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Monsters with racial hit dice have them because those hit points, saves, and base attack are part of the body's design. A humanoid monster (because other monster types should have their own tables of results) with racial hit dice and no class levels reincarnated as a race with no racial HD would become a level 1 commoner, expert, or warrior, most likely.
It doesn't say that racial hit dice are included in the rules for reincarnate, and not changing those and only changing the ability scores is certainly a valid way to go, but if you change the racial hit dice, the resulting player/creature has more versimilitude as a member of the race they were reincarnated as.
Ross Byers wrote:
There are already the Balisse and Choral angels from Chronicles of the Righteous, and the Dapsara and Iophanite from Inner Sea Gods. They don't seem to be on the list of even Summon Good Monster, though, and there's no Ring of Summoning Affinity for Angels, so they can't be summoned currently aside from religion-based alternate summoning lists and Planar Ally. Of course, Angels are more likely to be amenable to Planar Ally spells than a lot of other outsider types, so that helps cover it.
James Jacobs wrote:
Nirmathas feels slightly celtic to me, do you think that's accurate, or is there something else it ought to feel more like instead?
Older and more experienced Sciapodes usually advance by taking class levels. Many simply take levels in Commoner, Expert, or Warrior and remain in their tribes, but those motivated enough to become travelers or adventurers usually have levels in PC classes. The most common of these classes are Bard, Brawler, Ranger, and Rogue, though particularly combative Sciapodes may become Barbarians or Bloodragers, and some have the mystical or spiritual inclination to become Oracles or Sorcerers.
Alright, I have a rough draft:
Paddlestaff: This weapon resembles a quarterstaff, but each end of the staff is flattened into a paddle to aid in water skimming. It can be used as a simple weapon, in which case it functions as a quarterstaff, but those proficient in the weapon can also use it to deal slashing damage.
Coracle Clog: This enormous shoe is carved from wood and formed into a shape similar to a small boat. A small-sized character can use it as a boat, but it's intended to be worn by Sciapodes to improve their mobility while water skimming. The shape and buoyancy of the clog increase the speed of water skimming by 5', or 10' with a paddle or pole, and give a +2 bonus to acrobatics checks to balance while water skimming.
Racial Feats: Leaping Stomp (Increase range of Giant Stomp attack), Stomp Rebound (Land anywhere within 10' of target after a Giant Stomp attack), Foot Guard (Immediate action to drop and raise the foot as a shield, gaining AC/Reflex at the cost of needing to stand up as a standard(?) action before being able to move), Vaulting Stomp (Requires Leaping Stomp; able to jump a long distance without provoking attacks of opportunity), Swarmstomp (Giant Stomp attack deals full damage to non-flying swarms)
A Snailpeople race would also be pretty cool, but this is medieval bestiary-based. I will keep your advice in mind on keeping low-CR things simple; it's easy to get carried away with all the strange things you can do with an interesting body plan. I may make the footboating a special rule though, a swim speed doesn't quite work...
Anyone have more input?
In connection with the Dog-Headed Men I posted a while ago, I'm trying to build a race of Monopods/Sciapods. I'm thinking low CR but with racial hit dice, like the Panotti from Murder's Mark (which they would be living somewhat near), and probably inclined towards advancing mostly by class levels. The race has a human- or dwarf-like torso and head, but below the waist a single leg and an enormous foot the size of their torso. However, there are some things that I'm unsure about that maybe people more experienced designing monsters could help with:
1: How to handle the move speed? They can only move on land by hopping or springing. Should the hopping be represented by a low move speed but with a speed bonus when running? They will probably have a racial bonus to acrobatics to jump, and I am considering giving them a version of Spring-Heeled Jack's Vault ability:
Bestiary 4 wrote:
Vault (Su) Spring-Heeled Jack can jump up to 20 feet (vertically or horizontally in any combination) as a move action without provoking attacks of opportunity.
2: They also have the ability to use their foot as a boat and float on water, propelling themselves with an oar or staff. Would that be a swim speed, some kind of water walk ability, or a special move type? They can't move very well floating on the surface without a pole or oar, since they would have to crouch down and paddle. Also, should they be able to swim well below water as well? I feel like the foot may be able to work as a kind of fluke for propulsion...
3: Should they have an oversized kick or slam natural attack with their foot? Should their jumping movement include the ability to charge with either a kick or handheld weapons?
4: They probably have some natural armor and good strength, but I am torn on whether their dex should have a bonus. One one hand, they are fairly agile, but on the other, their movements might look kind of awkward.
5: Should they be Monstrous Humanoids, or ordinary humanoids? Or perhaps even some kind of Fey? I am leaning Monstrous, but some humanoids have pretty nonstandard body plans (Merfolk for one).
6: Should there be a mechanical aspect to their habit of resting on their backs with their feet up in the air as an umbrella? Either a weakness they're compensating for or a foot-based defensive ability perhaps?
Any input or feedback more experienced monster designers can offer would be very much appreciated, as it is I am just kind of muddling about with the Panotti and some other CR 1-3 humanoids and monstrous humanoids trying to see what ticks.
We can at least hope that the people of Valenhall have somewhat "gone native" in terms of their lifestyle and have regular interaction or outright cohabitation with native arcadians. I do believe the Vikings in Vinland lived in a much less exclusionary way than a lot of the later settlers. But I'm not a super expert on these issues.
I have a trait that I designed that I am wondering if it should be a feat instead:
Magical Homeleand [Regional]
What do you think? Is it too good for a trait? Would it be more balanced without the wild empathy modification? Currently only NPCs have it so it's not a big deal yet but I wanted to check peoples' opinions.
Probably accurate. More swirling and swiping, less whipping out.
Matthew Morris wrote:
"What this means is that the scorpion whip is normally a light performance weapon with no other special weapon features" means that, like any other light performance weapon with no other special features, the scorpion whip threatens at five feet. I'm not sure how switching between using it as a scorpion whip and using it as a whip works I guess... I would hope, but not assume, that you can choose to use it as a whip whenever you attack, but otherwise it works as itself.
Vyse from Skies of Arcadia?
also there's one I answered a while ago that no one told me if I was right or not...
I tried to take as much as possible inspiration from the actual medieval bestiary descriptions (the not speaking, the sometimes tails, the general agreeableness) plus some things logically based on dogness (the reasons given for illusion resistance). I trimmed natural hunter down to keen senses and didn't include the animal-minded because of RP amount and power balance concerns. What do you think? I'm also concerned about Terrifying Howl's balance as part of a 0 HD race; Terrifying Croak is given as an option in the race builder but it comes from Boggards.
Here's the generic bestiary entry:
Usually living in orderly tribes, cynocephali are rarely found in the inner sea region. The largest known population is in the realm of the priest-king in Casmaron, where they are one of the notable nonhuman populations, but they can also be found in small numbers far to the north in Iobaria and in the deserts of Kelesh. Historical documents suggest there may have been a significant population in Osirion at some point, but there is no known population there now. Though most are unable of vocalizing languages other than their own, their patience and understanding usually lead to peaceful and cooperative interactions with humans and other civilized races. They do not usually integrate into other populations, but often establish mutually beneficial trade relationships. Cynocephali are most comfortable in the wild or in rural settings, usually eschewing urban environments and living by hunting, gardening, and crafting. Cynocephalus society places high value on tradition and cooperation; while their tribes usually have one strong leader (who can be male or female), most important decisions, especially ones deviating from tradition, will be debated and agreed on by the tribe before being carried out
So I have a campaign set in an exotic land, and I am using Panotti and Blemmyes in it, but I also wanted to use the Cynocephali that go with them. I learned that Eric Morton presents had a humanoid dog race thing partway through building, but I had already started so I just finished it; may grab that later to compare notes. Mostly looking for feedback on how this seems balance-wise and flavor-wise from people who are more experienced at designing races than I am. It is somewhat based on Catfolk but I changed and added more than I left, I think. Also debating changing the name to Kalystrii/Kalustrii or Hemicyne, which is another name found in some sources for the Cynocephali, but I don't think I like those as much (and since they don't speak common, their name is probably one given by another race anyway).
Cynocephalus Characters [16 RP]
Alternate Racial Traits
Dogged Ferocity: Some cynocephali are more reliant on physical prowess and sheer stubbornness than intimidation and coordination. If the hit points of a cynocephalus with this trait fall below 0 but it is not yet dead, it can continue to fight. If it does, it is staggered, and loses 1 hit point each round. It still dies when its hit points reach a negative amount equal to its Constitution score. This trait replaces Terrifying Howl. (Considering also including an improvement to the bite attack, either giving it grab or improved critical when at low health?)
Haven't come up with racial feats or favored class bonuses yet, but their most common favored classes are probably ranger, druid, barbarian, skald, hunter, shaman, maybe bloodrager or witch. Most common alignment probably lawful neutral?
I have a bestiary entry I'm almost done with, and still need to do more of the flavor chunks that race entries usually have, but this is a good rough-out for the mechanics I think. I'm slightly concerned that their RP is too high. Was also debating adding something like "Animal-Minded (2 RP): Skinwalkers have a +2 racial bonus on Handle Animal and wild empathy checks." but that would DEFINITELY make their RP too high.
I get that the "Big Six" (adding up to enhancement bonuses to abilities, weapons, and armor, resistance bonus to saves, and I think Deflection/natural armor?) is built into assumptions about character stats as they level, but since I've never been in a group with predictable treasure or players familiar with such traditions, I've never had beyond a vague clue at what levels players are expected to have what degree of bonuses from those items. Can someone lay that out for me, at least in general terms?
I am building an NPC/Enemy for a campaign I'm running who is an awakened animal 20 racial Hit Dice (after awakening) and also a 10th-level wizard. Normally when I make monsters with class levels, I mostly give maximum ranks in a group of skills. However, at 30 HD, I'm wondering if there are any skills that are worth putting 30 ranks into, or if I should cap most of them at 20 and spread them out wider. So, what skills is it worth having 30 ranks in, particularly for a wizard who is a very large and powerful animal? I know I want ranks in Spellcraft, Knowledge (Arcana), and some social skills (intimidate, sense motive, maybe bluff and diplomacy) with options for linguistics and other knowledges, especially planes. I'm just wondering where diminishing returns on more ranks catches up.
James, have you ever used awakened animals in important NPC or Enemy roles? Do you know if they have been in any adventure paths or Modules? I had an idea of one I want to use in a game I'm running, and I was hoping to compare notes to some existing examples, and I'm curious if your thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of them as NPCs and rival/enemy characters.
Once you have determined the creature's role, it's time to add class levels. The first step of this process is to modify the creature's ability scores. Creatures with class levels receive +4, +4, +2, +2, +0, and –2 adjustments to their ability scores, assigned in a manner that enhances their class abilities. Creatures with NPC class levels do not receive adjustments to their ability scores.
From the Monster Advancement rules in the bestiary.
Quick question hopefully. When you cast Awaken on an animal, its ability scores are adjusted and it gains two hit dice. Awakened animals are then able to take class levels. If they do so, do they then get the usual +4/+4/+2/+2/+0/-2 to ability scores to tweak them for the class, or is the awakening considered all the stat changes it needs?
Technically as I am the GM making the NPC I can do it either way if I want, but I'd like to know what is correct and what others do first.
So I am considering trying out Dreamscarred's Psionics stuff (I never played 3.x so I don't have any experience with the original). Aside from using the rules on d20pfsrd, if I was going to get the actual books/PDFs, which ones should I get to avoid redundancy? What other products does Ultimate Psionics include and what does it not?
James Jacobs wrote:
I certainly know that pain as a GM giving class levels in Fighter or Sorcerer to an Outsider...
James, Why do humanoids get so few skill points per hit die? Is it because there are classes that offer so few, and it doesn't make sense for classes to be worse than racial hit dice? Is it because humanoids are intended mostly to advance by class, or as a way to encourage it? Or is it something else?
If a Human Werebear (Acquired, but through nontraditional means) and a Changeling had children, do you think the children would be Changelings, Skinwalkers, Humans, Human Werebears, Changeling Werebears, or something else? If they had several children, would it be possible for them to be different, either between males and females or some other division?