July 8, 2016

Dvati

Race
Comments from the Finger: This is one of the weirdest (and coolest) races to come from 3.5, and it's one that presents the unique mechanical challenge of playing two characters at one time. Hopefully I did it justice.

Dvati
It was like looking at a reflection in a mirror, except both of them could swing a sword at me. Before I knew it, I was outflanked and trying to duel the same person twice. I was on my back foot, and then I was just on my back. When they sheathed their identical rapiers and helped me up, I couldn't even tell which one I had offended in the first place.
- Dravin, dueling dvati twins

A perfect pair, entwined for life, dvati are at once two beings and a single creature, a single soul living in two separate bodies.

Identical Twins
Twins being born is by no means an uncommon occurrence, but sometimes they may have more in common than just appearances. Dvati are born as identical twins throughout the planes with a single identical soul shared between them. The twins act like a single paired organism, with two bodies and two minds acting with a single purpose. Ancient folklore claims that dvati are born with souls too large for one body, and therefore must house them in two.
     Dvati twins are skilled combatants, capable of strategizing in unison, and versatile spellcasters, able to conduct spells through one another. The benefits of having two bodies, however, is certainly balanced by its risks. Dvati twins cannot exist separately, and if one is killed or injured, it endangers the lives of both.

Birds of a Feather
Dvati twins always travel together and tend to seek out other pairs of twins. When enough twins congregate, dvati are known to form towns and villages of their own. These are tightly-knit communities, for close cooperation is second nature to dvati, who view their settlements as a bastion of unity in an otherwise disconnected world.

Cooperative Spirit
Working in perfect synchronicity is a dvati's usual state. As such, these twins find the relative discord of other creatures to be confusing, or at worst, distressing. They often spin parables about ants, wolves, and other cooperative creatures to illustrate how people should behave in harmony to better themselves. Such stories usually fall on deaf ears, for most creatures cannot relate to the close association that dvati share, but neither can dvati understand how it is to be alone.

Dvati Names
Dvati twins are born into normal human families, and are therefore named as other humans. However, if a diviner foretells the birth of dvati twins, it is often customary to give them similar, rhyming names, so that the twins can feel more whole.
Male Dvati Twin Names: Amrod and Amras, Corin and Corvin, Giles and Files, Jovan and Joran, Landon and London, Zane and Zost.
Female Dvati Twin Names: Bree and Ski, Cilia and Hilia, Dora and Kora, Kara and Mera, Mello and Yellow, Tellia and Talia.

Dvati Traits
Dvati twins are wholly different to other humans, but tend to have the following traits in common which each other.
     Ability Score Increase. Two different ability score of your choice increase by 1 and you gain proficiency in one skill of your choice.
     Age. Like other humans, dvati twins reach adulthood in their late teens and live less than a century. Both twins usually pass away from old age on the same day.
     Alignment. Because of the dvati twins' dual nature, they are typically lawful in alignment, preferring to duel honorably or negotiate with their enemies on fair terms.
     Size. Dvati twins are always exactly the same height and build. Your twins are both Medium size.
     Speed. Your base walking speed for a pair of dvati is 45 feet, which is divided up among the twins each turn as you choose.
     Twins. A 'single' dvati is a pair of creatures that share a single soul. They are inextricably linked, and can no more exist separately than a human can exist without his heart. In spite of having two bodies, dvati twins perform as a single character, with the following differences:
     Actions. Dvati twins have a single action, bonus action, and reaction, between them, each of which can be taken only once by one of the twins on your turn. If you take the Dash, Disengage, Dodge, Help, Hide, Ready, or Search actions, both twins perform the action and gain its benefits.
     Attacks. If you take the attack Action to attack with one twin, the other twin can attack as a bonus action. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.
     If you're able to make multiple attacks, you can divide these attacks between the twins.
     Hit Points. Dvati twins have separate hit points, which are divided between them. At 1st level, each twin has the hit points of a human of the same class. At higher levels, each dvati twin's hit point maximum increases by your Constitution modifier + half the class's Hit Die.
     Your Hit Dice are also divided up amongst the dvati twins. You choose how many of these dice each twin receives when you take a long rest.
     Spellcasting. A pair of dvati twins can only concentrate on one spell at a time, however, only one of the twins needs to concentrate on a spell to maintain it. When you cast a spell which requires concentration, you choose which twin is concentrating on it.
     When casting a spell, either dvati can provide the spell components, and the spell can originate from the twin of your choice.
     Magical Effects. If a spell or magical ability affects one dvati twin, it affects them both, unless that spell or ability affects hit points or if the two twins are further than 100 feet apart, in which case, it affects each twin separately.
     Conditions. A condition, such as being poisoned or grappled, affects only one twin, even if imposed by a spell.
     Death. When a dvati twin is reduced to 0 hit points and begins to make death saving throws, its twin becomes incapacitated, and able to move at only half speed. If a dvati twin dies, the other twin quickly begins to deteriorate, and perishes 24 hours later if his partner does not return to life. 
     Empathic Link. As long as both twins are on the same plane, they can empathetically sense the other's emotional state. Each twin knows when the other takes damage.
     Additionally, though communication between the twins is not telepathic, it is highly nonverbal and intuitive. Dvati twins can communicate with half the words and twice the speed of other creatures, even in combat.
     Transference. If one of your dvati twins is affected by a curse, disease, or is blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned, and the other is not, you can use your action to transfer that condition to the other twin.
     Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one extra language of your choice.



Changelog: 7/8/16: General: Typos fixed
Hit Points: Reworded. -- Level 1: Same hit points as a human of the same class
Magical Effects: Also applies to magical abilities
7/11/16: Age: Same day, not same week
8/12/16: Magical Effects: Healing also affects each twin separately
8/29/16: Magical Effects: Wording is made more generic: any spell or effect which affects hit points affects each twin seperately

49 comments:

  1. Under transference: " if can use its action to transfer that condition to the other twin." you meant "it can use..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally did. Clumsy fingers! Thanks again, NinjaSudo!

      Delete
  2. An interesting idea to be sure. Might go well w/ my Eternal Watcher concept, tho I'd just found the Derro in Out of the Abyss and love the look, might tweak it a bit to not be totally insane... anyway I digress.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome, I had no idea there was something like that back in 3.5! Back when I was worldbuilding, I had similar idea, but this is more fleshed out. I like it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was a thing published in Dragon magazine, which was the least balanced area (and sometimes most interesting) area of 3.5 D&D.

      Delete
  4. "At higher levels, each dvati twins' hit point maximum increases by half the class's Hit Die + your Constitution modifier."

    Is this meant to mean that the twins have on average half the max hp of a normal member of their class: "(hit dice + con mod)/2 each" or that they get half the hit dice each but the full con mod "(hit dice/2)+con mod each"?
    Because it reads like the latter, but their lvl 1 hit points suggest that the former is intended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It reads like the latter because that's the intent. I think it can be more clear if I say "At higher levels, each dvati twin's hit point maximum increases by your Constitution modifier + half the class's Hit Die." English!

      Delete
  5. This looks like it could be a lot of fun to play. I'm torn between Eldritch Knight or a Barbarian one for my next one-off. Maybe even a Scorpion Heritor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A rogue would be really cool for Dvati (because of the cunning action), but an eldritch knight would be great for the combination of Extra Attack and concentration shenanigans.

      Delete
  6. It seems great, even though there could be few problems in survivability!

    A question: how to manage with special abilities? If, for example, I wanted to play a druid of the moon, can I let a twin hide and keeping concentration on a spell while the other starts his beast form and rushes to combat? Or both transform in creatures with half hp? Or they temporary fuse into a single beast? Same with polymorph...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Survivability was a problem in the 3.5 version as well, but it's the best compromise we can make here. Having exactly 200% health is a little much, so the twins will need to be a little weaker. It should end up being a little more like 75% health each.

      Class features like Beast Form really should apply the magical effects rules (it's not a spell, but it acts an awful lot like one), meaning it affects both twins together, who each undergo a separate beast form.

      Delete
  7. I really like this one! They really ring a bell from a novel I read the beginning of maybe 15 years ago that took place in a post-nuclear-apocalypse sci-fi probably-the-rapture-happened world. I believe the twins became uncomfortable, somewhat ill, quite sick, or dead depending on how far apart from each other they travelled. Not sure if they were identical or not...

    Anyway, I hope I'll be able to play this somewhere soon!

    (psst... dual relates to the number 2, duel is about fighting)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, there were a lot of typos in this one. That's what I get for writing after a few beers!

      Delete
  8. As fragile as the early levels of 5E are in general, the Dvati seem like something that would be hard-pressed to survive level 1 if you weren't just making one at a higher level. Understand the concerns about handling health, but even with a +2 Con mod, that means you're looking at just about a sneeze taking one down. Early level 5e is practically rocket tag.

    I don't necessarily have a suggestion, simply a concern. When a goblin's average damage will KO you, you're going to be crawling through a few extremely dangerous levels, particularly with the math of 5E favored far more successful hits than in 3.5.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, this is because I made an outright mistake. At level 1, dvati should have hit points /equal/ to a human of their given level.

      Delete
    2. Alright, that fixes my major concern. I couldn't imagine ever picking this when each half of my character would only have 4/5 hp on the average rogue or 3/4 on the average wizard. Nor can I imagine any adventuring party wanting to saddle that sort of a burden in their roster.

      "Oops, the goblin rolled a 2 on his damage die. Half of me is making death saves, and the other half is useless. Heals please?"

      Delete
    3. Yeah, that was a very deliberate design decision, and I guess I forgot about it when it came time to write down the Hit Points feature (oops). Hopefully this quells some of the survival complaints that I've been hearing from other corners.

      Delete
    4. Absolutely, that really handles just about any of my concerns.

      Delete
  9. How would Sneak Attack work with this? If I have both of them attacking, would they both deal the damage or would it just happen like Two-Weapon fighting, where it's only applied once?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You get one sneak attack, like normal. The twins are one character, and Sneak Attack says that you can only make one each turn.

      Delete
    2. Does a Dvati Fighter or Ranger with 2weapon fighting style add their ability mod to the damage of their twins bonus action attack?

      Delete
    3. Nope! Like any other character, a dvati follows the normal rules for TWF.

      Delete
    4. But TWF Stlye allows for a modifier on the second attack. Since the attack of the second Dvati isn't TWF (it's a racial ability), it wouldn't add a modifier anyway.

      Delete
    5. Oh, you're totally correct; I misunderstood this question. The Two Weapon Fighting fighting style doesn't allow the dvati to add their modifier to the second attack.

      Delete
  10. Oh...my...god... This is my favorite race in earlier editions of D&D. You guys do a great job. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, I'm glad you like it! It was super challenging to balance

      Delete
    2. My wife's favorite race is a tie between the Tibbit and the Phanaton. See if you can do something with those.

      Delete
    3. I'll absolutely slot it into my todo list, but I've had a lot of requests to do the Greenskins (bugbears, hobgoblins, and the like), so they'll probably be up first

      Delete
    4. I could polish up in my conversion of the tibbit and send it over, if you're interested :D

      Delete
    5. You can totally send it by, and I'll give it a look. Enough people have asked about it, after all lol

      Delete
  11. Do they share initiative? Is it the intent that they are played a separate characters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both twins share a single turn between them. As far as combat goes, they should be played as one character divided between two bodies, but as for roleplay, that's totally up to you.

      Delete
  12. If I did this, and used the aberration druid class, could they both transform in one turn since they're one.Or would it be use both charges to morph both or I cant do this at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Transforming counts as a magical ability, so it affects each twin separately with one action to activate. Each twin morphs into a form of their choosing.

      Delete
  13. Question regarding equipment. Do you have separate equipment for each twin? Can they use different weapons? If so, how does this impact starting equipment? Do you get double of what your character class would receive, or do you have to purchase it on your own? In addition, if they have separate equipment, can they attune 3 magic items total, or 3 magic items each?
    All that being said, this is a REALLY cool race, and I'm super excited to play around with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't want to dig into this in the race, since it's kind of a small point, but I'd rule that you get twice the starting equipment for a pair of dvati, though for most classes, you could probably purchase enough equipment for both twins, so it's nothing to sweat. Also, since the twins constitute one character, they can only attune to three magic items at a time.

      Delete
  14. Alright, thanks for letting me know! Great job as always, this race is definitely among my favourites of the stuff you guys have made.

    ReplyDelete
  15. am i correct in assuming that, when the twins take the tough feat, they BOTH get the full benefits of the feat? or is the extra hp divided among them as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's kinda unclear by RAW admittedly (if I listed every rules interaction here, it would be a very long race indeed), but I'd rule that it gets applied to each twin individually. Still, your DM might decide differently.

      Delete
  16. Under Age you say that "both twins usually pass away from old age within the same week," but according to the Death subsection of the Twins trait, they would have to die within twenty-four hours of each other. Incredibly minor nitpicking, but it's there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure enough! This is an excellent case study of The Finger writing for fluff text (age entry) and writing for mechanics (death entry.) I'll change age to match

      Delete
  17. First off, thank you for this. You have no idea how excited I was when this came up on the Patreon, I've been trying to think of a way to play twins effectively in 5e for some time.

    Now, a question. Let's say I have Dvati Fighters with the protection fighting style. If they're within 5 feet of each other, could they effectively use their reaction on each turn to give disadvantage to whichever twin is attacked? Say, Twin A protects Twin B and vice versa.

    Going by RAW I would probably say no, since it says "a target other than you" and they're both still technically you, but I also recognize that the PHB didn't really have this sort of thing in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meant to say "give disadvantage to whatever is attacking the twins" rather than giving disadvantage to the twins themselves, whoops.

      Delete
    2. By RAW, the twins can't use protection to defend each other, but as a DM, I would totally allow it.

      Delete
  18. lol Dvati Hulk is going to be fun

    ReplyDelete
  19. So, Craftsmans Magitech Heroes and simmiliar classes using armor can only have one Dvati twin using the armor or?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Craftsmen and Magitech Heroes*. Also, The same can go for weapon bonding classes, or the Warlock's pact of the blade.

      Delete
    2. This is probably DM fiat. It's kind of unclear by RAW (again, it's very difficult to rule on everything), but I would give pact weapons and armor to both, but only one set of Well Made equipment.

      Delete
    3. Personally, I'd rule that a Dvati could certainly wear two suits of well made gear at once, or wield more than one Well-Balanced weapon: That being said, you would STILL only get one for free.

      Delete