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Will we ever see subraces / racial variants in Pathfinder?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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seekerofshadowlight wrote:

I hope they do not. I have always hated the "But my elf lives on the coast land and his skin is not the same color as the core elves. So clearly I need different stats"

If humans of different skin tones do not gain new stats why should elves or any other race? Unless your talking about a new race that can trace it's roots to a common ancestor.{Drow/elf or human/Neanderthal}

Living in a new environment and having a different skin color just does not cut it.

Are you implying that there is redundancy (or simply excessive specification) in having Hill, Mountain, Aquatic (what?), Arctic, Badlands, Deep, Desert, Dream (what!?), Frost, Earth, Glacier, Gold (Gold Gold Gold), Gray, Lesser Gray, Jungle, and Seacliff Dwarf Variants?

Shadow Lodge

bogbear wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

I hope they do not. I have always hated the "But my elf lives on the coast land and his skin is not the same color as the core elves. So clearly I need different stats"

If humans of different skin tones do not gain new stats why should elves or any other race? Unless your talking about a new race that can trace it's roots to a common ancestor.{Drow/elf or human/Neanderthal}

Living in a new environment and having a different skin color just does not cut it.

Are you implying that there is redundancy (or simply excessive specification) in having Hill, Mountain, Aquatic (what?), Arctic, Badlands, Deep, Desert, Dream (what!?), Frost, Earth, Glacier, Gold (Gold Gold Gold), Gray, Lesser Gray, Jungle, and Seacliff Dwarf Variants?

I can't deal with another type of elf that is pretty much the same in demeanour. Maybe I'm just more tolerant of dwarves.


I understand where the whole wood elf and high elf distinction originally came from. In Tolkien the Noldor had spent a great deal of time with the Valar and were changed because of it, where the Sindar had not.

Without a similar kind of distinction in the world's backstory to justify the existence of such a difference between subraces, they don't really have a place.

Drow are distinct because they were cursed by the elven gods for a race-wide act of betrayal, combined with thousands of years in the magical location they lived in. Add in an entirely different way of looking at the world, and you have something unique.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my current game world, there are 3 species of Elf.

Shee (Old Elves, Extinct).
Ehlin'Shee (Elves).
Valin'Shee (Drow).
Kova'Shee (Wild Elves).
Va (Nobles)

Ehlin'Shee are the core book elvish race. Very civilized, live in harmony with the environment, highly intelligent and very methodical, but somewhat frail. The Ehlin'Shee are an offshoot of the original elven race, the Shee. They are the closest to the Shee of the 3 races, and represent the majority of the survivors of the God Wars (a great war that divided the Shee pantheon). Fortha'Shee'Na (Elven God Father, The God King) won the war and exiled his former lover (Siftha'Shee'Ka) to the underrealms.

Valin'Shee are the bestiary drow race (common drow). They live underground (normally), are a mix of neutral and evil, mostly chaotic and generally a bad group to tick off. They broke away from the Shee during the God Wars and followed Siftha'Shee'Ka (Elven Goddess of Spiders and Dark Places, basically Lolth but with a few tiny redeeming features) into her exile. They have a hatred of all followers of Fortha'Shee'Na for the slight to their goddess in forcing her exile.

Kova'Shee are a group of Elves that split off from the Shee during the god wars. They rejected the 'civilization' that their bretheren were building, and took at as insult that any elf or elf god would be exiled. Their goddess, Suvara'Shee'Na (Elven Goddess of Forests and Wild Places) is the daughter of Fortha & Siftha, and refuses to deal with either of them until they make up and apologize to each other. She's rather feral, having raised herself up since her parents were too busy fighting after her birth to raise her, she was instead raised by the animals of the woods. Kova'Shee have the stats of Con +2, Wis +2, Int -2. They gain proficiency in all bows and have a bonus to survival, and treat Elvin weapons as martial. They are usually chaotic neutral or chaotic good, and many tend to be barbarians.

Va are just 'noble' versions of each of the three races, throwbacks to the original Shee. I've made a 'Noble' version of the Kova and Ehlin to match the Noble Drow. Works pretty well so far. So basically, I'm ok with alternate versions of races, as long as there is a good background for it. What I'd like to see instead of 14 versions of Elf is a nice little suggestion on 'Modifying core races for different roles in the world' that suggests racial tweaks that are balanced. Not that I'll see it, but I'd love to see it. Honestly that's more of a complete splat book all on it's own.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Pawns Subscriber
Gambit wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

I'm concerned (whether it's a well-founded concern or not, I don't know) that if we implemented what you're talking about, there'd be no -there- there.

I mean stereotypes are supposed to exist in works of fiction - they convey meaning. They reduce pages and pages and pages of description to a single sentence or two. This is a good thing. d20 is not meant to simulate reality. Clark Kent, for example, is a farm boy from Kansas - with all the stereotypes that entails. Bruce Wayne is a playboy millionaire on the surface but living in a vacant mansion cast in long shadows - again, with all the stereotypes that entails. Without those stereotypes, these fictional characters would not have the resonance with us that they do.
If you make the sub races so flexible that there are no stereotypes, I think you lose something significant.
Well said my friend, I agree 100%, without these stereotypes races could deteriorate into blanks slates upon which you slap random special features, which would rip some of the heart and soul out of the game.

Stereotypes can be fun to play at times; other campaigns and gamers do not like them, others loathe them. Hence, part of my point was that in a PFRPG product (aimed at a wide audience of gamers, and also to players who do not use Golarion as their campaign) which catered for racial considerations should be open enough to accomodate different players' interest in portraying racial variants, or even to appeal for its usefulness to players who dislike the concept. I find, mechanics-wise, that a "lvl1" subrace template is less economic than other options, as it's a pure give or take thing. Most features of the game are dynamic (feats you choose, spells you choose, class - as multiclass is open, skill choice). Species is set, and that's where, IMO, the level of fantasy stereotyping should end. Problem is seeing race, as opposed to species, as a non-dynamic element of a character's life.

Also, the stereotypes you brought as examples, from Golden Age superhero comics, are pretty "positive" ones. That period was rife with quite more uncomfortable ones, like the "Evil Chinamen" or the "ethnic sidekick who speaks funny and creates a lot of comic relief". Basing a game rule in stereotypes is quite a problematic business, unless the mechanic does include elements for "breaking the stereotype", which is a choice that many players will probably want to take.

I also disagree in that un-stereotyping turns racial concepts into "blank slates on which you slap random special features." If you do that, you're just not role-playing. It is just as bad as choosing a race and then not caring about it in the way you portray your PC, because your choice was purely motivated by stats, class synergies or whatever. I tried to indicate how the process should not be random, but tied to the character's pre-adventuring (and post-adventuring) background you are creating. Actually, from the racial experience of an individual, that would be more detailed and less blank undefined than saying "Northern Barbarian: +2 Con and special drinking resistance, plus +2 to Profession (Row)"


Pathfinder Sylvan(Wood) Elves
Racial Traits:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution
Medium size
Normal Speed: 30 feet
Low-Light Vision
Elven Immunities: Sylvan Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Elven Naturalist: Sylvan Elves gain the wild empathy ability and can improve the initial attitude of an animal. A Sylvan Elf rolls a 1d20 and adds his Charisma bonus to determine the wild empathy check result. A Sylvan Elf who gains this ability from another source, such as levels in Druid or Ranger, gain a +2 racial bonus on wild empathy checks.
Keen Senses: Sylvan Elves recieve a +2 racial bonus on all Perception skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Sylvan Elves are proficient with Longbows, Longswords, Scimitars, and Shortbows, and treat any weapon with "elven" in the name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Sylvan Elves begin play speaking Common, Elven, and Sylvan

Here is my take on Pathfinder Wood Elves, I think it captures the flavor of them well.


And here is the last, and oft forgotten, elven race.

Aquatic Elves
Racial Traits:
+2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence
Medium Size
Aquatic: An aquatic elf is a humanoid with the aquatic and elf subtypes.
Speed: Aquatic Elves have a swim speed of 40 feet. An Aquatic Elf has a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Superior Low-Light Vision: Aquatic elves can see four times as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elven Immunities: Aquatic Elves immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Gills: Aquatic elves can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (after that, refer to the suffocation rules).
Keen Senses: Aquatic Elves recieve a +2 racial bonus on all Perception skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Aquatic Elves are proficient with Tridents, Longspears, and Nets.
Languages: Common, Elven, and Aquan

The only problem being here is, given the way Pathfinder handle stat bonuses, I'm not sure which other ability to give a +2 to.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gambit wrote:


The only problem being here is, given the way Pathfinder handle stat bonuses, I'm not sure which other ability to give a +2 to.

The most obvious one to me would be WIS. Balance out a physical with a mental, so either WIS or CHA. No reason why an aquatic elf would be any more charismatic than a land elf, so WIS is the logical one to me. If they aren't all that bright (-INT) they need common sense (WIS) to balance that out.


I definitely do not want to see human "sub-races" with varying racial modifiers. The trait mechanism is perfectly okay for simulating various cultural traits.

Considering that sub-races with differing ability modifiers are borderline stupid in regards to humans I don't really see the need to incorporate them into other races.

I'm okay with drow having different racial modifiers because they are typically the result of magical mutation, although in most home games I've changed the generic "elves" to being +2 Dex, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution to better simulate elven magic being inborn like sorcery. Wizardry was developed as a science to replicate what sorcerors can do innately.

Like many others I do incorporate noble elves/drow ala the Vanyar/Noldor but they are typically the equivalent of aasimar/tiefling in being reserved for NPC usage.


vuron wrote:

I definitely do not want to see human "sub-races" with varying racial modifiers. The trait mechanism is perfectly okay for simulating various cultural traits.

Considering that sub-races with differing ability modifiers are borderline stupid in regards to humans I don't really see the need to incorporate them into other races.

I'm okay with drow having different racial modifiers because they are typically the result of magical mutation, although in most home games I've changed the generic "elves" to being +2 Dex, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution to better simulate elven magic being inborn like sorcery. Wizardry was developed as a science to replicate what sorcerors can do innately.

Like many others I do incorporate noble elves/drow ala the Vanyar/Noldor but they are typically the equivalent of aasimar/tiefling in being reserved for NPC usage.

Well concerning subraces, let take the elves for example, elves in Golarion are already divided into at least 3 subraces, normal (high) elves, drow (dark) elves, and aquatic (sea) elves (all 3 are mentioned in Elves of Golarion). All 3 of these "cousins" are physiologically different from one another. High elves are your basic forest living, magic using, chaotic good elves. Drow are underground dwelling, magic tainted, light blinded, evil elves with spell like abilities. And aquatic elves are elves that live under the sea and have freakin gills. In this way each of these "sub"races are almost seperate races into themselves, each of them live and thrive in completely separate enviornments. Now the what I was suggesting, and this is personal preference only, was dividing the normal elves into high elves and wood elves (separating the magical natured elves who live in crystal spires, from the nature natured elves who live in tree houses). Making those the only two, in my eyes, actual subraces.


Gambit wrote:

And here is the last, and oft forgotten, elven race.

Aquatic Elves
Racial Traits:
+2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence
Medium Size
Aquatic: An aquatic elf is a humanoid with the aquatic and elf subtypes.
Speed: Aquatic Elves have a swim speed of 40 feet. An Aquatic Elf has a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
Superior Low-Light Vision: Aquatic elves can see four times as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elven Immunities: Aquatic Elves immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Gills: Aquatic elves can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (after that, refer to the suffocation rules).
Keen Senses: Aquatic Elves recieve a +2 racial bonus on all Perception skill checks.
Weapon Familiarity: Aquatic Elves are proficient with Tridents, Longspears, and Nets.
Languages: Common, Elven, and Aquan

The only problem being here is, given the way Pathfinder handle stat bonuses, I'm not sure which other ability to give a +2 to.

This is a tricky one, but you could go with the following +2 Strength +2 wisdom -2 Intelligence. These elves are strong and quite hardy and quite insightful living in an ever flowing environment. However there constant battles with the currents and monsters have made them less graceful and a little one dimensional in their outlook


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Please note that PF already has started having subraces. Using elves as the most obvious (and prolific) example...

Elf, Drow, Noble Drow

Honestly, I think there needs to be a 'Noble Elf' to balance out the Noble Drow, an elf with massive boosts to stats and such. A throwback to the ur-elves or whatever they want to call the first elves.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

mdt wrote:

Please note that PF already has started having subraces. Using elves as the most obvious (and prolific) example...

Elf, Drow, Noble Drow

Honestly, I think there needs to be a 'Noble Elf' to balance out the Noble Drow, an elf with massive boosts to stats and such. A throwback to the ur-elves or whatever they want to call the first elves.

Elves aren't special enough. We need extra-special elves.


mdt wrote:

Please note that PF already has started having subraces. Using elves as the most obvious (and prolific) example...

Elf, Drow, Noble Drow

Honestly, I think there needs to be a 'Noble Elf' to balance out the Noble Drow, an elf with massive boosts to stats and such. A throwback to the ur-elves or whatever they want to call the first elves.

Actually I disagree, I wish that noble drow had not been created. I like the slight nerf that normal drow got and other than changing the normal drows spell resistance back to 11+level, I think I'm going to leave them as is and remove noble drow from the game altogether. I have no desire to see a "noble elf".

Also, A Man In Black, you really do just despise elves dontcha buddy. ;)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Gambit wrote:
Also, A Man In Black, you really do just despise elves dontcha buddy. ;)

I'm indifferent to elves. My point is only that the main source of subrace proliferation comes from people who want elves-who-are-special.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't think elves need to be more special. I just don't like the idea of Drow having 'Noble Drow' without there being a counterpart in Elves.

Mainly that's just a bit of my OCD coming through, it's unbalanced to have 'Uber Drow' (and Noble Drow are Uber Drow, they have way more power than 3.5 Drow). Since they are the same species at some level, if you have Uber Drow, you should have Uber Elves to balance them out.

*shrug*


mdt wrote:

I don't think elves need to be more special. I just don't like the idea of Drow having 'Noble Drow' without there being a counterpart in Elves.

Mainly that's just a bit of my OCD coming through, it's unbalanced to have 'Uber Drow' (and Noble Drow are Uber Drow, they have way more power than 3.5 Drow). Since they are the same species at some level, if you have Uber Drow, you should have Uber Elves to balance them out.

*shrug*

Funny thing is, I dont think noble drow were created as a way to give a power-up to drow. I'm fairly sure they were a way to preserve drow society as we know it, being matriacrhcial complete with feuding noble houses, without Lolth around as its driving force. Saying, hey here are these more powerful drow, and the overwhleming majority of them are female, was Pathfinder's way of doing that.


I had assumed Wizard's penchance for extra races was essentially a way to bulk out page count on books. So far I am very glad that Paizo has chosen to try to not spam too many bulky subsets of rules with the new base classes in the APG and so far has seemed to focus on adventures, which generally speaking is one of the most worthwhile use of pages for a GM at least.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

mdt wrote:
I don't think elves need to be more special. I just don't like the idea of Drow having 'Noble Drow' without there being a counterpart in Elves.

But you're not at all bothered about noble derro/duergar; it's cool if the different deep races are different, but if deep elves have something special then elves need it, too. It's a perfectly logical tendency, as elves at their core are just humans-only-better, so it makes sense to tack on every -only-better to some subset of elves.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
A Man In Black wrote:
mdt wrote:
I don't think elves need to be more special. I just don't like the idea of Drow having 'Noble Drow' without there being a counterpart in Elves.

But you're not at all bothered about noble derro/duergar; it's cool if the different deep races are different, but if deep elves have something special then elves need it, too. It's a perfectly logical tendency, as elves at their core are just humans-only-better, so it makes sense to tack on every -only-better to some subset of elves.

Uhm,

Please stop putting words in my mouth. If they had put in a Noble Duerger in the book, then I'd want a Noble Dwarf to balance it out. They didn't, so it doesn't bother me.

Again, I could care less except that if you are going to put in an Uber subrace of a subrace (Subrace Squared? Super Saian?!? Oh noes!) then you should keep that balanced across all the subraces in that grouping.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

mdt wrote:

Uhm,

Please stop putting words in my mouth. If they had put in a Noble Duerger in the book, then I'd want a Noble Dwarf to balance it out. They didn't, so it doesn't bother me.

You don't feel like noble drow imply noble duergar, while they do imply noble elves. Am I incorrect?


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
A Man In Black wrote:
mdt wrote:

Uhm,

Please stop putting words in my mouth. If they had put in a Noble Duerger in the book, then I'd want a Noble Dwarf to balance it out. They didn't, so it doesn't bother me.
You don't feel like noble drow imply noble duergar, while they do imply noble elves. Am I incorrect?

Correct. I don't really like Noble Drow, honestly. If we're going to have them, we should have the balancing type (noble elf). I really don't want a proliferation of 'Noble Human' 'Noble Duerger' 'Noble Dwarf' 'Noble Halfling' 'Noble Goblin' 'Noble Bugbear' etc.

Let's put it like this. Sabre Tooth Tiger + Tiger + Tiger Tabby. All three felines. I don't feel that Sabre Tooth Tiger implies Sabre Tooth Wolf or Sabre Tooth Guinea Pig either. However, if we have Fiendish Tiger, I think we should have Celestial Tiger to balance it out.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

mdt wrote:

Correct. I don't really like Noble Drow, honestly. If we're going to have them, we should have the balancing type (noble elf). I really don't want a proliferation of 'Noble Human' 'Noble Duerger' 'Noble Dwarf' 'Noble Halfling' 'Noble Goblin' 'Noble Bugbear' etc.

Let's put it like this. Sabre Tooth Tiger + Tiger + Tiger Tabby. All three felines. I don't feel that Sabre Tooth Tiger implies Sabre Tooth Wolf or Sabre Tooth Guinea Pig either. However, if we have Fiendish Tiger, I think we should have Celestial Tiger to balance it out.

But you're arguing for the sabretoothed housecat, in a thread where people are also arguing for grey housecat and Russian blue housecat and calico housecat. Everyone has their disparate reasons, of course, but there's a general standard that variant elves are okay, but when that creeps into other races it's "proliferation" or bloat or whatever. I wonder why Tallfellow halflings never took root, but wild elves did.

I'd wonder why everyone likes drow better than duergar, but that's a stupid question.


James Jacobs wrote:
We'll be offering some new options regarding races and customization in the Advanced Player's Guide. I'm not sure exactly HOW that stuff'll work out, but I do believe we're trying to avoid what happened in the Forgotten Realms with so many different kinds of elves and dwarves and halfligns. We DO have subraces like drow and spriggans and duergar and svirfneblin, but these subraces are different enough from their primary race that they're much closer to being their own race.

Thank the lords themselves.

Never do I want to See something Like the FR Wild Elf again!


mdt wrote:
Correct. I don't really like Noble Drow, honestly. If we're going to have them, we should have the balancing type (noble elf). I really don't want a proliferation of 'Noble Human' 'Noble Duerger' 'Noble Dwarf' 'Noble Halfling' 'Noble Goblin' 'Noble Bugbear' etc.

Exactly why I dont want them around, because if drow have a noble variant, then everyone else is going to get all butthurt that they dont have them as well, its a slippery slope.


A Man In Black wrote:
I'd wonder why everyone likes drow better than duergar, but that's a stupid question.

I would say it is definately more of ole Bobo Salvatores fault, unless you mean its Ed's fault by proxy for creating the world which ultimately spawned the antichr.....I mean Drizzt.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Gambit wrote:
I would say it is definately more of ole Bobo Salvatores fault, unless you mean its Ed's fault by proxy for creating the world which ultimately spawned the antichr.....I mean Drizzt.

Blame Salvatore or Greenwood, whatever. Pretty much everything cool about drow, as villains or as protagonists, comes from FR.


I persoally found 3.5 was top-heavy with subraces (not even beginning to count 3.5 splatbooks/3rd party materials), and most of them in some fashion or another outdid the core races in some fashion.

("Whisper Gnome" anyone?...Gnome with a Racial "Silence" 1x/day at 1st Level, and there was a Feat they could take to make it 3x/day - thats an absolute killer for a sneaky character at low levels)

I think personally the core races are pretty diverse, but the human cultural variants in the Pathfinder Chronicles hardcover dont list any particular benefits for humans above some region speciic feats, related Gods to that region and some cultural specific weapons and armors.

While I do understand people asking with regards to Wild Elves and suchlike - it could easily be remedied by having someone alter the core race enough to represent this but ensuring that its no stronger or weaker than the core race.

That was the problem with 3.5 subraces, humans were a subpar choice in most cases and even the other races outside of the 3.5 core books were always a more attractive option. In Pathfinder the races are all pretty balanced IMHO, with minimal tweaking you could easily incorporate variants (I personally found "Unearthed Arcana" for 3.5 to be very useful for this purpose, it requires minimal conversion without giving significant or unfair advantages or giving unfair or significant penalties.)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Princess Of Canada wrote:
I persoally found 3.5 was top-heavy with subraces (not even beginning to count 3.5 splatbooks/3rd party materials), and most of them in some fashion or another outdid the core races in some fashion.

So, can you name any subraces in 3.5 that weren't deep [race] or adjective [elf] outside of FR or Races of [Adjective] books? The only subraces at all when 3.5 came out were the elf subraces in the Monster Manual and the various subraces in FRCS and Races of Faerun.

In fact, even the Races of [Adjective] books didn't have a bunch of subraces except for Races of Stone (which had some dwarf and gnome subraces). After Races of Stone was panned, the only subraces you saw in player books were three tries at human-plus-magic, with varying degrees of success. (Illumians didn't take, Elans have a bit of a cult following, Azurins sank with everything else Incarnum.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm not keen on subraces myself.

As to the 'noble drow' I don't mind them because a) they're primarily on the 'anti-' side of the 'tagonist' equasion, and b) the drow are always making deals, researching demon stuff anyway. It makes sense (if anything does) that they'd experiment on themselves over generations to build power.

As to 'noble' Duergar, They're too busy toiling for Droskar to experiment like that. (and remember, I'm the psionic fan, so Duergar get cool points) Plus the Lawful Evil nature of their society would encourage conformity I think.

Likewise, 'noble' elves don't make sense, they don't have the drive that their darker cousins do. While one or two might try magical augmentation, I doubt there's enough to 'breed true'.

(aside: I think I'd like to see a write up to make Forlorn elves different from their cousins, mechanically. I mean look at Merrisal, why would she know longbow and longsword? She grew up in human worlds)

Shadow Lodge

mdt wrote:
Correct. I don't really like Noble Drow, honestly. If we're going to have them, we should have the balancing type (noble elf). I really don't want a proliferation of 'Noble Human' 'Noble Duerger' 'Noble Dwarf' 'Noble Halfling' 'Noble Goblin' 'Noble Bugbear' etc.

I don't see it as a sort of yin-yang thing at all. The drow's power and survival is based on a pact with a demon lord. The matrons of the drow families are favored and as such gifted. Elves have no such demonic influences to have caused a racial spur.

Yeah, doesn't exactly work in forgotten realms but that brings up the whole problem with subraces in general, they only make sense in the context of a setting where they belong.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
0gre wrote:
mdt wrote:
Correct. I don't really like Noble Drow, honestly. If we're going to have them, we should have the balancing type (noble elf). I really don't want a proliferation of 'Noble Human' 'Noble Duerger' 'Noble Dwarf' 'Noble Halfling' 'Noble Goblin' 'Noble Bugbear' etc.

I don't see it as a sort of yin-yang thing at all. The drow's power and survival is based on a pact with a demon lord. The matrons of the drow families are favored and as such gifted. Elves have no such demonic influences to have caused a racial spur.

Yeah, doesn't exactly work in forgotten realms but that brings up the whole problem with subraces in general, they only make sense in the context of a setting where they belong.

Well, I did post originally that I was mildly OCD, so things like symmetry bother me a lot. It's kind of a constant low-level annoyance actually.


Just a point: A DM has a choice of what races he/she allows in the campaign... So, why couldn't Paizo come out with subrace books? I mean, if you don't like the idea of subraces, you don't have to use them in your campaigns. In my opinion, the only thing adding those subraces would do is add another book (at least some)people would be willing to pay money to Paizo for, thereby increasing their profits. Why is this a bad thing?

Shadow Lodge

LilithsThrall wrote:
Andreas Skye wrote:
That said, I find that games that underscore cultural and geographical factors (which can translate into traits and feats), as opposed to hardwired race features and bonuses according to race are friendlier to a modern understanding of culture and ethnicity. Games are for fun, but fantasy (games and fiction) does also reflect quite a bit about the miseries and virtues of our civlization at large.
LilithsThrall wrote:
I'm not aware that anyone was talking about hard wired race features. Race features don't have to derive from biology.

They didn't believe that in the 20's or 30's. If Pathfinder had been written in that time, 'Mwangi' humans would likely have the stats +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence.

That is part of why I don't like subraces when we can avoid it. Too many of the various types of elves seemed to suggest or make it mechanically unlikely to be anything but racial stereotypes, much like 'Mwangi' humans.

LilithsThrall wrote:
They can derive from life experiences (isn't that, after all, why the different classes gain bonuses to stats as they gain in level)? Humans have no obvious biological race trait (no nightvision or anything like that). What they gain is a bonus to a stat and extra skill points (all of which can be explained by life experiences, not biology).

Agreed, but some of the older inspiration, be it Howard or Lovecraft or Tolkien come from a less enlightened time and the issue hasn't entirely gone away.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve.


Holy thread necromancy, Batman!

Or should that be unholy?

Anyway, I generally feel that Pathfinder's response to sub-races are the alternate racial traits from the Advanced Player's Guide. Some dwarven clans live deep underground and spend a lot of time fighting off weird Things Man Was Not Meant To Know - these have the Deep Warrior racial trait instead of Defensive Training, getting bonuses versus aberrations instead of giants. Some elven tribes live on (not below) the sea, and become great swimmers and learn to fight with spears, nets and tridents rather than bows and swords. These have the Spirit of the Waters trait, replacing their weapon proficiencies and their bonus on spell resistance and Spellcraft checks.


the only stats we need for the elf are the noble elf stats.... hey we have the noble drow with stats.

anyway...

the dwarf, elf, halfling, gnome human?? sub stats we dont really need so we can avoid the FR and ahve stats for every branch of the race.

but what could be done is change the favored weapon and grant a racial bonus to a different set of skills or bonus to resistances.

such as the elves metioned in land of the linnorm kings.

should have cold resistance.....
the wild elves that guard that one spot.... well not sure what they should get..

but really.

and elf is an elf a dwarf is a dwarf. you get the idea. stats don't need to change but something else could ne altered


Isn't the Advanced Races Guide going to take care of all of this?


I liked the subraces of the elves, dwarves, halflings and gnomes. The few times I played a halfling I was played a tallfellow. I wonder if in the new races guide it would be possible to make a winged folk. I love me Al-Karak-Elam and had a fighter/mage in 1st edition that I would love to update.

Shadow Lodge

Staffan Johansson wrote:

Holy thread necromancy, Batman!

Or should that be unholy?

Anyway, I generally feel that Pathfinder's response to sub-races are the alternate racial traits from the Advanced Player's Guide. Some dwarven clans live deep underground and spend a lot of time fighting off weird Things Man Was Not Meant To Know - these have the Deep Warrior racial trait instead of Defensive Training, getting bonuses versus aberrations instead of giants. Some elven tribes live on (not below) the sea, and become great swimmers and learn to fight with spears, nets and tridents rather than bows and swords. These have the Spirit of the Waters trait, replacing their weapon proficiencies and their bonus on spell resistance and Spellcraft checks.

This, a thousand times this. The system for emulating subraces is already in place, so there's no need to have new statblocks or fluff. When it comes to humans, some human "subraces" have been in place since the Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide. Now with Inner Sea World Guide there's Totem Spirits and Varisian Tattoos to take again. The various regional traits and regionally themed feats which give bonuses against certain environments or immunity to some weather elements diversify the system even more. Sure, it costs feats and/or traits, but that's the prize you pay for being special.

Want a Lirgeni human? Take the Stormlashed feat from ISWG and top it with a local trait of your choice. Want to play a M'neri ekujae? Take the Desert Runner racial trait and mix in the Desert Child trait. Voila. And those snowcaster elves? They have the Rugged Northerner feat and the Ancient Enmity racial trait(IIRC, they are xenophobic). Naturally you are kinda boned optimization-wise on your first level if no scenarios where such affects would be useful come up, but then again there's always the choice of going back to cookie-cutter if that thought scares you.

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