Mangy Mathan (mangy_mathan) wrote in dnd3e,
Mangy Mathan
mangy_mathan
dnd3e

PC Races and Flight

So, I'm working on a campaign setting. Generally speaking, the world is made of floating islands, so airships and such are an important part of the game. My sticking point is that I have two races that can fly. Since this is obviously a significant advantage, I'm having some trouble balancing them, and talking with some D&D friends have only complicated the matters. I feel that the aerial nature of the setting makes flight even more useful than it normally is, and my friend believes that flight becomes more standard and therefore less meaningful.

Any help or suggestions with how to handle these creatures would be quite welcome.

Sheevra
Sheevra are small, pixie-like nature beings. They are normally humanoid and their wings are usually invisible, but they can take flight with little effort, causing their wings to appear. The exact nature of the wings depend on the sheevra, but they are usually insectoid such as butterfly or dragonfly wings.
  • -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution. Sheevra are lightning fast, but weak and frail of frame.
  • Small: As small creatures, sheevra gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, and take a -4 penalty to grapple checks. They must use smaller weapons, however, and their lifting and carrying capacity is three-quarters that of a medium character.
  • Fey Type: A Sheevra is a fey, not a humanoid. This changes how spells and abilities affect her.
  • Sheevra base land speed is 20 feet. They can fly at a speed of 30 feet (good maneuverability).
  • Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day - Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Ghost Sound, as cast by a sorcerer of the sheevra's character level. A sheevra with a charisma score of 15 or higher can also use Mirror Image once per day.
  • Low-Light Vision: Sheevra can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • +2 racial bonus on saves against spells and spell-like effects.
  • +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Iron Sensitivity: Sheevra have an innate aversion to iron, which is poisonous to them. When struck with an iron weapon, a sheevra takes an additional 1 point of damage. Furthermore, she takes a -1 penalty to attack rolls made with iron weapons. This aversion includes weapons made primarily of iron, such as cold iron and steel weapons. If the sheevra, for whatever reason, dons iron armor, the -1 penalty extends to saves and checks as well as attack rolls. The penalty for wielding an iron weapon and wearing iron armor are cumulative.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and either Seelie or Unseelie.
  • Favored Class: Druid. A multiclass sheevra's druid class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
Design Theory: This was my more conservative attempt. I assumed the net -2 to the abilities and the iron sensitivity balanced out the advantages they enjoy from flight. I have heard varying opinions regarding the sheevra, ranging from "I want to play one" to "they're so underpowered." This makes me think they're probably right where they need to be, since I hear that about Player's Handbook races, too. Tips?

Yeenash
The yeenash are a race of shapeshifters similar to were-creatures, but less predominantly evil. While in humanoid form, they retain obvious features of their animal form, such as wings, tails, and striped markings. Each one has a special shifter class related to their animal form, but I wanted to balance them independently of their racial class so as to make them possible for other classes. These are the major sticking points, because they are more liberally penalized. Here's the bat (the others are either irrelevantly ground-based or more of the same).
  • -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -4 Constitution
  • Medium: As medium creatures, yeenash have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
  • Yeenash base land speed is 30 feet. They can also fly at their base land speed, with average maneuverability.
  • Shapechanger: All yeenash have the shapechanger subtype.
  • Blindsense: A chiroptic yeenash automatically senses the presence and location of any creature within 10 feet. This ability does not grant precise information, and so the yeenash still suffers the normal penalties for attacking a creature he cannot see. Blindsense is based on hearing, and is lost if the yeenash is deafened.
  • +2 racial bonus to Perception checks. This bonus is lost if Blindsense is lost.
  • Low-Light Vision: Yeenash can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Alternate Form: A chiroptic yeenash may assume the form of a small bat as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability. Unless the character has levels of the appropriate yeenash class (Bat, in the case of a chiroptic yeenash), changing shape does not grant any abilities of a bat beyond what the yeenash already possesses. It does grant a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a bat, however. Because this ability is of limited use, most chiroptic yeenash choose to take levels of bat in order to gain the full abilities of their secondary form. Shifting back to human form is a standard action, and occurs automatically if the yeenash is slain.
  • Automatic Languages: Common and Yeenash.
  • Favored Class: Bat. A multiclass yeenash's bat class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
Design Theory: As you can see, I took flight capability to be equivalent to a -6. I'm thinking that the bat is a bit over-penalized. Thoughts? Perhaps something else I can do unrelated to the stats themselves to balance this out?
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