Looking for some advice on a custom race ability


Homebrew and House Rules


I've been playing around with race design for a little while and I need some observational assistance. Here's what I'm starting with:

Receptive Transformer: Due to their inconsistent and dynamic form, [CREATURE] are quite responsive to magic that alters the body. Whenever a [CREATURE] is the target of a beneficial transmutation spell or effect, they may increase all static numeric effects of the transmutation by 50%. For instance, a bull's strength cast on the [CREATURE] would provide a +6 enhancement bonus, instead of the standard +4; or a [CREATURE] with expeditious retreat cast on them could increase their land speed by 45ft., instead of 30ft. This bonus only applies to the [CREATURE] regardless of if there are other recipients to the transmutation effect.

1) Are there any holes? (spell's that might be too powerful or have weird interactions)

2)Could it be clarified better/written differently?

3) How many Racial Points should this cost? (I was thinking 5 or 6, but I'm not good at eyeballing these things.)


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Hmm. Mostly I don't like it. Its empower metamagic with no cost and probably easy to exploit. I'd feel better about it if it were a once per day thing.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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This racial trait is quite broken considering that spells are balanced around these static numeric effects. Even for a metamagic feat, this would be fairly strong. And you give this ability as a racial trait.

I once created a race with a trait of a similar theme. I designed the trait so that any non-hostile transmutation spell or spell-like ability cast on them is treated as having +1 caster level with respect to that race. This is much more in line with other racial traits.


So do you have any examples of how it's broken cause I've gone through most of the spells this interacts with and it doesn't seem out of line. In fact it seems quite niche from my point of view as most transmutations never even see play due to items overshadowing them or there simply being better spells. The only transmutation I regularly see at my table is haste, which barely interacts with this ability (the speed boost would increase to 45ft, but would still be limited to twice base land speed).

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

1) It's broken because spells are designed with the assumption that the static numbers will not be changed. This throws a giant monkey wrench into balancing spell effects. This is why abilities that modify spells almost exclusively affect the caster level, which is a variable that is expected to change. In a game design perspective, you're using the wrong lever here. It's bad design.

2) The ability is also broken because it totally ignores the fact that not all bonuses have a linear or consistent value through levels. Some statistics/bonuses are more powerful than others. So while getting a 50% increase in movement speed might seem okay, a 50% in some other statistic might be way too powerful.

3) The math falls apart in a way that makes the trait increasingly powerful the higher level spell that's used on the race. For example, let's say there's a statistic that scales across spell levels at 15 +15 per spell level. So there might be a 1st level spell that gives a +30, a 2nd level spell that gives +45, and so on. Your racial trait would make the 1st level spell (+30) as powerful as a 2nd level spell (+45). However, it would make a 3rd level spell (+60) as powerful as a 5th level spell (+90). A 5th level spell (+90) would become as powerful as an 8th level spell! (+135). This ability doesn't scale linearally, and it scales WAY too good for a racial trait. Even Metamagic feats don't scale this way.

4) This ability increases all numeric effects. That alone makes this a balancing nightmare.

As you can see, this ability is bad design.

Even if I ignore the above points and look at this racial trait liberally, you're basically giving an arguably better version of the Empower Spell feat that can only be used on yourself with has no spell level cost. That's way too powerful for a racial trait on a standard PC race.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm just here to congratulate you on your username, Ed Girallon Poe.
*slow clap*

Carry on.

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