[RPG] Is this Kuo-toa homebrew race balanced


On D&DBeyond, I've found this homebrew Kuo-toa race. There are others, even on D&DByeond, but this is the one that seems to most closely adhere to how the Kuo-toa appear in the Monster Manual (or their D&DBeyond stat block).

I'll reproduce the racial traits and such here:

Otherworldly Perception

The kuo-toa can sense the presence of any creature within 30 feet of it that is invisible or on the Ethereal Plane. It can pinpoint such a creature that is moving.


Kuo-Toa live slightly shorter lives in comparison to humans, maturing at the age of 7 and reaching ages up to 50.


Kuo-Toa are mostly neutral or evil, and although they have a rigid sense of their own law, they may seem chaotic to other humanoids.


Kuo-Toa reach are around 4-5 feet tall. Your size is medium.


Kuo-Toa adventurers can speak, read, and write Common and Undercommon.

Ability Score Increase.

Your Wisdom score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.


The Kuo-Toa can breathe air and water.


The kuo-toa has advantage on ability checks and saving throws made to escape a grapple.

Sunlight Sensitivity

While in sunlight, the kuo-toa has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Some of these details don't seem to have any source that I know of, such as their age range, but otherwise the mechanical aspects seems to honour the stat block of the "monster" kuo-toa.

But is it balanced compared to the other player races? In particular, the Otherworldly Perception trait looks to me like it might be overpowered, but would this make it overpowered compared to, say, the Yuan-ti Pureblood, which I believe is considered the most powerful of the monstrous races from Volo's Guide to Monsters?

In response to some answers; I didn't actually spot that this doesn't have a swim speed of 30 feet! I just assumed it would have (I mean, why wouldn't it? Of course it should)! If I were to make use of this, I would definitely ensure that it has a swim speed of 30 feet (I'm the DM in this situation).

Best Answer

It's almost balanced, but...

Let's look at the scores for a Kuo-Toa in the Monster Manual.

STR 13 (+1)
DEX 10 (+0)
CON 11 (+0)
INT 11 (+0)
WIS 10 (+0)
CHA 8 (-1)

Their highest ability score is actually Strength, which is neither of the ability score increases covered. If I had made this, I would have made the increases +1 Strength and +1 Constitution.

I also would have given this race a swim speed of 30 ft., as the race is literally a fish, and it is in the stat block. Most of these features are balanced out by Sunlight Sensitivity, a great, big, debuff. If anything, removing the Otherworldly Perception would make the race underpowered.

Surprisingly, this race would fit best in a melee class if the stat block was followed (barring Sunlight Sensitivity), but it seems that the creator attempted to shoehorn the monster into a spellcasting class. Otherwise, everything seems legit, as I cannot find a source that argues against it.

On the fact-based side of things, let us look at the traits from a user's standpoint.

  • Languages: Undercommon is not the most useful language, but good for campaigns that deal with drow and the like a lot.

  • Otherworldly Perception: As enemies on the Ethereal plane are rare, I'm going to ignore that. Seeing through invisibility, however, is powerful. The hole in this is that the Kuo-Toa cannot see the creature (and hence does not know whether it is an invisible Duergar or an invisible Archmage), and only knows the creature's location if it moves. This is akin to the first-level spell Detect Magic:

An aura forms around objects or creatures you can see, indicating that it is magical. It must be within 30 feet. You also learn its school of magic, if it has one.

  • Sunlight Sensitivity The reason this race is balanced lies in this trait. Melee classes are killed by this feature, and (most) spellcasters don't like getting within 30 feet of a creature just to pinpoint its position. Disadvantage on Perception is hard to ignore:

"Yes! I rolled an 17 for Perception! What do I see? Oh, wait, disadvantage...nat2."

  • Amphibious: Saves you a few gold pieces on Potions of Water Breathing.

  • Slippery: Great for melee classes, especially Monks, who don't usually rely on Strength.

The reason that this is almost balanced is its way of not fitting into any particular class well (if it had the correct ABC). If you are a wizard, chances are you'll be too far away to use Otherworldly Perception. If you are a Fighter, disadvantage on attack rolls is TERRIBLE. For WIS based classes...it may fit, but they really shouldn't have these ability score increases that make them attractive for those classes. Wisdom is NOT the Kuo-Toa's strength; Strength is their strength.

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