a little boost. Maybe they could use their ability to gain a temporary bonus (Expertise? Advantage to a roll?) to a persuasion or intimidation check?

Otherwise, isn't making Insight vs Deception checks to read into someone's mood already inherent to the Insight skill? (Or am I just too generous as a GM ha!)
Hmm. That's a good point. I'll change that. Actually, maybe it shouldn't be based on Deception at all, because it's literally mind-reading.

You have the psychic ability to read others. You have advantantage on Insight checks. You can also use your action to read the emotional state of a creature you can see within 30 feet of you. That creature must make an Intelligence saving throw against your spellcasting save DC (using the same attribute you picked for your Psionics trait). If you succeed, you learn a one-word summary of the creature’s emotional state (happy, afraid, angry, etc.). In addition, you receive an expertise die on the next Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion check you make against that creature in the next minute. If the creature succeeds on its save, you can't attempt to use this trait on it again until 24 hours have passed.

If the creature is immune to the charmed condition, is capable of communicating telepathically, or is protected from mind reading in any way, your attempt fails and it is aware of your attempt.

Now I worry it's too powerful. And that maybe I need a few completely non-psionic gifts in there.

I think I'm going to hold off on the genasi/jann until I see the entire Planetouched (yay!) entry, but I have a few other ideas that I'm working on.
 

Faolyn

Hero

Planar Court

Throughout the planes, there are all manner of unearthly nations, ruled by beings fair and fell: noble genies, archfey, and the lords of the demons and devils. Some of these Courts are tiny—relatively speaking, of course, as they still usually rival some humanoid city-states or kingdoms in size—others are large enough to dwarf whole planets in both sheer size and population. Filled with impossible wonders and horrors and made with even more impossible materials, these Courts are among the greatest of places in the planes, and the politics played within and between them often has repercussions that can rattle the entire multiverse.

Although many Planar Courtiers are nobility, there are also countless others: scholars, clerks, consorts, councilors, guards, knights, healers, entertainers, soothsayers, servants, and slaves, among others. Everyone has at some sort of purpose within the Court—although sometimes, that purpose is incredibly bizarre by the standards of mortals from the Prime. A demon princess may have servants whose entire purpose is to serve as living lamps for her; a noble djinn might employ a teacher who trains young clouds in how to rain.

If you are from a planar court, determine if it is an Faerie Court (Fey), a Dread Court (Fiend), or a Genie’s Court (Elemental).

Characters raised in the Planar court culture share a variety of traits in common with one another.

Courtly Games. Even in the most beneficent of Planar Courts, those who bore the nobility tend to not survive for very long. You are proficient with one musical instrument and one gaming set of your choice.

Magical Nature. The innately magical nature of a Planar Court grants its citizens a bit of their own magic. You know your choice of of one of the following cantrips: druidcraft, prestidigitation, or thaumaturgy. Your spellcasting ability for this spell is Charisma.

Place in the Pecking Order. Where the people of a nation on the mortal plane may be able to tell an individual’s general status in that nation by judging their manner, clothing, or accent or choice of phrasing, status among the otherworldly beings of a Planar Court is often based on far more esoteric things than it is among humanoids: an individual might be, by humanoid standards, an incredibly powerful spellcaster or warrior, or an exemplary orator or philosopher, but still be considered the social inferior of an individual who has mastered the twelve uses of the color vermillion, who has been chosen by the Mother of Ice, or who has consumed a True Name of a god.

After you observe a creature of the same type as your Court that is within 60 feet of you for at least one minute, you can use an action to make either a History or Insight check against their passive Deception. If you succeed, you learn a piece of lore about either that species of creature (such as information from the Legends and Lore section of the creature’s entry in Monstrous Menagerie), or a piece of information about that specific individual, and, if that creature is an intelligent being, its social standing among other creatures of the same type and (if applicable) within your Court. Additionally, you can always use Intelligent when you make this roll.

Planar Knowledge. You are proficient in Arcana. Additionally, even if you weren’t directly involved in the politics of a Planar Court, you’ve managed to develop an understanding of how the people and entities of the Planar Court act, as well as the etiquette used in it. You are proficient in one of Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion, and you gain an expertise die in that skill when trying to influence a creature of the same type as your Court.

Languages. You can speak, read, sign, and write Common and one of Abyssal, Sylvan, Infernal, or Primordial.
 

Faolyn

Hero
A twofer today! store-brand goliaths/firbolgs, and goblins. You know, goblins might be one of the most diverse of all D&D creature-types.


My Heritages and Cultures_page-0003.jpg

My Heritages and Cultures_page-0004.jpg
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So, a poll:

Kobolds: Type of dragonborn, or their own thing?

Faeries: Yay or nay? And if yay, what would you like to see with them. I asked my friends, and all they had is "The faerie courts are cool" and wanted faeries as expletive-deleted cryptids. "Something what lurks in the woods and eats possums and possibly a camper or two," one of them said. These are definitely my kind of fae (seelie fae like humans as pets; unseelie fae like humans as prey or as test subjects) but lots of people like more kindly fae, especially for a generic setting.
 

TheHand

Explorer
A twofer today! store-brand goliaths/firbolgs, and goblins. You know, goblins might be one of the most diverse of all D&D creature-types.

[/SPOILER]

So, a poll:

Kobolds: Type of dragonborn, or their own thing?

Faeries: Yay or nay? And if yay, what would you like to see with them. I asked my friends, and all they had is "The faerie courts are cool" and wanted faeries as expletive-deleted cryptids. "Something what lurks in the woods and eats possums and possibly a camper or two," one of them said. These are definitely my kind of fae (seelie fae like humans as pets; unseelie fae like humans as prey or as test subjects) but lots of people like more kindly fae, especially for a generic setting.

Once again, great write-ups! I think these just keep getting better and better. Also, bravo on rolling the traits of the fir-bolg into the goliath-colossus.

Regarding kobolds: I'd have to say, they are so very different from Dragonborn that it would make more sense to put them into their own category. A human and a halfling are probably more similar to each other than a kobold and dragonborn.

Faeries: The fey folk have long been a fascination of mine, so I'd love to see your take on them. The way I might approach them is to start with a broad "Fey" category that all have shared traits, then use the gift selection to choose different sub-types (like what you've been doing with many of your past write-ups).

I'd then start with the fey that 5e has already created as either races or monsters

  • Dryads (& possibly any Nymph like the Nereid, Oread)
  • Satyrs
  • Korred
  • Pixie or Sprite
  • And maybe something along the lines of the hexblood (hag-descended) featured in the new Ravenloft book.

Then if you want to keep going, I'd comb through fey from either mythology or past D&D editions that might make good player-races... For example, there's a lot of non-Dryad plant-based Fey, so you could make a "Leshy" subtype that might include ones like the Killoren, Thorns, and even Keplies.

If you wanted to also try Fey-associated Cultures, I'd probably divide them up into Wild Fey, and Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

What do you think?
 

Faolyn

Hero
Once again, great write-ups! I think these just keep getting better and better. Also, bravo on rolling the traits of the fir-bolg into the goliath-colossus.
Thanks! Strangely, even though I'm not a big fan of the true giants (I much prefer ettins, cyclopses, and fomorians), I quite like both firbolgs and goliaths.

Regarding kobolds: I'd have to say, they are so very different from Dragonborn that it would make more sense to put them into their own category. A human and a halfling are probably more similar to each other than a kobold and dragonborn.
Gasp! But they're the littlest dragons! Rawr!

Faeries: The fey folk have long been a fascination of mine, so I'd love to see your take on them. The way I might approach them is to start with a broad "Fey" category that all have shared traits, then use the gift selection to choose different sub-types (like what you've been doing with many of your past write-ups).
I suppose the biggest issue--not a problem per se--is that D&D tends to lump nature spirits like dryads with "real" faeries like pixies and sprites and monsters like redcaps. I wonder if I'll have to end up with two different heritages here, with one specific to dryads and one for the li'l guys.

Then if you want to keep going, I'd comb through fey from either mythology or past D&D editions that might make good player-races... For example, there's a lot of non-Dryad plant-based Fey, so you could make a "Leshy" subtype that might include ones like the Killoren, Thorns, and even Keplies.
Oh, believe me. I have so many fey to draw from. I just have to keep from relying too much on Ravenloft fey.

If you wanted to also try Fey-associated Cultures, I'd probably divide them up into Wild Fey, and Seelie and Unseelie Courts.

What do you think?
I have the Planar Court, so I'm not sure further Courts are needed. That might be more of a faction thing, tying into renown and the like. I don't know if LU is doing their own take on factions, though, or if we'd have to stick with what's in the DMG.
 

TheHand

Explorer
Gasp! But they're the littlest dragons! Rawr!
:ROFLMAO:
Aww... ok, you almost convinced me.

I suppose the biggest issue--not a problem per se--is that D&D tends to lump nature spirits like dryads with "real" faeries like pixies and sprites and monsters like redcaps. I wonder if I'll have to end up with two different heritages here, with one specific to dryads and one for the li'l guys.

That's a good point. I mean, I'm greedy and I love having more options so I won't discourage you from creating the 2 lineages!

Alternatively, if you might be able to get away with adding the wee-folk as "expanded" gifts for the gnome race; there you could do brownies, redcaps, sprites as essentially all descended from the same 'stock.' Might be forcing things too much, but I just thought I'd toss it out there as an idea.


Oh, believe me. I have so many fey to draw from. I just have to keep from relying too much on Ravenloft fey.


I have the Planar Court, so I'm not sure further Courts are needed. That might be more of a faction thing, tying into renown and the like. I don't know if LU is doing their own take on factions, though, or if we'd have to stick with what's in the DMG.

Yes, I wonder if they'll be tied into the new Prestige options LU recently unveiled.


On another note, any thought for tackling something like Eberron's "Changelings" or a Construct race that could be inclusive of Warforged and other "tin-men"?
 

Faolyn

Hero
Alternatively, if you might be able to get away with adding the wee-folk as "expanded" gifts for the gnome race; there you could do brownies, redcaps, sprites as essentially all descended from the same 'stock.' Might be forcing things too much, but I just thought I'd toss it out there as an idea.
Now that's an idea I hadn't thought of! They could very much be covered by new gnomish gifts, and that would help to further emphasize the feyishness of the heritage--although I'm not into 4e, I have to admit I kind of liked them making gnomes more fey, since it made them something into other than just techy dwarfs. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

On another note, any thought for tackling something like Eberron's "Changelings" or a Construct race that could be inclusive of Warforged and other "tin-men"?
They've both been on my mind, actually! I'm thinking changelings and shifters could be a single heritage, with the gift deciding if they can turn into other people or into animals.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Why no, I don't have anything better to do at the moment. :)

Gnome Gifts
Gnomes have some of the closest ties to the Faerie Realms of any heritage, rivaled only by elves. With some gnomes, the tie is so close it changes them on a physical level. The following are additional gifts you may choose if you are playing a member of the Gnome heritage.

Hearth and Home
With some gnomes, particularly kind and generous ones, their fey nature turns them into a house gnome—known by most as brownies, dobies, or domovoys. Brownies are typically short, even for a gnome, and often have wizened but pleasant features. While most house gnomes are content living hidden away in a village where they help out the “big folk” in secret and in exchange for taking (mostly) unwanted food and goods in payment, on occasion, house gnomes decide to go a-wandering. This is especially true if the house gnome feels unappreciated or is insulted by their “hosts.” Gnomes with this gift have the following features:

Fey Ancestry. You have the fey creature type in addition to humanoid.

Fairy Magic. You know the mending and purify food and drink spells. You can cast purify food and drink once per long rest. At 3rd level, you can cast protection from evil and goodonce per long rest. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

Diminutive. You can squeeze through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide.

Sneaky. House gnomes hate to be seen by their “hosts.” You have advantage on Stealth checks.

Bloody-Toothed
Some fey gnomes, particularly the malevolent among them, are transformed into gnawer gnomes, also known as redcaps, boggarts, or powries. They look much like regular gnomes, but typically a bit larger and leaner, and have orange, red, or yellow eyes and a grinning mouth filled with shark-like teeth. These gnomes are cruel and capricious, loving destruction above all else. Gnomes with this gift have the following features:

Biter. Your fanged bite is a natural weapon, in which you are proficient. It deals piercing damage equal to 1d6 plus your Strength modifier.

Fey Ancestry. You have the fey creature type in addition to humanoid.

Iron-Skinned. The sheer malevolence of a gnawer turns their skin to iron. While you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Powerful Build. You count as one size larger larger when determining your carrying capacity, and you can use Heavy weapons without penalty.
 

Faolyn

Hero
And some more!

Please, bleed on this one. Not everything reads as necessarily well-balanced (I used that old Detect Balance spreadsheet) but I can't quite tell if it's imbalanced in a bad way. I'm not married to the name, either.

My Heritages and Cultures_page-0005.jpg

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Finally, I'd appreciate the input of a non-cisgendered person, specifically for the following paragraph (which is second to the last of the description part).

All fashioned are sexless and most are created without anything that hints as to a physical sex (and even those that are made with such accoutrements are completely incapable of taking any sort of role in biological reproduction). While nearly all fashioned are assigned a gender by their creator—if only because their creator decides to use a particular set of pronouns with that individual—not every fashioned decides to continue using that assigned gender, and many prefer to have no gender at all.

Since the fashioned aren't biological organisms, gender identity works differently for them then it does for humanoids, and I wanted to make sure I wrote it in a way that doesn't sound bad.
 


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