Marasmusine Meter (5e Guideline)

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Marasmusine Meter[edit]

The Marasmusine Meter is a way of evaluating the traits of a 5th edition race intended for players.

Each trait is given a score. It is scaled such that a Feat is worth 1: therefore a single ASI is worth one-half (0.5). Other traits might be worth one-third (0.33) or one-quarter (0.25). As such this system uses the same scale as Feat Construction Kit (5e Sourcebook). In that system, a feature worth (4) is worth one-half; (3) is worth one-third; and (2) is worth one-quarter of a feat.

Races are expected to have a score between 2.5 and 3.


  • It is assumed that a race has the "standard" ability score bonuses of +2 to one and +1 to another.
  • Common language, and one language associated with the race.
  • 30-foot speed

Negative Traits[edit]

This metric does not allow for negative scores for traits that penalize the player. Deleterious traits should be added for flavour, or because it makes sense physiologically – not to game the system to have greater benefits elsewhere.

A negative trait can be included to offset a closely related benefit: for example, sunlight sensitivity is associated with superior darkvision.

Superior Traits[edit]

Superior traits are worth one (1). They provide a strong benefit almost all the time.

  • Damage Resistance, Common. Resistance to slashing, piercing, bludgeoning or fire.
  • Feat. - or a trait that is the equivalent of a feat.

Major Traits[edit]

Major traits are worth one-half (0.5). Major traits can be expected to be relevant multiple times between long rests or once between short rests; or a single powerful attack or feature.

  • Ability Score Increase.
  • Armor Proficiency.
  • Darkvision. Superior darkvision is also worth 0.5, providing the race also has sunlight sensitivity.
  • Saving Throw Proficiency (Constitution, Wisdom, or Dexterity).
  • Skill Expertise. Also requires the associated skill proficiency
  • Saving Throw Advantage. Advantage on all saving throws in a narrow circumstance. It may also include a closely related trait, such as the dwarf's poison resistance and elf's sleep immunity (it wouldn't make sense to have advantage against poison but not also poison resistance).
  • Saving Throw Advantage (Constitution, Wisdom, or Dexterity). Advantage on specific saving throw in broad circumstance (e.g. "against magic")
  • Weapon proficiencies. Four weapon proficiencies. Ideally this should be a mix of ranged (or thrown) and melee.
  • Crit/Fumble. Anything reasonable that happens on a d20 roll of 1 or 20.
  • Special Attack. Such as a breath weapon, 1 use between long rests. If it can be used once between short rests, this is considered to be 3 uses between long rests.

Minor Traits[edit]

Minor traits are worth one-third (0.33). Minor traits can be expected to be relevant approximately once between long rests.

  • Skill Proficiency.
  • Skill Specialization. This grants a skill proficiency and skill expertise in one narrow field of the skill (for example, the dwarf's stonecunning trait). The field should be sufficiently narrow.
  • Tool Proficiency.
  • Saving Throw Proficiency (Strength, Intelligence, Charisma).
  • Saving Throw Advantage (Strength, Intelligence, Charisma). Advantage on specific saving throw in broad circumstance (e.g. "against magic")
  • Spell. A cantrip, or a 1st level or higher spell which may be cast once (regaining it at the end of a long rest.) Spells of 2nd level or higher have a prerequisite character level, as though the character was a half spellcaster.
  • Trance.

Lesser Traits[edit]

Lesser traits are worth one-quarter (0.25). Lesser traits might be relevant only occasionally: once every few days or less.

  • Language.


A race that allows the player a lot of versatility should be scored higher. The prime example is the half-elf which allows the player to choose two of their ASIs and skill proficiencies.

The score for versatility is 20% of the total score of the relevant traits.


High Elf[edit]

Scoring for Elf with the high elf subrace.

  • ASIs (0)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Skill proficiency (0.33)
  • Trance (0.33)
  • Saving throw advantage (0.5)
  • Extra language (0.25)
  • Weapon proficiencies (0.5)
  • Cantrip (0.33)

= 2.75

Hill Dwarf[edit]

Scoring for Dwarf with the hill dwarf subrace.

  • ASIs (0)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Saving throw advantage (0.5)
  • Weapon proficiencies (0.5)
  • Tool proficiency (0.33)
  • Skill specialization (0.33)
  • Toughness (0.5)

= 2.66

Rock Gnome[edit]

Scoring for Gnome with the rock gnome subrace.

  • ASIs (0)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Gnome Cunning (0.5, 0.33, 0.33)
  • Skill specialization (0.33)
  • Tool proficiency (0.33)
  • Tinker (0.33)

= 2.66


Scoring for Half-Elf.

  • ASIs (0.5)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Saving throw advantage (0.5)
  • Two skill proficiencies (0.66)
  • Extra language (0.25)
  • Versatility (0.32) - 20% of two ASIs (1) and skill proficiencies (0.66)

= 2.73


Scoring for Half-Orc

  • ASIs (0)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Skill proficiency (0.33)
  • Relentless Endurance (0.5)
  • Crit trait (0.5)

= 1.83

Lightfoot Halfling[edit]

Scoring for Halfling with the lightfoot subrace.

  • ASIs (0)
  • Fumble trait (0.5)
  • Saving throw advantage (0.5)
  • Halfling Nimbleness (0.5)
  • Naturally stealthy (0.5)

= 2


Scoring for Human.

  • ASIs (1.5)
  • Extra language (0.25)
  • Versatility (0.3) - scored for ASI versatility because "+6 to ASIs" is the same as "+1 to ASIs of your choice"



  • ASIs (0)
  • Darkvision (0.5)
  • Fire resistance (1)
  • Spells (0.33, 0.33, 0.33)



  • ASIs (0)
  • Dragonbreath
  • Damage Resistance (1)
  • Special attack (1.5)


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