So, About These New Races...


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


A little while ago, I made a thread complaining about 'pretty planetouched'. This thread was horribly researched, and I'd prefer to forget it was ever posted.
I mostly posted it because I thought I disliked the new races, and was therefore biased.
But with Bestiary 3, I have to realize that I don't dislike these races. I actually like them quite a bit. Some of them seem pretty cool.

In fact, my actual reason for disliking them is a bit abnormal for me. I normally go on about how awesome monstrous races are. But over time, I've gotten used to Pathfinder focusing on humans. In fact, I've grown fond of a human-focus, and use it in most of my own creative projects.
So my problem with the new races isn't that I don't like them, but that I feel their existence is betraying one of the main themes of Pathfinder. I think it was once said that the 'too many races' scenario would be averted by making more classes instead. Now it looks like we're getting both.

Anyway, there're my two cents. Thoughts?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

A little while ago, I made a thread complaining about 'pretty planetouched'. This thread was horribly researched, and I'd prefer to forget it was ever posted.

I mostly posted it because I thought I disliked the new races, and was therefore biased.
But with Bestiary 3, I have to realize that I don't dislike these races. I actually like them quite a bit. Some of them seem pretty cool.

In fact, my actual reason for disliking them is a bit abnormal for me. I normally go on about how awesome monstrous races are. But over time, I've gotten used to Pathfinder focusing on humans. In fact, I've grown fond of a human-focus, and use it in most of my own creative projects.
So my problem with the new races isn't that I don't like them, but that I feel their existence is betraying one of the main themes of Pathfinder. I think it was once said that the 'too many races' scenario would be averted by making more classes instead. Now it looks like we're getting both.

Anyway, there're my two cents. Thoughts?

Personally, I feel that the humanocentricity is primarially a character of Golarion, and the Inner Sea region in particular. It's good that the Bestiaries are expaanding the options as it allows support for other worlds and playstyles

Dark Archive

The oread, sylph, etc. are new enough that I haven't seen a lot of them being used in the setting itself. Indeed, with the appearance of an aasimar nation in Dragon Empires, we're just catching up to Bestary 1 races making an impact on the setting!

If I found that the abundance of non-human races was starting to give my game too much of a 'Star Wars cantina' feel, I'd dial back on trivial mentions of them. Most NPCs of any given race don't seem so strongly tied to that race that it *really* matters to their motivation and playstyle if I change it. A tiefling NPC could be regarded as possibly fiend-touched, without necessarily being an actual tiefling, if I decide that I don't want a tiefling *race,* in my version of the setting (or just want them to be much, much rarer).

Similarly, if I see an NPC Dhampir or Changeling and am not interested in using that specific race, or, at least, am not interested in using it here, it's easy enough to make them human, racially, and blow the bonus feat on something appropriate (such as a made-up feat that causes one to react to channeled positive / negative energy as if undead, unique to this dude, or something).

The Race Guide coming out is probably going to open a can of worms, in that regard, as it not only tosses in a bunch of new races, but explicitly encourages GMs to come up with their own. Because it's a Paizo rulebook, writers of adventures are likely to feel that ratfolk and catfolk and whatever are 'fair game' and use them as liberally as they would an Ifrit or an Undine (which, in my experience, hasn't exactly been a whole bunch anyway...), whether or not these races have been inserted into the Golarion setting.

The longer you end up gaming, the more these upstarts show up. To me, the aasimar and tieflings are still newcomers, and their newness shows in that it's taken this many years for one of them to be incorporated into a setting other than Planescape. I think we've got a long ways to go before the various Bestiary 3 races (or the Strix, or the Gillmen, or the Suli) become so enmeshed into the setting that it becomes more than the work of crossing out a word and writing in 'human' to airbrush them out of the pictures we are building in our heads.


I never really saw GMs being able to make new races as a problem. The thing is, even though a GM can normally take great liberties with the books, these races are still canon in Golarion--and thus PFSOP. Not as playable races, but they're there.
Admittedly, I have never been in PFSOP. But the point stands. I am speaking on behalf of the poor, downtrodden monster-hating PFSOPers who don't have the courage to--
Wait. This is stupid and melodramatic.

Anyways, I just think that it's not all that consistent. I personally hate to ban so many races that seem so interesting, and I probably won't. So I guess I should be cursing Paizo for giving so many choices. >:|

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I never really saw GMs being able to make new races as a problem. The thing is, even though a GM can normally take great liberties with the books, these races are still canon in Golarion--and thus PFSOP. Not as playable races, but they're there.

Admittedly, I have never been in PFSOP. But the point stands. I am speaking on behalf of the poor, downtrodden monster-hating PFSOPers who don't have the courage to--
Wait. This is stupid and melodramatic.

Anyways, I just think that it's not all that consistent. I personally hate to ban so many races that seem so interesting, and I probably won't. So I guess I should be cursing Paizo for giving so many choices. >:|

Actually, these races are not PFSOP valid. Except for occasional convention "play a tiefling" boon, the PFSOP is limited to core races.


I wrote:
Not as playable races, but they're there.

Do you mean they don't appear in PFS at all? If not, see the quote.

If you do, then I'm mostly silenced on the issue.


Gorbacz wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I never really saw GMs being able to make new races as a problem. The thing is, even though a GM can normally take great liberties with the books, these races are still canon in Golarion--and thus PFSOP. Not as playable races, but they're there.

Admittedly, I have never been in PFSOP. But the point stands. I am speaking on behalf of the poor, downtrodden monster-hating PFSOPers who don't have the courage to--
Wait. This is stupid and melodramatic.

Anyways, I just think that it's not all that consistent. I personally hate to ban so many races that seem so interesting, and I probably won't. So I guess I should be cursing Paizo for giving so many choices. >:|

Actually, these races are not PFSOP valid. Except for occasional convention "play a tiefling" boon, the PFSOP is limited to core races.

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Read more slowly next time.


It seems to me there is an assumption that new possibilites makes those possibilities common. Long before 4e there were half dragons that did not require a culture and nation. The were just isolated annomialies. Tieflings througout 2e and 3.xe were similarly rare and part of a larger culture. For some reason this fluff was replaces so you could have entire nations of hored tiefs and dragos. I certainly have nothing against a new race that is a major player on the same level as the old standbys but the idea that each race needs an entire nation somewhere on the map and to freely able to move about society does not need to necessarily follow.


Belle Mythix wrote:


Read more slowly next time.

To be fair, I did make it a bit of an afterthought. I reread it, realized a potential misunderstanding and tacked on the 'not as core races' bit.

Gnomezrule wrote:
It seems to me there is an assumption that new possibilites makes those possibilities common. Long before 4e there were half dragons that did not require a culture and nation. The were just isolated annomialies. Tieflings througout 2e and 3.xe were similarly rare and part of a larger culture. For some reason this fluff was replaces so you could have entire nations of hored tiefs and dragos. I certainly have nothing against a new race that is a major player on the same level as the old standbys but the idea that each race needs an entire nation somewhere on the map and to freely able to move about society does not need to necessarily follow.

Oh, I'm not making all that much of an assumption. I've seen a good few of these races used. I saw a changeling used pretty soon after changelings came out, and I play in a game that contains a dhampir and a sylph. Admittedly, the latter isn't a Golarion game, but these races do seem to be fairly popular.


@ Kobold Cleaver, I was replying to Gorbacz.


I definatly understand what you mean. I guess what I am saying is that popular or even common choices by players and adventure writers does not translate into common in any world you play.


Belle Mythix wrote:
@ Kobold Cleaver, I was replying to Gorbacz.

I know.

And Gnomez, I get that. It just bugs me when a 'rare' race is used as a PC with little second thought. There are a lot of gamers who don't take rarity into account when designing a character. And that kinda bugs me.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:
@ Kobold Cleaver, I was replying to Gorbacz.

I know.

And Gnomez, I get that. It just bugs me when a 'rare' race is used as a PC with little second thought. There are a lot of gamers who don't take rarity into account when designing a character. And that kinda bugs me.

I said 'bugs me' twice in one paragraph.

*Shame*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, misread the post. Move along, nothing to see here. Except maybe for the fact that I would only mind "monster" races if they went PFS legal, as long as they're hanging somewhere in the background... I'm fine.


Gorbacz wrote:
Ah, misread the post. Move along, nothing to see here. Except maybe for the fact that I would only mind "monster" races if they went PFS legal, as long as they're hanging somewhere in the background... I'm fine.

I'll know they're there, though. Watching. Waiting.

O.O
The Bestiary 2 and 3 races come when you sleep.
They're always waiting for you to sleep.
Sleeeeep.
Yeah. Anyways.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

PCs are suppose to break molds and be rarities, they are unique snow flakes. They are the stars of movies but on that note, when I pick a race out side of the Core, I ask the GM for a green or red light. If green, yay, if red then I pick a new race. One day I will play my great sword sneak attacking rogue tengu, hopefully.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, i allow core races only in my games...and to be honest, it is a little difficult to have my players play anything else then humans...sigh...i want to see a dwarf in one of my games...i love dwarves...


Hama wrote:
Yeah, i allow core races only in my games...and to be honest, it is a little difficult to have my players play anything else then humans...sigh...i want to see a dwarf in one of my games...i love dwarves...

No love for the dwarven cleric at your tables?


Hama wrote:
Yeah, i allow core races only in my games...and to be honest, it is a little difficult to have my players play anything else then humans...sigh...i want to see a dwarf in one of my games...i love dwarves...

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Humans have 3 advantages; bonus Feat, Bonus Skill point and no negative racial ability modifier... only reason to play other races (in some cases) is for special abilities/senses.


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Belle Mythix wrote:
Hama wrote:
Yeah, i allow core races only in my games...and to be honest, it is a little difficult to have my players play anything else then humans...sigh...i want to see a dwarf in one of my games...i love dwarves...

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Humans have 3 advantages; bonus Feat, Bonus Skill point and no negative racial ability modifier... only reason to play other races (in some cases) is for special abilities/senses.

And maybe, just possibly, roleplaying flavor.


Halfling Barbarian wrote:


And maybe, just possibly, roleplaying flavor.

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oops, that too, if the Players are into in.


I agree to the sentiment. Annoys me when PC don't take this 'rarity' into consideration. Their entire thought process consists of: "Ooh shiny, want to play."

I've used this alot in my Serpent's skull campaign. Very Humanocentric.
Core party consists of a Chelish Alchemist, Varisian Fighter, Thuvian Oracle/Sorceror and a Half-Elf Summoner from the expanse. Racial predjeudice has played a big part in npc interactions. The Mwangi tribesmen don't trust the pale ones or 'Wachibi'. The colonials mistreat the summoner, tho to be fair as he's got wild elf blood in him and rides around atop an extraplanar Chipekwe (triceratops). The locals ain't too keen on him either. The Thuvian Theurge ends up getting mistaken for a travelling merchant or ambassador all the time. Plus thats just with maintaining a sense of reality for a mostly human party.

Players have come and gone, that have tried to fit the setting better. As Mwangi rangers or Druids. Our newest 'regular' tho has a thing for elves. And I don't just mean wild elves or elves that are wanderers. He goes the whole shebang with elvish culture and character history. We had to work on it alot to make his concept work. And that was just for a core race. Since that characters unexpected death (hehe aged dynamite) everyone's rushing to make backup character. The Tamest ideas are Orcs and Gnomes. But now they want to play Ifrit, Tengu, Catfolk, Dhampir, Ratfolk, Vanara. All sorts of whacky races. Makes me wonder how on earth I'm going to try and makes these fit into the setting. And the mere suggestion of limiting the options ended in a near player revolt.

So here's me wondering if in 6 months, Explorers will find the remains of staggeringly diverse humanoids. Slain by frightened locals who thought them some manner of demons. Probably with with an ominous totem of multiracial skulls overlooking the grave as a reminder to players to take setting realism seriously...


Belle Mythix wrote:
Hama wrote:
Yeah, i allow core races only in my games...and to be honest, it is a little difficult to have my players play anything else then humans...sigh...i want to see a dwarf in one of my games...i love dwarves...

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Humans have 3 advantages; bonus Feat, Bonus Skill point and no negative racial ability modifier... only reason to play other races (in some cases) is for special abilities/senses.

dwarves get darkvision, +2 to two different stats, +2 against compulsion and enchantment. However I agree humans are usually statistically better.


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Dwarves are also nice if you plan to wear medium or heavy armor, and don't want to spend on mithral for movement.

I like half elf and half orc too: Half elf can get that will save bonus or ancestral weapon and half orc have a lot of weapon/natural weapon options as well as those lucky tattoos and darkvision.

Most of the new races are 'nice' but I haven't seen them used much beyond the, "I would like to play this specific character that is built around this race."

As opposed to "Well I'm going to play an (x) so I think I'll choose (y) race because its so good."

Now after the material in the races guide comes out who knows? But for now I think there are enough options and reasons to choose the core races over any other to keep them front and central.


Non-humans are better for 'minmaxing'. Elves make good wizards and excellent alchemists. Dwarves do well as druids. Halflings are good for...uh... ;P
In other words, from a statistical side, humans are good overall, but I believe nonhumans are best when specialized.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Non-humans are better for 'minmaxing'. Elves make good wizards and excellent alchemists. Dwarves do well as druids. Halflings are good for...uh... ;P

In other words, from a statistical side, humans are good overall, but I believe nonhumans are best when specialized.

Depends if you need the extra feat or not. Dwarves also make good monks.


For next game I plan either elven druid or dwarven ninja or rogue (heh, random character rolls :D) and I really don't care about being optimal.


I for one love my surly dwarves for roleplaying and ass kicking. all the silly people just going for OPTIMIZED, might be better off with diablo or whatever other electronic versions of roleplaying they find that suits thier flavor. To me it just shows too many people losing focus on a big part of the game, which is the story and experiencing it with your friends. Games are about having fun, whatever that means to you so I may be off base and offending some people. I apologize for that but thats the way I think things should go.

Asta
PSY

Shadow Lodge

I find humans, half elves and half orcs are generally very popular with point buy as you can put a +2 into any stat. As none of the core races have a bonus to strength, this makes an 18 strength possible without the huge point burn. In min-maxing terms, 18 strength is very important...

Humans also have the extra skill point per level. This means you can dump intelligence and still have 2 or 3 skill points per level as a fighter, cleric or sorcerer.

With the races build, or new races appearing, anyone with a bonus to strength I can imagine being very popular, such as the oread. Also if a race mimics the human skill bonus ability, it would certainly have mileage with min-maxers.

Sovereign Court

Not everybody minmaxes...nobody should, really...

No, no love for dwarves at my table...sigh...actualy, no love for anything, except that one of oru players ALWAYS plays a half elf rogue called Miron Sheol. ALLWAYS. I have forbidden him from doing it again in my games. Now he goes with half-elf sorcerers called Morat Shuker...yeah...no imagination there.


Halflings are great for cavaliers, rogues, archers of all varieties, dervish bards, and, belive it or not, sneaky barbarians.

Dwarfs, halflings, and gnomes provide my absolute favorite roleplaying opportunities (and possibly now ratmen, especially if there are catfolk in the group...).


Zmar wrote:
For next game I plan either elven druid or dwarven ninja or rogue (heh, random character rolls :D) and I really don't care about being optimal.

Neither do I. I love creating a build that'll only be relatively useful in whatever scenario it focuses on. Who wants to roleplay a star? ::3

I said that nonhumans are better for specialized characters, but I didn't say I cared about the specialization.
Aside from my goblin rogue with a 22 Dex +20 Stealth.
>> <<


John Templeton wrote:
PCs are suppose to break molds and be rarities, they are unique snow flakes. They are the stars of movies but on that note, when I pick a race out side of the Core, I ask the GM for a green or red light. If green, yay, if red then I pick a new race. One day I will play my great sword sneak attacking rogue tengu, hopefully.

Tengu are core now, as of DEG; go go ninja Braveheart.


I keep seeing people posting about changelings, where are they printed? My search fu must be broken, because I can't find them.


Changeling


Fantastic! Many thanks, Abraham. Also, that page is incredibly useful.

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