Race choice doesn't matter enough


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One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there. A +2 to a stat, a few +2s to some skills...they tend to mean less and less as you acquire levels, feats, magic items and class abilities. A few racial abilities stick around as being useful, but by and large characters of different races but otherwise identical tend to play and feel almost identically (role-playing aside).

Do any of you feel the same way? Have any of you come up with solutions to this problem?

I know that one of the stated design goals for 4th Edition was to address this problem, though I don't recall it doing a very good job of that during the limited amount of time I spent with that system.

We have race-restricted/targeted feats that are available to further emphasize and define our race selection, but those feats are typically weaker than other feats available at the same levels, often being too narrowly focused on secondary or tertiary concerns, so there is little incentive to pick them over something that more directly and significantly benefits your character.

I was thinking that a possible solution could be to grant special racial bonus feats as you level. These would ONLY be used for feats that have your race as a requirement (ie., Elven Battle Training, which has the prerequisites of BAB +1 and Elf). Obviously, some races would need more feats added to provide a large enough selection to A) present actual decisions for your selections, and B) actually have enough feats available to fill the bonus feat slots). I was thinking that these could occur at level 5 and every 5 levels thereafter (10, 15, 20), or possibly a little more frequently than that.

Thoughts?


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I would suggest looking more into the newly released race guide that has special racial features for every potentially playable race that paizo has put out.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
yeti1069 wrote:

One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there. A +2 to a stat, a few +2s to some skills...they tend to mean less and less as you acquire levels, feats, magic items and class abilities. A few racial abilities stick around as being useful, but by and large characters of different races but otherwise identical tend to play and feel almost identically (role-playing aside).

Do any of you feel the same way? Have any of you come up with solutions to this problem?

I know that one of the stated design goals for 4th Edition was to address this problem, though I don't recall it doing a very good job of that during the limited amount of time I spent with that system.

We have race-restricted/targeted feats that are available to further emphasize and define our race selection, but those feats are typically weaker than other feats available at the same levels, often being too narrowly focused on secondary or tertiary concerns, so there is little incentive to pick them over something that more directly and significantly benefits your character.

I was thinking that a possible solution could be to grant special racial bonus feats as you level. These would ONLY be used for feats that have your race as a requirement (ie., Elven Battle Training, which has the prerequisites of BAB +1 and Elf). Obviously, some races would need more feats added to provide a large enough selection to A) present actual decisions for your selections, and B) actually have enough feats available to fill the bonus feat slots). I was thinking that these could occur at level 5 and every 5 levels thereafter (10, 15, 20), or possibly a little more frequently than that.

Thoughts?

I don't like this. It's bad enough that just about every fighter is dullared, every wizard is a weakling, and so on... I don't want race to be such an impact that every barbarian is a half-orc, every wizard is an elf, and whatnot because the racial bonuses are just too good to ignore. I think the racial differences are fine as it is.


Quote:
A +2 to a stat, a few +2s to some skills...they tend to mean less and less as you acquire levels, feats, magic items and class abilities.

Actually when you're talking about optimizing statistics, they mean more. At a certain point you can't get better stats without having the racial bonuses.


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The race restricted Feats that currently exist are bad enough, why would you want more?


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I don't know of a summoner build that isn't a half-elf. The bonus Evolution Points is too good to pass up.

Contributor

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yeti1069 wrote:

...(role-playing aside)....

Thoughts?

My thought is that perhaps role-playing games aren't for you.


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Human spontaneous caster. Makes it had to choose anything else for that role.


I think yeti has a point. That will class bases specialization that race can be lost in the noise.

I think that some defining features of the races are the tactics that players use as those races. (assuming you are a class that only gets simple weapons having a race that provides you with a specific weapon can make (almost any class) function and operate different without said weapon.

As Jakynth said, there is also the alternate racial features, to help expand on the differences between races (and even other members of the same race)

I think my last point will be as yeti mentioned, the role playing, but not just that, but the NPC's reactions to the players. Consider an elf or dwarf with deep seeded hatred to each other (yeah tough to imagine right?) if one of those races were part of the party, There's a huge importance to that. Not just those kinds of interactions either, but something less confrontational as well.

I also dont think that any racial bonus feats would be necessary, but if all characters get it, then I dont see any balance issues (maybe CR's will need to go up a bit)

But I think that the little importance put on races is something your group should consider without any mathematical changes.


In my area: Apparently trend breakers.

I see a variety of races for all areas.

I see gnome witches and wizards and clerics.
I see non-half-orc barbarians (and we almost had a game of Accented fine gentlemen barbarians at that.)

Also, apparently dead catfolk.


All great things have small beginnings.


Marthian wrote:

In my area: Apparently trend breakers.

I see a variety of races for all areas.

I see gnome witches and wizards and clerics.
I see non-half-orc barbarians (and we almost had a game of Accented fine gentlemen barbarians at that.)

Also, apparently dead catfolk.

I try to make it a point to play and create characters without these preconceptions of race/class combinations.

Though I also have players to tend to the human or elf only side, or just human only. Many think that the bonus feat is too good to pass up.

(main notes, Dwarf Bard (flavored as a forge ringer, crafter)
Gnome Samurai (it's a gnome samurai, enough said)


Christopher Rowe wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

...(role-playing aside)....

Thoughts?

My thought is that perhaps role-playing games aren't for you.

Thanks for being constructive...


I'd forgotten about the expanded race options. Favored class bonuses help a little in some cases.


Rynjin wrote:
The race restricted Feats that currently exist are bad enough, why would you want more?

If by "bad" you mean not worth taking, then that is kind of my point, because if you look at them, some of them ARE interesting, or kind of strong, just not enough so to warrant giving up a standard feat for. I'm sure some dwarves would LOVE to have the dwarven cleave feats, and just about anyone playing an Aasimar would like to get wings and such.

While I agree that some of the current racial bonuses strongly push certainly classes towards certain races (as mentioned, Summoners toward half-elves), I'd think that adding the option to pick up some racial feats, which may not necessarily be directly in line with the other racial bonuses, would provide some incentive to mix a little more. Sure, an Aasimar may make a fairly mediocre barbarian when looking at its basic stats, features, and favored class options, but when you look at the racial feats they can get, they start to look more attractive to a lot of classes.

That was the thinking behind this, anyway.


Race has always seemed to be a pretty big deal to me. Granted the changes are most obvious in the beginning, but they certainly shape how a character develops.

Things like darkvision and low-light vision change how a character interacts with exploring caves and other poorly lit areas. If you get a race with Scent, it can easily change how easily you find/track other creatures that might be difficult to find.

A +2 to a stat, especially a primary stat, can have two different effects. You can either take advantage of this to get a 20 on the stat right off the bat, which gives you a permanent 2 points over everyone without that boost that can't be made up, or you can use it to turn a lower stat (15/16 probably) into a higher stat and save a lot of points when buying stats through a point buy system. This lets you make a much more versatile character.

A number of other racials give specific but significant bonuses to a variety of things. Catfolk can roll one Reflex save twice once per day. Halflings get a +1 to all saves, which is worth at least a feat. Ratfolk can swarm. Dhampirs react uniquely to negative energy. Elves gain a bonus to penetrate SR, which is worth a feat (and an important one, at that). Gnomes gain Spell-like abilities. Half-orcs get to fight for an extra round before they go down.

All of these things make your race an important choice. I have seen many of these abilities impact play at a variety of levels, and this isn't even touching the social aspects of each race in the game world.


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I mean bad because it locks you into a certain race if you want some Feats that would make a lot of sense for there to be available to everyone.

Elven Accuracy, for example. Or Cleave Through.

Race SHOULDN'T matter too much beyond RP value and a tiny bit of class optimization. It keeps variety going.

Think about if Power Attack was Half-Orc only. Would you ever use any other race for a Fighter or Barbarian?


Rynjin wrote:

I mean bad because it locks you into a certain race if you want some Feats that would make a lot of sense for there to be available to everyone.

Elven Accuracy, for example. Or Cleave Through.

Race SHOULDN'T matter too much beyond RP value and a tiny bit of class optimization. It keeps variety going.

Think about if Power Attack was Half-Orc only. Would you ever use any other race for a Fighter or Barbarian?

Good point. To add on to this, it would just push race/class boundaries further, if they received 'race' based feats that coincided with specific classes or build, then that race would be deeper engraved into that class. And I know I'm not just looking for statistical advantages when I pick a class. (Elven archers would be better elven archers, pushing any archer to be an elf. etc)


Rynjin wrote:

I mean bad because it locks you into a certain race if you want some Feats that would make a lot of sense for there to be available to everyone.

Elven Accuracy, for example. Or Cleave Through.

Race SHOULDN'T matter too much beyond RP value and a tiny bit of class optimization. It keeps variety going.

Think about if Power Attack was Half-Orc only. Would you ever use any other race for a Fighter or Barbarian?

depends on if other races get roughly-equivalent feats or not.


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Ok, to the elf (wizard) with +2 spell pen got brought up, which is an improvement if you were going to pick up both Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration, but if you weren't planning on doing that, you could be a human with the same +2 spell pen at level 1 (taking the feat), the same Int, no penalty to Con, and +1 skill point per level.

A human could pick up Die Hard, which may or may not be better than the half-orc ability (Die Hard needs some clarification in its description), while gaining an extra skill point per level (and not being shunned by most other humanoid species).

Darkvision and low-light vision are very strong abilities, but can be replicated down the line with magic items and spells.

I do kind of agree that some of the racial feats feel like they should be open to everyone, but I also see them as a way of further defining a character, as members of that race, in a certain class (or classes) have a different style than those of other races in the same class(es) when using those feats, but it never comes up, because no one ever takes the feats.


Dot.


Rynjin wrote:
Elven Accuracy, for example. Or Cleave Through.

I've never looked too much at Cleave Through, but Elven Accuracy has always bugged me. Something that can be immensely useful to any archer, but it is only available for Elves? Why does that make sense? I feel racial feats should only be restricted to things that actually build off of a race's actual features.

As for the effect race has after choosing it... Eh, I think it's pretty good as is. The class is really what determines most of your stats, but a good +2 or -2 in the right spots can make a difference, from level 1 to 20. But not so big a difference that it would make certain class/race combos completely gimped. I think it's pretty well balanced as it is now.


Katz wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I mean bad because it locks you into a certain race if you want some Feats that would make a lot of sense for there to be available to everyone.

Elven Accuracy, for example. Or Cleave Through.

Race SHOULDN'T matter too much beyond RP value and a tiny bit of class optimization. It keeps variety going.

Think about if Power Attack was Half-Orc only. Would you ever use any other race for a Fighter or Barbarian?

depends on if other races get roughly-equivalent feats or not.

With a mechanic like feats, you'll always end up with some options being vastly better than other.


Dooooot.


If you look at the elven racial feats, they would be pretty good on a character you want more heavily focused in a particular wilderness setting...a guide, a local explorer, an exceptional ranger...but grant too small a benefit and require too many feats invested to be very attractive unless you somehow magically just have an excess of feats available.


Marthian wrote:

In my area: Apparently trend breakers.

I see a variety of races for all areas.

I see gnome witches and wizards and clerics.
I see non-half-orc barbarians (and we almost had a game of Accented fine gentlemen barbarians at that.)

Also, apparently dead catfolk.

I played an elf barbarian in Legacy of fire when my monk died... now that i think of it, a catfolk barbarian could be really interesting.


Race is almost always the first thing I start at when I begin designing a character's personality and history.

If I have an idea for a character that already includes personality and/or history, I usually look at what race fits that, rather than the stats it gives. Sometimes the ideas I have are actually antithesis, so I might play a clever half-orc, if that's what comes to me.

Maybe that's just me, but in terms of roleplay, race usually matters the most.


Obviously, RPing trumps just about everything else, which also means that mechanics are generally fairly separate from such things. That in turn means that the mechanical value of a race tends to be irrelevant to those decisions.

I make a lot of my character choices based on RPing to one degree or another. That doesn't change my belief that the choice of race has an increasingly smaller impact upon the development and strengths of a character as they gain levels.


If the intent is to make races have more pronounced attributes then I say theres no good reason for it. If the intent is for the GM to provide more campaign flavor with respect to people playin wierd stuff I say absolutely.


yeti1069 wrote:

Obviously, RPing trumps just about everything else, which also means that mechanics are generally fairly separate from such things. That in turn means that the mechanical value of a race tends to be irrelevant to those decisions.

I make a lot of my character choices based on RPing to one degree or another. That doesn't change my belief that the choice of race has an increasingly smaller impact upon the development and strengths of a character as they gain levels.

You still haven't explained why it's a BAD thing that the choice of race has fairly negligible impact later on.


Rynjin wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

Obviously, RPing trumps just about everything else, which also means that mechanics are generally fairly separate from such things. That in turn means that the mechanical value of a race tends to be irrelevant to those decisions.

I make a lot of my character choices based on RPing to one degree or another. That doesn't change my belief that the choice of race has an increasingly smaller impact upon the development and strengths of a character as they gain levels.

You still haven't explained why it's a BAD thing that the choice of race has fairly negligible impact later on.

Because it tends to result in characters that feel to similar down the line. The keen eyesight of the elves doesn't seem so keen when the difference is a score of, say, +20 and one of +22, and even less so if you're looking at a class that doesn't give Perception as a class skill, or has too few points to keep that at max, vs. one that does both.

A dwarf fighter, a half-orc fighter, and a human fighter have some inherent differences, yeah, but later on the differences become fairly slight as class features and equipment eclipse or replicate many of those differences.

I like the idea of races having more meaning to them. If you read a fantasy novel, or watch a film, different races tend to have different combat styles, which is simulated a little bit in D&D (Pathfinder) by starting inclinations (an elf is more likely to grab Weapon Finesse, while a dwarf is more likely to wear heavy armor), but then it kind of ends...there's not much reason for one race to favor one weapon, or a series of weapons over another, or to employ some particular tactic, or go after a particular feat line, for the most part.

We have some lore regarding the races that doesn't really translate to the actual play experience...elves are supposed to be more nature-y, at home in the wilds, but that doesn't come up, unless you look at some of their racial feats, which are largely flavor, and the same is true for most of the other races, with some of their flavor coming through a little stronger, and some a little weaker, and some having stronger racial feats, and some having even weaker ones. That's my issue--that chunks of the flavor for the races are tied up with crummy feats that would be nice to have, and would help to define and differentiate characters, but that just aren't worth a full feat slot.


I have to disagree. With alternate favored class options, Racial archetypes, Racial feats (some of which are very good.) and types of sight (dark vision is always good.) There is plenty of long term effect.

More specifically half elf is great if you need EWP on a class without full BaB and many times can make a build come online faster and be more effective long past the early lvls.

Human as any spontaneous caster will always have the edge over about any other race.

Half-orc in a intimidate focused build will always be measurably better.

A halfling with a mounted build does not need to worry about having room for their mount like a medium race does.

Could race choice perhaps mean a little more? Sure. but it is hardly as little as you make it out to be.


Stome wrote:

I have to disagree. With alternate favored class options, Racial archetypes, Racial feats (some of which are very good.) and types of sight (dark vision is always good.) There is plenty of long term effect.

More specifically half elf is great if you need EWP on a class without full BaB and many times can make a build come online faster and be more effective long past the early lvls.

Human as any spontaneous caster will always have the edge over about any other race.

Half-orc in a intimidate focused build will always be measurably better.

A halfling with a mounted build does not need to worry about having room for their mount like a medium race does.

Could race choice perhaps mean a little more? Sure. but it is hardly as little as you make it out to be.

Well, as I said earlier, I had forgotten about the favored class bonuses, although for some combinations the bonuses are quite strong, while for others...not so much, but I'm also over-emphasizing the point a little, yes.

I'd like that "little more," and would like to see a lot of the feats tied to races show up on character sheets. Clearly, I'm in a minority among posters here, at least.

I'll thank the people who contributed with cogent arguments and points at least for stopping by. The few who did nothing constructive can go troll somewhere else now, as I'll drop the point.


yeti1069 wrote:
Stome wrote:

I have to disagree. With alternate favored class options, Racial archetypes, Racial feats (some of which are very good.) and types of sight (dark vision is always good.) There is plenty of long term effect.

More specifically half elf is great if you need EWP on a class without full BaB and many times can make a build come online faster and be more effective long past the early lvls.

Human as any spontaneous caster will always have the edge over about any other race.

Half-orc in a intimidate focused build will always be measurably better.

A halfling with a mounted build does not need to worry about having room for their mount like a medium race does.

Could race choice perhaps mean a little more? Sure. but it is hardly as little as you make it out to be.

Well, as I said earlier, I had forgotten about the favored class bonuses, although for some combinations the bonuses are quite strong, while for others...not so much, but I'm also over-emphasizing the point a little, yes.

I'd like that "little more," and would like to see a lot of the feats tied to races show up on character sheets. Clearly, I'm in a minority among posters here, at least.

I'll thank the people who contributed with cogent arguments and points at least for stopping by. The few who did nothing constructive can go troll somewhere else now, as I'll drop the point.

Fair enough. Though I would argue that some favored class options being so much better then others honestly helps accomplish what you seemed to ask for at first. The truth of the mater is some races should be better at some classes. That helps a great deal to do away with the generic feeling.

I liked the ARG a lot and think it did a great deal to help set apart the races. But I don't disagree with you that more race based feats and options would be a good thing. The more choice the better in my book.

So I suppose I disagree and yet agree with you heh :)


3.x is a mix between ROLEplay and ROLLplay that can go farther on one or the other side. Maybe easier to get attracted by ROLLplay (less than DD4, but still...) with all that fighting than in other RPGs.

So yes, race is usefull as a background and to create a character on the ROLEplay part.

I personnaly feel it can be a nice idea on the ROLLplay part, it is true that 3.x has it's flaws on level progression, and make people go towards the easy broken route, you easily lose some flavour with generic optimized characters.

I'm sure your group will get more racial ROLEplay flavour through that kind of ROLLplay change to the rules.

The game is yours, if and your players feel like it would be nice to allow for racial feats on levels 1-5-10-15-20, just do it.

You just need to adapt you CR encounters if needed as it allows for some more optimization.


This idea interests me, but I think I'd be more likely to consider either 6, 12, 18, or 1, 10, 20.

The problem I foresee is that it penalizes races without significant racial feat options.


Back in the days of 2nd edition and before Race meant a great deal more than it does today. I remember many people hating the old rules regarding racial level limits and artificial class restrictions. That was one aspect that I was very happy to see get removed in 3.X/PF.

Now, it is flavor with a bit of crunch. Right where I think it should be. Race is not the class, race is the starting point. Everyone starts somewhere....it is what you do with your career (life) that matters more.

- Gauss

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yeti1069 wrote:

One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there. A +2 to a stat, a few +2s to some skills...they tend to mean less and less as you acquire levels, feats, magic items and class abilities. A few racial abilities stick around as being useful, but by and large characters of different races but otherwise identical tend to play and feel almost identically (role-playing aside).

Do any of you feel the same way? Have any of you come up with solutions to this problem?

That's not a problem, it's a GOOD thing. To be any race other than Human was a crippling choice for most classes in First/Second Edition if you went beyond low-mid level play. Otherwise in addition to cookie cutter builds now incorporate cookie cutter races. Your race is part of your background, your heroics should be based on your deeds and development.


yeti1069 wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:

Obviously, RPing trumps just about everything else, which also means that mechanics are generally fairly separate from such things. That in turn means that the mechanical value of a race tends to be irrelevant to those decisions.

I make a lot of my character choices based on RPing to one degree or another. That doesn't change my belief that the choice of race has an increasingly smaller impact upon the development and strengths of a character as they gain levels.

You still haven't explained why it's a BAD thing that the choice of race has fairly negligible impact later on.

Because it tends to result in characters that feel to similar down the line. The keen eyesight of the elves doesn't seem so keen when the difference is a score of, say, +20 and one of +22, and even less so if you're looking at a class that doesn't give Perception as a class skill, or has too few points to keep that at max, vs. one that does both.

A dwarf fighter, a half-orc fighter, and a human fighter have some inherent differences, yeah, but later on the differences become fairly slight as class features and equipment eclipse or replicate many of those differences.

I like the idea of races having more meaning to them. If you read a fantasy novel, or watch a film, different races tend to have different combat styles, which is simulated a little bit in D&D (Pathfinder) by starting inclinations (an elf is more likely to grab Weapon Finesse, while a dwarf is more likely to wear heavy armor), but then it kind of ends...there's not much reason for one race to favor one weapon, or a series of weapons over another, or to employ some particular tactic, or go after a particular feat line, for the most part.

We have some lore regarding the races that doesn't really translate to the actual play experience...elves are supposed to be more nature-y, at home in the wilds, but that doesn't come up, unless you look at some of their racial feats, which are largely flavor, and the same...

I think, though, that that is intentional and based on how level progression represents the capabilities within the world at large. I don't recall the article and don't have the link but it's been linked a number of times... it's an article discussing how, in fact, PCs of level 1-5 represent the pinnacle of "normal" human capability, levels 6-10 begin exceeding even that and so forth, to the point where if you hit level 20 you are practically at demi-god status, capable of doing things no mere mortal ordinarily can.

At that level of progression, at the point where you are such an exemplar of what it means to be a Fighter, a Sorcerer, a Monk (note the capitals), whether you began life as a Dwarf or an Elf takes a back seat to the fact that you are among the absolute best at being that class.

Even in a multi-class situation, you are capable of so much more than any other mortal that how you started life off takes a back seat to what you can do now. But from a flavor perspective, that extra +2 here or -2 there does represent that slight edge you still get because of the racial base you built upon. In short, with that keen sight, an Elf as opposed to a Human, both having made all the same decisions vis-a-vis attribute/skill/feat/gear selections, will have that slight edge.

Scarab Sages

Xexyz wrote:


I don't like this. It's bad enough that just about every fighter is dullared, every wizard is a weakling, and so on... I don't want race to be such an impact that every barbarian is a half-orc, every...

Maybe with characters you build. I happen to enjoy intelligent, socially literate fighters and rarely dump strength on my wizards.

That said, any race that has even a minute numerical advantage for a specific class is going to become the defacto choice for a min/max build. To a some extent this already occurs, mitigated only by the value players place on the human bonus feat (useful for any build).


Quintessentially Me wrote:
I think, though, that that is intentional and based on how level progression represents the capabilities within the world at large. I don't recall the article and don't have the link but it's been linked a number of times... it's an article discussing how, in fact, PCs of level 1-5 represent the pinnacle of "normal" human capability, levels 6-10 begin exceeding even that and so forth, to the point where if you hit level 20 you are practically at demi-god status, capable of doing things no mere mortal ordinarily can.

BAM! There you go!

While The Alexandrian isn't universally correct, this particular article is great and kind of a watershed moment in d20 history, sparking the "E-#" movements (such as "E-6" and "E-8"), and changing the way people looked at fantasy gaming in general.

I also really appreciate the article for my own purposes and making feel more heroic.


yeti1069 wrote:
Stome wrote:

I have to disagree. With alternate favored class options, Racial archetypes, Racial feats (some of which are very good.) and types of sight (dark vision is always good.) There is plenty of long term effect.

More specifically half elf is great if you need EWP on a class without full BaB and many times can make a build come online faster and be more effective long past the early lvls.

Human as any spontaneous caster will always have the edge over about any other race.

Half-orc in a intimidate focused build will always be measurably better.

A halfling with a mounted build does not need to worry about having room for their mount like a medium race does.

Could race choice perhaps mean a little more? Sure. but it is hardly as little as you make it out to be.

Well, as I said earlier, I had forgotten about the favored class bonuses, although for some combinations the bonuses are quite strong, while for others...not so much, but I'm also over-emphasizing the point a little, yes.

I'd like that "little more," and would like to see a lot of the feats tied to races show up on character sheets. Clearly, I'm in a minority among posters here, at least.

I'll thank the people who contributed with cogent arguments and points at least for stopping by. The few who did nothing constructive can go troll somewhere else now, as I'll drop the point.

Consider what the human favored class bonus did to spontaneous casters, or the half-elf bonus to Summoners.

The more incentives there are for a certain race/class combo to be built in a specific way, the less chance you have of seeing differently built characters in your games. That's unanimously a bad thing, because sometimes you just really want to play that Dwarf Bard or an Elven Barbarian, and they already fare noticeably worse than more optimal race/class combinations - push that even further and what may be a weaker but enjoyable concept right now may become completely unplayable. It's not realistic to expect that increasing the number of options will also increase the number of viable options - consider how many feats PF has now vs how few of them are endorsed by optimization guides for each class, time and again.


yeti1069 wrote:

Well, as I said earlier, I had forgotten about the favored class bonuses, although for some combinations the bonuses are quite strong, while for others...not so much, but I'm also over-emphasizing the point a little, yes.

I'd like that "little more," and would like to see a lot of the feats tied to races show up on character sheets. Clearly, I'm in a minority among posters here, at least.

I'll thank the people who contributed with cogent arguments and points at least for stopping by. The few who did nothing constructive can go troll somewhere else now, as I'll drop the point.

I think your point is valid but its a double edged sword that creates a problem that alot more people dislike. That being that all characters of a certain race trend very strongly towards a certain kind of character. All gnomes are illusionists, all dwarves are clerics etc. The problem is basically if you make the ratial features (be them bonuses or ratial feats) too significant, you skew the the numbers in favor of specfic choices (the ranger type elf for instance).

In past editions this skew was much stronger, but in 3.5 and even more in pathfinder, your class, and your choices define your character alot more then your race does. I think this is a good thing, because i dont want to see every wizard being a certain race and every barbarian being another. And that is the inevitable end result of making those race specific bonuses too effective (in my opinion).

I think the ratial favored class bonuses are a subtle influence to it, that keeps the race felt throughout the characters lifespan, but to go any more overt there, would end up stereotyping the races again. Something I think we are starting to get away from finally.

Sovereign Court

yeti1069 wrote:
One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there.

I agree with the OP in that i would like to see race play a bigger role in character progression. It isn't a matter of it being "better" than any other option, and you shouldn't restrict any races from playing any class, but I think a level 20 elf fighter should be different than a level 20 dwarf fighter.

To the OP, one idea I was thinking about was modifying the racial paragon levels (Unearthed Arcana, maybe?) and giving bonus paragon levels to the players at certain level breaks. You might take a look at that. It will tweak the power level a bit, but it shouldn't be game-breaking and the dwarves will get "dwarfier" and the elves will get "elfier"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nebelwerfer41 wrote:
yeti1069 wrote:
One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there.

I agree with the OP in that i would like to see race play a bigger role in character progression. It isn't a matter of it being "better" than any other option, and you shouldn't restrict any races from playing any class, but I think a level 20 elf fighter should be different than a level 20 dwarf fighter.

There's nothing to prevent that by player choice. You can specialize in race weapons, you go can go for a more race appropriate style of combat, i.e. ranged bows for the elf, smashing hammers and axe for the dwarf, and of course there are the racial archetypes.

On the other hand, maybe you're more influenced by outside sources and have a more homogenised build because of it. The present system allows for both.

Grand Lodge

yeti1069 wrote:

One thing that really galled me in 3.5, and still does in PF, is that your choice of race typically has only a little impact for the first few levels and then drops off from there. A +2 to a stat, a few +2s to some skills...they tend to mean less and less as you acquire levels, feats, magic items and class abilities. A few racial abilities stick around as being useful, but by and large characters of different races but otherwise identical tend to play and feel almost identically (role-playing aside).

I think that was probably intentional. Isn't there a line somewhere that says "their HD are determined by their class levels". The more HD you have the more awesome you are. Elves don't become more elf as time goes along but Wizards do become more Wizardy.

My Example: 6 HD of Giant is not equal to 6 HD of Fighter

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