Advanced Race Guide Playtest

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Illustration by Francesco Graziani

For over two years now, we've released a plethora of new classes, feats, spells, and other options for your character, but the one area we've never really explored too deeply is races. The Advanced Race Guide is going to change all that with a bunch of new races explored in detail and new options and tools based specifically on your character's race.

Included in this mighty tome is a system for building your own race, using a simple point-based mechanic. While this won't be legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play, this system will allow players and GMs to add new and innovative races to their game, as well as to add some of the more monstrous options to the party roster. Building a system like this is not easy, and balancing it is even trickier, which is why we want you to playtest this system early and give us your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions for making it better.

This system is available now. Go grab the document right here and read through it. Build a race or two and introduce them to your game. Post your ideas and feedback to the Advanced Race Guide Playtest Board. Make sure to add your custom races to the New Races thread. This playtest will be open for the next two weeks. We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Francesco Graziani Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest
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Paizo Employee Web Product Manager

The link should point to the appropriate product now. Checkboxes are fickle things.


I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR THIS!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I see that you cannot create the Changeling race from Carrion Crown with these rules. It won't let you grant a +2 bonus to two mental ability scores and a -2 penalty to one physical ability score.


Yay! Ratfolk!! ;)

Silver Crusade

I just looked through the play test and noticed nothing about any new dragon type of race.

This is going to be really disappointing if they do not include a dragon race.

Contributor

Triga wrote:

I just looked through the play test and noticed nothing about any new dragon type of race.

This is going to be really disappointing if they do not include a dragon race.

The point of this part of the book is that you can build your own dragon-type race with the abilities you think it should have.


I think Tirga is talking about the fact that there isn't a Dragon type like there is for Construct or Undead.

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

Triga wrote:

I just looked through the play test and noticed nothing about any new dragon type of race.

This is going to be really disappointing if they do not include a dragon race.

Just to add a little to what Sean said, if you want to make a dragon-like race, or a race that is descended from dragons, you can make either a humanoid (dragon-kin, reptilian, or whatever you want to call it) or a monstrous humanoid and then take certain dragon-like abilities. We didn't add the dragon type, because we reserved that type for a certain form of monster. We saw little need to add the dragon type, when you could make dragon-like races with the types available.

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

Ashanderai wrote:
I see that you cannot create the Changeling race from Carrion Crown with these rules. It won't let you grant a +2 bonus to two mental ability scores and a -2 penalty to one physical ability score.

This was a nonstandard ability score modifier array that I just found this past weekend (while prepping my Carrion Crown game). You can expect to see it in future iterations of this system.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Awesome, I like this point system, I am sure we will see some missing abilities, traits, etc. in the final product.

I didn't notice about no racial mod for the changling.

I like the Catfolk but I am surprise they do not get any claw attacks, also I would have given them a racial bonus in ether acrobatics or climb instead of survival but still cool non the less.

I like the Ratfolk as well.

I also like the idea of making a tiny playable Fey race.

The vanara has a climb ability but does not have a climb speed so is this a climb speed, climb bonus, or something else?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Looking it over, and I like it.
Chance to convert over my 3.5 custom races.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

My knee-jerk reaction: the real power-abuse here is going to come from utility powers, not from the standard sources. Ways to jack AC, attacks, etc, seem to be under control.

But it's so cheap to get See in Darkness, Scent or Toxic for what they do.

Similarly, it looks like Stubborn is an absolute must-take for any warrior-race.

It's sad that "Change Shape", which I see as becoming the quintessential "I'm a roleplayer not a minmaxer" power, is so expensive. That type of player will take this as license to nerf themselves out of any sort of power bracket.

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

Dragon78 wrote:
The vanara has a climb ability but does not have a climb speed so is this a climb speed, climb bonus, or something else?

Look at climb in the movement racial abilities. You'll see what it gets.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Erik Freund wrote:
"I'm a roleplayer not a minmaxer"

I'm really hoping that this is the first and last statement along these lines in this playtest. Let's please focus on awesome races instead of opportunities to sneak in the usual "Player-Type War" jabs that phrases like the above tend to invite.

Not trying to pick on you specifically Erik, just trying to nip it in the bud before a comment leads to an offense leads to an insult leads to a flamewar. Saying that racial option X rewards the better player type seems like the fastest way to take focus away from playtesting the new race options that we're all so excited about.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can we toss in some ideas of abilities to add for the official book, with a full description of it's bonuses etc.

Shadow Lodge

I have looked over it and I must say that you should be just a tad more what is a Extraordinary Ability, a Supernatural Ability, or a Spell-like Ability.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Azure_Zero wrote:
Can we toss in some ideas of abilities to add for the official book, with a full description of it's bonuses etc.

I hope so. I bet we could all think of some awesome stuff.

Ugh, I feel so left out by being at work and needing to wait, at minimum, four and a half hours before I can sink my teeth into all this racial goodness...

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

dartnet wrote:

I have looked over it and I must say that you should be just a tad more what is a Extraordinary Ability, a Supernatural Ability, or a Spell-like Ability.

Unless it says otherwise within its description, the racial abilities are extraordinary abilities.

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

Azure_Zero wrote:
Can we toss in some ideas of abilities to add for the official book, with a full description of it's bonuses etc.

Well, I sure as heck can't stop you. If you want to do this, could you put it in its own thread, calling it "wish list" or something something similar?

Thanks!

Paizo Employee Senior Designer

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Azure_Zero wrote:
Can we toss in some ideas of abilities to add for the official book, with a full description of it's bonuses etc.

Well, I sure as heck can't stop you. If you want to do this, could you put it in its own thread, calling it "wish list" or something something similar?

Thanks!

Actually it looks like Jason's going to make a thread for that, so stay tuned.


Erik Freund wrote:

My knee-jerk reaction: the real power-abuse here is going to come from utility powers, not from the standard sources. Ways to jack AC, attacks, etc, seem to be under control.

But it's so cheap to get See in Darkness, Scent or Toxic for what they do.

Similarly, it looks like Stubborn is an absolute must-take for any warrior-race.

It's sad that "Change Shape", which I see as becoming the quintessential "I'm a roleplayer not a minmaxer" power, is so expensive. That type of player will take this as license to nerf themselves out of any sort of power bracket.

Actually it is fairly powerful in certain types of play, every race should not be a combat monkey.

Dark Archive

I've seen a campaign ruined by a player having change shape ability, don't underestimate it

as for the playtest... WOOOOOHOOOOOoooo

now to make some races!

Shadow Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


Unless it says otherwise within its description, the racial abilities are extraordinary abilities.

Ok just wanted to make sure.


I'm really liking the looks of this so far. I've had a player in the past who really really wanted to play a centaur and building a version of that race that wasn't going to be more powerful than anyone else in the party was interesting to say the least. I'll be looking forward to using this in my games :D

I'm sure that a lot of people are going to point out things that they think are 'missing' from the book at the moment. I know that you can't possibily include everything, but here are a few ideas for additional options that I think would be fun/flavorful.

-I think it would be cool if a there were a few more DR types such as DR silver. Ever since I played a Shifter in 4e I've liked the idea of playing a pathfinder character who wasn't a full werewolf.

-Breath Weapons would be fun as well for those of us who want to create playable half-dragon races. You could probably create several 'tiers' of breath weapons that do different amounts of damage. I would personally recommend that the breath weapon's damage and save DC go up with the creature's class level so that they don't become worthless at high levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Scent is hardly over balancing you can get it as feat if your a Orc or Half-orc of corse there some new races that should be able to get that feat hint hint.

See in Darkness is better than darkvision yes but it is not true seeing, tremor sense, or blind sense/sight. If you feel that strong about this one require that get light sensity for it.

Toxic, well i agree with you on this one.

Silver Crusade

The Tinkering has begun!

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This is so awesome! Well done guys!

A few things.

1. I'd love to see a living-construct type so we can make warforged.
2. It seems like all the core races have 10 RP. Then you have the other special characters that were given out as PFS special prizes. Some of the "might" be future PFS legal player characters. While most of them are in the 10-14 range, some of these have significantly less than 10. For those poor ifrits, gripplis, orcs, etc it seems like you could add some things to get them up to around 10. You could have another category for adventurers or heroes that goes beyond the base racial stuff, and get them up to around 10. Now that we can see the rough power comparison, those weaker races would be a hard sell for player characters.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
wolflord wrote:

This is so awesome! Well done guys!

A few things.

1. I'd love to see a living-construct type so we can make warforged.
...

I believe living-construct is WotC property and not in the OGL,

so Half-construct type will have to do.


Hmmm, according to this guide, a bonus feat is worth 4 RP. So theoretically, if you had a player who wanted a more powerful than usual race, you could have him play 1 feat per 4 RP the abilities are worth. Or maybe 1 feat per 2 or 3 RP, I'd have to think on it.

It might also be possible to have players start with a weaker/younger version of their custom race, and then pay feats to gain an additional 4RP worth of abilities at a time.

Just some thoughts because I prefer to have players pay for their extra racial abilities in feats rather than by having to deal with level adjustments.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD

I'm so excited, I peed myself just a little.


Since Undead don't have Constitution scores, how would you modify the Paragon stat modifiers to take that into account if the undead wanted to take a mental paragon?


Looking over this:
No Dragon type sadly.

You are limited to 3 power levels: Standard (10 rp, 3), Advanced (20 rp, 4), or Monstrous. (30 rp, 5). Each gives certain number of Race points and limits the number of # s in a racial category. DM determines which is allowed power level.

Each race has 0 RHD (they want you to take class levels). And each is humanoid in shape: 2 arms/ 2 legs/head.
Undead/Constructs require advanced/Monstrous power level or pg 5's special options (1/2 Undead or 1/2 Construct subtypes).

Plants are the most costly (8 rp) (unless Undead 16 rp/Construct 20 rp).

Then there are Size Traits:
Large (7) grants +2 size Str, -2 size Dex. But no Reach (still 5 ft).Normal sixe benefit/penaltys like -1 AC/hit, +1 CMB/CMD
Small (0): grants nothing but size: +1 AC/hit, -1 CMB/CMD.
Tiny (4): Only Fey.

Speed:
Normal (0): 30 ft
Slow: (-2) 20 ft, if Med sized armor/enburance no affect speed (like Dwarf).
So Dwarf got +2 RP points when they chose this.

Ability modifier:
Basically rp cost/bonuses to replicate current races.

Languages: humans used 2 here to speak any language as bons.

Racial abilities:
Advanced and Monstrous can choose ability bonuses here.

Defense: Ancient Foe (3 RP): 1/2 dodge bonus Dwarf's Giant Dodge bonus, but you choose monster type or subtype.
Defensive Training, lesser (1 RP): Dwarf's Giant Dodge bonus, but you choose the type or subtype of the humanoid.
Celestial Resist: 2 RP, Elemental resistances; explaining to me Aasimar's work balance wise.
Defensive Training, Greater (3 RP): +2 Dodge AC (vs all).
Duegar immunities: (4 RP, Dwarf subtype) all those immunities.
Stubborn (1 rp): Amazing.

Magical:
Change Shape (6 rp): Alterself at will (med/small humanoid)
Elven Magic (2 rp)
Pyromaniac: 2 RP

Movement:
Sprinter (1 RP): +10 speed when charging, run, withdraw
Swim (1): swim 30 ft, +8 swim.
Flight (advanced, 4 rp):30 ft clumsy, taken again (2 rp) adds +10 speed and mobility improves 1 step.

Offensive:
Bite (1 rp): 1d3 Med, 1d2 Small; taking again increases size of bite damage.
Ferocity (4 rp)/Orc Ferocity (2 rp)
Hatred (1 rp), Poison Use (1 rp), Sticky Tongue (like Frogs?) 2rp.
Reach (advanced, 1 rp, Large)
Natural Weapon (1 rp): Sadly no tentacle.

Skills/Feats:
Bonus feat (4 RP), Skilled (4 RP), Stonecunning (1rp)
Nimble (advanced, 2): Weapon Finesse as bonus feat
Quick Reactions (Advanced, 2 rp): Improved Init

Senses:
Darkvision 60 (2 rp), Darkvision 120 (3 rp), Lowlight (1 rp)
See in Darkness (advanced, 4 rp) see in darkness, even magical like Deeper Darkness.
Scent: (Advanced, 4 rp)

Weakness (for extra points)
Light Blindness (-2 rp)/ Light sensitivity (-1 rp)

Then they show example races.
According to them:
Aasimars are 13 Rp (we can get that under by taking away Skill focuses).
Tieflings are 11 rp (we can get that under by taking away Skill focus).
Drow are 14 (we can lower Darkvision to 60 ft and take away skill focus/poison use for 10)
Drow Noble/Svirfneblin is 22 rp (no idea how to get down).
Duergar/Hobgoblin/are underpowered (9 rp)
Ifrit/Orc/Slyph/Undine/gnolls are serious underpowered (6 rp)
Kobold are sad (4 rp)
Tengu is 13 (we can take away skill focuses?)

So looks like the designers admit: the Drow Noble is a little overpowered.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
Starbuck_II wrote:
So looks like the designers admit: the Drow Noble is a little overpowered.

They always admitted that. They never, ever claimed that Drow Noble should be used as a player race. The Drow Noble is for making powerful NPCs. Drow Noble is a you-can-do-it-if-you-really-want-to race.


I got a chuckle out of the planetouched races - none of them had as many as 10 points, yet they were in the advanced section, among the likes of aasimar and tieflings.

All in all, I like this a lot. I look forward to playing around with it and seeing what all the community churns out.

EDIT: For clarification:

Advanced Race Guide Playtest wrote:


Flight (4 RP): Prerequisites: None; Benefit: Members
of this race have a f ly speed of 30 ft. with clumsy
maneuverability. Special: This ability can be taken more
than once. Each time it is taken, the race’s fly speed is
increased by +10 ft. and the maneuverability improves by
one step for each additional 2 RP spent.

If I take Flight 3 times, then my fly speed is 50 ft. and maneuverability improves 4 times (two additional purchases of flight equals 8 RP, divided by 2 RP)?

Or is that a typo, and it should read "each additional 4 RP spent?"


I don't believe I have been here for almost 4 hours, and just noticing this. Dotting.

Grand Lodge

Dot


Starbuck_II wrote:
So looks like the designers admit: the Drow Noble is a little overpowered.

Thing is, you do not HAVE to have all the non-standard races to spot on with the points. Any race that is a standard player race in a given campaign? Sure, 10 pts. Non-standard races are not meant to necessarily be player races. Drow Nobel is at that slightly higher than advanced stage. Being over 20 isn't a big deal. It is just another thing to look at when trying to balance an encounter.

Silver Crusade

Downloadin'.

Really hoping we have some Strix/Harpy-ish and -tauric(Centaur, Lamia) or downright alien(aberrant) body type options.


Was it intentional to change Dreamspeaker's benefits from those listed in the elf's racial variants in the APG? In the APG the +1 bonus was to divination spells and sleep effects, whereas here it is a +1 bonus to divine spells and spells that produce sleep effects.

Divination spells get a huge boost, becoming divine spells of any sort, and sleep effects get a nerf, becoming spells that produce sleep effects (no spell-like/supernatural sleep effects here). All in all, it seems a net gain, though.

APG Dreamspeaker:

Dreamspeaker: A few elves have the ability to tap into the power of sleep, dreams, and prescient reverie. Elves with this racial trait add +1 to saving throw DCs for spells of the divination school and sleep effects they cast. In addition, elves with a Charisma of 15 or higher may use dream once per day as a spell-like ability (caster level is equal to the elf’s character level). This racial trait replaces the elven immunities racial trait.

ARG Playtest Dreamspeaker:

Dreamspeaker (2 RP): Prerequisites: None; Benefit: Members of this race gain a +1 bonus to the saving throw DCs of divine spells and spells that produce sleep effects that they cast. In addition, if a member of this race has a Charisma of 15 or higher, it may use dream once per day as a spell-like ability (with a caster level equal to the individual’s character level).

Also, Weapon Familiarity seems better than the standard version. Auto-proficiency with racial weapons, not just treating them as martial weapons.

And, is it assumed that Charisma is the default ability for the Spell-like Ability ability?

Prehensile tail has a typo. the second 'cannot' should be 'can.'

Edit: omitted a silly question. :P

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