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Race Builder, Revised.

Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

Dark Archive

17 people marked this as a favorite.



I've got a google docs spreadsheet going for this work in Progress.

Racebuilder Revised WIP Spreadsheet

It's set up so anyone can view, but you need permission to edit.

First we need to finish putting in all the racial traits from the existing Race Builder. Then we need to expand on my page from during the playtest, with the list of feats and their effects.

Then we integrate it all into the pricing page, for consistent pricing; based on the fixed value of a pre-selected feat as an anchor point (it doesn't matter what we set it to, for now we can leave it at 2). And price all items as fractions, or multipliers of the worth of a fixed feat. Then if we need to scale up, we change the value of the fixed feat to something bigger, like 4, and all the things below it stretch to fit. That should give us more wiggle room between a feat and 0, if we need it.

Oh, and of course, once we have all our options plugged in, and we're just balancing point costs, we can enter all the existing races into a new page and point to the options, so when we update the costs, it automatically calculates the worth of those races in the new pricing scheme.


First and favorited


Shadow Lodge

Dot :)

Good work, looking forward to the finished article.

I would love to see the point values expanded by a factor of 10 in a rewrite so that some poor abilities that are not worth 2 but 1 is too cheap could be better represented.

One thing I would suggest is destroying the assumption that a fixed benefit is half as valuable as a selectable benefit. If I could, I'd set a fixed feat at 80% the cost of a selectable one.

The reason is this:

Let's say you play a wizard. You pick a race that has a selectable feat and pick something wizardy. Eventually, you pick up spell penetration. You have one extra feat and have spell penetration.

Or: You pick a race that has a fixed feat: spell penetration. You have one extra feat and have spell penetration.

For a character that wants that preset feat anyway, the end result is exactly the same except maybe they get the feat earlier than later.

You might ask: What about a character that doesn't want that feat? Chances are, they'll pick a different race or won't care that they're missing out.

I would price things by their most powerful application and grudgingly allow a minescule discount for the slight inconvenience.

Dark Archive

I'm inclined to agree, but I would not want to do that unless we were recalibrating the entire g+$~*+n game. I want to make this as good as possible while still being as consistent as possible with whats come before.

Fair enough.


Matthias wrote:
I would love to see the point values expanded by a factor of 10 in a rewrite so that some poor abilities that are not worth 2 but 1 is too cheap could be better represented.

I feel like expanding it by 10 (or using single-place decimals) would bring in too much granularity. When should something be worth 1.3 points vs 1.4, or .9 vs 1.0? Having half points is probably sufficient, although I could see a case for quarter points. Nothing smaller.

That being said, I do think the rebalancing needs to at least have half points for pricing. There's going to be too much rounding error otherwise.

Edit: After looking at the spreadsheet, I'd like to propose that the skill-boosting feats be treated as +2 (or +3) per 10 levels (or fraction thereof), rather than as an unusually scaling bonus. Make the assumption that anyone taking them will put a skill point into them each level. I don't know if it's actually going to matter or not, though.

Dark Archive

@Bobson: It needs to be expanded. How much? As much as necessary.

In the meantime, We'll re-estimate the prices of everything around the value of a fixed feat, as accurately as possible. We'll assign whatever fractional or decimal value is most accurate until we've gotten everything covered, and then scale everything up at the end until we can represent everything without massive amounts of overrounding.

You are probably right, we probably do not need to go as far as to multiply everything by 10. Realistically we'll need to multiply everything by a number between 2 and 5.

As for the skill boosting feats? The number I put in was based on its average value over the 10 levels. And since that's worth 1 feat, the value of a static bonus can be calculated from there.

It may take a little while, but it'll be done. I'll try to work on it some more in the next few days. Just recently did some moving, and I have to reassemble a bunch of furniture and stuff.

Woo some new posts.

@bobson you are correct about using all numbers from 1-100 bringing too much granularity. My thought behind it was more to have abilities in multiples of 5s like .5, 1.5, 2.5 becoming 5 15 25 to get rid of decimals in the calculation. mostly because I think it looks cleaner, but that is more of a personal thing.

@Darkholme I wish you luck in the move and moving forward, PM me if there is anything I can assist with.

On a side note, just had a player create a race and boy is this thing broken atm.

12 points for a feat should work very well, but I wouldn't suggest having anything worth less than 3 points. If you include 1 and 2 point items, it will encourage people to try and spend those last few points.

If a feat is 12 points, a trait is 6, half that is 3. You can also include 1/3 of a feat for 4 points.

If nothing needs 1/3 of a feat, go with 4 points for a feat, 2 for a trait and then 1 for the little stuff.

(Also, if you have 0.5, 1.5, etc. multiply by 2, not 10. Then you get 1, 3, etc.)

This may be of use to you:Voodoo Mike's Race Building Guide

The thread is pretty old, Pre-APG even. but some of the thought on pricing I feel is really spot on. The many alternate racial traits that have been released would need to be considered, but this could be used as a very solid stepping stone.

Dark Archive

Yes, there's Voodoo Mike's Guide.

Some of it's pretty good, and some of it is a bit off, in my opinion. The other one that gets recommended frequently is Golden's Guide (Which is an expansion on Voodoo Mike's).

One that gets brought up sometimes, but has lukewarm reviews, is LPJ's Race Creation Cookbook.

And my personal favorites are based on Upper Krust's Work. His CR Calculator, and the Version that got altered for Grim Tales by Badaxe Games. Downside, they're from the end of the 3.x era, pre pathfinder; upside, they're very well designed.

I'm quite familiar with the subject. Its an interesting read.

The Race Creation Cookbook does a few things.

1. It is extensive and follows logical reasoning and calculations based on its premises and draws conclusions that follow.

2. It has hideously shoddy premises.

Dark Archive

IIRC It's also not properly updated to pathfinder, despite the label on the book, it's still mostly for 3.5.

I have alot of respect for the quality of work that comes from the guys at Badaxe. They do some of the best mechanics balancing I've ever seen, though I dont always agree with their decisions on non-balancing issues.

Trailblazer is an excellent update to 3.5, if you don't want full compatibility with your 3.5 books. It also includes many balance changes I wish had been included in Pathfinder. You do need to keep in mind it came out before pathfinder though. I saw someone criticize it for not incorporating pathfinder stuff, or something, because the printed copy came after pathfinder core; but the PDF was out quite a bit before that.

They did some updating, but they didnt restart the whole book from scratch.

For one, the Race Creation Cookbook says charisma is the most powerful ability score because there are a lot of charisma-based spellcasting classes compared to the variety of casters using other stats. Take that for what you will.

Dark Archive

Not suggesting the race builder should be based on the Race Creation Cookbook.

I Mentioned it as it's one of the race creation sources.

The way I see it, the Race Creation Cookbook is what we should look at if we can't figure out how to price an item through Paizo's old sources, Either of the Upper Krust sources, ARG, or Voodoo Mike/Golden, . (In that order, perhaps swapping VM/Golden and ARG)

I'm not saying its reliable, I'm saying that it could give some useful information if our better sources are lacking an option we want to cover, and therefore its worth noting that it's possible it may be of some use in the right situation.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I've been out of town for a while, and out in the country visiting relatives.

I'm back now though; and I may have some help with the tedious data entry bits now. With any luck this will progress a bit faster now; as I don't consider the current race builder to be usable, as I consider it very inconsistent.

Shadow Lodge

Well I have been using the current race builder a little and have found it quite frustrating.

The limitation on what stats you can pick, the limitation on abilities as "advanced", and the inconsistency of cost. On the positive side its better than nothing, and you can start to make judgements as GM like "that race might have more RP's, but with a X RP's for that trait, its certainly not more powerful..."

Looking forward to your version.

Dark Archive

Yeah. Some of the limitations in the ARG version seem pretty arbitrary, and alot of the pricing is really inconsistent.

Dark Archive

Alright; I updated the document.

I added a bunch more of the option to the list; and I added the OGL Blurb.

I've never really dealt with that blurb at the end much, and I imagine it could be set up more concisely.

I could really use some help with the data entry for this; if anyone is willing to help.

Sovereign Court

What about feats with prerequisites? What should they cost?

Dark Archive

Ascalaphus wrote:
What about feats with prerequisites? What should they cost?

Hmm. Generally Paizo doesn't price prerequisite feats any differently. 1 Preselected feat is worth 1 preselected feat. 1 Selectable feat is worth 1 selectable feat. 1 selectable feat is worth 2 preselected feats. Almost nowhere do they differentiate between different feats. (there are a few unsual exceptions kicking around, where they will call out a couple feats combined being worth the same value as a single feat); for example, weapon proficiencies.

But if you look at the other thread, we went into alot of detail about what sorts of things were doable as a feat, and what sorts of non-feat bonuses were equivalent to the value of a feat.

Shadow Lodge

OK, what do you need help with? My wife's away for the weekend so I may have some time and I'm keen to see this up and running :)

Dark Archive

Well, Distant Scholar finished the data entry at an alarming rate, but last I saw he didn't list the bonus types (which are in the ARG either racial bonuses or untyped) - and untyped means it stacks with other things.

So you could doublecheck the bonus types.

Alternately, you could start entering the data into the tables on the Prices sheet; that could be helped by the Feat Values Sheet, which prices the benefits of various feats and traits and such based on the price given to a fixed/selectable feat and trait, but isn't an exhaustive list.

It has a slot for ARG prices as well as slots for Traits, Feats, Evolutions, Favored Class Benefits, and The Prices based on Upper-Krust's work.

Dark Archive

To edit the sheet I need to give you permission though, and for that I need the email address of a google sign in, that I can give the permission to, I'd need you to PM me the email.


Shadow Lodge

OK will have a good look over the existing sheet, just saw the tabs and all the stuff you already have, and get myself a google account :)

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