The problem with the d20 system is that we've got a minimum score but no maximum, which means the difference between low numbers is somehow greater than the difference between higher ones.
A 6 is as bad as a 14 is good. Mechanically, Int 6 means you're about 20% more likely to fail related rolls than Int 10, but I don't think that's enough.
Also, a 6 is exactly 4 points away from both average human intelligence and non-sentience.
But that's just comparing it to human levels. A dog is normally Int 2, and they can seem pretty smart in their way. So a creature that's three times as intelligent (or 15% more likely to succeeded at related tasks) would almost certainly strike people as more human than animal. It would probably be uncanny, at the least, or downright eerie in certain situations (a raven that goes from basic repetition to the rudiments of conversation and deductive reasoning).
This Combat Manager thing sounds useful, but it's a far cry from necessary; there are zero electrical devices at my table (the few online games I've run involved devices to allow us to communicate with each other and view a map, but that wax all).
As for initiative, I think the Angry GM has the best system, hands down, no question, 100%. It allows you to determine order in under 30 seconds, includes tracking hit points and is extremely efficient in terms of the real estate it takes up on the table.
I think the whole point of generic classes is to cut out as much crap as you can.
Spontaneous spellcaster class? That's way too specific, if you ask me. That's just a different take on the same concept: a spellcaster.
Define the different categories of characters within the genre; categories you'd find in any rules system. The difference between a shaman, a witch, a wizard, a socerer, a,warlock and a mage are fundamentally nonexistent.
I'd say something like...the warrior, the scout, the spellcaster, the priest...maybe someone who does stuff with nature and someone who is good at talking to people .
Maybe a sort of riverboat adventure? White water rapids, canals with swift, dark currents, or labyrinthian moors where the party may become lost forever?
If they make it through, there could be an impossibly titanic mountain, full of gold and goblins, dragons and dwarves.
I'd play with the idea that a god is more than a mortal, that a god is what mortals dare not be, so their dreams would be suitably big and grand. Dial up the fantasy meter a bit, compared to the rest of the game.
What sorts of things are you looking for, exactly?
A few small pieces of advice:
-look up The Angry GM's blog and start reading.
-for your first game, I would (a) pick a short premade adventure path, (b) make the characters yourself and (c) let everyone know it's your first time at this and don't be too hard on itself.
-here's how you run a game-
1. Set the scene.
-that's really it. Everything else is details and refinement.
Pretty sure you only need to be proficient with the bow. "as if it were" isn't "it is". It functions as if it were a mace, but it still is a bow.
And it looks like you can use stabbing shot in a flurry just fine. It says "when...making a full attack action..." --the fact that it counts as your Extra attack when you use rapid shot and that rapid shot doesn't work in a flurry don't have anything to do with it.
There are rules for Social Conflicts that might work better...
Those are certainly interesting, but wow. That is a ton of new rules and complete re-writings of existing ones (flat bonuses to skills grant 1/3 their bonus?). I'm sure they work great, but I don't think I want to introduce a whole new subsystem with a couple dozen new game terms at the very last session.
Mark Hoover 300 wrote:
As I mentioned before, one of the ideas the players have is to drive Oona temporarily sane with the distilled madness one of them has mixed into a tincture. I think that's as "deus ex" as it'll get.The session has two to three other major scenes in it and needs to be three hours tops. So it's not likely I'll be able to cram in any more content at this point.
Does the Queen have small children?
That's exactly the kind of thing I was going for; swarms of strange little things clamoring around Oona, mobbing the PC's, etc.I'm still playing around with the idea of having mortal children waiting on the Queen, possibly having combatants that the players don't want to outright kill, but I've already done that in a previous encounter.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I mean...I know how skills and aiding another work. My point is that reducing the big, climactic confrontation down to a single Diplomacy roll will make it fell flat and boring.Bluff/Sense Motive/Bluff is pretty much the same thing.
What I've outlined is a way to "keep score" and to turn a few skill checks into an actual struggle.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
4. Finding weaknesses...
You're right, I think skill challenges are a poorly made mechanic. But what you're describing doesn't really sound like one. It sounds like you're using several skills to gain information for a bonus to another skill (instead of this "as long as you can explain it/accept a cumulative penalty, use your Best Number" type thing I usually see). I implement such things all the time in my sessions.
Also, I've given the players zero hints as to Oona's weaknesses or even who she is, beyond her title. The whole point is that she's unknowable. If she has such weaknesses, she'd surely guard them with all her cunning and might.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Again, this can either be roleplayed or mechanically resolved...
I am 100% against this. First of all, what most people call "role playing" is in fact acting.Secondly, it never ceases to baffle me when people decide to throw out an entire rule system whenever characters start talking to each other.
Now, I'm not suggesting that every phrase out of a character's mouth needs to be accompanied with some kind of skill check. That's the other Extreme, and it's just as bad. but there are rules in place for these sorts of things, and a social interaction can be just as vital, tents and exciting as a physical combat, if run correctly.
and the rules want to always work as is. I'm constantly coming up with little tweaks and adjustments and secondary mechanics for a given situation. This one being a perfect example. But to set aside all of the dice and the numbers is to set aside the fact that we are playing a game at all, instead of performing some improv exercise.
Regarding a gun to the head in combat, imagine THIS SCENE from The Matrix ("Dodge This"). How would it play out in Pathfinder?
Exactly. People think they can tell us what happens, then roll the dice. But the dice show us what's possible and what happens in any given moment, so we need to declare our intent and approach first, then roll, then figure out how exactly things go down.
A few simple monsters for them to deal with while they beseech the Queen:
A horde of small figures, their limbs formed from twisted roots, their heads the blooms of flowers or the caps of mushrooms, come rushing toward you, gnashing their oversized teeth.
CN small fae
Str 7, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 9, Cha 11
A tiny, brightly glowing figure darts through the air. It's laugh, like distant glass bells, trails in it's wake.
CN tiny fae
Speed: fly 50ft. (perfect)
Str 5, Dex 21, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 15
Seed: a successful dart attack implants a seed into the piksie's target. This seed grows rapidly, causing thorny vines and rose blossoms to sprout from the wound (treat as sickened). Removing all seeds from a target requires a move action and deals 1 point of damage per seed removed.
This lumbering, brutish thing is over seven feet tall, thick-limbed with pale, warty skin. One leering, beady eye squints out at you, while the other bulges and rolls hideously.
CN Large fae
AC 14, touch 8, flat-footed 17
Speed 40 ft.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I... don't understand. Why overcomplicate Diplomacy?Because:
I need (the final scene of the conflict) to be sweeping, strange, frightening and vital. So it definitely can't be boiled down to a single Diplomacy roll...
But also, because the existing rules for Diplomacy won't work for this scene, or any scene where a hopelessly outclassed underdog figure needs to converse with a higher power in a meaningful way. Your humble farmer (lvl3 commoner) will never be able to sway the wise elfen king (aristocrat 1, wizard 11) in the existing rules, but such things happen in faerie tales. And real life, I guess, but that's less important.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
But the sense I get, behind your words... is Oona like unto a goddess before the characters? 1 round of "preening" before the PCs causes them to go temporarily insane, and a single word of scorn makes their blood literally burn inside their veins?
I'm not sure about the meaning behind my words, but yes that's what I said outright.A common theme I like to play with in faerie tale-esque games is that intangibles become tangible. It's surreal and confusing, and it opens a lot of doors for compelling and creative gameplay.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
I don't think this should have anything to do with Oona at all, but entirely to do with Puck...Better to reframe this as a direct competition with Puck. You don't have to win over the Queen; you just have to outsmart the jester.
I've thought about that; streamlining the process by removing the "team A tries to influence the judge, team B tries to influence the judge more" thing and just having team A face off against team B. Like how a tug of war isn't two parties trying to influence the rope, it's two parties trying to overcome each other.
The only things stopping me are the elements I need to make a good encounter; multiple options for all the characters, no one's stuck with one option for more than 3 consecutive rounds, the challenge isn't just a "reduce the number to zero" or "don't lose for X rounds" type of thing.
HoW could I structure the scene into something with opposing rolls, versus two teams rolling against set DC's?
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Does Oona have any unique features the PCs can exploit?
I'm sure her and Puck have something like frailties. I'm not sure how common such knowledge would be, or how likely it is that the PC's would stumble upon it by chance. I'd assume such potent figures in faerie lore would have pretty extreme taboos/banes. Like...if Oona should find herself in a linden wood upon the winter solstice, she must count every snowflake she can see. Or...Puck is defenseless against a cold-forged knife quenched in the blood of a seventh daughter's seventh daughter, etc.But yes. This is the kind of thing I need. Maybe a Knowledge (nature) roll could reveal something along these lines that they can use, even if it's fairly minor.
In the situation you've described, the hostage is helpless. They're not tied up or unconsciousness, but they're still "helpless".In a grapple, you can no more "put someonein a headlock and hold a gun to their head" as you can "put someone in a headlock and draw a knife across their throat." Hit points. It's all about the abstraction of hit points. The all-out, at-all-costs struggle of mortal combat simply doesn't allow the casual lining up of instantly fatal blows.
There are a ton of cinematic moments where one character has the drop on another, but the ambushed is still not "helpless". Such characters are usually seasoned combatants or hardened in some way.
Most non-combatants aren't going to fight with every ounce of their being until they're dead. They'll be surprised and afraid, and then they'll surrender, becoming "helpless".
This works fine for NPC's. You can even bend the rules for PC's, if your players trust you enough to take away their agency from time to time.
I do not. I think that'll work just fine; grappling can shut a lot of characters key strengths down pretty hard, and it doesn't really take a lot of dedication to get good at it. So if someone out there has the ability to shut down grappling, the grappler can just use one of their other options to deal with the situation, then.
...as it's hard to see how a bullet to the brain count NOT be a critical hit...
Because of the wonderful abstraction that are hit points.A level 9 barbarian with Con 16 knows how to take a hit. Even if you have him at point-point-blank range, he'll duck and twist at the last second, and that otherwise fatal shot will ride along his skull--a nasty, bloody wound, but not instant death by any means--as he pulls out his rune-sword and splits you in half...unless, of course, you're a level 9 rogue, at which point you also know how to roll with the punches. Not as well, but still a lot better than your average joe.
Java Man wrote:
...damage from an AoO is applied as a penalty to the maneuver check, so the option to trade PA dmg for a CMD bonus should never be used, unless you increase the tradeoff.
Ha! I honestly just spaced that entirely. There was a 3rd or 3.5 feat that worked similarly, and I was so focused on recapturing it I forgot just how differently things worked in this case.Which is odd, given the absurd things my current PC's have been trying (pulling an enemy's magic glass eye out of his head without any applicable feats).
So...maybe just a variant on Improved Grapple that grants you an attack of opportunity where you wouldn't normally get one, instead of not provoking one when you initiate the grapple?
Curious what people think, how it reads, possible mechanical issues and if there's anything else like it out there.
You can ward off attempts to seize hold of you with powerful attacks.
Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1, Power Attack
Benefit: opponents attempting to initiate a grapple with you provoke attacks of opportunity, even if they posses an ability that would normally prevent them from provoking an attack of opportunity.
I get that, but why did Lelomenia post that?
To further elaborate on the types of situations where having a cleric "would be handy", I would guess?
Not everyone has a razor-sharp purpose with every word they utter. I'm all for concise and precise communication, but I think statements like "you don't seem to have a point" or "why would you post that?" do more harm than good when seeking efficient conversation.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
...saying people stating at higher levels don’t need to role play or don’t care to in a fallacy and it’s dismissive.
I agree, but I can understand the idea. Most people seem to need time to get comfortable with who a character is.I can see how, when you slowly acquire power, experience and depth, step by step over sessions, the character feels more three-dimensional and real than if the character started the game at a higher level.
It's probably all down to acting and storytelling, honestly.
Cleaving Smash and Great Cleave don't work too well together. I could switch out Great Cleave for Iron Will. Bringing my Will up to 13.
I'd rather be able to attack everything I can reach with my regular damage than hit two guys for extra.
Even with all the feats you've poured into it, Vital Strike still does less damage than your full attack. I don't think it's worth building a whole character around so much as it rounds you out so you're not stuck with one regular attack every time you have to move more than 5ft.
How much do Potions of Enlarge Person cost?
Potions are spell level × caster level × 50, so 1×1×50=50, in this case.
And couldn't I use my Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit to give it Impact?
Impact gives your weapon a virtual size increase. Your weapon deals damage "as if it were one size category larger." Enlarge Person actually makes you larger. So you end up with a large axe that deals damage as if it were huge. I believe it progresses as follows: 3d6, 4d6, 5d6...so 20d6 with Greater Vital Strike?
If **A** globe enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of electricity damage to that creature, though a successful Reflex save negates the damage...
--that looks like each globe triggers it's own save. But the wording for the daze effect is pretty clear to me:
If the spell allows a saving throw, a successful save negates the daze effect
1. Does the spell allow a saving throw? Yes. It actually allows several.
2. Was there **A** successful save against this spell? If so, the "daze effect" is negated.
Ball Lightning is either an amazingly ridiculous spell for this metamagic feat or one of the absolute worst, depending on your reading.
Scott Romanowski wrote:
I think he thought it was acceptable. When I talked with him privately, he said he "needed" the high ability scores...
That's awful. At least he left.
Sitting down to a long running campaign with a character that has sub-par ability scores--especially when other player's characters fared better at creation--sucks.
Players at my table pick any ability scores they want, there even and three odd, with the sum of all modifiers equalling +6. It doesn't punish min-maxed characters (the game itself will do that plenty), provides just the right level of power I'm looking for and is easy to explain to new players.
I stopped rolling for hp a long time ago. The higher your hit dice, the more penalized you are when you roll low.
Same thing with ability scores. No more randomization. Point buy and standard arrays all the way.
Rolling dice to determine success or failure is fun. Rolling dice that influence every other roll you make with the character for the rest of the game is not.
The doll could look like what you'd expect a fairy queen to look like. The real Oona shouldn't match that appearance.
It's certainly an interesting idea, but we've gone far beyond the "girl in a leaf dress with wings" conception of faeries, back to a more Arthurian or Grimm interpretation. When they told Puck they would go and talk to Oona, he said something like "but you will not be able to bear the weight of her consideration. Her smile will cut you to ribbons. She will crush you like the shadow of the ghost of a gnat..." --they expect a mind-bending, reality-twisting being. She is the first of spring's sun through the last of winter's ice. She is a mountain of blades wrapped in velvet. Her gown is made of living blossoms, fire and the tears of babes. Etc.
You could also roll a d6 after each argument. On a 1 ignore the results and have the Queen's attention drift away.
Are you saying that, along with the above outlined system, I roll a d6 each round and so on?
I think I'm looking at the following base DC's:
Diplomacy to convince Oona: 16-24
Intimidate to distract Puck: 18-26
Puck's Bluff: +15 (or +5 for a double-or-nothing gamit)
The variable for the first two is to allow for different approaches. Using base flattery on Oona will be easier than appealing to her compassion, threatening Puck with violence will be harder than holding his reputation hostage, etc.
As it is, a round would go something like:
-Puck tries to Bluff
I don't want the scale to just bobble back and forth as they move it up and Puck moves it down, but I also don't want them to fall so far ahead/behind with momentum-like modifiers that they're completely safe/doomed, either. I guess...they'll have to want to end it sooner than later, just to get away from Oona before they're eaten by her dress or go mad looking at her face or whatever, so they'll...try to goad Puck into bigger lies while also gearing up to expose him or trip him up, making progress faster?
I'd consider options that avoid focusing overmuch on specific weapons (Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus/Specialization, etc). The 5 feats you save can go a long way toward making you more well-rounded and better prepared for the fairly crazy stuff you'll encounter at that level, and you won't be as vulnerable to having your very specific and most likely uncommon weapon of choice stolen/destroyed/what-have-you.
Dave Justus wrote:
I think what you want to achieve is a big ask. Having the final encounter basically be just skill checks is likely to feel pretty anticlimactic unless you have a lot more skill at this sort of thing then I personally do.
Yeah, I'm not really worried about whether or not a concept will work or if I can pull it off. I know I can do that much. It's just a matter of how, to what extent, and how much effort it will cost me.
I can kind of see what you're saying, but rolling that d20, knowing that victory or defeat hinges upon the result--that's tension. Whether it's an attack roll or a saving throw or a Sleight of Hand check doesn't matter.
Dave Justus wrote:
What I think I would do is set up the discussion with the Fairy Queen as the penultimate encounter...Then you can set up an epic final battle where every PC can showcase their abilities and contribute fully.
Part of my limitation is time. I need to start and wrap up this game within 3 hours or so.But aside from that...these characters have been seeking an audience with Oona for most of the game. To finally give them their objective and then have it turn out that it's not the end they were told feels kind of anti-climactic itself.
With all that said, though, I certainly plan on including combat in this encounter (see above).
This is one of the issues I have with high-level play. So many of the beasties you're supposedly ready to encounter just completely negate one of the iconic class's most iconic abilities.
I've played around a lot with skill checks and absurd DC's, to help the more mundane classes get a boost up into the realm of legend on their own. I mean, if you have camouflage, hide in plain sight and can always take 10 on Stealth checks for a constant, effortless result of 50+...what does that look like, exactly? Why can't that mean you somehow hide your scent, your breath, your life force, maybe even your thoughts? Pick up that shadow like a rug and hide under it. Sure. Why not? As far as I'm concerned, you've earned it.
Can they provide her with gifts? Suitably weird gifts, of course...
I was considering the idea that Oona would expect gifts. Three, as is appropriate for such a fairytale.But no, the characters haven't been searching for anything in particular. They'd have to come up with something on the fly. But as to what would impress Oona, who knows? I think it'll just be down to how an item is presented. I'd probably allow non-tangibles too; all the memories of a first love, one's passion for dancing, skill at cards--they'd all make fine gifts for such a queen.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Have any hard evidence the players bring forth give an auto success. Though make sure Puck has a comeback for any such evidence.
The alchemist in the group derives her power from a tincture of distilled madness, and has suggested giving it to Oona in the hopes that driving a mad creature mad again will possibly make them sane for a while, which seemed like just the sort of fairytale logic a story like this would use. I'd probably say such a move would net them an automatic success, plus give a bonus to further Diplomacy.
Watery Soup wrote:
You know, I'm not actually too worried about metagaming in most cases. I'll share things like AC and DC up-front, sometimes even HP. I've found it helps a game run smoother.But in cases like this, I don't think I'll even tell the players about the scale at all. Just that they can use Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense Motive and similar skills to argue their side of things, and that I'll be "keeping score".
One of the hardest parts for them will be having meaningful communication with Oona at all; she is a completely alien entity, strange and utterly inhuman. But she will have recognizably human traits (pride, envy, gratitude, etc.), even if traditional logic and reason are not among them.
And thank you. I've really been wracking my brain to come up with unique, memorable encounters in this one.
Now I just need to find a way to represent some base statistics thay capture these entities as old as the bones of the earth, but still somehow make them vulnerable enough for the players to defeat them. I'm going to lean heavily on the idea that pride and insanity making for less than invulnerable foes.
At long last, our ragtag band has made it through the field of stars and across the lonesome moors. They have bested fell beasts with might, wit and luck and have walked through the gates of horn and bone to stand before the Queen of Fae herself.
This is it. The last big scene where everything will be won or lost. I need it to be sweeping, strange, frightening and vital. So it definitely can't be boiled down to a single Diplomacy roll. Here's what I've got so far:
The character's progress will be a sliding scale of 1 to 10. A 1 means Oona has decided against them and they have lost. A 10 means she believes them and they have won. They will start somewhere between a 4 and a 6, depending on previous elements.
Players will be able to use Diplomacy to influence Oona, increasing their position on the scale by 1.
Puck will use Bluff to decrease their position on the scale by 1.
Players will use Sense Motive to reveal Puck's falsehoods, negating their last decrease, and Intimidate to levy a penalty to his next Bluff check or possibly make him forfeit his next attempt.
On top of that stuff, Oona's reactions to certain things will affect the party. Her displeasure freezes the blood (cold damage), her scorn burns (fire), flattery makes her preen (causing confusion or stunning, maybe?), her questions and counter-arguments corrode the self (Charisma drain), her laughter gives birth to piksies, imps and flowers with hungry mouths, etc.
What do you think? Is there a simpler way to achieve a similar feel? What would make such an encounter more memorable or engaging for you?
Our story begins with Kol, wandering down from the north isles to the mainland, in the lands of Banenheim.
Kol seeks an audience with Darius von Buchenhoft, Lord of the South Marches, to seek aid for the Tanners and others like them. Unfortunately, Buchenhoft has little time to spare for one bereaved family (the foolish girl ran off worth some traveling players, like as not), what with goblins coming down from the mountains and bandits on the east road--bandits brave enough to waylay tax collectors, mind. If Kol wanted to, say, find these bandits, he'd have Lord Darius's blessing to look into whatever superstitions and tales of woe he wished.
After weeks of combing the forests along the east road, Kol and Sarisa find the first trail signs of the bandit encampment.
What follows is a long and grueling exchange of arrows and bolts. The dark, the rain and the underbrush conceal much, but the bandits are greater in number and hold a more favorable position. Things would be grim indeed if it weren't for Sarisa and her firebombs.
Grahm, the leader of the bandits, offers them a choice: allow them to withdraw unharassed, or watch them cut Jenny's throat. They had planned on taking the girl south to the slave markets and making a heavy penny, but if Sarisa and Kol think she's only good for painting this little corner of the forest red...so be it.
The three companions pick through the bandit's supplies, lick their wounds, and bring Grahm (the only survivor) and a still-dazed Jenny Tanner back to the keep of the South Marches and Buchenhoft's judgement. The penalty for highway robbery in Vaulten is death, but Traygor is ready to accept whatever fate awaits him.
Lord Darius rewards Kol and Sarisa well, and pardons Traygor's crimes as payment for his apprehension of the other bandits. Though, he says, every criminal must face justice. Traygor is lashed ten times, singly across the back for banditry, just before Grahm dances on air. Traygor doesn't mind, terribly; it's high time he paid for the blood on his hands, and he had been beaten far worse than this.
The Tanners are overjoyed to have their daughter back in their arms, but they cannot give much; a heartfelt thanks and a gift of three supposedly enchanted acorns is all they can spare with winter coming.
Kol, Sarisa and Traygor make their way back to the city from the Tanner's fields, they hear distant cries and the clash of steel. It seems Buchenhoft was right to worry about those goblins...
I'm not sure what kind of advice you're looking for; the system you've outline is different enough from the existing one that any experience I have with the published rules (or even my adjustments to them) is inapplicable for what you've got planned.
It's an interesting idea, at the very least.
How will you make up for the fact that 3-5 slots will be taken up by non-typical items?
There are also 2 at-will 0-level spell-likes and a 2nd-level spell-like (Glitterdust is 2nd, not 1st).
Ah, yes. I meant glitterdust, sorry.
A 0-level spell at will feels more like a nifty, interesting thing a race can do, rather than something that lends to a race being "really powerful." And while 1st level spells have a fair amount of utility, I tried to find two that were more specific and less generally useful. Shield 1/day would be good. Obscuring Mist, Cure Light Wounds, Divine Favor or Grease. Feather Fall can be very useful indeed, the few times you end up needing it.
Still, you could easily capture the race's feel and tone with, say, just Dancing Lights.
Ryan Freire wrote:
They're basically getting +cha for free.
Hm. I'd have assumed that +4/-2 is better than +6/-4. I mean. It is, numerically. But sure, you could easily drop a +2 somewhere if that seems to fit better.
You've also got 1st level spells as spell likes...most races not viewed as particularly powerful are 0 levels
I'm not sure I understand. Do you believe that the spell-spell-like abilities are too good for a player race? Or that 0-level spell-like abilities aren't good?
I'm confused what the point of your argument is. Because I don't see any.
It seems Leomenia's point is that a cleric selects from every cleric spell ever, while an alchemist is limited to the formulae in their book. Even an alchemist with every available slot open is less versatile in terms of formula choice than a cleric, because a cleric's effective spellbook automatically includes every cleric spell ever.
That's really powerful for a player race.
Care to explain? Criticism without construction is of little use.
The base races have a 2:1 ability bonus-to-penalty ratio, where as the above is 3:2.
Beyond that, they're small elves. No immunity to sleep, +2 to Acrobatics instead of vs. SR, no Weapon Familiarity and some Spell-like abilities.
Money should always be an impediment; the difference between a +4 belt and a +6 is 20,000gp. To get an extra +1 to attack, damage and related skills is an extra 20,000gp. That's comparable to buying ten slotless items that give you a +1 to each of those rolls separately.
To go from a +6 to a +8 is an extra 28,000gp. +38,000gp for a +10 and +44,000gp for +12.
There are better things to spend your gold on.
With that said, if it's not in the existing rules, make some up. That's the territory you're approaching, anyway.
I've been running a game for three old co-workers of mine, one of which has played Dungeons & Dragons once, one who has never played before, and one who was not sure what an orc is.
At session zero, I gave them a brief outline on what to expect:
Kol, a wandering adventurer and mystic pilgrim. Kol's mother was a nord skinshifter, a cunning and furious warrior. On a raid in Eirelin, she met the man who would be Kol's father, a gentle man with a silver tongue, and forsook her clan's bloody ways for a life of peace. She helped her new people repel the invaders and was soon with child.
Sarisa Fortiss, an obsessive, brilliant and disturbing young lady. Her father was the court alchemist of Lord Darius von Buchenhoft until a few months ago, where an expiriment went awry and Sarisa's father (and her cat) vanished. Unsatisfied with the cursory investigation performed by the castle guard, Sarisa has continued her father's research for a doorway into Faerie, where limitless power, immortality and the truth behind her father's disappearance await.
Traygor, a quiet but imposing brute of a man with orc blood. For all his life, folk have thought Traygor capable of little more than skinning his knuckles at local tavern brawls. But while he is simple and coarse, he is far from dull and is not at all cruel.