Races and level progression


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Hello all,

I was wondering if this new iteration of the D&D rules could fix a particular system problem: Races only really matter at the first levels. The more powerful the characters get, the less racial benefits matter in said characters' background.

Can it be fixed?

Regards,

ZOOROOS


I have been granting a racial bonus ability at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels. Mostly skill bonus or 1/2 feats.

Sovereign Court

The counter-argument is...

If I get really good at spellcasting/fghting/sneaking/whatever and accrue experience of wild adventures in strange circumstances and places that normal folk never encounter - how does that make me more human than other humans? Is it even possible to be "more human".

TBH PCs are already getting a boost from the new rules, they don't need an extra racial bump as well.


Zooroos wrote:


I was wondering if this new iteration of the D&D rules could fix a particular system problem: Races only really matter at the first levels. The more powerful the characters get, the less racial benefits matter in said characters' background.

One way would be to go back to the Basic Edition, where "elf" was a class. Do away with race as a concept, and replace the each race with a class.

I'd not be enthiastic for it, but I can see how in some settings it might be appropiate to approach the game that way.


I made a suggestion awhile back on including racial feats. There would be 2 classes of feats. General and Racial. at 1st, 3rd, 6th etc... a PC would chose a general feat AND a racial feat. This could help develop PC races and help to make a dwarven fighter different then an elven fighter at 10th level.

Now the question is "Is two feats at every 3rd level too much?" I mean a dwarven fighter at 6th level would have 10 feats. (3 racial, 3 general and 4 fighter) at 12th he would have 15 (5 racial, 5 general and 6 fighter)

Maybe Racial feats could be developed to be less powerful adn more 'fluffy'.

just my 2 coppers.


I dont see that gaining extra racial abilities as you gain level is any more abstract than say gaining HP or improved saves. But look at it this way, in my campaign Dwarves get crafting bonuses and similar things as racial bonuses at higher levels. Its nothing big, it doesnt bump the power level up a whole lot.

Conceptually it represents that Dwarves in my world are naturally crafters and are always whittling or something in their off time. It allows the player to sink their skill points into other more "useful" skills while still allowing for the stereotypical (in my world at least) master craftsman dwarf.

As for the extra racial bump that they are already getting, the idea would be to move those bumps from 1st level to the later levels.

Racial abilities that are granted later would be a way to reinforce racial niches in a campaign world without forcing a player to spend resources on them.

{Edit} Though elsewhere people are talking about creating "Racial Feats" that a character could take if they choose, this may be a better solution as far as keeping in power levels and compatibility.

GeraintElberion wrote:

The counter-argument is...

If I get really good at spellcasting/fghting/sneaking/whatever and accrue experience of wild adventures in strange circumstances and places that normal folk never encounter - how does that make me more human than other humans? Is it even possible to be "more human".

TBH PCs are already getting a boost from the new rules, they don't need an extra racial bump as well.

Scarab Sages

I like the idea of Racial Feats for both building on a race's inherent traits and tying in to the race's favored class.

More along those lines in the Racial Feats thread.

Edit: I've also since updated my own House Rule notes so the first feat in the tree (+4 to any skill from race's favored class) is instead +2 to any 2 skills from the race's favored class. This is more like the existing "+2 to two skills" feats, and I always like to re-use familiar rules whenever I can get away with it.


Baquies wrote:

But look at it this way, in my campaign Dwarves get crafting bonuses and similar things as racial bonuses at higher levels. Its nothing big, it doesnt bump the power level up a whole lot.

Conceptually it represents that Dwarves in my world are naturally crafters and are always whittling or something in their off time. It allows the player to sink their skill points into other more "useful" skills while still allowing for the stereotypical (in my world at least) master craftsman dwarf.

I like this sort of thing. Anything that helps make a character more interesting without changing the amount of power. I've seen a fair bit of "You can have one additional skill point per level if it is spent on a Profession skill" as a rounding tool.


A lot of good ideas here. Sadly, I don't know the D&D system that well to comment on these ideas, but I agree with Baique in that racial benefits do not need to be empowering, just interesting. All I knew before now was the racial level system from the World of Warcraft rpg, but since I generally dislike multiclassing, it didn't totally pleased me.

Still I think something is missing. Maybe racial exclusive feats, or social benefits like those found in the PHB II's Affiliations...

Any thoughts?

Regards,

ZOOROOS

P.S.: I've realized Racial feats have already been discussed upthread, so my apologies. I'm going to read it more closely.


I would welcome racial feats, but that's it. Nothing beyond.

Races should not have that much of an impact. The reason for this is: In 3e, if you don't like the race, you can easily change it: So you don't want your elves to be master wizards. Just get rid of the spell power part (from Alpha 1.1) and the int bonus (again, from Alpha 1.1) and add, say, wis, and give them woodland stride and BAM! - you got woodsy druid elves.

If you add racial abilities every level, changing a race's flavour becomes a huge undertaking, since you basically change a whole class.

Feaelin wrote:


One way would be to go back to the Basic Edition, where "elf" was a class. Do away with race as a concept, and replace the each race with a class.

I really didn't like this part of D&D - though I never played the editions that did that, I was a bit involved in a D&D rip-off RPG that had this fusion of race and class until very recently.


I also think that races should give their classes a special "racial color" by some measures. If you grant racial feats every other level, and think it's too powerful, maybe racial "half levels" are ok.

One example I use in my FR home campaign: Some where in "So saith Ed", Ed Greenwood mentions that elves can produce two seperate tones with their voice. So elven bards in my campaigns can select a racial feat that allows them to do some crunchy stuff.
Another example: Gold Elves get a flat bonus to any skill check, if they have enough time to study a problem at hand.
These things maybe not usefull in all situations, but give a lot of flavor to the races. I prefer something like "racial half-feats" every at even level.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I'd like to see perhaps alternative classes levels like we saw in WOTC's Races books, but that's about it as far as racial bonuses go.


Another advantage of my approach would be:
*No need for paragon levels.
*more flexible than substitude levels
*a single system (compared to paragon and substitude)
*and you can handle powerful races more easily. Give them ECL 0 Powers and all other powers later as racial feats


Where, in Pathfinder RPG, do we have paragon levels???

Racial feats...truth be told, why bother? It makes the system even more complex and opens the floodgates for power-rangerness.

Some races are better at some stuff than others. So what? Do they have to become better at that stuff every time they gain a level? That's like saying: "Oh, the (enter random "race" here) are better farmers, so when that dude finishes school he is automatically also a better farmer"

Sorry, that doesn't sound right at all.

A non-ECL class has its edges in the beginning and that's that, if that were to change you could start with 4e. Pathfinder is to retain the classic (A)D&D feel, and as such races got their bonus in the beginning and that's that.

The racial substitution levels are a different kind of game, because they make sense, and yet have no place in the core-book.

Also, instead of having ECL-races, one could go with the Savage Species system and let the ECL-races start out as "younglings" who grow into their racial-role first (gaining all the bonuses) and then turning "professional"


Archgamer wrote:
Where, in Pathfinder RPG, do we have paragon levels???

Nowhere. That's part of D&D 3.5 system which is compatible to PRPG

Archgamer wrote:


Racial feats...truth be told, why bother? It makes the system even more complex and opens the floodgates for power-rangerness.

Because it's cool. It don't makes the system more complex, because it uses the commonly known concept of feats

Archgamer wrote:


Some races are better at some stuff than others. So what? Do they have to become better at that stuff every time they gain a level? That's like saying: "Oh, the (enter random "race" here) are better farmers, so when that dude finishes school he is automatically also a better farmer"

* Races meant for players can be balanced better

* The example is lame. Sorry man.

Archgamer wrote:


A non-ECL class has its edges in the beginning and that's that, if that were to change you could start with 4e. Pathfinder is to retain the classic (A)D&D feel, and as such races got their bonus in the beginning and that's that.

Nope. There were already approaches in 3.5 which tried to solve some race issues. THis has nothing to do with 4E

Archgamer wrote:


The racial substitution levels are a different kind of game, because they make sense, and yet have no place in the core-book.

If you start to solve race issues by tinkering with classes, you quickly get on the wrong road. Make Elves better with the bows as they progress, and there is no need to change core classes with substitution levels.

I don't need this to be in the core book. But I like to see the concept somewhere

Archgamer wrote:


Also, instead of having ECL-races, one could go with the Savage Species system and let the ECL-races start out as "younglings" who grow into their racial-role first (gaining all the bonuses) and then turning "professional"

Well savage species is all about that, break down the powerful abilities, and grant them as the character progresses, but not as a class. Impßrove the race features


Brix wrote:


Nowhere. That's part of D&D 3.5 system which is compatible to PRPG

IIRC Paragon levels are not mentioned in any of the 3.5 rules, Paragon levels is in 4e.

You do have racial paragons mentioned in UA, but that's bout it... IIRC


Yeaha.
That's what I'm talking about racial paragon levels.
Not that modern thingie of 4E ;o)

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