Races Commentary


Races & Classes

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Kaeyoss
I really like the new mechanic for favored class. I think It is better to reward a player/character for taking a archtype class than punish for taking a different class. A +1 Hp per level isn't unbalancing and is a neat reward.

Sovereign Court

I love the changes to racial abilities and the net +2. I know several times my players have been put off of playing a half-elf or half-orc because it appeared to be a sub-optimal choice.

I would however like to see a few racial feats at level 5+ that expand on a character's heritage and bloodline. There are some PCs who just prefer to roleplay the "quintessential" elf or halfling. Heck, that was my favorite halfling!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Howdy everybody,

Great discussion going on here. Keep it up.

Couple of points I want to add.

- I am shying away from racial abilities that automatically advance with level. This is traditionally a role of classes and I am not sure it is a pandora's box that I want to open (and I have opened so many :-).

- I think racial feats might be a good solution.

- I think human's might just get a free weapon proficiency.

Please continue...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

That's understandable, I know even in the Dawnforged setting that kind of progressive racial advancement can be a headache when trying to create NPC, or advance them.

The racial feats seems like a good idea too. It would allow players to decide just how dwarfy their dwarf is or how elfish their elf is or even half-elf is. I would suggest that most of the racial feats, if this is the way you go, originally focus mainly around a races iconic favoured class. Human racial feats become difficult, in general they should represent flexibility. But if your looking for more specific examples I'd probably create "human" racial feats based around the human cultures presented in the Pathfinder Adventure paths. (Chelaxian, Shoanti, Varisian) This way you can create more class centered feats. Also half-elves and half-orcs would probably be able to take either elven/orcish racial feats or human racial feats.

Huzzah, on the human weapon prof. :)

Tamago wrote:

I'd say that giving humans +2 to any two ability scores would work nicely.

This was also suggested earlier. If you go the route of expanding the ability modifiers for humans I suggest making it +2 on one physical stat and +2 one mental stat, and then -2 on any one stat. Giving a +2 to two ability scores without the penalty would just unbalance the human stats incomparison to all the rest of the races.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Overall, I like the new races as well. Here are some of my thoughts on what I've seen.
-I like the bonus weapon prof. for humans but perhaps it could be a choice from a small list of feats instead so the spellcasters wouldn't be getting something they won't use.
-I don't like automatic racial advances, but I do like the availibility of racial feats.
-I'm not convinced on the overall +2 bonus to stats for all races. My (admitted kneejerk reaction) is that a bonus to all isn't really a bonus, just a power boost. Of course, that might be the point.
-Is the addition of racial substitution levels to classes on the table? To me, this gives flavour to a race/class combo with out upsetting balance. You would see a real difference between a 20th level elf wizard and a 20th level dwarf wizard if they wanted a difference and were willing to make the substition.


I don't like these proposed changes on races:

+2 to WIS for half-orcs? WTF? Is that the orc blood in them that makes them thusly wise? This makes no sense and screams META to me (i.e. trying to get clerics and paladins to be half-orcs).

No more -2 CHA for half-orcs? "PLEASE BECOME CLERICS" (or paladins). Cut it out, please.

Why not leave the -2 INT and -2 CHA and give the half-orc +2 CON? Makes more sense to me anyway.

+2 to WIS for dwarves? Where does that come from? Since when have the dwarves come through as wise race? Together: META!

Race weapon proficiencies: not very fond of this idea either. With every race being proficient with martial and/or exotic weapons, the weapon proficiencies are now much less interesting. EVERYONE in the world (!!) can now wield martial or exotic weapons, as long as they're of the basic classes.

The gnome is presumably a frail race (optional HP rule) but gets +2 to CON??

The elf looks like a brute but gets -2 to CON?

As an aside, i like the +2 to one ability for humans and half-elves.

Dark Archive

No Racial gains as you level. It would kill backwards compatibility as the base races would outstrip all of the other races.

If we want to add racial abilities as we level, I advise the Racial feats option. It allows a player to develop their characters racial identity if they want. Don't make it a forced element.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I relocated this thread to the Races and Classes subforum, this original thread is linked there, so all the good conversation that happened here won't be lost. But we should continue the conversation in the new relocation thread.

~Anry


Skyscraper wrote:

I don't like these proposed changes on races:

+2 to WIS for half-orcs? WTF? Is that the orc blood in them that makes them thusly wise? This makes no sense and screams META to me (i.e. trying to get clerics and paladins to be half-orcs).

No more -2 CHA for half-orcs? "PLEASE BECOME CLERICS" (or paladins). Cut it out, please.

Why not leave the -2 INT and -2 CHA and give the half-orc +2 CON? Makes more sense to me anyway.

Honestly I never thought they should have a negative in two mental stats. Thoulh I agree, if anything they should have a -2 to CHA rather than INT, just makes more sense to me.

Skyscraper wrote:
+2 to WIS for dwarves? Where does that come from? Since when have the dwarves come through as wise race? Together: META!

Um... actually this makes perfect sense. Dwarves are often considered to be wise due to their longer lives and simple common sense. At least in the fantasy literature I've read they've been touted for their wisdom, I think it is quite possibly the best mental score to give them a boost to. Nothing META about it.

Anry wrote:


I'd probably create "human" racial feats based around the human cultures presented in the Pathfinder Adventure paths. (Chelaxian, Shoanti, Varisian) This way you can create more class centered feats.

I love this idea! I'm raising my hand, putting in my vote, whatever for this one. I think it adds flavor to a campaign when a culture is taken into account sort of like the D20 Wheel of Time RPG.

Anry wrote:

Also half-elves and half-orcs would probably be able to take either elven/orcish racial feats or human racial feats.

Huzzah, on the human weapon prof. :)

I must disagree with this. With the improvements upon the Half Elf the human has become sub-par. There's talk of a free 'weapon group' feat but that strikes me as still not worth it when compaired to the fact that the 1/2 elves get 2 of the 3 nifty abilities humans have and a whole lot more. If half-elves were allowed to be even more flexible like a human I think they'd be stepping on even more toes, let the flexibility they have at present be enough.

On another note, though this might be considered needlessly complex, I had a house ruled version of the half elf where they got different benefits depending on which heritage they chose to emphasize. If they were more like their human side they had a human ability, whereas if they were more like their elven parentage they had an elven ability. One or the other with a small spattering of the standard 1/2 elf abilities. I doubt this would be taken into practice but it's an option.

Just my two cents worth. Though an alternative to that free weapon feat for humans might be (should they go with the culture idea) a free culture feat of their choice. Provided the feat wasn't something useless (Toughness anyone?) I think it would make humans a little more worthwhile. Maybe combined with a +1 bonus to some stat based on their culture though I can take that or leave it.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

That was more the reason I was suggesting it. It seems to be a largely supported to make optional racial feats to make races more prominent if a player wishes as they progress in levels. Since these are optional rules it makes sense to me to allow races of dual heritage be given availability of both lineage racial feats. This allows a Player to decide a large portion of flavour of their mixed heritage character.

Because remember in the setting which the Pathfinder RPG is based neither half-elves nor half-orcs have a society of their own they leech off their experience from the parental cultures. Giving them access to either racial feats makes creation easier as well. Because it removes the need to create racial feats specifically for them, after all without their own culture to draw upon such common traits won't develop in those of mixed heritage.

From a designer perspective this means you create elven feats and human feats and these feats now cover development now for 3 different races. Now its not as practical for the Half-orc in the general sense as Orcs aren't a standard race, but by making "Orcish" feats instead of "Half-orcish" feats leads to the feats being useable by DMs to flush out their Orcs as well.

The first alpha release doesn't really touch on the monsters but this minor foundation is useful. THis also connects to the concept discussed in another thread of expanding playable races. Because this gives a basis to make Orcs a playable race without too much disruption.

In fact, seeing as they aren't touched on as a villianous so far in the Pathfinder Adventure paths it would be interesting to see the Orc added to the base races.

Dark Archive

Jason Grubiak wrote:

Half-Orcs were the exception. They got a +2 in Strength and a -2 in TWO abilities.

The logic behind this was that Strength was a "better" or "superior" ability score and getting a boost in strength had to be balanced out.

Amusing the designers used that 'logic' on the half-orc, but abandoned it entirely when fashioning the Halfling, Goblin or Kobold, all of whom had Strength penalties, but didn't get twice that value in bonuses to other stats. Apparently it's only 'logical' when it's hosing the half-Orc. When it applies to any other race, and could possibly benefit a physically puny race, it's less 'logical' and more *crazytalk!*

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Yeah I always thought that was silly. Kind of the strange logic they used when saying every 10 ft. below 30 ft. incurs a -6 penalty to Jump check but for every 10 ft. above its a +4 to Jump checks.


Magagumo wrote:


Gnomes: Natural Bards-- +2 Charisma

The "bardic gnome" is a 3.5 bug, not a feature. If mental stat bonuses are seen as kosher now, I'd really like to see gnomes get their INT bonus back. I'd also like to see Wizard as their favored class. Why should gnomes be penalized for being Illusionists?


So +2 is the new Average?

This is ridiculous. The base races should all average out to 10.5 in every stat. If you want PCs to have better stats then change the PC-generation rules, not the base stats.

This is yet more of the "40 is the new 30" up-the-ante Arms Race power-gamer garbage that drives me crazy about splat-books, and now you want to write it into your Core Rules?

Make the +2 (and say which) an option for "unusually harsh worlds" (like Dark Sun was) but all races should remain a net +0 as base races (and yes, half-orc should be fixed in this regard).

Let 'em Buy Feats

Since you're giving away PC-level Feats 33% faster (more Arms Race), this is a great place to allow Racial Feats and/or Racial Chains to come into play. Just rip that +2 out of the Base Racial Stats and make it the first feat in the optional Racial Chain that can only be purchased with PC bonus Feats and not Class-granted slots.

Rez


Rezdave wrote:


Let 'em Buy Feats

Since you're giving away PC-level Feats 33% faster (more Arms Race), this is a great place to allow Racial Feats and/or Racial Chains to come into play. Just rip that +2 out of the Base Racial Stats and make it the first feat in the optional Racial Chain that can only be purchased with PC bonus Feats and not Class-granted slots.

Rez

For what it's worth, as a DM I disagree wholeheartedly with this. The original point of feats were that they were something special, something cool that the exceptional PC's could do. I agree the splat books ruined this but not in the way you're mentioning. They, and the core rules, ruined it by making many feats unexceptional, Toughness, the 3.5 Spell Focus, and many many many others seemed like such useless trash. Honestly, what makes more sense? Getting combat casting to show you are incredibly focused during combat and thus get a +4 to concentration checks only when fighting defensively or get Skill Focus: Concentration and get a +3 across the board? Things like this made feats that much less nifty. Granted there were a few that truly were exceptional.

Two solutions existed, either make feats more powerful to represent that they are truly exceptional things or allow the classes to get more feats. Paizo obviously chose the latter of the two. This 'arms race' thing is all well and good but as a fricken GM I was sick of RPG's expecting the PC's, the HERO's of the story, to be incredibly average, so bravo for upping the average stats a smidge and beefing up the classes and the races. Bravo.


I am all about the humans gaining a bonus weapon proficiency, humans are master of warfare. They seem to love it a lot^^. my only contribution is that fighters get nerfed with giving a bonus prof, they have all the prof they need.
2nd ed elves gained a +1 to attack with bows and longs sword (maybe more i forget)this is good for fighters as well as wizard or any other class for that matter. when the elves got transfered to 3.0, fighter elves got the shaft with a martial weapon prof that they already had. wizards loved being able to use a bow. but the ranger elves went WTF?!

Please, if you give a weapon prof to humans, make it so that it is beneficial to the Fighter classes. (maybe if you have the feat already you get a +1 to your attack with said weapon group, or a specific weapon, just give them something)


Phil. L wrote:
I like the idea of racial feats. I've always liked racial paragon classes and this would be a less intrusive way of doing it. I think that the races should be able to pick from a variety of racial feats and gain bonus feats for this purpose (at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). Everyone would then gain two feats at these levels.

I would not mind seeing racial paragon classes. However, I would pattern them off of a race's favored class (though this would be difficult for half-elves and humans). I would also treat them as favored classes.

Still, the feat tree might be the best way to do it.

On a somewhat unrelated topic, how about including rules for doing some form of background trait for characters as well, similar to the backgrounds in Curse of the Crimson Throne.


My first question.

Why the change? Of all the problems with 3.x, the only one most people considered for races was "half-elves and half-orcs". Why touch anything else?

re:Favoured Class
Nice idea, but it plays havoc with any -2 CON race when compared to +2 CON race. For example, a dwarven fighter at the same level as an elven fighter is going to have 3*level difference in HP if you use the Elite Array.
Pretty much means about 1 more round of combat for the fighter but the effect on the gnomish bard effectively makes it a d8 class for gnomes.

re: Weapon Familiarity
This inadventely powers the spellcasting classes like the wizard. For an elf that needs to enter a blade-singer style prestige class, it looks like you have eliminated the need to take 1 fighter level.

re: Half-perception bonuses
What's the point? For the dwarf, you're likely to forget you get the bonus since it comes up so rarely while for the others, you pretty much will have it always just to forestal any "You might've seen the guard, but you didn't hear him" arguments.

The elf got downgraded, dwarf made out like a bandit, human got enrfed, half-elf got improved and half-orc stayed the same (there isn't a core class that does well with -2 CGA, +2 WIS).


Hello, joining the party... I'm excited now that I've had the chance to read the alpha. It looks like Paizo is going in the same direction I was with my house rules, but the one thing I'm concerned about is the power creep.

I agree with Stephen Klauk that I'd prefer to see the stat adjustments not have an extra +2, as that seems like a power creep to me. However, I could accept SargonX's argument about it being a bribe to play a core race. Also, if we take Magagumo's suggestion and drop all LA by 1, then that opens up a huge list of previously LA+1 races for PCs to play.

Put me down as one of the people who would like to see race play a larger role in higher level PCs - if the players want. I think this can be worked within the existing Pathfinder system without racial classes and a racial benefits track, though, in three different ways:

1) Race-limited class progressions - e.g., wizard devotions. Instead of specializing in a school, a wizard could take elven devotion or dwarven devotion. Elven rogues could take a feat that gives them access to even more spells, gnome rogues could take a feat that opens up more illusionist abilities, etc.

2) Race-limited feats - what other people have mentioned.

3) Standard feats with different effects on certain races - half-orcs are better at power attack, elves get more benefit from expertise, etc. This is how Monte Cook handled the 'clan disciplines' in his World of Darkness approach, and I think it's a idea worth considering.

A problem with race-differentiated feat is scaling to the myriad monsters and races that exist in D&D. Maybe if we had a set of racial tags, and racial feats were based off of those?

For instance: say that Elves are Beautiful, Nimble, and Magical, while halflings are Fortunate, Friendly, and Nimble and humans are Adaptable, Fortunate, and Friendly. Elves and halflings have some physical feats in common, while halflings and humans share a number of luck-based and social feats.

Slotting new races into this is a matter of saying that Aasimar are Beautiful, Friendly, and Otherworldly, while Tieflings are Adaptable, Nimble, and Otherworldly. Aasimar and Tieflings have 1/3 of their racial feats in common with elves, and also 1/3 of their racial feats in common with humans, but it's a different 1/3 each time.


I really dug Oriental Adventures whole Ancestor or Cultural Feat idea. Giving something like this to humans would be great.

It could be as generic as:

Desert Born - You gain a +2 to Acrobatics and Survival checks as you were raised walking the sand dunes.

Liberty's Edge

Neithan wrote:

The favorite class entry for the half-elf says: "Chose any one class at first level. This choice cannot be changed."

Is that really neccessary? I think about everyone agrees, that favored classes were a no-brainer. A dwarven Fighter/Wizard doesn't get an xp-penalty, but an elven Fighter/Rogue does?
Also, what's the reason behind it? An elf has no problem being a rogue and no problem being a fighter, but when he does both, and therefore is allready worse at both, he also gets another ability? But when one class is wizard he doesn't? Why?
I think favored classes really should be removed or at least displayed as highly optional.

And even if not, don't force the players to make the choice at first level. From my own experience it allways happens that you made initial mistakes you only realize later and most gms allow to "retcon" the character accordingly. I understand it that players shouldn't take one set of abilites early, allready with the intention of switching them later, because it's only a good choice at early levels, but forcing them to plan their character so much ahead isn't a good thing either.

Except now there's no multiclassing XP penalty. You just get an extra hit point every level you take your favored class.


What about the cultural Feat bonus that were include in the Pathfinder Player's guide (Big Game Hunter, City Born, Varisian Tatoo, etc)? I would really like to see this as a core ability of any race. But the Feats of Varisia list will need similar regional/cultural feat for the non-human too...

Liberty's Edge

Jason Grubiak wrote:

All the races used to get a +2 boost in one skill and a -2 drop in another.

Half-Orcs were the exception. They got a +2 in Strength and a -2 in TWO abilities.

The logic behind this was that Strength was a "better" or "superior" ability score and getting a boost in strength had to be balanced out.

I tend to agree with this.
Do you think the Pathfinder Half-Orc should be +2Str +2Wis -2INT -2Cha?

Maybe its more balanced that way. Also doesnt anyone find it strange that Half-Orcs dont take a Charisma penalty?

I find the idea that the physical ability scores are more valuable than the mental ones to be hilarious, quite frankly. The mental ones govern spellcasting, skill points, and modify some of the most useful skills in the game. I've never played a half-orc, and as long as they're hamstrung by the existing rules, I won't. A +2 in strength and darkvision is a terrible trade for -2 INT and -2 CHA.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Oh not all physical stats, just Strength. And maybe even Dex. And their original logic was that Con was on par with Mental Stats. Honestly I beleive that the three most important stats are Dex, Con, and Int. AC, hp, and Skills.

Dark Archive

SneaksyDragon wrote:
Please, if you give a weapon prof to humans, make it so that it is beneficial to the Fighter classes. (maybe if you have the feat already you get a +1 to your attack with said weapon group, or a specific weapon, just give them something)

I'd be cool with characters who already have martial weapon proficiency being able to get an Exotic Weapon prof with this feature.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Yeah that doesn't seem to be a problem to me either. I think if its giong to be a free wpn prof, it should be a selection from any weapon.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Anry wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

- I think racial feats might be a good solution.

- I think human's might just get a free weapon proficiency.

The racial feats seems like a good idea too. It would allow players to decide just how dwarfy their dwarf is or how elfish their elf is or even half-elf is. I would suggest that most of the racial feats, if this is the way you go, originally focus mainly around a races iconic favoured class.

Racial feats are a good idea, but don't make them bonuses. With feats being gained every odd character level in Pathfinder RPG, players should have a couple more feats to play with.

Anry wrote:
Human racial feats become difficult, in general they should represent flexibility. But if your looking for more specific examples I'd probably create "human" racial feats based around the human cultures presented in the Pathfinder Adventure paths. (Chelaxian, Shoanti, Varisian)

Maybe instead of a free weapon proficiency, humans gain their choice of a cultural feat (in addition to their bonus feat). For example, the Totem Spirit and Varisian Tattoo feats from Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide and the Harrowed feat from the Curse of the Crimson Throne Player's Guide could be considered cultural feats.

Creating a few (3-5) racial and cultural feats for each race or cultural background should be enough, IMO. If a "standard" feat is common in the culture (i.e., Mounted Combat for horse-riding nomads), then that can count toward the 3-5 cultural feats.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

That really seems like doubling up a quality. And seems a bit redundant. I was trying to give some ideas in the creation of racial feats because of all the races human would be the hardest to create "racial" specific feats because the race in and of itself is very open-ended.


Rezdave wrote:

So +2 is the new Average?

This is ridiculous. The base races should all average out to 10.5 in every stat. If you want PCs to have better stats then change the PC-generation rules, not the base stats.

This is yet more of the "40 is the new 30" up-the-ante Arms Race power-gamer garbage that drives me crazy about splat-books, and now you want to write it into your Core Rules?

Make the +2 (and say which) an option for "unusually harsh worlds" (like Dark Sun was) but all races should remain a net +0 as base races (and yes, half-orc should be fixed in this regard).

I agree with this. I think the "additional +2" should be a sidebar optional rule (yes, it could be the default in Golarion, but should be listed as optional for backwards compatability with everything else.)

The extra feats we're seeing being used towards abilities limited by race does sound like an excellent plan.

Dark Archive

For those who are against the new +2 mods..

Take a second look at the rules, and take a step back. Now look at the MM. Go through it and read all the +1 LA races. Notice something? Most of them have +2 mods when added all together. Look at from this prospective. Don't look at as what should the PCs have, but rather look at the PHB, DMG, and MM and ask "How do we improve the rules, make them more flexible, and while making them more consistent?" I believe the change was made on those two last points. There are several +1 LA races that are no stronger than the new +0 LA/Base/Core races. I would guess that Jason is planning to drop a number of +1 LA races to +0.

If had to guess:(Some of these races have HD)
Duergar, Gnolls, Hobgoblins, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Merfolk and both the Planetouched.

Races that are going to get a boost:
Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs.

Before any calls is more powergaming, its only powergameing if it favors the PCs. All the new rules are the same for PCs and NPCs, so the PCs don't gain anything there. Against monsters I'm expecting a number of Monsters to drop in CR abit.


A few comments on races:

*In my opinion instead of giving every race a +2 net bonus they should give a choice for example in the elf case they should let you choose between a +2 Dex or +2 Int with a -2 to Con.

*The weapon familiarity trait is just the extension of the version that was published in the v.3.5 PHB and is GREAT!!

*Kudos on the Half-Elf, now you can ACTUALLY play one. Nevertheless instead of the +2 on any ability I would give him a +2 in any hablity and a -2 in any hablity. That way you could still potray their "varied nature".

*In my opinion it would be great to implement some mechanic such as the ones featured in the SWSE for races with an "iconic resistance" in the form of: "may reroll any saving throws against ......, spells, and spell-like abilities but the result of the reroll must be accepted even if it is worse." ..... would be enchantment spells for elves, poison for dwarves, fear for halflings and illusion spells for gnomes.

*Last but not least: Please, stop with the "favored class". 3rd edition made a great leap form 2nd edition's racial restrictions but honestly, get rid of this last vestige.

Dark Archive

BM wrote:

There are several +1 LA races that are no stronger than the new +0 LA/Base/Core races. I would guess that Jason is planning to drop a number of +1 LA races to +0.

If had to guess:(Some of these races have HD)
Duergar, Gnolls, Hobgoblins, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Merfolk and both the Planetouched.

Races that are going to get a boost:
Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs.

I definitely like the sound of this. The racial HD thing could very well go the way of the dodo anyway (want a 2 HD Gnoll? Give it two levels of Warrior).

The only quibbles might be that some of the races have over-the-top levels of natural armor (does a Lizardfolk really need to have scales harder than Hide armor and equal to a steel Breastplate?). But that's easy enough to tweak, by cutting the Natural Armor down. If the Lizardfolk / Troglodytes / Sahuagin want uber ACs, they can wear armor or pump up their Dex like the rest of us. :)


Great thread!

Love the changes to the races. The +2 across the board isn't an arms race imo, it's a way of accentuating the differences between races.

I really, really like the mechanical changes that reinforce what was previously flavor text. Elves are uncannily beautiful, huh? Yeah, so beautiful that people are awed by it. Well, except for haters.

(I'm a fan of elves that are supernatural and weird though, so the 3e "nature lovers" never sat well with me. They were basically skinny humans who were *really* into trees.)

The half-orc wisdom bonus makes sense to me. Orcs are cunning buggers and wisdom is the hunting, ambushing and wariness stat.

I love the idea of racial feats. It lets the player decide if he wants to play a fighter who is a dwarf, or a DWARVEN fighter, and there are trade-offs.

Likewise, I love the idea of human cultural feats. Much more interesting than the typical "humans are versatile" racial traits, which frankly is dead boring. Great for the setting and gives humans a little bump.

I don't think that the non-phb races need their own +2s and such. The phb races are the heroes. The rest have their own benefits and flavor.


Azoun The Sage wrote:

I just got the Alpha last night and started looking at it. I must say I jumped right to the race section eager to see what had changed. I did like the majority of what I saw, however Humans loosing their Skill points I think is bogus! Every other race gained something or a few things and it seems all humans got was an Ability Adjustment. Then they HAVE to pick a favored class...I prefer the 3rd edition rule where they do not have to pick one, all are considered a favored class for the human.

Now for the Half-Orc...gaining a +2 to Wisdom?? I just don't see this, Orc's are not inherently wise by nature, nor are humans (hence humans get the bonus to place where ever), Since the general description of the Half-Orc hasn't really changed I would suggest moving this adjustment to Con. Why? The reasoning I see behind it is the Orc is a warrior race, a violent race, they are used to living on the wilds and/or traversing difficult terrain? Orc's also love warfair, hence they will march for days in an organized fashion (of Orc sorts) to arrive at the conflict. Because of these normal factors in an Orcs life he does get a decent Con score and Str score. So why wouldn't this traverse over to the Half-Orc as well?

Just my opinion/thoughts.

Oz

I tend to agree (mostly) with Oz here, but offer a option on the Orc +2 Wis bonus. This is ok as it does help saves and as Oz stated, orcs are heaty, resilent etc. This could be modified to give a +1 bonus to Wis and +1 to Con. Or give the player the option to place two +1 attribute points to either of those attributes, not to total more than two points. If +1 is given to both attributes, they don't give a total +1 bonus to any related checks. But later in level progression it could help with character creation, to plan when a player will modify these scores to get the +1 Bonus to skills and saves.

On the side of human characters: I agree with the proposal to allow humans to place the +2 bonus wherever. This takes in to account the desire of the young human to progress in the trait they would like to have the best, when they finally leave the nest and begin their career. Hence, extreme versatility for humans.
I also agree that the removal of the +1 skill point per level for humans should be returned. Again, humans are versatile and this reflects this instead of racial preferences for specific skills and classes of the other older races.
I can live with the rule that a human player must choose their preferred class at creation. This is more in line as a rule than allowing a human to have no preferred classes. Either way, they are penalized if a 3+ class character (not counting prestige classes) does not keep the two (or more) lower of the classes within +/- one level.

I also tend to agree with a Cha modifier of a negative number for the half-orc race. Maybe not +2 but still, this attribute should be penalized as they usually have a bad rep, and their facial features are sometimes, monsterous.

Just my adds to this discussion.

Dark Archive

Set wrote:
BM wrote:

There are several +1 LA races that are no stronger than the new +0 LA/Base/Core races. I would guess that Jason is planning to drop a number of +1 LA races to +0.

If had to guess:(Some of these races have HD)
Duergar, Gnolls, Hobgoblins, Lizardfolk, Locathah, Merfolk and both the Planetouched.

Races that are going to get a boost:
Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs.

I definitely like the sound of this. The racial HD thing could very well go the way of the dodo anyway (want a 2 HD Gnoll? Give it two levels of Warrior).

The only quibbles might be that some of the races have over-the-top levels of natural armor (does a Lizardfolk really need to have scales harder than Hide armor and equal to a steel Breastplate?). But that's easy enough to tweak, by cutting the Natural Armor down. If the Lizardfolk / Troglodytes / Sahuagin want uber ACs, they can wear armor or pump up their Dex like the rest of us. :)

I can see you point, but its not as bad as it looks at first. Kobolds once you add up the Dex mod, size mod, and Natural Armor to AC they have a +4 to their AC. Besides, out side the +5 NA Lizardfolk get what, hold breath, 2 claws and a bite? Just Knock it down a point and it will be fine. A race that can tank without crazy dex would be nice.

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BM wrote:
I can see you point, but its not as bad as it looks at first. Kobolds once you add up the Dex mod, size mod, and Natural Armor to AC they have a +4 to their AC. Besides, out side the +5 NA Lizardfolk get what, hold breath, 2 claws and a bite? Just Knock it down a point and it will be fine. A race that can tank without crazy dex would be nice.

Heck, knock it down to +2 or +3, and the Lizardfolk is still hands down awesome (and the equivalent of a Human with a 14 to 16 Dex, right out of the box, and able to keep it's NA bonus even if wearing Adamantine Full Plate!).

It's not like a medium sized creature with a +5 natural armor bonus isn't a bit over-the-top anyway, especially for one that doesn't have a 6" thick chitinous carapace!

Dark Archive

Set wrote:


Heck, knock it down to +2 or +3, and the Lizardfolk is still hands down awesome (and the equivalent of a Human with a 14 to 16 Dex, right out of the box, and able to keep it's NA bonus even if wearing Adamantine Full Plate!).

It's not like a medium sized creature with a +5 natural armor bonus isn't a bit over-the-top anyway, especially for one that doesn't have a 6" thick chitinous carapace!

True.. We both agree that it needs to be knocked down.. I can live the +3 NA.

I wonder if there is going to other races that are likely to effected by these new changes.

I hope so, as to me the more races that are playable the merrier.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My suggestion is to swap the favorite classes for elves and gnomes. Bard fits the stereotype created by JRR Tolkein for elves who evoked magic by singing while due to the Smurfs I just can't see gnomes as anything other than a wizard.

My gamming group is setting up to run the play test so I will be giving feedback in the near future.

Doug


Personally, I don't quite get the 'power creep' scare that a number of you seem to be under. Just because everyone defaults to 2 points higher in a stat means little more than the fact that people now have options to specialize, to a degree; who hasn't found themselves, for example, desperately reaching for that extra +1 modifier solely because they rolled a 15 rather than a 16? And who hasn't gotten a set of rolls, at one point or another, that honestly would leave a character to be more average than a number of NPCs? Simply because there is now extra room for specialization, and it doesn't average out to a net ability bonus of 0 (-2 for half-orcs) like it did before, doesn't mean there's an act of catering to the so-called "power-gamers."

The PCs are not meant to be representative, or anywhere near so, of a in-world population. They're supposed to be the "heroic" types; that is why PCs have PC classes, so on. So everyone, please stop rambling about powergamers like they shot your dog or something.

In addition, I also support the idea of humans getting a concession that is weapon-related and flexible, but I imagine that rather than an auto-proficiency (like the elves, which I still don't quite agree with; I would rather those specific weapons be treated as Simple than Martial for that race as opposed to being auto-proficient, to be honest), I would have it be a selectable familiarity for one or two weapons--that is to say, the tier of the selected weapon(s) is lowered one step for that character; either Exotic to Martial, or Martial to Simple. It would fit with the flexibility, and nip any silly ideas like the peasant-with-crossbow scenario detailed earlier in the thread. Not quite the same as an auto-proficiency, but enough to be notable as a feature, and flexible, as about anything else with humans.

Just my first post, really.

Liberty's Edge

I feel the extra +2 mental stat to each race is power creep. It's just *not* necessary.

I *do* agree with the Half-Orcs stat change, though. Dropping the -2 Charisma penalty fits. While they are still slightly dumber, thanks to their orcish heritage, they still have that animal magnetism.

If people feel Humans are getting the shaft, especially with the new combat feat rules and extra feats for everyone over 20 levels, then Humans could keep the +2 to any stat. This helps make Humans the adaptable race they (we) are.

The bonus martial weapon proficiency idea for Humans works well, too.

Cheers

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

cr0m wrote:


The half-orc wisdom bonus makes sense to me. Orcs are cunning buggers and wisdom is the hunting, ambushing and wariness stat.

Exactly the reason it made so much sense to me. The +2 to Wisdom said to me that they were more instinctual like an animal, whom all minimally have a +2 to Wisdom. ^^

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Aha! I knew there was something wrong with the retroactive Int for skills and it is damaged brains. Far worse a headache then all else would be tracking fluxatuating skill ranks!

With this in mind, I am now very much opposed to retro-intelligence. ^^;

And though hybrid does pose some problems in regards to PrC prereqs in skills not as much as it does so with the new skill system. At least it has a comparible and workable aptitude scale.

Then again it would just be simple enough to make prereqs in skills under the new system a required total bonus.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Lopke wrote:
I feel the extra +2 mental stat to each race is power creep. It's just *not* necessary.

Instead of adding +2 to each race's mental stats, I would prefer to see characters get an ability score increase every two levels instead of every four. Except! On 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, they have to pick a mental stat. On 4th level and four levels thereafter, they have to pick a physical stat.

That way, every character can have one good physical and one good mental stat; players get more options for customization; power creep isn't front-loaded into races; races more closely resemble their 3.5 selves; and non-iconic races (such as those from the Expanded Psionics Handbook) don't get hosed by omission.


Well, Half-Orcs still do not get a Charisma penalty while Dwarves do. I would rather Half-Orcs add a +2 to Con and a -2 to Cha to their ability modifiers and lose the +2 to Wis. That makes them have a combined +0 (compared to everyone else getting a +2 net gain) but their strengths are both combat-related and their weaknesses are the standard combat dump-stats.

I didn't notice before, but Humans no longer consider their highest-level class as favored, now they have to select one class at 1st level and, "once made, this choice cannot be changed." I am not sure I like the 'once made, this choice cannot be changed' being a part of any class/race/ability. Freedom of choice being in a GAME RULE limits character freedom and, this limitation in particular, does nothing to help maintain game balance.

Humans also no longer restrict Druidic as being a language Humans can select as one of their bonus starting languages. Given the severity of the penalties Druids take if they teach a non-Druid their languages I think this is a bad idea.

I do like that Humans can select one skill to always be a class skill at 1st level. I am normally against the 'make a choice and it stays forever' but I can understand retaining that aspect here for game balance. If someone was to change their racial class skill every level that would get ridiculous pretty quick.


Jason Grubiak wrote:


Do you think the Pathfinder Half-Orc should be +2Str +2Wis -2INT -2Cha?

Yep... especially because Dwarves still get the CHA penalty!

I'd go with the following ability score adjustments (assuming 1/2 Orcs don't get a CHA penalty and all races should have a net +2 to their ability scores):
Dwarf: +2 CON, +2 WIS, -DEX. Dwarves are tough and strong-willed, but stocky and not limber.
Elf: +2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CON. Elves are lithe and gifted learners, but are slight of build.
Gnome: +2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 STR. Gnomes are nimble and quick-witted, but small of size, limiting their strength.
Half-Elf: +2 to one stat
Half-Orc: +2 STR, +2 WIS, -2 INT. Half-orcs are powerfully built, and possessed of a strong-will, but are physical, not cerebral creatures.
Halfling: +2 DEX, +2 CON, -2 STR. Halflings are nimble and surprisingly tough, but small in size, limiting their strength.
Human: +2 to one stat.

So far, racial ability bonuses seem a little wonky to me... but I can always houserule that.

Dark Archive

Chris Perkins 88 wrote:
Dwarf: +2 CON (tough), +2 WIS (strong-willed), -2 DEX (stocky, not limber)

I've argued before the Dwarves should have a Dex penalty instead of a Cha penalty. The response from WotC design? 'Oh, but that doesn't make sense. They are supposed to be good craftsmen...'

My knee-jerk response, 'Do you even play your own game? Craft is Int-based! They could have Dex 3 and still be the best crafters in the universe. You don't have to be a gymnast to work in a smithy.'


Set wrote:
Chris Perkins 88 wrote:
Dwarf: +2 CON (tough), +2 WIS (strong-willed), -2 DEX (stocky, not limber)

I've argued before the Dwarves should have a Dex penalty instead of a Cha penalty. The response from WotC design? 'Oh, but that doesn't make sense. They are supposed to be good craftsmen...'

My knee-jerk response, 'Do you even play your own game? Craft is Int-based! They could have Dex 3 and still be the best crafters in the universe. You don't have to be a gymnast to work in a smithy.'

Agreed! In AD&D, dwarves had a DEX max of 17 and, in 3rd edition, shield dwarves take a hit to DEX in FR... so it's not too crazy to carry that over.

The problem with a CHR penalty is that CHR now represents how forceful one's presence is... which is why some undead have decent CHR scores (ghasts, for example, have a 16 CHR). I say leave CHR alone and adjust other ability scores with a mind towards racial flavor rather than mechanical benefits.

Dark Archive

Chris Perkins 88 wrote:
The problem with a CHR penalty is that CHR now represents how forceful one's presence is... which is why some undead have decent CHR scores (ghasts, for example, have a 16 CHR). I say leave CHR alone and adjust other ability scores with a mind towards racial flavor rather than mechanical benefits.

I could see a Half-Orc or a Half-Elf, trapped between two worlds and never feeling completely at home in either one, or a race with some sort of racial inferiority complex, as having a Charisma penalty.

But a clannish, oft-times over-proud, race with strong, forceful, loud and boisterous, even sometimes obnoxious and overbearing, personalities? Nah. Dwarves are depicted as far too dynamic and self-assured a people than a race with a Charisma penalty would suggest.

Plus I like the idea of Dwarven sorcerers, tapping into powers of earth and stone, or even the molten heart of the earth itself. Most of the races have a clear bent towards Wizardry or Sorcery, but the Dwarves seem ideally suited to have a mix of both.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

I'm still opposed to the idea of bringing back the half-orc's Cha Penalty it really doesn't make any sense. There is no reason a half-orc would lack force of personality.

If you think Orc, most think dumb and butt ugly. But the idea that orc's or those with orc heritage lack presense a room falls in the same realm as the arguement against the dwarf's CHA penalty.

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Anry wrote:

I'm still opposed to the idea of bringing back the half-orc's Cha Penalty it really doesn't make any sense. There is no reason a half-orc would lack force of personality.

If you think Orc, most think dumb and butt ugly. But the idea that orc's or those with orc heritage lack presense a room falls in the same realm as the arguement against the dwarf's CHA penalty.

My point wasn't that Half-Orcs should have a Cha penalty.

My point was, that of the core races, only the half-breeds even *make sense* to have a Cha penalty.

Dwarves, as presented in the game, are completely not suited to have a Cha penalty. The mechanics and the fluff are in direct contradiction.

If I had my druthers, every race would have a plus to one attribute (with humans getting to choose) and no penalties at all.

Even the -2 Strength for Gnomes and Halflings isn't strictly necessary, since both races have an effective penalty to Strength from their smaller weapon sizes and reduced carrying capacities. A Str 10 Halfling with a Longsword and Full-plate is going to move slower and not hit as hard as a Str 10 Human, so it's already factored in.


Anry wrote:

I'm still opposed to the idea of bringing back the half-orc's Cha Penalty it really doesn't make any sense. There is no reason a half-orc would lack force of personality.

If you think Orc, most think dumb and butt ugly. But the idea that orc's or those with orc heritage lack presense a room falls in the same realm as the arguement against the dwarf's CHA penalty.

At first I thought that, of any race, 1/2 Orcs should get the CHA penalty. Based on what I've been reading on these boards, I'd like to see none of the core races getting a CHA penalty.

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