Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Please critique this custom race I've just tentatively approved for my Kingmaker Game


Kingmaker


*EXTREMELY MINOR KINGMAKER SPOILERS NEAR THE END OF THIS POST*

Here's the Race in question:

Changeling (Half Human, Half Doppelgänger)

Human Heritage: Changelings get a +2 bonus to any one ability score of their choice

Medium: Changelings are Medium size.

Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30ft.

Languages: Changelings begin play speaking Common. Changelings with high Intelligence scores may choose any languages they want as bonus languages (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Change Shape (Su): Changelings can assume the appearance of a Small or Medium humanoid at will as if using the Alter Self spell.

Perfect copy (Su): When a Changeling uses its Change Shape ability, it can assume the appearance of specific individuals.

Doppelganger Heritage: Changelings gain a +1 bonus on Bluff, Disguise, and Use Magic Device checks.

Doppelganger Resistance: Changelings gain a +2 bonus on all all saves against charm and sleep effects.

Darkvision: Changelings have Darkvision (60 ft)

NOTE: Per the Bestiary entry, Change Shape functions in all manners like Alter Self except that the shape changer does NOT gain a size bonus to his ability scores.

-----
Darkvision is sort of irrelevant, as change shape allows for that by itself. I gave him Darkvision so that he would have some incentive to stay in his base shape.

Question #1: Is this race balanced generally?
Question #2: Do you see the change shape ability posing any kingmaker specific problems that I might not have considered? Frankly, I think infiltrating the Stag Lord's fort disguised as Kressle sounds awesome. Do you see this as breaking the game though?

Thanks!

Taldor

I'd give the Perfect Copy either a use per day or lay out the limitations of Alter Self - rounds/minutes etc.

I think their ability to infiltrate positions would be fun to play with, as long as it an abused mechanic or crutch to force desired outcomes.

Osirion

According to p. 212, assuming the form of a creature grants the shapechanger all of the natural weapons of the creature type whose form he assumes. Most humanoid races don't have too much to worry about, but it's something you may want to consider.

The alter self ability might be more than you need for this character. Mechanically, just being able to alter your cosmetic appearance (and getting the +20 to disguise checks), and not adding the darkvision, low-light vision, scent or swim abilities, should be adequate. Even a half bonus (a paltry +10 to disguise checks) could be sufficient for infiltration effects, and without the ability to grow claws/fangs, etc. or gaining various senses or movement types.

(Note that assuming the form of a creature with a swim speed also gives free water breathing, which is another freebie that may not be something you've anticipated.)

Using the 3.5 Raptoran as precedent, you could also limit the change shape ability in other ways, such as having a form shift take a minute or ten minutes, at 1st level, and only be usable X times / day, and getting progressively easier as the changeling gains levels, so that he can't change his shape at will until 5th level or so.


Thanks guys. I see what you mean about the natural attacks. I think I'll limit him to shape-changing into creatures that he's actually encountered. At level 1, he'll only have encountered the 7 core races. Eventually, he'll encounter boggards and lizardmen, thus gaining the possibility of acquiring natural attacks later.

Re: the +20 on disguise checks, I'm pretty sure that it's actually only +10. There is some conflicting info out there (the doppelganger's stat block for instance), but the polymorph page seems to say it's only +10:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic#TOC-Transmutation-Polymorph

As for Perfect Copy, do you think the following will be sufficient to limit its use to carefully thought out stratagems?:

-You must have actually seen the target to use it at all
-Circumstance penalties if you haven't spent a substantial amount of time observing the intended targets.
-Scrupulously applying the normal penalties on the disguise skill, such as -2 for different race, -2 for different gender, -2 for different age category etc.
The character is only 15 years old, so I imagine I can hit him with the -2 age category thing a fair bit.
-Scrupulously applying the normal bonuses to see through the disguise for people who know the target. Eg: Haps knows Kressle "intimately" so he gets a +10 bonus to see through the disguise.

For reference:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/disguise

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you're prepared to deal with a character that can recon and have negligible chance of getting caught every time, then ok. Why set yourself up for such hassel?


Achilles wrote:
If you're prepared to deal with a character that can recon and have negligible chance of getting caught every time, then ok. Why set yourself up for such hassel?

Simply because the player has an absolutely awesome backstory, and I hate to squelch players who demonstrate a real desire to put thought and effort into their characters. I think it's probably going to be a lot of work for me though, you're right.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I got one of these in my Kingmaker campaign. I used the "normal" changeling from Eberron, and didn't base the ability off alter self (no bonus ability stats, no vision changes, no natural weapons, etc). The only effect the shape change power had was the huge bonus to disguise (which, the way the player roleplays, requires little to no rolling, anyhow).

Yes, as Achilles pointed out, the character can get away with murder- literally- along with a host of other crimes. But so can any other character, at various levels and with various equipment (such as the hat of disguise). And since this is hardly a unique creature in the setting, people know they exist, and a few simple spells can reveal the culprit of most crimes.

If the local church is handing out healing spells like candy, the local sheriff can have a cleric or wizard on call.

And yes, my changeling player has an awesome storyline as well.


Gator the Unread wrote:

I got one of these in my Kingmaker campaign. I used the "normal" changeling from Eberron, and didn't base the ability off alter self (no bonus ability stats, no vision changes, no natural weapons, etc). The only effect the shape change power had was the huge bonus to disguise (which, the way the player roleplays, requires little to no rolling, anyhow).

Yes, as Achilles pointed out, the character can get away with murder- literally- along with a host of other crimes. But so can any other character, at various levels and with various equipment (such as the hat of disguise). And since this is hardly a unique creature in the setting, people know they exist, and a few simple spells can reveal the culprit of most crimes.

If the local church is handing out healing spells like candy, the local sheriff can have a cleric or wizard on call.

And yes, my changeling player has an awesome storyline as well.

Thank you for the input! Could you give me an example of the kinds of capers your player has successfully pulled?


First and foremost: Killian convinced the world he was dead. In truth, that wasn't so hard because he did die, and reincarnated as a changeling.

He is now known as Shuster, a banker of extreme professionalism, and co-owner of Shuster & Shuster.

Olegtown, the home of Shuster & Shuster, is protected by a "masked vigilante", who seems to be able to get anywhere, passed any door, and delve into the most secret of domiciles. Even the Kingdom-backed thieves guild (our "turnip farmers") have a hard time making inroads. Its their spies are 'made' before they even get there.

The king seems to have a revolving door of nameless guards. All are exceptionally well-trained in group tactics and underhanded maneuvers (teamwork feats & sneak attack), are extremely perceptive, and overly friendly with the Wayward (the adventure band that runs the kingdom).

Oh, and Shuster is now married to Sventlana, whose marriage was ruined by Killian before his death, should rumor be believed.


Something to consider it against is the Kitsune race. They get Alter Self into a *single human form* with no stat changes. I've gotten up to more shenanigans than I can count as a character with a single at-will alternate form.. I can't imagine the headache a player could cause with an infinite amount of other egos.

Unless you heavily restrict its use, it could be more harm to the campaign than flavor adds to the players character.

Ego#1 walks into a shop and gets caught stealing a magic item. He gets taken to jail where he assumes...
Ego#2 - a small child who is crying for her mother. Why is there a little girl in jail?! Let her out immediately..!!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
dunebugg wrote:

Something to consider it against is the Kitsune race. They get Alter Self into a *single human form* with no stat changes. I've gotten up to more shenanigans than I can count as a character with a single at-will alternate form.. I can't imagine the headache a player could cause with an infinite amount of other egos.

Unless you heavily restrict its use, it could be more harm to the campaign than flavor adds to the players character.

Ego#1 walks into a shop and gets caught stealing a magic item. He gets taken to jail where he assumes...
Ego#2 - a small child who is crying for her mother. Why is there a little girl in jail?! Let her out immediately..!!

There's got to be a lot of trust that he also won't take away game time from the rest of the pcs.


Alright, I've made some changes based on people's feedback. Slightly better / less abusable?

----

Changeling

+2 to any ability score: Changelings get a +2 bonus to any one ability score of their choice to reflect their human heritage.

Medium: Changelings are Medium size.

Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30ft

Languages: Changelings begin play speaking Common. Changelings with high Intelligence scores may choose any languages they want as bonus languages (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Human Heritage: Changelings count as Humans for the purpose of effects that relate to Humans.

Shapechanger: Changelings have the Shapechanger subtype.

Change Shape (Alter Self) (Su): As a standard action, a Changeling can assume the appearance of a Small or Medium humanoid a number of times per day equal to 1/2 its character level plus its Charisma modifier, if any (minimum 1) as if using the Alter Self spell. A Changeling can use this ability additional times per day above its normal limit, but doing so inflicts 1 constitution damage per additional use. A Changeling can maintain its new form indefinitely while conscious. When knocked unconscious or asleep, a Changeling reverts to its natural form. A Changeling can always revert to its natural form as a standard action.

NOTE: Per the Bestiary entry, Change Shape functions in all manners like Alter Self except that the shape changer does NOT gain a size bonus to his ability scores.

Perfect Copy (Su): When a Changeling uses its Change Shape ability, it may assume the appearance of a specific individual. Doing so requires 1 minute to complete the transformation, instead of the normal standard action and uses 2 daily uses of the Change Shape ability. The changeling suffers 1 point of constitution damage for each daily use of Change Shape it cannot spend when using Perfect Copy.

Mimicry: Changelings gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, and Use Magic Device checks.

Doppelganger Resistance: Changelings gain a +2 bonus on all all saves against charm and sleep effects.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Bardic Dave wrote:

Alright, I've made some changes based on people's feedback. Slightly better / less abusable?

----

Changeling

+2 to any ability score: Changelings get a +2 bonus to any one ability score of their choice to reflect their human heritage.

Medium: Changelings are Medium size.

Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30ft

Languages: Changelings begin play speaking Common. Changelings with high Intelligence scores may choose any languages they want as bonus languages (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Human Heritage: Changelings count as Humans for the purpose of effects that relate to Humans.

Shapechanger: Changelings have the Shapechanger subtype.

Change Shape (Alter Self) (Su): As a standard action, a Changeling can assume the appearance of a Small or Medium humanoid a number of times per day equal to 1/2 its character level plus its Charisma modifier, if any (minimum 1) as if using the Alter Self spell. A Changeling can use this ability additional times per day above its normal limit, but doing so inflicts 1 constitution damage per additional use. A Changeling can maintain its new form indefinitely while conscious. When knocked unconscious or asleep, a Changeling reverts to its natural form. A Changeling can always revert to its natural form as a standard action.

NOTE: Per the Bestiary entry, Change Shape functions in all manners like Alter Self except that the shape changer does NOT gain a size bonus to his ability scores.

Perfect Copy (Su): When a Changeling uses its Change Shape ability, it may assume the appearance of a specific individual. Doing so requires 1 minute to complete the transformation, instead of the normal standard action and uses 2 daily uses of the Change Shape ability. The changeling suffers 1 point of constitution damage for each daily use of Change Shape it cannot spend when using Perfect Copy.

Mimicry: Changelings gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, and Use Magic...

Really your changes look fine as long as you trust your player to run his character a certain way. Will he be selfish? Will he try to get away with murder?... Literally!


Bardic Dave wrote:

Alright, I've made some changes based on people's feedback. Slightly better / less abusable?

----

Changeling

+2 to any ability score: Changelings get a +2 bonus to any one ability score of their choice to reflect their human heritage.

Medium: Changelings are Medium size.

Normal Speed: Changelings have a base speed of 30ft

Languages: Changelings begin play speaking Common. Changelings with high Intelligence scores may choose any languages they want as bonus languages (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Human Heritage: Changelings count as Humans for the purpose of effects that relate to Humans.

Shapechanger: Changelings have the Shapechanger subtype.

Change Shape (Alter Self) (Su): As a standard action, a Changeling can assume the appearance of a Small or Medium humanoid a number of times per day equal to 1/2 its character level plus its Charisma modifier, if any (minimum 1) as if using the Alter Self spell. A Changeling can use this ability additional times per day above its normal limit, but doing so inflicts 1 constitution damage per additional use. A Changeling can maintain its new form indefinitely while conscious. When knocked unconscious or asleep, a Changeling reverts to its natural form. A Changeling can always revert to its natural form as a standard action.

NOTE: Per the Bestiary entry, Change Shape functions in all manners like Alter Self except that the shape changer does NOT gain a size bonus to his ability scores.

Perfect Copy (Su): When a Changeling uses its Change Shape ability, it may assume the appearance of a specific individual. Doing so requires 1 minute to complete the transformation, instead of the normal standard action and uses 2 daily uses of the Change Shape ability. The changeling suffers 1 point of constitution damage for each daily use of Change Shape it cannot spend when using Perfect Copy.

Mimicry: Changelings gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, and Use Magic...

Looks a LOT better. Again the only conversion I would make to bring it in line with core PCs would be to get rid of Mimicry and Doppleganger resistance - they already have a lot going for them just with the change shape/perfect copy.. Don't exactly need even more enticing things.


Thanks for all the feedback guys. The final version is as above, but mimicry and doppelgänger resistance have been reduced from a +2 bonus to +1, and the Constitution damage for going over your daily uses of Change Shape has been bumped from 1 to 1d3.

As for the player of this character, I trust him to not be an asshat with it. Furthermore, he's playing a Rogue with 14 Charisma (15 point buy), and has taken skills like knowledge: nobility and linguistics, so he's not exactly a power gamer. If he has a slightly more powerful race than the other players, it will only serve to better balance him against the optimizers in the group.

Man, I'm really looking forward to starting this game! The Changeling's backstory is as follows:

backstory:

Abandoned at birth, [name] was located by [holy men], and taken into an orphanage where he spent the formative years of his life. The [priests?] who ran the orphanage felt it their religious obligation to care for the unwanted children of any race, but many had trepidation raising so clear an abomination as this child with doppelganger heritage. Yet they would not break their oaths, so raised the child regardless.
That they would not cast the child out, however, also did not mean they were willing to afford him the same treatment as the others. He was forced to live apart from the other children, sleeping on a ragged bedroll in the pens amongst the animals. The [priests?] would also not allow the child to play with the others, for fear that he would learn their forms. Whenever the child was seen attempting to take on the forms of others the [priests?] beat him savagely, hoping to dissuade him from such practices.
Forced to the outside, neglected and abused, the child grew to be an angry and jealous thing. The only companionship he received was from the animals, and truly the abuse left him as feral and emotionally crippled as any of them. He envied the privileges allowed to the other children, the warm beds, clean clothes, and proper food denied to him.
Luring one of the other children alone, he ambushed the young child and caved his head in with a stone. He then took on the young boy’s face, and for several blissful weeks lived accepted amongst his fears. All thought [name] had run away, and though there was a search no trace of him was ever found and the search was abandoned. That was, of course, until the child’s decomposing body was found where [name] had left it. Then all knew at once what happened, and a witch-hunt within the orphanage began. [name] fled.
Since then he has drifted listlessly throughout the world, a lost soul with no family or home of his own. He took on new guises easily, stealing the identities of people he found interesting, or whose lives or possessions he envied. Yet before long fear always drove him to flee. Though hidden beneath the various identities he assumed, that frightened abused child was never buried deep. Easily spooked and highly paranoid, he would run at the slightest hint of suspicion or inquiry.

Otto Surtova:
NE noble scion. 16 years old (2 years ago), blonde hair, thick face, dark beady eyes.
As the firstborn child of one of King Noleski’s cousins, Otto is eleventh in line for crown of Brevoy. [name] assumed the life of his close friend, a younger son of a minor noble house aligned to House Surtova. When it turned out that the boy was in truth little more than Otto’s whipping boy (both literally and figuratively), [name] killed Otto in his sleep and staged his mutilated body to look like that of his young friend. The new “Otto” quickly pinned blame for the murder on the cruel tutor who had previously issued his beatings.
[name] lived as Otto for nearly a year, enjoying the luxuries of noble life. During this time he also learned Draconic, fencing, and the customs of Brevoy’s nobility. Though smarter than his late predecessor, [name] was significantly less schooled. His tutors grew impatient with the regression in his knowledge, which they assumed was just his boyish impudence. As his perceived academic failings began to result in disciplinary consequences, [name] grew disenchanted with his noble life and exchanged his lot with that of a serving boy. Quickly learning that this was no better, he left the Surtovan palaces altogether to find a more interesting life on the road.

Durgen:
CN mercenary (scout/ranger) 25 years old. Thick dark hair, with a peppered black/brown stubbly beard. Single scar that runs from above his right eye and across his temple (caused by an axe wound, that also claimed the tip of his right ear).
[name] met Durgen on the way to Restov. Anxious to leave the big city, [name] ambushed a drunken caravan guard on his way out of a tavern. After leaving with the caravan the next morning, he found himself often in the company of the talkative mercenary. His wild tales as a mercenary scout in the River Kingdoms enchanted the young [name], and having a listener only made Durgen’s stories more daring and outlandish.
[name] can regurgitate Durgen’s stories with surprising accuracy. However he perhaps did not mention to his young admirer that he spent some time as a pirate and ruffian on the Lake of Mists and Veils, or as a highwayman on the many lawless roads of Brevoy. He might also have been a disgraced noble son, or a bastard child. [name] did not consider that a mercenary would have such connections, and recklessly took his identity before learning these details. [name] has the stories and bravado of the late mercenary, but none of the depth.
[name] also has little idea that many of Durgen’s stories are complete fabrications, and that the scout was actually a drunk and a coward (though a popular figure among his mercenary bands regardless, due to his charismatic personality).

The rest of the party will know him as Durgen at first. It will take several sessions (or until the first time he gets dropped in combat) before the truth comes out!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Bardic Dave wrote:

Thanks for all the feedback guys. The final version is as above, but mimicry and doppelgänger resistance have been reduced from a +2 bonus to +1, and the Constitution damage for going over your daily uses of Change Shape has been bumped from 1 to 1d3.

As for the player of this character, I trust him to not be an asshat with it. Furthermore, he's playing a Rogue with 14 Charisma (15 point buy), and has taken skills like knowledge: nobility and linguistics, so he's not exactly a power gamer. If he has a slightly more powerful race than the other players, it will only serve to better balance him against the optimizers in the group.

Man, I'm really looking forward to starting this game! The Changeling's backstory is as follows:

** spoiler omitted **...

That's cool Dave, keep us posted. I love reading everyone's Kingmaker Campaign.


Unfortunately, we aren't scheduled to start playing for another month! We've got to finish exams first…

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Kingmaker / Please critique this custom race I've just tentatively approved for my Kingmaker Game All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Kingmaker

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.