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I don't think Pathfinder NEEDS to downgrade any of it's races though tbh, a downgrade guide would of been nice with 3.5 such as just flat out dropping level adjustment all together, (use the previously mentioned subtract method Arturius mentioned, ignore extra HD all together, etc. and I really don't like the idea of races being classes.)
More race traits are always welcome, but I happen to think the negative energy affinity is both a blessing and curse, and unique wrinkle for Dhampir.
^ This *hugs Scythia*
And KC Lizardfolk only have a +2 to Nat. Armor.
Yeah but the ARG made them a 6 RP race by getting rid of the HD.
But yeah Gnolls are badass, of course so are kobolds ;)
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I'll admit 25 is a bit hard (hence I cut it off at 20 plus svirfneblin) But the thing is under 20 they are not more powerful then a core race once you add classes and things like a human's free feat it's not game changing. I don't see the Aasimar and Tiefling resistances as a big problem at low levels the resistances are circumstantial at best, nice if they apply when the bad guy has a flaming/shocking/frost/etc. weapon but once things like Fireballs and stuff start getting broke out that R 5 is rinky dink.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Again flight makes you a TARGET. You have to invest in the Fly skill, Average maneuverability is nice for Strix but you still have to account it's got some limitations. And you need 'space' to fly, and most dungeons have very small ceilings. So again a perk at best but not overly powerful. Not to mention if your wings get clipped 100 ft. up by a spell or just a sudden storm, you could be borked quick.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I politely disagree of course, the core races are very competitive with at minimum what's in the ARG. Kitsune, Aasimar, Tiefling, etc. isn't more powerful then Human for example. A Half-Elf with Ancestral Arms is pretty beastie start in some builds. Are you honestly going to tell me this: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/other-races/uncommon-races/arg-svirfneblin Is more powerful then this: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/core-races/gnome
Yes Svirfneblin have SR, but I've seen DMs rule it blocks the party's buffing and healing magic too unless consciously lowered. They have some neat abilities sure, but it's nothing game breaking.
I do agree on the Spell-Like Abilities thing. I wouldn't allow SLA's to count in my games. It just should of been errated rather then ban Aasimar and Tieflings.
Gnolls in the ARG get +2 Str and Con, +2 Nat. Armor, 60ft Darkvision, and the xenophobic trait so they have to 'buy' common with a rank in Linguistics. Gnolls in Pathfinder also don't get a bite attack. Nor do Gnolls in 3.5 have a bite attack.
As I said compare any race to human and you'll find that the races in ARG alone are not really any more powerful.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
First--Just because ECL was poorly estimated in many cases doesn't mean it's a bad system. It's certainly better than NOT having it and just having heaps of racial abilities with no cost, like the last half of the Advanced Race Guide. In most cases the problem is that they looked at the stats from a 1st-level character's perspective and assigned a Level Adjustment, THEN they said you had to pay for the Hit Dice as well. Instead of, say, having the Monster Hit Dice 'buy back' some of the Level Adjustment.
Well I like the ARG and they have a cost in R. Points, most of the time if you just dropped the extra HD you had no need for level adjustment. Tieflings and Aasimars for example just didn't need it.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Third--Thanks for pointing that out about the Dragonborn. While I already knew it, it was tiresome to hear people constantly bring up how they were imported from 4th. What was really fun is that they were a 'pseudo-template' race in 3.5 since you could make them from other races, rather than just being a single set of stats like in 4th. You want to play an actual 'Dragon Man' without LA? Raptoran Dragonborn. BOOM, Flight -and- Breath Weapon (measured in rounds rather than X/day) that slowly scale with level.
Yeah while I'm not nuts about Raptorans, (I see the flavor of Raptoran Dragonborn though that's pretty cool.) I really did love the 3.5 backstory. The idea of 'giving' yourself over to a dragon and being reborn was so cool.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Fourth--If you include Savage Species (which some decry as being overpowered in some cases, but hey, go check out the Advanced Race Guide someday), you had a pile of +0 level adjustment Small anthropomorphics.
ARG isn't overpowered at all though. And you are still stuck in Savage Species having to take the race as a class. Which is something I despise.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
PFS didn't ban races due to story reasons in most cases, but mechanics reasons. Many of the races are straight out broken compared to the more 'core' races. They can present problems to party balance, game balance, and can give problems to some DM's. In a home game, this sort of thing is easily houseruled or adapted to by the one DM who runs it. PFS decided to avoid the headache altogether.
But what I'm saying is there is ZERO brokenness in any class under 20 rp, zero, nada, none. They present zero problems in party or game balance. Now I see the ones that crest over the 20 mark like Centaur (which still isn't mechanically more powerful level for level compared to oh say...a human.) Maybe it's just me but it's not avoiding a headache when there is no headache to begin with.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Someone already pointed out Vanara came from Oriental Adventures. Amazingly, SO DID THE SPIRITFOLK you had on your list. And the Spiritfolk were awesome. So you had to at least look at the book, how did you miss the Vanara? They were one of the few races that gave more positive stats while having abilities.
Hmmm yeah I must have missed them, those were the L5R books right? Spiritfolk was in a Faerun book, Unapproachable East I think.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
I forgot about the subtraction formula but it's just nicer to be given +2 this, -2 that TBH.
And yeah I agree most of the dumb races were human variants (humans in general are blech XP) But yeah I agree on that point, as far as bringing them over to Pathfinder, most you can just ignore the HD and LA and roll them at 1st level.
As I mentioned here on my comparision between 3.5 and Pathfinder classes, now comes the race comparisons.
Playable D&D races:
Keep in mind this means playable 'at' lvl 1, so no level adjustments or extra hit dice allowed. So while 3.5 had Aasimars and Tieflings and elemental children like the Genasi, and other 'humanoid' monsters they were not technically playable...more on that later.
1. Arctic Dwarf` (small sized not medium like normal Dwarf)
Playable Pathfinder Races:
Since Pathfinder after Bestiary 1 did away with the royally stupid ECL and LA rules for the RP system in ARG you'll notice I put gnoll and lizardfolk in here as they were down in the ARG book, which supersedes the Bestiary 1's LA on these two. Also Svirneblin which have 24 rp are included since they are put among the 'uncommons' and I'm only counting regular and not noble Drow. Otherwise I only included races at or under 20 RP.
Okay first thing is first Pathfinder just edges out 3.5 in numbers of playable races, though 3.5 has several variants of Dwarves and Elves, and there is a lot of races that look human, (Xeph, Asherati, The Incarnum races, Illumian, etc. Heck Deep Imaskari and Underfolk are humans evolved to live in the Underdark) but share zero mechanical similarities and are generally shown as parallel to humans and not a branch of it. Of interesting note, is the difference in presentation of Changelings, with 3.5 a cross between human and doppelgangers, and in Pathfinder an all-female race born of human and hag parents, and capable of turning into a hag after puberty if they heed their mother’s call. Then there is the 3.5 Dragonborn, and yes they were a playable race BEFORE 4th, and they had a much cooler back story then they got in 4th. The TLDR being a youth of x race becomes a dragon by literally being willing transformed inside a magic egg and re-hatched to help Bahamut in his fight against Tiamat. Personally the rp and backstory with that makes a character as rich as expensive German chocolate.
3.5 had some duds in the race department like the Hadozee (winged orangutans…-_-;) and the apes of the hairless variety (humans and their human wannabes for the most part. But other than this I won’t go into my dislike of humans in fantasy.) But they did have winner winner chicken dinners: The Darfellan were very unique humanoid ‘orca’ like race that could live on land,3.5 Dragonborn before they got watered down in 4th, Gold Dwarfs, Mongrelfolk (A literal if too many half this and half that’s get together this will happen), Spellscales, Shifters and Warforged were all very unique and cool races.
3.5 and Pathfinder also have some overlapping races outside of the Core; Orcs, Goblins, Kenku (Kenku…Tengu…same thing.) , and Kobolds all represent, (Hobgoblins are bit different in Kalamar but still cool) and make fine PC choices. But other than that, the similarities start to divert. 3.5 only has one race that at lvl 1 that can get air born. (Raptorans, I think Hadozee get glide IIRC) Pathfinder has 3 (Strix, Syrinx, and Wyvaran, 4 if you count a feat for Aasimar, and Kobolds have trait to let them glide.) Now to me flight is not that big of an advantage, better mobility sure, but it’s also a great way to make yourself a target. (A flying wizard is a flak magnet for example, and people forget most dungeon ceiling are like…10ft high at best? Not to mention the flight mechanics as most can’t fly like a bee and just stop and start or turn on a dime.) So it’s a balance.
So 3.5 had quite a few cool races and some duds, but if we threw in all the possible racial variants from 3.5 it’d still get buried by the racial options in Pathfinder. Some call this bloat, me I call it being realistic as no two people ‘should’ be alike even within their own race. Even as vanilla as humans are, there is still some nice quirks of vanilla bean, French vanilla, vanilla and chocolate swirl…you get the point.
Now Pathfinder isn’t without faults, there is some dumb races that while I wouldn’t begrudge a PC for playing them I still don’t have to like em’ (Gripplis…frogs…-_-…eww. And Ghorans…a walking fruit salad for when the party gets hungry, literally!) And the water only races like Gillmen and Merfolk.
But where they just beat the every loving pants off 3.5, where they take 3.5 behind the woodshed and just beat em’ bloody is the vast amount of races that 3.5 locked away and said ‘These are monsters only’ and ‘you can only play these at x lvl once you figured in the races HD, LA, and it equals the ECL once they take a level of this…only then can you play them’…Pathfinder unlocked them and said ‘go to town’ (I don’t agree with PFS locking out most of the races, but I can see the point of simplicity in a more streamlined living storyline thing PFS does, so…don’t agree but not a big deal.) In a regular game of Pathfinder the races listed above once you add classes, aren’t really more powerful than one or the other. Some are tailor fitted for some classes, and you have munchkins, and power gamers, but that’s been true of D&D 3.5 too.
Aasimar, Tiefling, the not Genasi (Ifrit, Oread, Slyph, Undine) , Gnolls, Lizardfolk, Duergar, Svirfneblin, Drow, Catfolk and Hobgoblin (not counting KoK) were all locked away by an unnecessary and overly complicated mechanic. There was a lot more in 3.5 that could of made great PC characters (There is a polar bear race in Dragonlance that springs to mind.) but weren’t even given a ‘player stat’ block (Like +2 Str, -2 Dex, etc.) but were given LA, and sometimes even stated they favor ‘x’ class and advance in class. -_-;… so it was mathematical headache, and the way leveling was done a massive kneecap if you wanted to have fun. Because let’s say I wanted to play a Gnoll paladin in 3.5 (I did actually by the way. He is my divine hunter in Pathfinder.) In 3.5 Races of the Wild came out and made the race a quasi-class you had to take 3 levels in before you could take your first level of pally, (But at least it and few other books did do this for other races making them playable but hear me out.) what stunk though was those 3 levels literally got you just HD, a point of nat. armor, and martial weapon prof, with I think med. Armor prof. You were gimped hard compared to just playing a 6th lvl pally. In Pathfinder my Gnoll Pally rocks just as hard a humie pally does because both are lvl 6 when they have the same exp. And it made no sense because the race features really didn’t add up to the LA, drop the HD and there is literally NOTHING the race offered but a racial adjustment (again solely thanks to RotW), some profs. And some nat. armor. Other races like 3.5’s Catfolk got hurt even worse cause they got a level adjustment for no reason and NO HD. Yeah a level 2 3.5 Catfolk Wizard would have 1d4+Con. That hurts.
Thank Caydean, Pathfinder later knifed this stupid system. (B1 still had it, but it seems like it’s dead now, with ARG burying it and letting the cats use it for a litter box.)
Pathfinder also expanded what 3.5 didn’t offer, Kitsune, Androids, Ratfolk , Wyrwoods and Skinwalkers (discount Warforged and Shifters…but I’ll take em’.) and Wyvarans (not a half-dragon but good enough ^-^)
Anyway that’s my two coppers. And a rant/vent.
TLDR 3.5 races had some cool things I still like to this day but Level Adjustment, and ECL was a very bad mechanic and Pathfinder won the day with their races and racial options.
Also Pathfinder has the ONLY cool monkey race in the Vanara.
Well now learn something new everyday. I liked Kingdoms of Kalamar's world it was simple and yet deep. And even humans that didn't make me want to pull my hair out and scream.
I figured I'd end up missing a few. I don't have PH2, or knew anyone I could annoy for a look at the book. :P
But that does bring the point up that D&D still had a lot more 'classes' then Pathfinder, but Pathfinder has 'deeper and richer' classes. Neither are really bloat, though I agree with Larkos, as long as it's something 'different' that what was offered before. Personally I think Paizo will stop adding classes once their psionic book hits anyway, but I'm always happy for more APs too.
First just some raw data:
D&D Player Character Classes:
(note that this is not including prestige, JUST lvl 1-20 classes made by WOTC)
(same rule for D&D not counting prestige and has to be lvl 1-20)
On base count it's 55 to 32 in favor of D&D add in archetypes though Pathfinder has a lot more class. And it could be argued that most of the 'extra' classes are almost archetypes in of themselves.
So I hear a lot of people starting to claim 'bloat' by Pathfinder that 'plagued' 3.5, first off I'm not a believer in 'bloat' as much as content became to much for a casual player to digest. However as DM and a player I love options, so at first you'd think D&D wins...however!
Pathfinder IMHO is a different beast in some regards, for one I had to look in I know a good 30+ books and internet sources to root out just how many there were in 3.5 (And in all likely hood I'm missing more then a few.) Pathfinder's classes are all found in what 5? (Core, APG, ACG, UM, and UC?) The 30+ pathfinder classes are a lot easier to access for a regular player then 3.5 ever was. (digital releases 'could' have a play on that though, but hey internet WAS around in the 2000's too...it just took up the phone line to use.)
Archetypes again expand these base classes out even more. So is it bloat? Meh I don't think so. When Gunslinger got pushed out people whined about bloat, then people realized that like Summoner it still had major exploitable faults when facing them. (Or from a DM standpoint presenting a challenge.) The new classes right now are a mixed bag, some are dead sexy like Skald and Shaman (for my tastes at least) others bore me and otherwise worry the anti-power gamer in me. (Arcanist) however give it time and as APs and new monsters come out I think there will be newer challenges that make the hybrids out to be just as balanced as all the other classes.
tldr: Pathfinder isn't bloated yet, but it's actually deeper and does more with less then what D&D 3.5 offered. That said I still like all the D&D classes too, Options and choice is what makes my day when building characters, npcs, and worlds.
Next: A look at D&D 3.5 PLAYABLE at 1st lvl races compared to Pathfinder, and my rant on the stupidity of ECL and Level adjustment.
Mak'e Ral, Kobold, CN, Swarm Fighter 1
Just finished playing:
Balikar, Lizardfolk, CN, Mad Dog Barbarian /w Rolling Tooth, Crocodile Animal Companion 6
Game on hiatus:
Rem Lastfang, Gnoll, LN, Crusader Cleric of Pharasma 2/ Armor Master Fighter 1
I still don't see anywhere in the wording that makes it RAW useable with a weapon, It says 'punch' which if I'm going to bring the rules hammer down, I'm saying ONLY the five knuckle variety weapon is usable with the feat. It probably 'should' read unarmed strike, but even then I'm still cool with the feat NEEDING to be an unarmed strike with a 'fist'/'hand' to = punch.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Yeah it's not that I didn't expect it, just disappointed.
I can disagree a bit though on the regard only a human would make the android race. It could of been a real interesting twist to have a cosmic entity/alien race engineer a race similar to the most populous race on a given planet, to infiltrate and/or learn about them. Then something went haywire and their programing got wiped. Heck I don't think you even HAVE to say they are human bots, I could see this said race sculpting their androids to match elves, orcs, etc. etc. (Even catfolk for that matter) for that purpose to blend in. The looks would be cosmetic of course, but it'd also explain the hard time they have relating to humanoids and their emotions. As far as the cat being distracted by shiny, meh that's ferrets to me not cats. Something darting across the floor really quick is attention grabbing though, but probably no more then a human would. The tail, facial, and other body language is extremely important and I usually describe it in depth when I play them. Plus I imagine their speech is that mix of words and growls/purrs like the Kilrathi had. (I'm sure the Kzin sound similar.)
Well the field doesn't 'have' to be the size of FFT, it was just my point of reference, that each grid square = 5ft. like the regular table top. I'd be fine with the fields being huge, or maybe a 'overworld' move around with 'random' encounters that then take you to the map, or even times where you make camp and set watch for the day and see what comes around.
And there was a 4E D&D game but it played just like every other hack and slash, I played the demo of it (Daggerdale I think it was called.) but it wasn't very good.
What I'd like to see is a game like Final Fantasy Tactics, 3/4 isometric view, turn based combat, swap Jobs for Classes obviously. And while I'd like to see every class, prestige and archetype, I'd be happy with just every class. (Core, Basic, and Hybrid) And if you have to start out with just Core fine, but please add the ARG races even if they have to be DLC, I'll pay willingly extra for Gnoll, Catfolk, Kitsune and Ratfolk especially.
Above all else throw the hail mary and go all out on the character creation options. Aim at the deep ones like Soul Cailber 3, and Skyrim and try to blow them out of the water so that no two characters look the same.
Now as far as plot I have a suggestion. 1. Have a single player story where the player can make his party and work their way up through the levels to take on the big bad. Use the alignments of the party as a baseline for RP choices. Actual voice dialog is not important at all to me, so everything can be text. Using an AP like Rise of the Runelords would be great too as the base.
But 2. Have a campaign/scenario builder. Make your own dungeon and play to simulate your own stories.
And 3, while NO MEANS necessary, it would be kinda fun to have pvp 'arena'.
Thing is you never see a swachbuckler in a novel, movie, game, etc. Wearing armor of any sort. Just a shirt and some guts, and sometimes not even a shirt.
Arturius Fischer wrote:
Not all of us WANT to be human though, I never play them and honestly it's a weak and pathetic cop out to have this 'simple point of reference' It's actually annoying. I actually have an easier time playing and writing from the pov of a catfolk EASIER then I do human. Granted I am a furry, however I still think humans get way to much love in fantasy and sci-fi...I mean you know...all hail the Kilrathi, much cooler race then stupid hairless apes. I mean the aliens could of been like them...or the Kzin, for example. You can have 'humanoid' without being vanilla apes.
Ross Byers wrote:
One possible idea for chainsaws might be to treat them like crossbows: no strength bonus. After all, if you try hitting a tree harder with a chainsaw, you won't cut it down any faster, you'll just break your saw.
I have to agree I'm a bit unnerved by this getting into the hands of the power gamers in my group...
Unfolding Wind Strike, one of the Perfect style feats lets you "Double the range increment of thrown weapons". Seems pretty clear you aren't throwing your unarmed attack...
Joke aside point taken but it's clear this feat is for unarmed strikes only and if I'm DMing that's how it will be used.
Up to the GM but I'd say they would be built like npcs.
Darn, this is for PFS, and I'd hate to put extra work on the DM's shoulders just to build a bunch low level flankers and bodyguards. This is making me like this class even less, and I'm not going to have cash for ACG until December. T-T
Song of the Fallen (Sp): At 10th level, a savage skald can duplicate the effect of a Horn of Valhalla. This effect requires 10 continuous rounds of performance and summons barbarians as a silver horn at 10th level, as a brass horn at 13th level, as a bronze horn at 16th level, and as an iron horn at 19th level. The warriors remain only as long as the bard continues his performance. This ability requires audible components.
Specifically this: Summoned barbarians are constructs, not actual people (though they seem to be); they arrive with the starting equipment for barbarians. They attack anyone the possessor of the horn commands them to fight until they or their opponents are slain or until 1 hour has elapsed, whichever comes first
So...what ARE the Barbarian's stats, and what is 'starting' equipment?
This is true, but I have a feeling Lizardfolk would be somewhat 'adjusted' to it since it's so deeply entrenched into their beliefs. Unless a 'new' disease was introduced, it'd make for an interesting rp. But bottom line is I could see even a good Lizardfolk doing it, especially to one of their own as it's done in the same reverence as burial or cremation that other cultures do. It's not just "Let's cook em' all." In other words.
Ed Reppert wrote:
I'm pretty sure that if someone were found to be practicing cannibalism, TPTB would find something for which to prosecute him. Murder. Graverobbing. Being nasty. Something. And they'd find some way to lock him up and throw away the key, if they can't get the death penalty. Possibly they'd get some shrink to certify him insane, and use that excuse.
The way it was done, was a woman willed her corpse to her boyfriend for consumption, and he did so. So yeah it's BEEN DONE and there is legal avenues to do it.
Considering lizardfolk tend to eat humans(and there own kind) I can see them being in there.
Yet considering it's not even illegal in the United States to eat someone, it's really just a 'culture' thing. 'You don't waste anything' mentality is what Lizardfolk have. And I've played a Lizardfolk like that as a PC and he was fun. Party thought it was weird at first, but the fact he'd do EVERYTHING in his power to keep them alive made them realize he was still 'good' And nobody minded his crocodile animal companion eating the hag...God bless Mad Dog Barbarians...
Ross Byers wrote:
And I've never used catfolk, and cannot wrap my head around the appeal. Different strokes, can't please all the people all the time, and so on.
And I've never used humans, I can not wrap my head around their appeal, no fur, no fangs, no personality, not even a tail! Weird hairless apes. But yeah I agree can't please everyone.
It's not evil, it is kinda weird outside of the bipedal form...an...maybe serpentine if...naga like...eh *shrugs* Not the weirdest thing I've heard, and it wouldn't of bothered me much.
To be honest it'd make for a great novel read though. Nice spin on all those romance novels, and much more interesting then romances with bdsm dom wanna bes and/or sparkly vampires.
And it does make me think about how an Eidolon blooded Sorcerer would work.
And just a side on the whole 'married couple' idea I could see them raising a kid, get into an argument over parenting and the summoner go "Oh go away!" anytime he or she starts to lose the argument, to save face. :P
Mark Stratton wrote:
If you look at the Advice page Human is almost always lit up as the best choice for any class, the extra feat at 1st level is also worth well and above the racial features of other races.
Should clarify though by 'hammered down' I was meaning there is 'too many' humans in the fantasy world, I think numbers wise humans outnumber ant colonies in Golarion. And the point was an Aasimar, Tiefling or any other race mentioned is NOT more overpowered then a human.
Even the races that dip past 20 RP like Centaur really aren't 'better' then human in the scope of an adventure. (When I DM and this is obviously non-pfs I allow any race below 20 RP, and still human is strong in comparison.)
You know I prefer the 'cantina effect' and as far as overpowered to me only Drow Noble stands out as op in the entire listing of Core, Featured, and Uncommon races. I'd even argue the Advanced Races Here:
And ESPECIALLY the Standards here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/other-races/more-races/standard-races-1-10-rp
Are no more oped then a stinky plain vanilla human.
I'd be one happy kitty cat if Paizo just opened all 50 (by my count) playable races. And just keep the caveat of having to have the book or watermarked pdf to play them.