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Advanced Race Guide Preview: It's Almost Here!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Advanced Race Guide will be shipping out to subscribers and stores in the very near future. As we wrap up our previews of this mighty tome, it’s time to for a peek into Chapter 4 and the rules for building your own race.

This section of the book received a good deal of playtesting late last year and we made a large number of tweaks and changes to take that feedback into account. For example, the core races do not all add up to the exact same point value as they did in the playtest. In addition to showing you how the existing races are built, we included a number of examples of new races that you can build using this system. Take a look at the Kasatha.

Kasatha

Hunters and raiders of the wasteland, the clannish, four-armed kasatha guard their territories by way of lightning-fast raids and terrifying assaults. As young adults, some members of this race roam the world for a full year looking for adventure and treasure to bring back to their clans. A renegade few decide to forsake their clan and spend their life adventuring.


Illustration by Rayph Beisner
Type
  Humanoid (kasatha)
0 RP
Size
  Medium
0 RP
Base Speed
  Normal
0 RP
Ability Score Modifiers
  Flexible (+2 Dex, +2 Wis)
2 RP
Languages
  Standard
0 RP
Racial Abilities
Defense Racial Traits
  Defensive training, greater
  Desert runner
4 RP
2 RP
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
  Stalker
1 RP
Movement Racial Traits
  Jumper
  Terrain stride (desert)
2 RP
1 RP
Other Racial Traits
  Multi-armed (4 arms)
8 RP
Total20 RP

While more powerful than most races (which usually have a cost of about 10), a kasatha makes for an interesting addition to any game, either as a PC (perhaps one level lower than the rest of the party) or as an exotic NPC or even a villain. The above format is written for the race builder in particular. Here are the racial traits in a more traditional layout.

Kasatha Racial Traits

+2 Dex, +2 Wis: Kasatha are both nimble and wise.
Medium: Kasatha are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Kasatha have a base speed of 30 feet.
Defensive Training, Greater: Kasatha receive a +2 dodge bonus to their Armor Class.
Desert Runner: Kasatha receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue and exhaustion, as well as any other ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, and hot or cold environments.
Stalker: Kasatha always treat Perception and Stealth as a class skill.
Jumper: Kasatha are always treated as if having a running start when making Acrobatics skill checks to jump.
Desert Stride: Kasatha can move through difficult terrain in a desert environment at their normal speed. Magically altered desert terrain affects them normally.
Multi-Armed: Kasatha possess four arms. While all of the arms can wield weapons, all but one are considered off-hand weapons. Kasatha take the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting when using more than one weapon.

Well, that about wraps up the previews of the Advanced Race Guide. Grab a copy, and explore the exciting race options that await you within.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Rayph Beisner
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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hmm... this FEELS a little familiar to me...


Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?


Looks like a 4 armed yuzhong vong...

Does it like the taste of elf flesh?

EDIT: Dex and Wis...monk, anyone?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh hey, the number of arms a PC without polymorph can have just increased to 6.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Interesting how a two-armed human with a longsword and a mace and a BAB of +6/+1 can attack once with each weapon without taking TWF penalties, yet the four-armed kasatha, if doing the same thing, would take TWF penalties. Very interesting indeed.


LMPjr007 wrote:
Hmm... this FEELS a little familiar to me...

I wonder if they like to eat elves too?

Edit: Damnit, ninja'd by Kryzbyn


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've yet to see a satisfactory answer to this but will the book allow you to play dragons or creatures of similar power? Or would you play a dragon-ish humanoid race? And are there mechanics in the book that make it clear you should level adjust a race?


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
LMPjr007 wrote:
Hmm... this FEELS a little familiar to me...

I wonder if they like to eat elves too?

Edit: Damnit, ninja'd by Kryzbyn

I wonder if that weapon is a kasatha-chatchka?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's like someone washed Tars Tarkas in hot water... and he shrunk.


It's a good race though, no mistake about it. Just having a wee bit of fun here...

EDIT: Wow...I hadn't even thought of JCoM...


Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
I've yet to see a satisfactory answer to this but will the book allow you to play dragons or creatures of similar power? Or would you play a dragon-ish humanoid race? And are there mechanics in the book that make it clear you should level adjust a race?

As dragons aren't meant to be playable, I would be suprised if you could re-create them with this system.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sure but isn't the point of the book, to some extent, making the previously unplayable playable? I grant you a dragon is a tall order but can it be done with the mechanics in this book?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A four-armed desert-friendly gunslinger? Oh, f*+& yes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Sure but isn't the point of the book, to some extent, making the previously unplayable playable? I grant you a dragon is a tall order but can it be done with the mechanics in this book?

The purpose of this book is to provide more player-friendly options for the game's 0-HD races. i.e. those that have "[Race] as characters..." blocks on their bestiary entries.

And of course, the other purpose is to present the race-building rules.

Level adjustment is a mechanic that Paizo has vehemently avoided and, I suspect, will continue to do so.


This is me bouncing around Daffy Duck style for a four-armed race. Thank you, Paizo; I love you so much.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's why one of my questions was are there rules for knowing when you've gone over the recommended build points and, if so, how do you determine the level offset?


Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
Sure but isn't the point of the book, to some extent, making the previously unplayable playable? I grant you a dragon is a tall order but can it be done with the mechanics in this book?

No the purpose is to make 0 hd playable races, and give you insight on how to do so with a framework to follow.

I suppose after you buy the book, you could use the rules to create a dragon-like race with most or all of the dragon's powers. It will take way more than 10 or 20 points to do so, though.


I see that some of the point costs were altered. First I picked up on was the Standard languages cost nothing (as opposed to 1 RP in the playtest). Off the top of my head, that's all I have.

Glad to see the four arms at a number though. I could totally live with trimming that race down to four arms and another couple of points for a 10 RP player race.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
That's why one of my questions was are there rules for knowing when you've gone over the recommended build points and, if so, how do you determine the level offset?

I suspect it will come down a GM fiat, as only individual groups know how power level of this variable type will affect their group.

However, I suspect the text will give further little blurbs of suggestions such as the one shown in the preview above:

ARG Preview wrote:
While more powerful than most races (which usually have a cost of about 10), a kasatha makes for an interesting addition to any game, either as a PC (perhaps one level lower than the rest of the party) or as an exotic NPC or even a villain.

I wouldn't expect any mechanical accommodations, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?

Nope.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Joseph Wilson wrote:
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
That's why one of my questions was are there rules for knowing when you've gone over the recommended build points and, if so, how do you determine the level offset?

I suspect it will come down a GM fiat, as only individual groups know how power level of this variable type will affect their group.

However, I suspect the text will give further little blurbs of suggestions such as the one shown in the preview above:

ARG Preview wrote:
While more powerful than most races (which usually have a cost of about 10), a kasatha makes for an interesting addition to any game, either as a PC (perhaps one level lower than the rest of the party) or as an exotic NPC or even a villain.
I wouldn't expect any mechanical accommodations, though.

Good points. Ultimately I will just have to wait for the book and tap my foot anxiously until it arrives.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?
Nope.

James are there suggestions or guidelines in the book for adapting new races to Golorion or does this fall under GM fiat?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cheapy wrote:
Oh hey, the number of arms a PC without polymorph can have just increased to 6.

The race creation rules allow a lot more than that, actually. But neither do they automatically grandfather in to all games—whether or not any or all of the race building rules and options exist in a game is up to the GM.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?
Nope.
James are there suggestions or guidelines in the book for adapting new races to Golorion or does this fall under GM fiat?

None at all.

As with all our rulebooks, the Advanced Race Guide does not include Golarion information.

The new races in this section, in fact have VERY little information—they're in there only as examples of some of the stranger things you can build with the rules. In fact, the ENTIRETY of the information about, say, the Kasatha, is what you see in the post above.

They're specifically not intended to be races that exist on Golarion, although since they were built using the Pathfinder race builder in Advanced Race Guide, they COULD exist there—just as anything anyone builds with those rules could exist on Golarion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Oh hey, the number of arms a PC without polymorph can have just increased to 6.
The race creation rules allow a lot more than that, actually. But neither do they automatically grandfather in to all games—whether or not any or all of the race building rules and options exist in a game is up to the GM.

Well that's pretty interesting. Something like +4 per arm past 2?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like a four-armed Protoss to me


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool Preview, all you have to do is cast enlarge person and them we could be fighting a villian from mortal kombat;)


do they like to eat the flesh of elves???

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Aaron Scott 139 wrote:
That's why one of my questions was are there rules for knowing when you've gone over the recommended build points and, if so, how do you determine the level offset?

There is no level offset. I'm stretching my brain here, but I want to say it was in a podcast interview I heard the 'solution' to mixing custom high point races and normal races was to give everyone custom races. Instead of playing a generic dwarf you would play a variant dwarf with 20 racial build points. Humans would be more human than human, etc...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dennis Baker wrote:
Humans would be more human than human, etc...

Just like White Zombie.


James Jacobs wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
Do the Kasatha have a place in Golarion?
Nope.

Well they certainly have a place in my Dark Sun campaign. ;)


What reference am I missing that everyone is asking if they eat elves?


LMPjr007 wrote:
Hmm... this FEELS a little familiar to me...

...indeed.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Cheapy wrote:
MarioMD wrote:
What reference am I missing that everyone is asking if they eat elves?
Thri-kreen.

Thri-kreen being a playable race of four-armed mantis people in the Dark Sun campaign setting, where they are fond of eating elves.


Epic Meepo wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
MarioMD wrote:
What reference am I missing that everyone is asking if they eat elves?
Thri-kreen.
Thri-kreen being a playable race of four-armed mantis people in the Dark Sun campaign setting, where they are fond of eating elves.

As opposed to Athas's Halflings who ate EVERYONE who wasn't another halfling. Granted I think we need more races that eat elves. There are far too many of those anemic, daisy-eating tree-huggers as it is. ;-) (Or Anemic, self-absorbed Dune-runners, as the case maybe.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Leo_Negri wrote:


As opposed to Athas's Halflings who ate EVERYONE who wasn't another halfling. Granted I think we need more races that eat elves. There are far too many of those anemic, daisy-eating tree-huggers as it is. ;-) (Or Anemic, self-absorbed Dune-runners, as the case maybe.)

That always bothered me, honestly, because halfings in Athas were described as being cannibals... but if they ate everything BUT other halflings, that just makes them, at best, anthrophages.


and so far all we have are plants that like to eat elven flesh and one that likes human and elf flesh....

but no predatory humanoid or animal that craves elf flesh..... or halfling flesh...... or what not


I wouldn't read too deep into the early DS books. There was constant misinformation (mainly in the timeline) that even the revised book couldn't fix.

Besides, if you have the Thri-Kreen book they describe that they aren't born for a taste for elven flesh, and even if they do taste it (for some reason) there's no guarantee they will enjoy it.

It happens, but it was more of a nasty rumour than truth.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

and so far all we have are plants that like to eat elven flesh and one that likes human and elf flesh....

but no predatory humanoid or animal that craves elf flesh..... or halfling flesh...... or what not

I believe in Dungeon Denizens Revisited, it talks about how the Bulette especially likes the taste of halflings, so there's another one.


or dwarven flesh....

or gnomish flesh....

or orc flesh

or native outsider flesh..... but you have to be really twisted to want to try tiefling flesh.....


James Jacobs wrote:
Leo_Negri wrote:


As opposed to Athas's Halflings who ate EVERYONE who wasn't another halfling. Granted I think we need more races that eat elves. There are far too many of those anemic, daisy-eating tree-huggers as it is. ;-) (Or Anemic, self-absorbed Dune-runners, as the case maybe.)
That always bothered me, honestly, because halfings in Athas were described as being cannibals... but if they ate everything BUT other halflings, that just makes them, at best, anthrophages.

I thought it made them Epicurean.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dark Psion wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Leo_Negri wrote:


As opposed to Athas's Halflings who ate EVERYONE who wasn't another halfling. Granted I think we need more races that eat elves. There are far too many of those anemic, daisy-eating tree-huggers as it is. ;-) (Or Anemic, self-absorbed Dune-runners, as the case maybe.)
That always bothered me, honestly, because halfings in Athas were described as being cannibals... but if they ate everything BUT other halflings, that just makes them, at best, anthrophages.

I thought it made them Epicurean.

Gourmands, at best.


Variant thri-kreens?

http://images.wikia.com/darksun/images/8/8b/Thri-Kreen.jpg

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
The Blog wrote:

Type

Humanoid (kasatha) 0 RP

Multi-armed (4 arms) 8 RP

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

It looks like I can make one of my homebrew races fit in as a standard race after all! :D And still have room for other flavor features to finish fleshing 'em out! Original plan to go -2 STR, +2 DEX, +2 WIS seems like it should be good to go.

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
The Blog wrote:

Type

Humanoid (kasatha) 0 RP

Multi-armed (4 arms) 8 RP

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

It looks like I can make one of my homebrew races fit in as a standard race after all! :D And still have room for other flavor features to finish fleshing 'em out!

Thanks!

What was stopping you before?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
The Blog wrote:

Type

Humanoid (kasatha) 0 RP

Multi-armed (4 arms) 8 RP

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

It looks like I can make one of my homebrew races fit in as a standard race after all! :D And still have room for other flavor features to finish fleshing 'em out!

Thanks!

What was stopping you before?

There was no multi-limbed feature before, and many "exotic" features got locked out for Standard Races by having arbitrary monster/race/racial type prerequisites.

This preview has me extremely hopeful, because it looks like the prereq-by-type and theme lockout has been loosened up a lot. That greatly expands what can be done with these rules and allows a greater range to work with.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I meant before there was some point buy system.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
I meant before there was some point buy system.

Nothing, but the reason people are excited about these rules, at least for a number of GMs, is that this might present a balanced set of guidelines to go by so that we can have an easier time mechanically representing our homebrew races.

It's not about getting permission to make our own races. It's about having a balanced set of guidelines and tools to use to aid in their creation and making that available to more GMs.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

or native outsider flesh..... but you have to be really twisted to want to try tiefling flesh.....

Define craving/eating. *wink* *wink*

Mikaze wrote:
The Blog wrote:

Type

Humanoid (kasatha) 0 RP

Multi-armed (4 arms) 8 RP

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

It looks like I can make one of my homebrew races fit in as a standard race after all! :D And still have room for other flavor features to finish fleshing 'em out! Original plan to go -2 STR, +2 DEX, +2 WIS seems like it should be good to go.

Thanks!

Dumping STR might be a problem, maybe have a choice between STR and CHA or INT


Really the only thing missing from kasatha to make them thri-kreen is the psionic flavor, and it would be very easy to design an alternate APG-style racial trait. I'm very pleased with this and would consider using it with Dreamscarred's psionics material.

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