This question about a homebrew 5e race's balance was closed as off-topic, with a comment about primarily opinion-based. But it seems to me that it's objective enough to compare the constellation of proposed features to the usual suspects in published material. What's the thinking that this can't be answered?

(For reference, here's the only balance question I've answered.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I voted to close as too broad - the 2 answers addressing entirely different elements with basically no overlap sort of back that up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 0:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's good practice to link metas on the question under discussion so the non-site illuminati know something's up... Adding link. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 0:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yup--meant to, but I'm trying to do two work-things and at least two stack-things at once. Thanks for catching that spinning place before it shattered =) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman the two answers don't address entirely different elements - they're actually quite similar. Both address the main issue-points of regeneration/resistance/vulnerability & the rage. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 5:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...and as one of the answerers, they're answering the same basic question of balance. To the degree that they're addressing different things, it's that one says "No, it's not balanced because A", while the other says "It's also not balanced because B." Honestly, I think I could fit in a third distinct "also no because C" if I worked at it, but that seemed unnecessary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


Yes, it's on-topic.

It's about material for a Role-Playing Game, it requires RPG expertise to answer well, it doesn't fall afoul of our rec-categories that've been judged off-topic.

They're just not good questions.

Questions like this have a lot of fiddly little bits, require a lot of work to answer well (as @daze413 has done), and are of limited utility down the road.

All of these factors act as natural rate-limiters: the question's not getting many upvotes, so nobody's getting a signal "post lots more of these, you'll get all teh pointz!" And it takes a while for answers to come in, if at all. All-told, we only get a few questions a month.

But they are good enough.

Good answers do teach future readers something about how to analyze the balance of their homebrews. So let 'em live, and they'll sit in the long tail of questions that have limited utility and poor reward-effort ratios.


Yes, it is on-topic, but I propose a limit.

As an answerer, it was long to write out, yes, definitely on the broad side of the spectrum, but doable. I think, with this particular homebrew, the querent was adding class-like traits to his/her race (i.e. adding Saving Throw proficiencies and 4 skills), which made the homebrew race do a lot of things (and, subsequently, lengthens the answer). That is no fault of the question, but part of what should be in the answer.

I feel like there should be a limit to the length of a homebrew that can be evaluated in this site. If someone came up and wants us to evaluate a UA-mysticv3-length homebrew, complete with disciplines and class archetypes, that is simply too broad.

So, here's what I think (applicable only to ):

  • Races and subraces are ok, they're usually short and objectively can be compared to other races.
  • Spells and Feats are a little tricky especially for non-damaging ones, and we have run across problems with homebrew spell evaluations in the past. I am unsure how to propose moving forward with this.
  • Class Features are ok, provided given enough context, and the intent of the feature.
  • Whole classes are not ok, and too broad. We should ask the querent which part he is struggling with, and narrow it down to the specific Class Feature/s as above.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Regarding limits, nothing wrong with your reasoning, I'll say up-front. This may be the right way to handle future ones, I don't know. But I must say, personally, I blanche at the idea of having to check & enforce more heuristics and guidelines for when to close another kind of niche question type… Similar rules in the past have generally turned out to be more bother than benefit, but noticed slowly, after a lot of bother. It's enough to make me wonder if homebrew evaluation is just entirely broken here and maybe shouldn't be offered. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 4:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... this actually has helped me clarify my own thoughts on the matter. Crafting an A now.... \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 10:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the appropriate limit would be requiring a description of what "balance" to analyze. For the werewolf, it was fairly implicit: "how does this stack up against other starting races" is scoped fairly well already (limited points of comparison), and in this case it was answerable without knowing anything about the campaign (unlike e.g. something with wings). Classes would be far more expansive, etc. We can just use "ask specifically about your situation" as a discriminator, as we should be anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 20:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the material to be evaluated is terribly long or involved, then people are unlikely to bother doing so, unless the subject matter interests them a fair deal; in which case they should go ahead. I think that problem solves itself by leaving the questions unanswered (unless someone is interested and also bothers to answer). Difficult questions are okay on the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tommi
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 6:14

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