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D&D 5E Homebrew Lineage: The Reforged (Magical Cyborgs), in need of review

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
It's been awhile since I made a homebrew thread on this site's forum, but I had an idea for a Lineage yesterday that I had to test out. My idea was inspired by Keith Baker's Mastermaker Subclass from Dread Metrol: Into the Mists, which is an artificer subclass that replaces body parts with metal to enhance their body. I thought that something like that would work well for a sort of "Half-Warforged" race, kind of similar to a Reborn, that would work similarly to a mixture of the Simic Hybrid from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and the Gothic Lineages from Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. I also drew inspiration from many different parts of Science Fiction (Terminator, Robocop, Darth Vader, Ghost in the Shell, etc), this character build of mine, and a few other sources, and I stole the name from a 3.5e Warforged Prestige Class; the Reforged. They are very different ideas, I just took a cool name that wasn't used in 5e (yet) that I thought fit the lineage and decided to use it. I present to you; the Reforged:

Reforged​

Created through experimenting with the grafting of prosthetic limbs, ersatz eyes, and other body-enhancing (typically magical) machines onto and into the bodies of humanoids, these unique and often off-putting mixtures of construct and natural flesh are called "Reforged". The "re" in their name refers to how an individual that becomes a Reforged is "recreated", and the "forged" denotes the metallic parts of their body. Simply, "Reforged" means "one that became whole again through metal". Similar to Warforged, Reforged are made of living and inanimate components, however, there are many differences between them, and a Warforged can become a Reforged as easily as any other race. (See the "Warforged vs. Reforged block below.)

Reforged can appear in many of the worlds in the D&D Multiverse; such as in Tor-eal, Eberron, Ravenloft, Ravnica, Exandria, Spelljammer, Lantan, and similar settings where magic and technology are occasionally merged into the lives of those that dwell there. Each Reforged looks and functions differently from one another, no two members of this lineage is identical, as their body-replacing contraptions are always specified to the individual's wishes, needs, and circumstance. Due to their typically unpleasant appearances, the Reforged are often shunned from society, causing pocket-communities of Reforged to pop up in areas surrounding the homelands of individuals that are capable of creating Reforged.

What a Reforged appears like differs between individuals and from world-to-world due to different devices, materials, and other components necessary to fulfill one that transitions to a Reforged's needs. However, many that choose or are forced to make this transition do so due to lost body parts that they either felt were vital to their identity, or were necessary to ensure their survival and well-being after receiving grievous and would-be-fatal injuries. Typical Reforged often have mechanical appendages, magical eyeballs, metallic exoskeletons, and even occasionally artificial brains for the most extreme circumstances.

Reforged are most often created when a doctor feels that a heavily wounded patient won't survive or function as they would in the world without this extreme treatment. The process of turning one into a Reforged alters their individuality so severely that the metal and magical parts of a Reforged's physical form are recognized as being as natural as those that they were born with, altering both they physical form and their immortal soul. No magic short of a Wish or Divine Intervention will grow back the limbs and body parts that one lost before becoming a Reforged, and spells like Regenerate and Resurrection that restore missing body parts restore the metal body parts of a Reforged's body as well as any other lost body parts (excluding the ones that the artificial body parts are replacing).

Lasting Effects​

Reforged are deeply and permanently affected by the process of becoming their new self, causing them to typically have one or two lasting effects from their very personal change. The transition into a Reforged almost always leaves them physically, emotionally, and mentally scarred, often causing them to struggle trusting in others, through the lasting trauma of the process of transitioning into a Reforged, as well as the unusual and unique quirks that can only be experienced by having a partially-synthetic body. The Lasting Effects table contains examples of ways that a Reforged may be set apart from non-Reforged.

Lasting Effects​

d12Quirk
1Your missing body parts still haunt you with phantom pains that range from inconvenient to excruciating.
2You're stoic, as your face is always unreadable due to your body's extreme change, altering how and when you feel emotions.
3You are paranoid that you're going to lose more of your body, causing you to avoid unnecessary danger like your life depends on it, because it might.
4You feel more attached to and comfortable with the parts of your body that are synthetic than with those that are natural, and consequently, are also more comfortable around other Reforged and constructs than around humanoids.
5Either through the damage done to your body before becoming a Reforged or through the process of becoming one, you are incapable of having children.
6You try your best to hide your metallic body parts with gloves, armor, and other articles of clothing, and are self-conscious in public due to this.
7You embrace your new physical appearance and want to look your best while showing off your unique appearance. This causes you to regularly shine your metallic body parts, and may decorate them through painting, gilding, and similar means to embrace your distinct appearance.
8You like making others feel the pain that has tormented you since the operation.
9Despite the traumatic procedure that made you what you are today, you try to remain optimistic and live life to the fullest. After all, not everyone is given a second chance at life.
10It was those closest to you that allowed you to be changed so horribly. You find it hard to trust others because of this.
11All though it took you a long time to accept your transformation into a Reforged, you have come to terms with the change, and strive to assist other Reforged get the same peace of mind that you have.
12You love being a Reforged! Sure, the operation hurt, but now you have awesome powers! You feel no shame from being a Reforged and go about your life more or less like you did before the operation, but even happier.

Reforged Origins​

Reforged originate when humanoid bodies are combined with magical implements of mechanical metal. Though they're most often the result of extreme medical treatment, Reforged can come from a variety of sources. The Reforged Origins table provides suggestions for how your character became reborn.

Reforged Origins​

d12Origins
1You were created by a mad artificer that wanted to reanimate a corpse of someone close to them using their magical inventions. The artificer failed at reviving their loved one, but the mechanically-altered corpse still came to life. You were that corpse.
2You were the result of a horrific accident involving the magical creation of life, such as the form that was produced when a human fell into a Creation Forge or the failed attempt of a mad mage's disastrous experiment of turning their physical form into an iron golem.
3A constructed undead infected you with a foul disease that converted much of your body into metal. You recovered from the disease. However, your body never will.
4A powerful transmuter tried to demonstrate their powers by turning someone's skin into near-invulnerable metal. The spell didn't exactly go the way they had hoped . . .
5You awoke in an abandoned laboratory or hospital that was filled with complex schematics for clockwork organs and metallic limbs.
6You were a simulacrum that managed to become independent of their original master through powerful spells, rituals, and magic items. Your DM determines the identity of your master and who you were created as a simulacrum of.
7A construct or powerful, metallic artifact initiated a symbiotic (or parasitic) relationship with you, transforming many parts of your body into metal to better support the relationship. The DM determines its personality traits, senses, and other aspects about it through the Sentient Magic Item section of the Dungeon Master's Guide.
8A constructed being and a humanoid fell in love. Through extreme magic, they were capable of having a child. They were your parents.
9You were diagnosed with an incurable disease and volunteered to undertake a risky and extreme procedure to save your own life. The procedure worked, but at what cost?
10The last thing you remember before you woke up was the accident. When you finally awoke, a loved one explained what they had to do to pull you back from the brink of death.
11Desiring to enhance yourself beyond your limits, you agreed to an experimental procedure that would improve your body and lifestyle greatly. The results were not what you expected.
12You have always loved tinkering and figuring out how things work. Through your studies and self-experimentation, you were able to discover how to merge your body with metal. The feat of turning yourself into a Reforged was either the best thing that ever happened to you, or the worst.

Warforged vs. Reforged​

In the world of Eberron, Warforged were created through discovering ancient schematics of the ruined Giant Empire on Xen'drik and years of reverse-engineering and experimentation, pioneered by House Cannith. On Eberron and other worlds that have Reforged, keep in mind a few of the major differences between Warforged and Reforged.
Firstly, Warforged are a race, while Reforged are a Lineage. Warforged were created by the Creation Forges of House Cannith (before the Treaty of Thronehold caused it illegal to create Warforged), while Reforged are what any individual of another race can become through a variety of different means. Warforged are made of metal, root-like muscles, and alchemical mixtures, similar versions of Androids or Robots in Science Fiction. A Reforged is akin to many depictions of cyborgs in Science Fiction works, being a mixture of who they were born (or created) as and who they became through experimental technology. This not only leads to physical and mechanical differences between a Reforged and a Warforged, but also influences how they behave.
Secondly, Warforged should be roleplayed in a very distinct manner from a Reforged. Who a Reforged was before becoming part-metal is a key part of their character, even if they don't remember who or what they were made out of. Reforged are often better suited for stories of self-discovery and discovery of their past than a Warforged is, due to who they were and how they became a Reforged. Whether a Reforged character perceives their change as a blessing or tragedy, a life-changer or a minor setback, an unfortunate accident, fulfilling of destiny, or a plot against them by an unseen rival are central to understanding and roleplaying a Reforged character. For further differences between how a Warforged and Reforged can be roleplayed, compare the Reforged's Lasting Effects and the Warforged Quirks tables.
Thirdly, Warforged are new to the world, without a purpose, while a Reforged likely knew at least a part of who they were before they became a Reforged as well as what their purpose is/was. After the Last War ended, Warforged as a race have been without an identity, culture, or purpose. Reforged also lack a core, unifying identity and culture, but they at least have their own personal identity and their sense of rediscovering who they are. Warforged are often discriminated against due to others not recognizing them as valid individuals, accusing them of being soulless brutes whose only purpose was fighting an ended war. Reforged are generally cast-out from society, loners and slow to trust others, not because of who they are, but because what they look like. Their souls aren't called into question, because they were alive before they became a Reforged, although certain individuals will still call them unnatural and freakish. Warforged lack both cultural and personal identity, while Reforged generally have at least their own personal identity (although it may be called into question due to their extreme physical change).


Reforged Traits​

Your reforged character has the following racial traits.

Ability Score Increase​

When determining your ability scores, you increase one of those scores by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or you increase three different scores by 1. You follow this rule regardless of the method you use to determine the scores, such as rolling or point buy.
Your class’s “Quick Build” section offers suggestions on which scores to increase. You’re free to follow those suggestions or to ignore them. Whichever scores you decide to increase, none of the scores can be raised above 20.
If you are replacing your race with a lineage, replace any Ability Score Increase you previously had with these.

Age​

Due to their quasi-magical components, a Reborn typically lives slightly longer than the average member of their base race, often about 20% longer.

Creature Type​

You are a Humanoid.

Size​

You are Medium or Small. You choose the size when you gain this lineage.

Speed​

Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Ancestral Legacy​

If you replace a race with this lineage, you can keep the following elements of that race: any skill proficiencies you gained from it and any climbing, flying, or swimming speed you gained from it.
If you don’t keep any of those elements or you choose this lineage at character creation, you gain proficiency in two skills of your choice.

Languages​

Your character can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for the character.

Mechanical Modifications​

Your body has been altered to incorporate certain magical and mechanical characteristics. You choose one mechanical modification now and a second modification at 5th level.
At 1st level, choose one of the following options:
  • Artificial Mind - You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened, and have resistance to psychic damage.
  • Constructed Resilience - You have advantage on saving throws against disease and becoming poisoned, and you have resistance to poison damage.
  • Enhanced Respiration - You don't need to eat or drink, and can breathe normally in any environment (including a vacuum). Furthermore, you have advantage on saving throws against harmful gases such as those created by the cloudkill and stinking cloud spells, inhaled poisons, and gaseous breath weapons.
At 5th level, your body evolves further, developing new characteristics. Choose one of the options you didn’t take at 1st level, or one of the following options:
  • Laser-Blast - When you take the Attack action, you can replace one of your attacks with a concentrated beam of burning light from either the palm of your hand or your eyes, targeting one creature or object you can see within 30 feet of you. The target takes 2d10 radiant damage unless it succeeds on a Constitution saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. This damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 11th level (3d10) and 17th level (4d10). You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
  • Natural Armor - Your skin in places has been replaced with a tough, metallic exoskeleton. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 12 + your Constitution modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield’s benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
  • Striking Appendages - Your mechanically enhanced body allows for your unarmed strikes to be more deadly than typical races'. When you make unarmed strikes, you may add your Constitution modifier, instead of your Strength modifier, to its attack and damage rolls. It deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage on a hit. Additionally, unarmed strikes made against objects, structures, and vehicles are automatic critical hits.
I tried to keep it mostly in the same power-scope as the Simic Hybrid and Warforged, but it is a bit more powerful than the Simic Hybrid, and a bit weaker than the Warforged, but this does vary a bit depending on what Mechanical Modifications are chosen. It's also really customizable and none of the options stand out to me as "must haves" or clearly best options. If you want to replicate a Warforged in theme and mechanics, take the Natural Armor and Constructed Resilience modifications. If you want to be a Halfling that can shoot lasers out of their eyes and has a docent replacing their brain that makes them resistant to mental effects, you can with this race. Same applies to an unrelenting juggernaut-cyborg that doesn't need to breathe and can punch objects into oblivion (perfect for Spelljammer!), and many different character types (we haven't even touched on classes).

Okay, thanks for reading. I would appreciate thoughts on the theme and balance of the race. Once I get enough feedback, I'll see what things I can tweak and test out if I have it properly working on D&D Beyond's Homebrew creator so that I can publish it there.

Any thoughts/advice?
 
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RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Just doing a quick read, I really like your write up on the lore for the Reforged. However, I wonder if it might be a good idea to have some more examples of Reforged who went through this extreme change willingly or had this change placed upon them by individuals with good intentions, even if the results led to great hardship and trauma.

For example, for Lasting Effects Quirks you could have something like this.
  1. Despite the traumatic procedure that made you what you are today, you try to remain optimistic and live life to the fullest. After all, not everyone is given a second chance at life.
  2. It was those closest to you that allowed you to be changed so horribly. You find it hard to trust others because of this.
  3. You find that you are more comfortable around other Reforged and Constructs then you are around those fully made of flesh. They make you feel accepted.
For some other Reforged Origins, you could go with something like this.
  1. You were diagnosed with an incurable disease and volunteered to undertake a risky and extreme procedure to save your own life. The procedure worked, but at what cost?
  2. After an accident left you on the verge of death, a friend or loved one agree to have your damaged body repaired with synthetic parts in order to save you. Your new form what quite the shock to you after awakening.
  3. Desiring to enhance yourself beyond your limits, you agreed to an experiment that would improve your body greatly. The results were not what you expected.
Just a couple ideas, not sure how good they are.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Just doing a quick read, I really like your write up on the lore for the Reforged. However, I wonder if it might be a good idea to have some more examples of Reforged who went through this extreme change willingly or had this change placed upon them by individuals with good intentions, even if the results led to great hardship and trauma.
Sure! I was wondering if I had too much negative and not enough positive. I just wanted to make it clear that the process of becoming a Reforged was traumatic. Maybe I made that too clear, though. I'll get to work on adding some more ideas/examples to the tables.
For example, for Lasting Effects Quirks you could have something like this.
  1. Despite the traumatic procedure that made you what you are today, you try to remain optimistic and live life to the fullest. After all, not everyone is given a second chance at life.
  2. It was those closest to you that allowed you to be changed so horribly. You find it hard to trust others because of this.
  3. You find that you are more comfortable around other Reforged and Constructs then you are around those fully made of flesh. They make you feel accepted.
For some other Reforged Origins, you could go with something like this.
  1. You were diagnosed with an incurable disease and volunteered to undertake a risky and extreme procedure to save your own life. The procedure worked, but at what cost?
  2. After an accident left you on the verge of death, a friend or loved one agree to have your damaged body repaired with synthetic parts in order to save you. Your new form what quite the shock to you after awakening.
  3. Desiring to enhance yourself beyond your limits, you agreed to an experiment that would improve your body greatly. The results were not what you expected.
Just a couple ideas, not sure how good they are.
Thank you for doing this! I'll definitely add those (or at least, my own version of those) to the tables (bump them up to d12s). I'll bump the thread when I've finished adding them.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Your welcome!

Yes, it was clear that one of the defining aspects of the Reforged was that no matter how or why they were changed, it was a traumatic and life altering event that would have a great effect on the individual's mind, body and/or soul. I didn't want to diminish that by simply suggesting more positive examples, but instead wanted to play into the idea that even if the person chose to becoming a Reforged willingly, it can still greatly affected them but in a different way. They aren't what they are now because of outside circumstances or external forces. They are a Reforged because of their own actions and they have to cope and come to terms with that fact. Some struggle with their pain, but others are able to cope and even move on and find meaning in their new existence.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Your welcome!

Yes, it was clear that one of the defining aspects of the Reforged was that no matter how or why they were changed, it was a traumatic and life altering event that would have a great effect on the individual's mind, body and/or soul. I didn't want to diminish that by simply suggesting more positive examples, but instead wanted to play into the idea that even if the person chose to becoming a Reforged willingly, it can still greatly affected them but in a different way. They aren't what they are now because of outside circumstances or external forces. They are a Reforged because of their own actions and they have to cope and come to terms with that fact. Some struggle with their pain, but others are able to cope and even move on and find meaning in their new existence.
Yep! All correct.

BTW, if you hadn't noticed, I turned both tables into d12s. Some of your ideas I used pretty much verbatim, a couple I altered the wording a bit and expanded, and a couple I merged with some of my ideas (like the Reforged that prefers their metallic body parts to their flesh ones being more comfortable with constructs and other Reforged).
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Awesome!

As far as the lineage's mechanics themselves, I'm not the best at understanding balance within the 5e system but I don't see anything too crazy that also doesn't already exist in official races. The two I could see people being concerned with would be the ability to gain these features on top of flight and the ability to get psychic resistance. Personally though, I don't see flight as that overpowered though I know that is a pretty debated topic and the only reason psychic resistance is ever brought up as powerful is because of the Bear Totem Barbarian, which can also be achievable with a Kalastar and will be achievable with the Emerald Dragonborn.

I do wonder if making the Laser-Blast feature an attack roll instead of a saving throw effect would be better but that could just be my bias against save or suck spells in general.

I also really like Striking Appendages, makes me want to play a hulk or Wreck it Ralph like character. :LOL:

Others will probably be able to give better advice on the mechanics.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Awesome!

As far as the lineage's mechanics themselves, I'm not the best at understanding balance within the 5e system but I don't see anything too crazy that also doesn't already exist in official races. The two I could see people being concerned with would be the ability to gain these features on top of flight and the ability to get psychic resistance. Personally though, I don't see flight as that overpowered though I know that is a pretty debated topic and the only reason psychic resistance is ever brought up as powerful is because of the Bear Totem Barbarian, which can also be achievable with a Kalastar and will be achievable with the Emerald Dragonborn.
I'm not worried about Barbearians. That's a niche situation, and I typically don't feel inclined to change parts of my races due to just a single subclass option (especially one that is well-known for "almost definitely OP, but everyone likes this feature, so we're not gonna change it").

Yeah, the Ancestral Legacy could be a problem with an Aarakocra, but even then, I don't think that it's too OP. Aarakocra Reforged is still nowhere near as powerful as the Satyr or Yuan-Ti Pureblood.
I do wonder if making the Laser-Blast feature an attack roll instead of a saving throw effect would be better but that could just be my bias against save or suck spells in general.
I based it off of the Simic Hybrid's Acid Spit feature, which is also "Save or Suck", so I'm probably keeping it as is. Also, this one can be used as part of the Attack action instead of a full action, so it's definitely worth taking.
I also really like Striking Appendages, makes me want to play a hulk or Wreck it Ralph like character. :LOL:
Yep. That would be fun. Especially as a Monk or Battlemaster Fighter.
Others will probably be able to give better advice on the mechanics.
No problem. Thanks for your thoughts so far!
 

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