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D&D 5E Homebrew Updated Aarakocra stats

Xeviat

Community Supporter
Supporter
Variant Aarakocra Traits

My goal with these variant Aarakocra traits was to give them a few additional class features, while also putting some limitations in upon their flight. Part of these limitations are for game balance, but I’m also coming at them from the perspective of a bit of believability. The wings on a 5 ft tall humanoid bird are going to be enormous, as evidenced by the teratorn, the largest flying bird known.

Teratorn.jpg


Let me know what you think of these changes:

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1. (unchanged)
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. (unchanged)
Flight. You have a flying speed of 50 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor, or if you are encumbered (if using variant encumbrance). Because of your large wing span, you need a 20 ft by 20 ft by 20 ft space to be able to fly, and any round you fly you grant advantage on attack rolls against you until the start of your next turn because you present a larger target.
Aided Leap. Even when you cannot use your wings to fly, you can use them to aid you in your jumps. As long as you are not wearing medium or heavy armor, and are not encumbered (if using variant encumbrance), you may determine your jump distance with your Dexterity, you do not take a penalty for not taking a running start to jump, and your jump distance is doubled.
Aided Fall. Your wings can slow your fall. When you fall, unless you choose not to (such as when performing an aerial dive), your wings slow your fall to a speed of 150 feet per round. Instead, as a reaction, you can fall at a rate of 60 feet per round.
Talons. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit. These count as a finesse and a light weapon.
Insulating Feathers. Your feathers protect you from the cold. You have resistance to cold damage.
Language. You can speak, read, and write Common, Aarakocra, and Auran.

The feather fall effect and cold resistance are strict improvements, and the finesse/light are quality of life improvements on the talons (making them equivalent to daggers, making them useful to rogues and monks and opening them up to possibility of being off-hand weapons). The Aided Leap is not really a benefit compared to the base Aarakocra, since the base Aarakocra would just fly; at 20 Dex, I’m offering a 40 ft horizontal jump with Aided Leap, but the Aarakocra’s flight is farther than that. The flight limitations (encumbrance, space, and advantage on attacks) are drawbacks that then make their 25 ft walk speed come into play more often.

What are your thoughts?
 

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Personally my biggest objection to the Aarakocra is the balance issues of them having 50 ft movement, not that that movement is flight.

I do appreciate that your version gives the DM and player guidance on when the Aarakocra can't fly, rather than have it have to be a DM ruling all of the time. I think your version may be a bit too constraining on that point to actually be fun though. If you reduced it to a 15 foot cube then it would be easier for battlemaps, as the Aarakocra would need to occupy their own normal medium creature 5 foot square space and then 1 additional 5 foot square on each side.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Variant Aarakocra Traits

My goal with these variant Aarakocra traits was to give them a few additional class features, while also putting some limitations in upon their flight. Part of these limitations are for game balance, but I’m also coming at them from the perspective of a bit of believability. The wings on a 5 ft tall humanoid bird are going to be enormous, as evidenced by the teratorn, the largest flying bird known.

View attachment 131772

Let me know what you think of these changes:

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1. (unchanged)
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. (unchanged)
Flight. You have a flying speed of 50 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor, or if you are encumbered (if using variant encumbrance). Because of your large wing span, you need a 20 ft by 20 ft by 20 ft space to be able to fly, and any round you fly you grant advantage on attack rolls against you until the start of your next turn because you present a larger target.
Aided Leap. Even when you cannot use your wings to fly, you can use them to aid you in your jumps. As long as you are not wearing medium or heavy armor, and are not encumbered (if using variant encumbrance), you may determine your jump distance with your Dexterity, you do not take a penalty for not taking a running start to jump, and your jump distance is doubled.
Aided Fall. Your wings can slow your fall. When you fall, unless you choose not to (such as when performing an aerial dive), your wings slow your fall to a speed of 150 feet per round. Instead, as a reaction, you can fall at a rate of 60 feet per round.
Talons. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit. These count as a finesse and a light weapon.
Insulating Feathers. Your feathers protect you from the cold. You have resistance to cold damage.
Language. You can speak, read, and write Common, Aarakocra, and Auran.

The feather fall effect and cold resistance are strict improvements, and the finesse/light are quality of life improvements on the talons (making them equivalent to daggers, making them useful to rogues and monks and opening them up to possibility of being off-hand weapons). The Aided Leap is not really a benefit compared to the base Aarakocra, since the base Aarakocra would just fly; at 20 Dex, I’m offering a 40 ft horizontal jump with Aided Leap, but the Aarakocra’s flight is farther than that. The flight limitations (encumbrance, space, and advantage on attacks) are drawbacks that then make their 25 ft walk speed come into play more often.

What are your thoughts?
Generally I like the concept. I personally don’t think the insulating feathers part is really necessary, but the extra space required to fly makes sense and the bonus to jump distance and decreased fall speed are a nice consolation for situations where you don’t have the room to fly.

I also happen to prefer Aarakocra with four limbs (legs and wings) instead of six (legs, wings, and arms), so I add the limitation that they need both hands free to use their flight speed (they can still use their wings as hands when not flying - I picture it like the two-fingered wings some of the early winged dinosaurs had.)

1611562076296.gif

Also gives them a reason to actually use their talons, which I like.
 

dave2008

Legend
Variant Aarakocra Traits

My goal with these variant Aarakocra traits was to give them a few additional class features, while also putting some limitations in upon their flight. Part of these limitations are for game balance, but I’m also coming at them from the perspective of a bit of believability. The wings on a 5 ft tall humanoid bird are going to be enormous, as evidenced by the teratorn, the largest flying bird known.

View attachment 131772

Let me know what you think of these changes:

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1. (unchanged)
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. (unchanged)
Flight. You have a flying speed of 50 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor, or if you are encumbered (if using variant encumbrance). Because of your large wing span, you need a 20 ft by 20 ft by 20 ft space to be able to fly, and any round you fly you grant advantage on attack rolls against you until the start of your next turn because you present a larger target.
Aided Leap. Even when you cannot use your wings to fly, you can use them to aid you in your jumps. As long as you are not wearing medium or heavy armor, and are not encumbered (if using variant encumbrance), you may determine your jump distance with your Dexterity, you do not take a penalty for not taking a running start to jump, and your jump distance is doubled.
Aided Fall. Your wings can slow your fall. When you fall, unless you choose not to (such as when performing an aerial dive), your wings slow your fall to a speed of 150 feet per round. Instead, as a reaction, you can fall at a rate of 60 feet per round.
Talons. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit. These count as a finesse and a light weapon.
Insulating Feathers. Your feathers protect you from the cold. You have resistance to cold damage.
Language. You can speak, read, and write Common, Aarakocra, and Auran.

The feather fall effect and cold resistance are strict improvements, and the finesse/light are quality of life improvements on the talons (making them equivalent to daggers, making them useful to rogues and monks and opening them up to possibility of being off-hand weapons). The Aided Leap is not really a benefit compared to the base Aarakocra, since the base Aarakocra would just fly; at 20 Dex, I’m offering a 40 ft horizontal jump with Aided Leap, but the Aarakocra’s flight is farther than that. The flight limitations (encumbrance, space, and advantage on attacks) are drawbacks that then make their 25 ft walk speed come into play more often.

What are your thoughts?
In general I like it. The only issue I have is cold resistance. Most animals (beasts in 5e) that live in mundane cold environments don't get cold resistance in the MM. IMO. cold resistance is something beyond what typical fur and feathers provide.
 

Xeviat

Community Supporter
Supporter
I can see the advantage to 15 ft cube since it makes it easier to swap between. I was originally going to go with 25 ft but that felt like too much.

I partially went with cold resistance for the high altitude flight and also for parity with flying tieflings. Does it feel like too much "points" wise?

I do like the original arms as wings aarakocra. I use the stats for a race in my setting that is related to griffins, though, so the six limbs make sense.
 

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