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Core races add up to 10?


Advanced Race Guide Playtest

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Ravingdork wrote:

Elves make great wizards. Dwarves make great clerics. Gnomes make interesting bards. Halflings make great sorcerers. Humans, half-orcs, and half-elves make good everything.

I think you get where I'm going with this. In the end, they are all relatively balanced with one another.

Everyone saying otherwise is making a lot of hype over nothing.

I think the most important thing that keeps the core races balanced mechanically as possible good choices, regardless of whether some of them are worth more 'RP' than others, is the fact that having significantly favorable ability score bonuses for the class you are choosing to play is situationally worth about 4 RP more than having boosts to stats that don't affect your class (and possibly even more of a boost over a race that actually has penalties in your class's important stats). Thus, depending on your class, you might play almost any core race.

To give an example--let's say that you were going to pointbuy a Witch. Let's further say that you wanted to have 18+ Int, 14+ Con, 12+ Dex, any amount of Str (even 7 would be OK), and you want no penalty in Wis or Cha.

So let's compare Changeling (the one in Carrion Crown) to Human. Both have good flavor for being a witch (Changelings are the daughters of hags and witch is the most thematic class). Changeling has -2 Con, +2 Wis, +Cha. Human has a floating +2. So to have 18 Int, the Changeling has to pay 7 more point buy. To have 14 Con, the Changeling has to pay 5 more points. They pay the same for Dex and Str. The Changeling gets back 4 points on Wis and Cha (buys two 8s instead of two 10s). So it costs 7 point buy more to make this witch with a Changeling than with a Human. The Changeling can lower her Int to 16 and she would still be 1 point buy over the Human due to the Con--

Human: Str 8 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 18 Wis 10 Cha 10 (15 PB)
Changeling: Str 8 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 16 Wis 10 Cha 10 (16 PB)

The Changeling is more than 2 Int worse than the Human here, and that's the Witch's casting stat.

So situationally, if you will, the Changeling is more than 4 points (the cost of Augmented Intelligence) worse than the Human for playing this Witch--even if the Changeling gained Augmented Intelligence for free, in this case she would still be worse than the Human.

This is why we see such variety in selection among the different core races--abilities don't have power in a vacuum (ability scores are just one facet, albeit the easiest to analyze since they already have their own point buy system). So even if the Dwarf winds up a 13 point race, it's situationally getting a penalty for any class that uses Charisma.

I would say that a designer using the new race system should simply strive not to make a "standard" race that overlaps with a core race's niche (by having the same ability bonuses and penalties, for instance) while outclassing it. A copy of elves that moved the penalty from Con to Str and then flat-out added an extra 1 RP ability would be an example of that. As long as you don't do that, it should in theory just give you a new interesting option.


Foghammer wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
You need to come up with sane ability costs...

Well, I wouldn't say that what's in the playtest is insane, just not quite correct... The numbers are rather low to have huge swings. The difference between a 1 RP ability and a 4 RP ability seems apparent but not vast, and there are some 1 RP abilities that aren't worth 1 RP but shouldn't exactly be free, either. Hatred and Poison Use spring to mind.

Perhaps you are addressing something else, though; I may have misunderstood.

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area. Using point buy, they are probably at a 1 point advantage relative to a human or a core race.

Osirion

RJGrady wrote:

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area.

Because it is 2 points lower. A net +2 is 0 RP, a net 0 is worse then a neat +2.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area.

Because it is 2 points lower. A net +2 is 0 RP, a net 0 is worse then a neat +2.

What is it worth to a wizard to have a 20 or 22 Int versus an 18 or 20?


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area.

Because it is 2 points lower. A net +2 is 0 RP, a net 0 is worse then a neat +2.

But it allows a caster to cast better if they focus on that slot.

Yes, it does mean penalties to secondary or dump stats (likely if you, the player, design it it will be dump stats that are lowered)

Osirion

RJGrady wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area.

Because it is 2 points lower. A net +2 is 0 RP, a net 0 is worse then a neat +2.
What is it worth to a wizard to have a 20 or 22 Int versus an 18 or 20?

Are they all wizards? No they are not. Do not let players make races by cherry picking the best item for a concept they have.

It is worse over all then a net +2, some will make killer ( insert class that uses the +4 here) but not everyone will be of that class now will they.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
RJGrady wrote:

How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area.

Because it is 2 points lower. A net +2 is 0 RP, a net 0 is worse then a neat +2.
What is it worth to a wizard to have a 20 or 22 Int versus an 18 or 20?

Are they all wizards? No they are not. Do not let players make races by cherry picking the best item for a concept they have.

It is worse over all then a net +2, some will make killer ( insert class that uses the +4 here) but not everyone will be of that class now will they.

You miss an important point here:

Everybody picks the race that fits his class best!

Wizards go Elf.
Sorcerers go Human or Gnome.
Paladin Archers go Gnome.
...

Or how many Elf Barbarians have you seen in your career?

So the point of "OH NO YOU CHERRY PICK! POWER GAMER!!!!" is rather useless because Paizo already did a good job with providing Core Races that are imbalanced if taken with a specific build or class and totally useless when taken with some others.

If the Designers themselves do it, why shouldn't the players want it, too?


Well ... how about charging Int bonuses a higher premium (& Wis, and Cha) since they are primary caster stats?

I'm not all that fond of it conceptually, but it *will* curb abuse-power of any designer using the system.

Or, making the +2 --> +4 jump MUCH more expensive than what is currently listed (and not going by a +4/-2/-2 = 0 net value) instead?

Either of those use price and cost-effective measures to keep abuse down.

Just a thought ...

Andoran

Alienfreak wrote:

If the Designers themselves do it, why shouldn't the players want it, too?

Of course the players want to, that is the whole concern.

One of the biggest problems of 3.5 at the end was that core had become so suboptimal that standard races and classes you would normally see in the world conceptually disappeared in some campaigns because it was better to play a "rare" race.

My biggest fear about this book is the pandoras box being opened and every game being full of sparkle elves and hulks.

I want the created races to be less than the core races mechanically, so that they don't become common.

It isn't about giving the players exactly what they want anymore than eating dinner is about eating as much Ice Cream as possible.


ciretose wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:

If the Designers themselves do it, why shouldn't the players want it, too?

Of course the players want to, that is the whole concern.

One of the biggest problems of 3.5 at the end was that core had become so suboptimal that standard races and classes you would normally see in the world conceptually disappeared in some campaigns because it was better to play a "rare" race.

My biggest fear about this book is the pandoras box being opened and every game being full of sparkle elves and hulks.

I want the created races to be less than the core races mechanically, so that they don't become common.

It isn't about giving the players exactly what they want anymore than eating dinner is about eating as much Ice Cream as possible.

1.Ok you completely failed to get the meaning of my argument.

Developers geared certain races toward certain roles and sometimes even plain overpowered them by thinking they have to be COOL or compensate some uncoolness or whatever.

Since races which were created by the developers themselves are not build neutral, why should players be encouraged to actually want such a thing?

.
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2. One of the biggest problems of 3.5 was that people played other races like Imaskari?

You certainly didn't play the same game as other people if that was your main concern about the flaws of 3.5. You might want to check the Rule Books and the Forums for some other flaws to freshen up your memories, because this is one of the most ridiculous things I have read in a long time.
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And still the players are heroes. How rare is that to see a 16th level party run around? And then they are even not your standard Human but probably a kind of Human thats stronger or something. Holy.
Hide the Lord of the Rings books!!!11111 We have a Numenor, an Elf, Halflings and even a Half God in there!
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And still the rigid system of the CRB even PROMOTES taken freakraces. Once you even only want a different ability boost, for example +2 Str and +2 Wis instead of +2 Con and +2 Wis you already end up having to take an Planetouched creature.
If you want a good Rogue race you end up either taking a Hobgoblin (wtf?) or probably a Fetchling.

But keep in mind: did the player want that? So did he aim for getting the most freakish race for his character or did he only want a race that fits his character?
Would he really have done the same if he could have just switched some abilities around on the existing races? Lets say we have 2 Humans in the group: 1) has a bonus feat and 2) instead has 2 more con.
Is this really so outraging? Is it a FREAKING SPARKLE UBER HUMAN and everybody has to whine about the fact that he is not a CRB human? Both are perfectly human in my eyes.

Sometimes you just want to buy that chocolate bar and not the whole shop. The current rigid system forces you to take the whole shop to get the chocolate bar. But this is plain bad design.


I think most of that argument is moot.
You guys are threating this as if it was a BOOK, and it's just a chapter. 70% of what is being proposed, won't be there.
What we can expect is balance between RACES, ignoring the class you are going to take, that road lies madness.

We must think about races in a vacuum, without classes. How good are they in regard with each other, not if take class X or class Y.

Andoran

Alienfreak wrote:


1.Ok you completely failed to get the meaning of my argument.

First, I want to thank you for the rude tone you used, as it allows me to take the kid gloves off.

I got the meaning of your argument just fine. I just don’t agree with your argument. See, when a race is rare, it kind of kills the rarity when everyone plays it because it is mechanically superior option for a specific class. Of course some races are better for some classes, but none of them are built specifically to min/max a specific class. All of them have pluses and minus. Elves aren’t perfect wizards, Halflings aren’t perfect rogues, Gnomes aren’t perfect Sorcerers, etc…

Are they better than other races with some builds for some classes. Yes, of course. Are they built so that someone playing that race can’t play other classes without major issues.

Nope.

You can have a Dwarf Sorcerer, you can have a Gnome Fighter. The options work fine.

Having to make sacrifices in one area to get bonuses in another is the game. Getting exactly what you what how you want it is the domain of people who don’t want to be challenged, often because they find life to challenging to get out of their parents basement eating cheetos and getting fat. They want the world of illusion to be more forgiving to their inability to adapt to rule-sets that would help them get a job and lose weight. They prefer video games and ice cream to having to deal with rules.

One of the main stated goals of Paizo in creating pathfinder was to correct the problem of Core options becoming suboptimal and morons who are trying to “win” the game creating absolutely ludicrous combinations that don’t fit setting because it allowed them to have wings or have huge bonuses without having to take any class levels.

The ability scores are where you create your “Hero”. In a world where the average is 10, having 15 to 20 point buy over average covers that “Being a Hero” aspect just fine.

When you start allowing people to not just adjust ability scores, but racial features in order to min max beyond sanity you are basically giving up on creating a setting.

If in your game your DM lacks any kind of spine, god bless you and your friends. House rule to your hearts content so that the game table provides the escape you need from the cold limitations you face in real life. Be a sparkle elf or a hulk, go ahead and “win” the game.

The rest of us actually like exploring setting and having verisimilitude (look it up). The rest of us shake our head when you whine that no one likes your 5 charisma character, and wonder why you are surprised that the authorities are after you after all those intimidate checks with your monstrosity.

Your argument about “promoting” freak races is the fundamental problem. If “Freak” races aren’t made to be suboptimal choices, you are correct. They problem is that they made “Freak” races better than core.

They need to make the cap core, and everything else either worse than core or requiring racial levels to play.

That last line was my point, I thought I would restate it since it clearly eluded you.

Have a nice day, I need to get back to work at my job.


ciretose wrote:
I got the meaning of your argument just fine. I just don’t agree with your argument. See, when a race is rare, it kind of kills the rarity when everyone plays it because it is mechanically superior option for a specific class. Of course some races are better for some classes, but none of them are built specifically to min/max a specific class. All of them have pluses and minus. Elves aren’t perfect wizards, Halflings aren’t perfect rogues, Gnomes aren’t perfect Sorcerers, etc…

1. So you are against the party in LotR because it consists of rare races which happen to perfectly complement their role in the group?

2. Halflings are the worst Rogue race. Ever.

Elves are rather perfect wizards... the -2 con bugs a bit... but except that?
Int bonus? check
Dex bonus? check
Will save bonus? check
+2 vs SR (SR is now omnipresent, I remind you)? check

Gnomes aren't perfect Sorcerers? Did I miss something here?
They have +2 on the most important attributes of any sorcerer, get +1 to hit and +1 to AC while having -2 on the Sorcerer dump stat?
You can even get +1 CL on all fire spells if you wanna blast (most Sorcerers do that)

So I really don't know where you are going here...

Quote:

Are they better than other races with some builds for some classes. Yes, of course. Are they built so that someone playing that race can’t play other classes without major issues.

This is the problem here. If there are 5 races giving good bonuses for 5 builds, why are there none for the other 20 builds?

If you give a candybar to one you must give all one. Or you don't give one to anyone.

Quote:


Nope.

You can have a Dwarf Sorcerer, you can have a Gnome Fighter. The options work fine.

Gnome Fighters do work if you adjust the Encounters because they have a failtank instead of a proper one.

Quote:
Having to make sacrifices in one area to get bonuses in another is the game. Getting exactly what you what how you want it is the domain of people who don’t want to be challenged, often because they find life to challenging to get out of their parents basement eating cheetos and getting fat. They want the world of illusion to be more forgiving to their inability to adapt to rule-sets that would help them get a job and lose weight. They prefer video games and ice cream to having to deal with rules.

Oh right... the SACRIFICES!

Tell me aobut the sacrifices of an Dwarf Cleric. Wait he loses 1 channeling (an ability that is useless beyond lvl 5 and will even eat up your scare feats if you want it to do anything).
Or tell me about the sacrifices of an Gnome Sorcerer? Oh right he doesn't get the OP APG option. So he can't be a Human and Sorcerer. You win by a large margin. We have 2 races complimenting a single build. Wow.

Quote:
One of the main stated goals of Paizo in creating pathfinder was to correct the problem of Core options becoming suboptimal and morons who are trying to “win” the game creating absolutely ludicrous combinations that don’t fit setting because it allowed them to have wings or have huge bonuses without having to take any class levels.

They failed.

Take the CRB and then take the CRB and add in all the Golarion Splatbooks there are.

Does the CRB look like a viable source for you anymore?
Classes are ok in the CRB but this was no different in 3.5.
Feats are largely ok in the CRB but this was no different in 3.5. But you will end up using so many splatbook feats because they are just better.
Spells are mostly ok in the CRB but again no different in 3.5. And as in 3.5 you end up taking all the goodies out of the Splatbooks
Traits are not in the CRB at all. Making Core Only chars heavily subpar.
For most builds the Bestiary Races are better. By a large margin. For no downside because in 3.5 you at least hat a level adjustment which Paizo got rid of in their genius balancing
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Society Bonuses? Arcane Academy Bonuses? Alternate Class Features? Ninja vs Rogue? I am not sure which systems you play but in mine the possibility of trading a racial feature for another one isn't the most gamebreaking one. Hilarious side fact: The thing you nazi against already has happened! You CAN trade your racial traits for other ones because there are alternate racial traits around in the books. CRB just died.

But I guess taking the bonus feat and trading it for something else is really too much to ask. It will make the WHOLE CRB useless. Just in 3.5. Just as in Pathfinder.

Quote:

The ability scores are where you create your “Hero”. In a world where the average is 10, having 15 to 20 point buy over average covers that “Being a Hero” aspect just fine.

When you start allowing people to not just adjust ability scores, but racial features in order to min max beyond sanity you are basically giving up on creating a setting.

Paizo already did this. Probably you and your great rules insight (Races are the thing that broke 3.5) didn't notice.

The only thing is that the system in which they made it is patchwork. At best. A solid system giving points for abilities and the possibilities to trade them for equally powered other ones which you like/need.

Quote:
If in your game your DM lacks any kind of spine, god bless you and your friends. House rule to your hearts content so that the game table provides the escape you need from the cold limitations you face in real life. Be a sparkle elf or a hulk, go ahead and “win” the game.

I am the DM.

Quote:
The rest of us actually like exploring setting and having verisimilitude (look it up). The rest of us shake our head when you whine that no one likes your 5 charisma character, and wonder why you are surprised that the authorities are after you after all those intimidate checks with your monstrosity.

Oooooooooh! The ROLEPLAYER CARD!

Arguing about rules (and badly made rules) is just like arguing about anything in reallife. There is the ultimate rule that at some point the Nazi card will get played. And here its the ROLEPLAYER CARD!

I see it clearly now. You are a righteous and just ROLEPLAYER while we are all just inferior ROLLPLAYERS trying to destroy your beautiful good world with our world conspiracy.

Quote:

Your argument about “promoting” freak races is the fundamental problem. If “Freak” races aren’t made to be suboptimal choices, you are correct. They problem is that they made “Freak” races better than core.

If you had read my text you would have noticed that I don't promote freak races.

I promote a system that gets rid for us of those freak races!

Quote:


They need to make the cap core, and everything else either worse than core or requiring racial levels to play.

So it can't be as good? It has be worse? By what logic? Yours I guess.

Quote:
Have a nice day, I need to get back to work at my job.

Oh okay. I will hold out under my windy cold bridge so long...

Paizo Employee Designer

Okay folks, I'm all for heated debate. But I'm warning you now, making this argument personal will shut down this thread.

Please stay on the issues and stay clear from cheap rhetorical shots.

Andoran

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Okay folks, I'm all for heated debate. But I'm warning you now, making this argument personal will shut down this thread.

Please stay on the issues and stay clear from cheap rhetorical shots.

There is enough of a problem with min/maxers without allowing them to also Min/Max races.

It isn’t the roleplaying card, it is the setting card. If the setting says that warforged exist as a common class, by all means play a warforged. The setting should have reasons why they are able to exist and be a successful race.

If it says they are rare, they should be rare in hero creation as well.

In 3.5 it got to the point that playing a standard race was unusual, because they were underpowered relative to the races that were supposed to be rare and unusual.

Much like core spells are supposed to be the cap, core races need to be the cap for classes without class levels.

Gnome was brought up as the “ideal” sorcerer, but ignoring the fact that you may want Dex rather than Con, or you may not want to be small, or you might want a bonus feat/darkvision/etc…is the fact that with the current ruleset it is very easy to create a better sorcerer race without any of the negatives of being a gnome (bleaching, weapon proficiencies not needed by sorcerers, etc…)

This is a problem.

I don’t think a pure point system can work. I think you can create “sets” of abilities that you have to take as a “set” and assign the “sets” values.

For example you could have an “Ability score” set that includes all of the existing ability score “sets” of the current races along with a few more options without giving all options. If you want a +4 somewhere you are going to get minuses in areas you may not want them that make them no better than on par with core choices.

Similarly you could have sets for special abilities, where you can have this, but you take this penalty with it. Much like being small or large has built in bonuses and penalties, skills and abilities need to be links to drawbacks.

Having it as a simple point buy does not work. They aren’t things that can be associated with simple numbers in the same way ability scores are numbers. They are subjective with synergies.

As written, no reasonable player would use the core races for any reason other than flavor purposes.

This is a problem.

The core races need be the top of what you can take without adding a class level. They are the dominant classes of the setting, and of every class. It isn’t reasonable that other classes should be superior to them mechanically without having racial levels.

Taldor

ciretose wrote:
The core races need be the top of what you can take without adding a class level. They are the dominant classes of the setting, and of every class. It isn’t reasonable that other classes should be superior to them mechanically without having racial levels.

But what if I decide to create a campaign where I toss out the core races and make a set of seven new races? I custom tailor the races to a history and theme of the world, and make sure that they are broad enough that the classes available (not all of them even need to be) don't snap in place with specific races automatically, but remain broad enough that they can work ok with any class.

All this system does is facilitate that. And if you want the races to be more potent than the default races, you just make some APL adjustments, and anticipate how those racial traits will shape a campaign arc.

It's not as if this system is promoting that GMs should tell players, "not only make your characters, make your race!" and let them loose on this world-building system. I guess a GM could do that, but they'd be nuts and end up reaping what they sow.

This is a GM-use, world-building tool. It's not a player option.


Uninvited Ghost wrote:

Does anybody who doesn't work for Paizo think all core races being 10 is a good idea?

(not me, just to make it clear)

(This is way too late, but I'll answer it anyway.)

I think it's fine. Frankly, I don't think dwarves are clearly better than halflings.

BUT...that's because those races (as written) have synergies and antisynergies bundled in as well (e.g. there are many spellcasting classes that benefit from a Cha bonus and a Dex bonus and are not hurt by a Str penalty, whereas there are few spellcasting classes that benefit from a Con bonus and a Wis bonus and are not hurt by a Cha penalty). If you decouple everything, things start to unravel.


hogarth wrote:
Uninvited Ghost wrote:

Does anybody who doesn't work for Paizo think all core races being 10 is a good idea?

(not me, just to make it clear)

(This is way too late, but I'll answer it anyway.)

I think it's fine. Frankly, I don't think dwarves are clearly better than halflings.

BUT...that's because dwarves (as written) have disadvantages bundled in as well (e.g. there are many spellcasting classes that benefit from a Cha bonus and a Dex bonus and are not hurt by a Str penalty, whereas there are few spellcasting classes that benefit from a Con bonus and a Wis bonus and are not hurt by a Cha penalty). If you decouple everything, things start to unravel.

Oh right... the good old Dwarf Sorcerer. How could I forget. The great balancing of the CRB races is inbound!

Are you serious here? I thought it was pretty accepted on the boards that the CRB Races are not even nearly equal. Even in all the other threats people ( in this subforum) say so. Yet I find you two here who say my approach is all wrong and the CRB races are balanced and its just me who can't see it.

Few Spellcasting classes benefit from Con and Wis?
Con is important for everyone because it gives HPs and on the Fort Save.
Wisdom is important for: Cleris, Druids, Inquisitors, Rangers
Intelligence is important for: Wizards, Witches, Magus
Charisma is important for: Sorcerer, Paladin, Oracle, Summoner

Looking at this list I really question myself where you got your infos from sometimes, "few spellcasters".

Quote:
It's not as if this system is promoting that GMs should tell players, "not only make your characters, make your race!" and let them loose on this world-building system. I guess a GM could do that, but they'd be nuts and end up reaping what they sow.

But a Player's Options is still missing. And, as I said earlier, there have been feeble attempts by Paizo to fix this "under the hand" by introducing alternate racial features. But this system is heavily flawed and not balanced a bit.

So its time to get your hands dirty and pump out a good system for players to modify the races (within limits ofc, no Human will end being a flying tiny fey ;) ) and stop trying to emulate it via the alternate racial features (which are the thing I want if you are honest... but the thing I want is not so riggid and badly made)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Pointless arguments, just for the sake or arguments is what I'm seeing.

The system should be as sound as possible, and compatible with what we already have, and most importantly balanced with itself (Hardy and Halfling Luck as the clear examples)

Saying "Oh, but then he can build the Uber Race for said class" is ludicrous, cause as it was said time and again, this is a DM tool, not a player tool. Sure, you can let your player build their own race, or even improve on some aspects of it, but this is not like selecting a Class, it's not a players choice, it's a DM's one.


ciretose wrote:

I don’t think a pure point system can work. I think you can create “sets” of abilities that you have to take as a “set” and assign the “sets” values.

For example you could have an “Ability score” set that includes all of the existing ability score “sets” of the current races along with a few more options without giving all options. If you want a +4 somewhere you are going to get minuses in areas you may not want them that make them no better than on par with core choices.

Similarly you could have sets for special abilities, where you can have this, but you take this penalty with it. Much like being small or large has built in bonuses and penalties, skills and abilities need to be links to drawbacks.

Thats exactly why I advertise making it a Player's Options section in which you can get rid of some Abilities and get in some new ones from a specific list.

And I don't think becoming large or small even have to be on it. People are happy with a lot less if they have the feeling they can have fun making the character as they want it.


Alienfreak wrote:

Oh right... the good old Dwarf Sorcerer. How could I forget. The great balancing of the CRB races is inbound!

Are you serious here?

Of course I'm serious. Out of all the character classes in the Core rulebook or the APG, I can't think of a single one where being a dwarf is clearly the best choice. Maybe a Monk or a Druid, but even that's iffy, IMO.

In (almost?) every case I can think of, I'd rather be a human or a half-elf than a dwarf.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Half-Orc Question. Did they lose Darkvision is an errata that I am not aware of? (Check out Page 17 of the Advanced Race Guide Playtest)

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Elves make great wizards. Dwarves make great clerics. Gnomes make interesting bards. Halflings make great sorcerers. Humans, half-orcs, and half-elves make good everything.

I think you get where I'm going with this. In the end, they are all relatively balanced with one another.

Everyone saying otherwise is making a lot of hype over nothing.

I think the most important thing that keeps the core races balanced mechanically as possible good choices, regardless of whether some of them are worth more 'RP' than others, is the fact that having significantly favorable ability score bonuses for the class you are choosing to play is situationally worth about 4 RP more than having boosts to stats that don't affect your class (and possibly even more of a boost over a race that actually has penalties in your class's important stats). Thus, depending on your class, you might play almost any core race.

To give an example--let's say that you were going to pointbuy a Witch. Let's further say that you wanted to have 18+ Int, 14+ Con, 12+ Dex, any amount of Str (even 7 would be OK), and you want no penalty in Wis or Cha.

So let's compare Changeling (the one in Carrion Crown) to Human. Both have good flavor for being a witch (Changelings are the daughters of hags and witch is the most thematic class). Changeling has -2 Con, +2 Wis, +Cha. Human has a floating +2. So to have 18 Int, the Changeling has to pay 7 more point buy. To have 14 Con, the Changeling has to pay 5 more points. They pay the same for Dex and Str. The Changeling gets back 4 points on Wis and Cha (buys two 8s instead of two 10s). So it costs 7 point buy more to make this witch with a Changeling than with a Human. The Changeling can lower her Int to 16 and she would still be 1 point buy over the Human due to the Con--

Human: Str 8 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 18 Wis 10 Cha 10 (15 PB)
Changeling: Str 8 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 16 Wis 10 Cha 10 (16 PB)

The Changeling is more than 2 Int worse than the Human here, and that's...

Rogue Eidolon if you are actually worried about the Changeling, check this out.


RJGrady wrote:
How is +4, -2, -2 worth -1 RP, rather than costing 1 or 2 RP? That flatly makes no sense. They are only 2 ability score points lower than the standard build, yet specialized beyond any core race in one area. Using point buy, they are probably at a 1 point advantage relative to a human or a core race.

I specifically stated that I thought the points were NOT CORRECT. If they made "sense," as you say, then they'd be CORRECT. This isn't the case. This isn't a bar fight, don't just go throwing punches around because you think someone has disagreed with you. Keep the tone civil.

I merely noted that the point costs are not "insane" (IE: flight costing 1 RP, while ability boosts cost 10 RP). You implied a lack of sanity when you called for the costs to be "sane." Seems like a pretty harsh reaction; I just wanted you to take a second look and really think about the weight of the comment. It sounded belligerent, and I didn't think you meant it that way.

Just trying to help keep the peace.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xum wrote:

Pointless arguments, just for the sake or arguments is what I'm seeing.

The system should be as sound as possible, and compatible with what we already have, and most importantly balanced with itself (Hardy and Halfling Luck as the clear examples)

Saying "Oh, but then he can build the Uber Race for said class" is ludicrous, cause as it was said time and again, this is a DM tool, not a player tool. Sure, you can let your player build their own race, or even improve on some aspects of it, but this is not like selecting a Class, it's not a players choice, it's a DM's one.

This. All of it. A thousand times this.


ciretose wrote:
As written, no reasonable player would use the core races for any reason other than flavor purposes.

And this is why race design should be explicitly the purview of the GM, not the players. Assuming the players can design their own custom races throws the whole balance off entirely - for example, it makes flexibility worth absolutely zilch - since who's going to pay more for "any feat" than for "the particular feat I want for my personal character"?

Trying to look at this system from the point of view of a player will always come back with skewed results and power-gaming issues. But that's not important. Because the point is that this is a setting design tool for use by GMs.

ciretose wrote:
I want the created races to be less than the core races mechanically, so that they don't become common.

And I want to be able to - as a GM - create races that are more or less equal to the core races, so that my players will actually consider using them.

Perhaps there's some viable middle-ground here, though: Suppose the race creation section has a side-bar on "Things to watch out for if your players try to use these rules". It could even suggest, as one option, reducing the RP limits for various race categories when dealing with player created races. That would give you your weaker races, while still allowing the rest of us to use the tool for setting design without turning out crippled races that nobody will want to play.

Cheliax

Foghammer wrote:
There are some 1 RP abilities that aren't worth 1 RP but shouldn't exactly be free, either. Hatred and Poison Use spring to mind.

This is why I say the system needs to be expanded out. If a standard race was build with say 100 points, or even 30 points, we could more accurately price those really weak abilities.


hogarth wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:

Oh right... the good old Dwarf Sorcerer. How could I forget. The great balancing of the CRB races is inbound!

Are you serious here?

Of course I'm serious. Out of all the character classes in the Core rulebook or the APG, I can't think of a single one where being a dwarf is clearly the best choice. Maybe a Monk or a Druid, but even that's iffy, IMO.

In (almost?) every case I can think of, I'd rather be a human or a half-elf than a dwarf.

Dwarf & Dwarf Hatred Feat = +4 on all saves against spells and spellikes.

Tell me something the Fighter or Cleric wouldn't love more?

Btw. whats a better Cleric race in your eyes? Aasimar probably... but uhm... you know.


Dwarf Fighter 10:
18(22) 14(16) 18(20) 9 9 7
Feats: Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Lunge, Stand Still, Combat Reflexes, Endurance, Power Attack, Dwarven Resilence (or how it is called), Step Up, Improved Critical
Saves(cloak of resistance +3): : +15 +9 +5
Saves against Spells: +19 +13 +9
Weapon: Dwarven Warhammer
DMG (only with haste) AC 24: 69.41
DMG (only with haste) AC 30: 39.48

Human Fighter 10:
20(24) 14(16) 16(18) 7 9 7
Feats:Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, Lunge, Stand Still, Iron Will, Toughness, Step Up, Improved Critical
Saves(cloak of resistance +3): +14 +9 +7
Weapon: Longsword
DMG (only with haste) AC 24: 75.2
DMG (only with haste) AC 30: 43.77

Besides the Dwarf dealing a little damage less he is a monster against saves, better against bullrush, has darkvision (plus some other minor bonuses).

Note that this is the classical Sword&Board Fighter. The TWF isn't much better except for the bullrush attempts but you can do it yourself, if you want :)


Alienfreak wrote:
hogarth wrote:

Of course I'm serious. Out of all the character classes in the Core rulebook or the APG, I can't think of a single one where being a dwarf is clearly the best choice. Maybe a Monk or a Druid, but even that's iffy, IMO.

In (almost?) every case I can think of, I'd rather be a human or a half-elf than a dwarf.

Dwarf & Dwarf Hatred Feat = +4 on all saves against spells and spellikes.

Tell me something the Fighter or Cleric wouldn't love more?

(You mean the feat "Steel Soul", I presume.)

Fighter: +2 to Str and two feats of my choice*
Cleric: no -2 to Cha and two feats of my choice*

*One is the human bonus feat and one is the feat saved by not taking "Steel Soul".

Alienfreak wrote:
Btw. whats a better Cleric race in your eyes?

Human or half-elf.


hogarth wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
hogarth wrote:

Of course I'm serious. Out of all the character classes in the Core rulebook or the APG, I can't think of a single one where being a dwarf is clearly the best choice. Maybe a Monk or a Druid, but even that's iffy, IMO.

In (almost?) every case I can think of, I'd rather be a human or a half-elf than a dwarf.

Dwarf & Dwarf Hatred Feat = +4 on all saves against spells and spellikes.

Tell me something the Fighter or Cleric wouldn't love more?

(You mean the feat "Steel Soul", I presume.)

Fighter: +2 to Str and two feats of my choice*
Cleric: no -2 to Cha and two feats of my choice*

*One is the human bonus feat and one is the feat saved by not taking "Steel Soul".

Alienfreak wrote:
Btw. whats a better Cleric race in your eyes?
Human or half-elf.

Channeling is heavily overrated for not dumping the attribute.

It is feat intensive and doesn't even have a big effect for the fact that you will either waste many feats on it or waste your rounds with it.
Channeling was good in 3.5 but in Pathfinder its hardly worth it.

But you can read this in about any Cleric Advice Thread in the Forums for yourself if you like.

P.S. there are no feats around which are better than Steel Soul. So stop trying to make it sound like an advantage to not be able to take it.


Alienfreak wrote:
P.S. there are no feats around which are better than Steel Soul. So stop trying to make it sound like an advantage to not be able to take it.

(a) I think it varies greatly on how often you're forced to make saves vs. spells/spell-like abilities (non-Charm spells, in the case of half-elf vs. dwarf).

(b) I think you have a pretty good case for Steel Soul being a powerful feat. But I think qualifying for a particular feat is a pretty poor argument for dwarves being powerful in general.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Rogue Eidolon if you are actually worried about the Changeling, check this out.

Merely using it as an example to demonstrate why races can be conditionally worse at particular classes, thus making it OK that the core races have different RP values.


Should there be something like 1/2 point costs, like in GURPS or HERO. There are things that seem minor, but you shouldn't just get it for free, like Craft and Profession bonuses, racial Hatreds, etc.


hogarth wrote:
Alienfreak wrote:
P.S. there are no feats around which are better than Steel Soul. So stop trying to make it sound like an advantage to not be able to take it.

(a) I think it varies greatly on how often you're forced to make saves vs. spells/spell-like abilities (non-Charm spells, in the case of half-elf vs. dwarf).

(b) I think you have a pretty good case for Steel Soul being a powerful feat. But I think qualifying for a particular feat is a pretty poor argument for dwarves being powerful in general.

Judging by the APs its often :)

The question rather is:
How often do you make saves against things which are no Spells or Spellikes? Sure there are some (especially with the witch around) but the bulk of all saves are made against Spells and Spellikes.

Plus neither Humans nor Half-Elves do have Darkvision and Darkvision is also REALLY good to have.

Osirion

Darkholme wrote:
Foghammer wrote:
There are some 1 RP abilities that aren't worth 1 RP but shouldn't exactly be free, either. Hatred and Poison Use spring to mind.
This is why I say the system needs to be expanded out. If a standard race was build with say 100 points, or even 30 points, we could more accurately price those really weak abilities.

Again, the point total does not matter. Making it a static set number is the problem we now have. You will have to "pad" some numbers to make it fit. If the numbers are right we will never have a static number, but we will have a range say 7-15 where the core races fit. It could be higher then 7-15, just pulling numbers of of thin air.

I do agree the numbers need a real look, some 1 point abilities are way better then others, we either need a .5 or set those lower abilities as the new standard for 1, then move the others up, while moving more up and balancing others with each other. A range of 1-7 would work fine.

A side note: I myself would kill standard/advanced/monster categories and simply have them limited by points. I would also kill the advanced ability section, that is there solely to make "uber" races as far as I can tell and has no other use.


Scent, DR, All Around Vision, some stuff is in the monstrous section but it isn't a clear game breaker. People spending 4, 6, 8 points on stuff will either have to use it to get some real mileage or they will be paying the price.

I agree with just having abilities determined by what point you start off as, with 10, 20, 30+ builds described so you know what to do with encounter CRs, etc.

Osirion

Well if it was me I would also kill the static numbers. A standard race is not 10, the numbers have been rigged to make it seem 10. Its closer to 7-15 So I would set it like that.

Standard: 7-15
Advanced: 16-25
Powerful: 26-35

Or something of the like. You are never gonna get a set number, much like the classes are not all equal at all times or at all levels. But you will get a range that fits with in the group of races.

Andoran

Emerald Wyvern wrote:
ciretose wrote:
As written, no reasonable player would use the core races for any reason other than flavor purposes.

And this is why race design should be explicitly the purview of the GM, not the players. Assuming the players can design their own custom races throws the whole balance off entirely - for example, it makes flexibility worth absolutely zilch - since who's going to pay more for "any feat" than for "the particular feat I want for my personal character"?

Trying to look at this system from the point of view of a player will always come back with skewed results and power-gaming issues. But that's not important. Because the point is that this is a setting design tool for use by GMs.

ciretose wrote:
I want the created races to be less than the core races mechanically, so that they don't become common.

And I want to be able to - as a GM - create races that are more or less equal to the core races, so that my players will actually consider using them.

Perhaps there's some viable middle-ground here, though: Suppose the race creation section has a side-bar on "Things to watch out for if your players try to use these rules". It could even suggest, as one option, reducing the RP limits for various race categories when dealing with player created races. That would give you your weaker races, while still allowing the rest of us to use the tool for setting design without turning out crippled races that nobody will want to play.

If for your homebrew you want to create new races, great. But the guidelines should exist so that no single race is functionally created to correspond directly to the needs of a class, regardless of if it is a GM or a Player tool.

Races should exist as races, not as platforms for specific classes. All races should be viable with all classes. Some will be better than others, but all of them should be able to be viable options for all classes. Dwarven Sorcerers and Gnome Barbarians do exist.

I don’t think a point system can account for synergies, and so I don’t think a point system is the way to go. A “trade” system works much better, and is what is basically currently in place.

A few guideline suggestions for ability score guidelines.

1. If you receive bonuses to more than one stat, the bonuses must be equally divided between physical (str,dex,con) and mental (int,wis,cha) stats. This is consistent with existing races.
2. I personally would have no bonuses greater than +2 for classes without racial levels, but If we really want to go to a +4 bonus then you need to have only one bonus of +4 offset by two -2 stats divided between physical and mental stats. So you can have your +4 Strength Hulk but you’ll be taking a hit in either con or Dex to do it, in addition to a hit in a mental stat. I would also say that if you consider giving the +4, you should absolutely never get a +4 to mental stats, as that just pushes the SoD threshold even higher.

For abilities, you could have some racial traits that are mutually exclusive or were “max one per class”. Hardy for example is a really powerful feature for any martial class, You could have it that you need to have a +2 racial bonus to Con to qualify for it. Makes sense for flavor and for mechanics if you also employ the rule above about only one bonus to either mental or physical stats.

Use similar rules for other traits that are more dangerous to synergy, and also for ones that just make sense logically. You can't get acrobatic bonuses for classes without a racial Dex bonus, etc...

It doesn't need to be an arbitrary number.


ciretose wrote:


A “trade” system works much better, and is what is basically currently in place.

If you mean what I think you do. That system ALREADY exists and WILL be expanded in that same book.

This has nothing to do with the Race Creation rules.


Advanced Race Guide Playtest Document wrote:


Step 1: Concept
A race is more than just a group of individuals with similar traits and abilities. A race is a collection of people with a shared history and cultural identity. While the race builder presents many options for building new races, and it may be tempting to treat each section as a buffet of options to help you ferret out the most optimal choices for your character, it is generally more beneficial for the campaign world to conceptualize your race first. Before choosing options, consider answering some questions about your race and its culture. Answering these questions can aid you in making reasonable choices about the traits and abilities of your race so that it can better fit in the game world—rather than just being a collection of abilities. Such questions might include:
• Where does your race tend to live and why?
• What does your race look like? How does their appearance help them adapt to their typical environment?
• What is your race’s history? Does it have a creation myth? Were there pivotal events in the race’s history?
• What kinds of relationships does your race have with other races? Do they have allies? Competitors? Enemies? Hated foes?
• What classes does your race tend to favor? If you are using these rules and you are not the GM, make sure you work closely with her to create a race that fills a definite niche and need in her campaign world.

Just a reminder that this is included in the steps for building a race. Most of us seem to have jumped straight into Step 2 thinking that Step 1 is just a bunch of letters in random sequences.

The significance of this is really found in the last bulleted point. If you are creating a race to play and you are NOT the GM, you have to make sure it fits first. If your GM allows a race of Tiny humanoids to build vast cities full of arcane-technology and spell-casting academies, where magic rules everything, then your +4 Int might fit right in. It's up that GM.

Anyone saying that these sorts of combinations should be disallowed detracts from the utility of this system by narrowing the spectrum of possible outcomes. On the other side of that coin, anyone who think that you should just be able throw random abilities together without questioning the logic (IE not following step 1 and having a separate human race with lots of melee-centric abilities) is doing a disservice to the campaign they are playing in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Well if it was me I would also kill the static numbers. A standard race is not 10, the numbers have been rigged to make it seem 10. Its closer to 7-15 So I would set it like that.

Standard: 7-15
Advanced: 16-25
Powerful: 26-35

Or something of the like. You are never gonna get a set number, much like the classes are not all equal at all times or at all levels. But you will get a range that fits with in the group of races.

I agree with this.

Andoran

Ravingdork wrote:
seekerofshadowlight wrote:

Well if it was me I would also kill the static numbers. A standard race is not 10, the numbers have been rigged to make it seem 10. Its closer to 7-15 So I would set it like that.

Standard: 7-15
Advanced: 16-25
Powerful: 26-35

Or something of the like. You are never gonna get a set number, much like the classes are not all equal at all times or at all levels. But you will get a range that fits with in the group of races.

I agree with this.

All of this misses the point of the races needing to have a goal of CR balance.

If you want an “advanced” race, then you need racial levels.

Why? Because you are better than a base class and it will reflect in CR planning.

Just like if you go over WBL or over point buy you need to adjust CR accordingly, if you want to build an uber-race, it will need to have racial levels.

If your planet has uber casters, great! They will need to have racial levels.

It isn’t about balancing with your game. It is about creating a baseline to balance for all games

If your game starts higher than others, that is great. But that is going to need to be adjusted from the baseline.

Much like I praise Kirthfinder as a great houserule variant for players who want to play at “11” I would say it is wonderful if you want to create a super-awesome power race.

But if it is more powerful than core, it needs a racial level.

Osirion

Foghammer wrote:
Just a reminder that this is included in the steps for building a race. Most of us seem to have jumped straight into Step 2 thinking that Step 1 is just a bunch of letters in random sequences.

To me that is one of the most important steps. I have yet to make a single new race with the rules, I have however converted two of my hombrew races.

Another funny thing, when I just converted my drawfs, who do not have darkvsion, nor are slow, nor have hardy they came out at 11 RP, man skilled ( profession sailor} is over priced.

Osirion

ciretose wrote:

All of this misses the point of the races needing to have a goal of CR balance.

No it doesn't, you can't even start a CR balance with false numbers and rigged math. You need a base, faking 10 isn't a base. Not all CR 1 are equal, you have a range, just like CR 2 . CR 3, Cr 5, CR 10 hell even CR 20 are not all static. Each CR has a range, from lest powerful in that CR to most powerful In that CR.

Static set numbers are false and undermine the whole system.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Static set numbers are false and undermine the whole system.

+1

QFT!

Andoran

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
ciretose wrote:

All of this misses the point of the races needing to have a goal of CR balance.

No it doesn't, you can't even start a CR balance with false numbers and rigged math. You need a base, faking 10 isn't a base. Not all CR 1 are equal, you have a range, just like CR 2 . CR 3, Cr 5, CR 10 hell even CR 20 are not all static. Each CR has a range, from lest powerful in that CR to most powerful In that CR.

Static set numbers are false and undermine the whole system.

Which is why I am saying you can't effectively do a point system in bstract. Things interact.

Conceptually it should be core as the threshold for and class without class levels.

I described my suggestions above. What is out now is clearly oot working based on the broken races posted in other threads.n

Osirion

It does not matter, the system would work fine, if the math was correct. A static number will never work, a range of Numbers is what the game is based upon. You can indeed use a system like this, but it will never work if you try and use a hard set number as a measuring stick.

Andoran

seekerofshadowlight wrote:
It does not matter, the system would work fine, if the math was correct. A static number will never work, a range of Numbers is what the game is based upon. You can indeed use a system like this, but it will never work if you try and use a hard set number as a measuring stick.

A range of numbers fixes nothing. The top number in the range is still the cap.

If it is 7-12 it is still functionally a cap of 12.

I agree the valies don't work, but I personally think the are FUBAR and need to be rethought as a comceptual way of doing this.

It needs to be more or a series of choices on a menu and less a buffett.


I'd agree with the OP here. Skewing the system around the wish for the core races to be balanced is just a bad idea. Let the values fall where they will. It'll make it easier to create new races if the old ones are treated as they aught to be, and it'll make a lot of GMs take the book more seriously.


i beleive a a range of 7-15 actually works for standard. and as a side note. i don't beleive the Suli are worth 16 points. they only get one use of elemental assault. and it doesn't matter which element it's used for when you are only going to use it at advantageous moments anyway. and the intellegence penalty is a typo. they are being charged quadruple the elemental assault price.

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