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The Sicari, a Quill Covered Race From Another World


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For your gamin enjoyment, I give you the Sicari, the final addition to my 10 race collection.

The sicari are a race of monstrous humanoids who come from an alien world. Forced beneath the surface by radiation flowing from a distant blue sun, the sicari live in a cave system under siege by a demonic horde. Due to the harsh realities of their crapsack world, many sicari embark on a dangerous journey to hidden gateways between worlds, in search of a better life.

But life on the other side has its own downsides. Sicari are often alienated as outsiders, and those that fall into a mercenary life often give the rest a bad reputation. But those sicari who do manage to find a place will treasure their home, knowing all too well what they sacrificed to get here, and what they have gained in return.

As always, I appreciate any feedback you guys have.

In terms of balance, it is impossible to determine their exact RP score as there are no parallels for most of their abilities. I would spitball them as being about a 12, but I'm fine with anything in a 10-15 range. I want something that would fit comfortably in a party with humans, tieflings and aasimar, but not something as powerful as, say, svirfneblin.


I guess it can't be that bad if no one is complaining...


Oh, I'm sorry no one has responded. You've clearly put a lot of love into this!

I've glanced at your doc, but unfortunately don't have time for more right now besides a request. That is, it looks like you used the Race Builder in the ARG. In that case, can you please indicate the RP costs for various racial traits? I'm especially wondering what Epistemophilic costs!


OK, what do Sicari have going for them?

  • Epistemophilic, which seems fairly powerful to me. Potentially quite appealing to what are now a decent-sized list of classes with all Knowledges as class skills.

  • Some defensive traits, like NA 1, Fire Resistance 5, & DR 2/piercing. The first two I generally like, but the DR is way over-priced (in the Race Builder) for what you get. Most blows that do remotely close to 2 HP stop being threatening very early on, it seems to me. Even if you want the trait for simulation, I'd drop the DR feats. And ideally, provide an alternate trait for the lighter-quilled.

  • Some dual-weapon traits with daggers. Incredibly not appealing to me, but what do I know about dagger-play? Really, though... Daggers? Not, say, rapiers?

  • Some radiation stuff that seems incredibly OP at first look, but which I unfortunately can't judge. My disbelief gets strangled, I'm afraid, rather than merely suspended.

    uhhh, I'm sorry, but I wouldn't pick this race unless I wanted the radiation trait/feats. It would be nice if you beefed up the Quill traits for light-weapon martials, or gave the race features that might appeal to casters.


  • Thanks for the feedback, I do really appreciate it.

    In terms of RP cost, your guess is as good as mine. Darkvision, Natural Armor and Energy Resistance obviously have corresponding point values, but the rest is hard enough to pin down that I think trying to set a point value becomes meaningless.

    bitter lily wrote:

    OK, what do Sicari have going for them?

  • Epistemophilic, which seems fairly powerful to me. Potentially quite appealing to what are now a decent-sized list of classes with all Knowledges as class skills.
  • Glad you like it. I figured that there's only so much game breaking you can do with knowledge checks, so I might as well make this good.

    Quote:
  • Some defensive traits, like NA 1, Fire Resistance 5, & DR 2/piercing. The first two I generally like, but the DR is way over-priced (in the Race Builder) for what you get. Most blows that do remotely close to 2 HP stop being threatening very early on, it seems to me. Even if you want the trait for simulation, I'd drop the DR feats. And ideally, provide an alternate trait for the lighter-quilled.
  • My thinking is that DR 2 isn't overpowered at any level, but is a nice little bonus at every level. It may not stop all damage, but reducing an 8 point blow to a 6 point blow is still a good thing. And the higher level you get, the more hits it usually takes to bring you down, so while the ability ultimately does fall behind mathematically, it is never worthless.

    The feats that allow you to up the damage reduction can bring you to DR 5/piercing and DR 1/- which does make a much bigger difference than the base DR. Given the significant effect DR 5 can I have, I feel like the feats are well balanced. Good enough to take, not so good that everyone would take them.

    Quote:
  • Some dual-weapon traits with daggers. Incredibly not appealing to me, but what do I know about dagger-play? Really, though... Daggers? Not, say, rapiers?
  • Thematically, the reason I went with daggers is because the name sicari is a reference to the daggers which were synonymous with ancient assassins, the sicarii. On a more in-universe level, this is meant to be a specific fighting style that takes advantage of speed and flexibility to allow a strike with a downward facing dagger in the same motion as a quill attack using the quills along the forearm. Such a motion would only work with a smaller blade.

    Balance-wise, the reasoning is pretty simple. With the first feat you can gain two free attacks, even if it is at a penalty. A TWF character doing bonus damage on each attack (sneak attack, smite, challenge etc.) can do a lot with two extra attacks. Generally, it's the modifiers and bonuses that are your bread and butter anyway, but there's no need to pile on bigger damage dice and huge crit ranges as well.

    Imagine a vivisectionist alchemist 2, unchained rogue 3 with twf, weapon focus (dagger), the tentacle discovery and multiattack. Take this feat at level 5 and you are doing five attacks per round, two at -1, one at a -2, two at a -4. Once iteratives show up this becomes seven attacks per round, all of which can be doing sneak attack. He doesn't need to be using rapiers or scimitars on top of that.

    Quote:
  • Some radiation stuff that seems incredibly OP at first look, but which I unfortunately can't judge. My disbelief gets strangled, I'm afraid, rather than merely suspended.
  • I mean, how often do you run into radiation? It's hard to be overpowered against something that virtually never comes up, especially when it is something that is not even an enemy, just an environmental hazard.

    Or are you talking about the radiation feats. The important thing to remember is, unless you houserule it, radiation is a poison effect, and a lot of things are resistant or immune to poison.

    Quote:
    uhhh, I'm sorry, but I wouldn't pick this race unless I wanted the radiation trait/feats. It would be nice if you beefed up the Quill traits for light-weapon martials, or gave the race features that might appeal to casters.

    Fair enough. Personally, I would consider a bonus to int, defensive traits, knowledge stuff and the radiation abilities as all things that would be good for casters, even if they aren't all specifically aimed at them. I did choose not to give them a bonus to actual spellcasting, in part because so many other races I've made have them, and I wanted this one to be different.


    Well, then, have fun with these critters!


    Good to see some free Sicari stuff out there. ;)


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Hi Makeitstop,
    Love what you're doing here!
    keep it up:-)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Thanks for the support guys

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