Racials.... Should we have them?


Pathfinder Online

1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Goblin Squad Member

I've been considering this matter for some time. Should there be racials in the game? Is it something which should be carried over from the board game? On the one side it adds some flavor to the characters and it can guide people to play into the culture of their chosen race. Dwarves being tough and having a bonus in blacksmithing for example.

However my worry is the abuse that often come with racials. In wow a solid party of Blood elves could silence groups of spell casters long enough for the bunch to fall before a single spell could be cast. During my last play through of neverwinter night I was near unbeatable with my tieflings darkness racial, reducing epic battles, into pitiful massacure.

My fear is that people would mass to one race for specific perks and abilities, rather than playing as the race they desire to play as.

But at the same time racial would punish, if not prevent people of rolling a certain race for the sake of a “troll”character. Let the orc bard struggle for his art and the gnome warrior to over come his physical disadvantage.

There are many pros and cons to the matter and I am not sure if Goblinworks have said anything regarding the matter.

What do you think of the topic?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Looking at the PnP races, I think that the most unbalanced single effect is that elves are immune to sleep effects.

I think that the most visible racial powers are the ones to really keep: "Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.". I'm not sure how 'slotting' weapon proficiency will work, but it seems like a good idea to continue to encourage dwarves to use those kinds of weapons.

Goblin Squad Member

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Racials are an absolute must in my opinion, but they should be a very minor part of the effectiveness of the overall characters in order to avoid the trap of certain races being dramatically better/worse at certain roles.

For instance if items crafted by dwarves get +3% durability then that feeds into the perception of dwarves as great craftsmen. If weapons and armor made by dwarves give +3% damage / protection then every single armor and weaponsmith will be a dwarf.


Andius wrote:
If weapons and armor made by dwarves give +3% damage / protection then every single armor and weaponsmith will be a dwarf.

Speaking not now as Aeternums ambassador but as a humble dwarven crafter I absolutely fail to see a problem with this :)

disclaimer
I may be slightly biassed on this topic

Goblin Squad Member

3 people marked this as a favorite.

With the proposed "attributes as earned prerequisites", it seems to me that racial stat modifiers would be a good place to start: it does not really give more bang for you xp, but allows some skill tree branches to be pursued earlier in the development.

It could also be possible to do something with training access along the lines of dwarves having easier access to dwarven trainers and harder access to elven trainers, but I'm not convinced that is a good idea.

As for direct mechanical effects, I'd prefer not to have that. If dwarves are known for being better smiths and elves better archers, then the mechanisms should be to give dwarves an easier path to master blacksmith and elves an easier path to master archery (such as +dex bonus).

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting topic to find here this morning.

Over the weekend, my Crowdforger group decided to roll up pen-and-paper versions of our planned PfO characters and spend the next year playing through one of the Adventure Paths; almost all of us have played D&D, but none have played Pathfinder, so it seemed like a good idea.

Almost immediately, the difference between the roleplayers and the min/maxers became apparent: the roleplayers went with race/class combinations that suited the characters we'd been developing, and the min/maxers sat there going through the rulebook to find the "best" combination. ("Hmm. I really want to play a barbarian. What's the best race for that?")

On the one hand, I know I'll play my characters regardless, but I also know that roleplayers will not be a majority of the playerbase, and I'd prefer that people choosing to play quirky combinations not face built-in disadvantages (racial modifiers) for doing so. Otherwise, we'll just end up with a glut of dwarven weaponsmiths and not nearly enough half-orc bards.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:
Racials are an absolute must in my opinion

Agree 1000%

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deianira wrote:
...I know I'll play my characters regardless, but I also know that roleplayers will not be a majority of the playerbase, and I'd prefer that people choosing to play quirky combinations not face built-in disadvantages (racial modifiers) for doing so.

As a long-time fan of quirky characters, and quirky combinations in particular, I'd love to have them be "not too hard" to play. Definitions of that term reserved for crowdforging :-).

Goblin Squad Member

Just another way to make sure you have the best character for an envisioned role.
There will be 'builds' after a while, afterall.

Goblin Squad Member

The idea of race is pretty much encoded in the dna of the fantasy/scifi genre by Tolkien, Gygax, Roddenberry, Et al. I can do with different starting skills and proficiencies, languages or even something like darkvision. I also like the differing looks, gear and cultures that can be represented. But I don't like set mental and physical attributes; it has always bothered me that lots of young people play these games and are introduced to racial determinism. You can do so much with style and setting without, 'this race tends to be smarter and this race tends to be hardier'. Note that size attributes are incidental in Pathfinder/D&D-they're distinct as opposed to racial attributes.

Goblin Squad Member

My hope is that Racial Bonuses are, in effect, free time.

For example, if we agree that Dwarves should have a Racial Bonus that makes them better at crafting armor and weapons, and a new Dwarf character single-mindedly advances his armor and weapon crafting skills, I would want him to have a head start of between 2 weeks and 2 months. By this, I mean that the Dwarf should start with the same Skills as a Human character that had been single-mindedly pursuing armor and weapon crafting skills for between 2 weeks and 2 months.

I would be very wary of any system that imparted a permanent advantage, or unique abilities.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So as I was falling asleep last night I had the idea of racial crafting types. Basically every item type would come in multiple racial variants

Human: Balanced

Dwarven:
Pros- High durability, and generally superior in things like weapon damage per blow, armor protection, structure health, etc.
Cons- Expensive to make in terms of materials per durability. Heavier than comparable gear. Higher armor penalties / lower attack speed.

Elven:
Pros- Lower penalties on armor, faster attack speed on weapons, lower item weight, and a general feel of light but well crafted.
Cons- Expensive to make in terms of labor / long crafting time. Lower protection from armor / damage per swing from weapons.

Orcish:
Pros- Cheap to make in terms of labor. Uses slightly larger quantities of inferior grade materials making them cheaper in the end. Extremely cost efficient in terms of cost per durability.
Cons- Low durability, heavy weight, higher armor penalties / lower attack speed for weapons.

Etc.

In EE all we would have is human recipes while we wait on the implementation of racial variants.

Crafters always learn their racial recipes upon learning to make an item type. Half-elves and Half-Orcs get to choose which crafting type they want in character creation. Other racial recipes can be learned, they just cost additional skill training.

Goblin Squad Member

I favor Nihimon's approach of giving what is basically a head-start in some areas to express racial proficiencies. This has already been mentioned in terms of attribute scores, but it would also be nice to see it expressed in other flavorful areas.

I would also like to avoid permanent ability or overly unique aspects. I would not mind racial craft variants, but only if any character could learn that craft style and not have it restricted on race.

Unique traits like Low-light vision and Darkvision would be very difficult to make both meaningful AND still be balanced.

Goblin Squad Member

Racial Stat Attributes is a good thing.

I'm not certain how we could avoid the 'Racial Power-Build', as Gamers are notorious for finding ways to work their way around seemingly insurmountable odds to get their munchkin's into play.

Perhaps, when rolling our characters, we get a choice of Racial Powers? And specific abilities, such as Dwarven Stability or Halfling Fearlessness, costs a touch more since they are 'single-race-only' abilities with a great deal of power to them?

I do love munchkins because they make such deliciously tear-filled targets the moment they step out of their element and find themselves completely helpless, but that's just me being an evil GM.

Goblin Squad Member

If GW goes with the PF characteristic modifiers (Dwarves +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha), then Dwarves will have something of a headstart in crafting paths that rely on Con and Wis. They might not have an immediate headstart, but at some point they'll be able to access some skill training earlier than characters without that +2 to the stat.

Con could affect some smithing tree: weapons or armor? Wis could certainly be related to the Jewelrysmith tree or a branch of it.

Goblin Squad Member

Based on the information of attributes, IE they do not make you inherantly better or do more damage, simply allow you to skip a few skills to get to the higher tier ones faster, I'd say racial attributes are fine. In that there isn't an end point in which a fighter who failed to pick the race with the STR or Con bonus is never permanantly doing 2% less damage than the fighter who picked elf etc... Meaning there is never a point in which chosing a non-optimal race for the class you wind up in never is a solid road block of "well I'm as good of a fighter as an elf can be, but I'm still a bit weaker than the dwarven fighter, guess I should re-roll a dwarf.

I'd have to disagree with the idea of say dwarves having a +3% durrability boost to their weapons etc... That does fall into the category of "crap my items I make are always inferior to ones of the other race". Personally I believe an elf who works as hard as he can to the max in an area, should not wind up inferior to a dwarf who has done the same, etc...

I am 100% in favor of boosts that do make say the dwarf getting to maximum crafting taking less time, however when you change the maximum... people see that as a handicap, unless you have a comparable advantage for every other race.

Goblin Squad Member

Well I'm personally hoping that Crafting and Profession skills aren't tied to any stat, or if they are, they are tied to Intelligence.

On the other hand, Crafting is physically producing an object, while Profession is providing a service. How this will translate to an Online scenario is anyone's guess.

As a Jeweller, I can tell you right now you need steady hands, agile fingers, a great deal of strength in your hands, wrists and fore-arms, excellent eyesight, the ability to handle a great deal of heat and the knowledge of how to handle many types of gemstones and identify the various cuts which are suitable for specific 'breeds' of gemstones, precious metal alloys (and now to produce said alloys in some cases), melting points of alloys and solder, the weaknesses of various precious and semi-precious stones and materials to cleaning agents, heat, acids and buffing compounds, and then you've got to be able to take all that knowledge and use it on the fly if and when a customer's job goes south and you need to save their beloved item from falling apart because of a previous tradesman screwing up the job and 'fixing' it by flooding it with solder, for example.

Tell me what ability score should be used to 'represent' all those things.

I'd argue that for the Crafting/Profession debate, not tying the skills to any ability score would be for the best, but rather to all your ability scores. Characters with higher mental scores might pick up new tricks slightly faster, but Characters with higher physical scores might be able to produce their craft-goods slightly faster.

It's one of those thorny issues that's really going to have no easy answer. And if we go 'by the book' (as in Core Rulebook), once again we have Wizards and Clerics as our 'best' Crafters, as they will naturally have the highest scores in the abilities required (Intelligence for Crafting, Wisdom for Profession) and the other Character-types will simply not be able to compete without gimping themselves in their chosen roles, and we end up with the Magical Crafting Sweatshop model, where the market is flooded with cheap magical items due to a glut ... in the ass-end of the civilized world. Yeah, that doesn't make sense.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Humans will be the most popular if the racial modifiers look anything like they do in PFRPG. Humans getting a flexible stat bonus, an extra feat, and extra skills on a continuing basis would translate to getting a headstart on the prerequisite of any class-role they choose, and slightly faster XP accrual. If GW instead turned the skill & feat bonuses into a one-time boost of XP, then lots of people may choose human on day one and regret it thereafter.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Personally I think were going to be seeing lots of roleplaying characters, not just minmaxers. Then again, I can be a bit overly optimistic about such things, so Ill have to wait and see.

With regards to the crafting, I like the idea of racial variants of gear. Or even keywords that are the exclusive domain of specific race(s). Anything that adds to the breadth and depth of crafting is good IMHO. Imagine needing to learn the best way to fold metal from the dwarves and coupling it with the best way to balance the blade from the elves, etc. However, Im in full agreement that any racial recipes should not be restricted to that race, although members of the same race may get a boost in learning it (easier access, faster time, etc).

Im not sure what the latest stance on character attributes is. Last I read attributes would not affect training time and instead we would be gaining attributes from learning specific skills (e.g. training ranks in stealth would add incremental values to the characters Dex). If thats the case, then a simple solution would be to give each starting character a set amount of xp to spend at creation and access to skills that are flavorful to that race (this is independent of any similar creation xp granted for class selection). This would allow for racial diversity and flavor without being overpowered since those skills are accessible to all.

All in all though I am definitely opposed to static racial bonuses that affect gameplay and cannot be learned in game. Even if the actual gameplay effect is negligible, it still creates the perception of the character being 'sub-par'.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In Eve everyone is human but there are 4 racial factions.

You start the game with beginner skills for your particular races equipment (you start already knowing several levels of racial frigate skill for example - about a days training normally) and if you follow through the scripted new player training skill tutorials at your starter school you are given skillbooks for training in several more (the ability to fly your races industrial transport and your races destroyer class combat ships for example).

All of these skills are trainable by any race but you get a "headstart" in your chosen race, whereas to train the other races you need to buy the skillbooks and start from basics.

Goblin Squad Member

Oberyn Corvus wrote:

Personally I think were going to be seeing lots of roleplaying characters, not just minmaxers. Then again, I can be a bit overly optimistic about such things, so Ill have to wait and see.

The big problem we run into, unless there is somehow a means to properly distribute roleplayers and min-maxers into the same settlements, we have an inherent problem. Namely provided a hypothetical optimistic case of 50/50 RP/MinMax ratio (realistically almost MMO's are lucky to get a 10/90 ratio, and that's without PVP raising the incentive of MinMax),

We can very quickly run into an issue of Min Maxers forming X settlements, RPers forming Y settlements, and the min-maxers continuing to push shove and bully RPers to the point of quitting or changing.

IMO the best optimal solution to this issue, all lies in balance. Namely the often forgotten about group that can do both. IE pick out a flavor, style of character to RP, then calculate out an optimal build that accomplishes all of those goals. With unlimited potential skill etc... we don't have the tabletop issue of Mastering craft basketweaving means that I will not be able to maximize my skillpoints in stealth, etc... So I suspect we will be able to have a good deal of potential in flavor builds that have the potential to be "min/maxed" to create unique and effective characters.

Provided GW doesn't fall into the traditional MMO trap of making some skills distinctively stronger than alternatives, there are perks to being the road less traveled. Namely the arms race, IE the flavor of the week is fire spells, everyone and their grandmother is a pyromancer, Oh... but everyone knows pyromancers are the majority, looks like armies are preparing fire resistant gear, making the select few who specialize in ice magic much more effective.

Goblin Squad Member

Keovar wrote:
Humans getting... slightly faster XP accrual.

I'm pretty sure Ryan has made it clear that everyone gaining XP will do so at the same rate.

Goblin Squad Member

Deianira wrote:

Interesting topic to find here this morning.

Over the weekend, my Crowdforger group decided to roll up pen-and-paper versions of our planned PfO characters and spend the next year playing through one of the Adventure Paths; almost all of us have played D&D, but none have played Pathfinder, so it seemed like a good idea.

Almost immediately, the difference between the roleplayers and the min/maxers became apparent: the roleplayers went with race/class combinations that suited the characters we'd been developing, and the min/maxers sat there going through the rulebook to find the "best" combination. ("Hmm. I really want to play a barbarian. What's the best race for that?")

On the one hand, I know I'll play my characters regardless, but I also know that roleplayers will not be a majority of the playerbase, and I'd prefer that people choosing to play quirky combinations not face built-in disadvantages (racial modifiers) for doing so. Otherwise, we'll just end up with a glut of dwarven weaponsmiths and not nearly enough half-orc bards.

Addressing the bold part: But remember, orc bards are supposted to be a rare combination. Not every orc is meant to be a bard. I had a guy in one of my 3.5 games who played a half-orc wizard with a 16 int (18-2) and a 20 str (18+2) as he though that would be fun. Turned into some interesting game play as he had anger issues and like to punch stuff, but still very effective caster.

That being said, I support racial bonuses, though I agree that if not done properly, it can break the game. For example, elf immune to MAGIC sleep (magical being the key word there, poisons and other "natural" sleep still effect them) could make them very powerful, depending on how the sleep spell will work in PFO. In TT, it was powerful, but not to the point that all characters were elves. I do like the idea proposed earlier about dwarven smiths giving +3% durability vs +3% damage. It makes it a bonus but not game breaking.

Goblin Squad Member

After reading the rest of the posts, I'd like to add my support to other ideas presented.

Having a XP pool at character creation from which each player then "buys" their starting stats and skills, in an effort to give options and provide balance without locking races/characters into a set collection of starting skills and bonuses, I feel is a great idea. This allows every race to potentially start with the same skills, same bonuses, ect. If you want to push favor toward certain skills for a particular race, change the "values" of the skills accordingly. so If dwarves are better crafters than other races, then crafting skills are slightly cheaper than other skills, and use humans as the median, their skills are all even and balanced, showing human's natural ability to do anything well and showing their diversity.

I would support the idea that all races are equal in the they all start with the same pool of Exp, no one gets more or less for any reason. The only thing that would chance, going with the idea above, is the cost of the starting skills. If there was anything left over, maybe use that as a starting pool that the hourly gain is added to for purchase in game after creation. Difference is during creation, there is no cost other than exp. No coin cost.

I think this would be a balanced way to do character creation and still give each race it's flavor. It doesn't change the maximum of each skill ranks, it only gives the "head start" that some of the others mentioned.

As for other "racial" perks like vision and bonuses to saves, maybe that could still be given, or maybe that would just be factored into the starting ex pool. Basically, if you wanted to play an elf from the PHB, spend your starting exp on +2 dex, +2 perception, +2 listen, +2 enchantment saves (probably will saves) Or something like that. The benefit to this system is the flexibility. If you want your elf to be stronger than dexterous, then raise your strength and leave dex at 10.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

If e.g. each race gets starting skills totaling X days worth of experience, that would be interesting, trivial to balance, and would result in zero ultimate loss. (However, the dwarf who trained ONLY his specialty would always be X days ahead of the elf who trained only that same specialty. (Possibly more, if there is also an attribute bonus)

25 days is a long time in the first few months, but after a year it's hardly any time at all. (Especially since I expect the effect of initial training on a focused build to be diluted by not focusing completely.)

Goblin Squad Member

For game purposes, I think making some skills "cheaper" for 1 race and more expensive for another will lead to min/max, though that isn't always a bad thing. Keeping each race even will allow people to play whatever race/"class" combo they want without fear of the min/maxer being better than them. If you do the racial bonuses, then it will leave to each race having a specialty similar to the TT version. I can see benefits to both styles, and don't personally have a preference. I have my race/"Class" decided on so no matter the bonuses (if any) That is what I intend to play.

I still like the "exp pool" idea thought for character generation.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I would hate it if the penalty/benefit for choosing a race became more significant later on, rather than less.

Goblin Squad Member

It's tricky. One possibility is a minor "bonus" dependent on geography?

Dwarf: Mountains (eg mining etc), encumbrance carrying (strength)
Elves: Woods (eg movement etc), evasion (dexterity)
Humans: ?
Gnomes: Settlements (eg trade), haggling (charisma)

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

If e.g. each race gets starting skills totaling X days worth of experience, that would be interesting, trivial to balance, and would result in zero ultimate loss. (However, the dwarf who trained ONLY his specialty would always be X days ahead of the elf who trained only that same specialty. (Possibly more, if there is also an attribute bonus)

25 days is a long time in the first few months, but after a year it's hardly any time at all. (Especially since I expect the effect of initial training on a focused build to be diluted by not focusing completely.)

I'm down with this, and what Onishi and Nihimon are getting at: that a racial might give you a head start rather than an absolute advantage. The worst case scenario is "<Race> make the best <role>." Whereas "<Race> have an affinity for <skill>" allows for players to get the flavor of racial--e.g. Dwarves having an affinity for smithying--rather than queering the system by making Dwarves the best smiths.

Goblin Squad Member

In reality quite small "head-starts" can shape a characters early development substantially.

Lets say you are given as a "human" 4 days worth of Shortsword already pretrained and it so happens that 4 days Shortsword is a prerequisite for Longsword which is itself a prerequisite for Greatsword.

Most "humans" wanting a better weapon in their first week or two will naturally train Longsword because training something else (like large axe ?) will mean going back to scratch.

Then when they want a two handed weapon it makes even MORE sense to train Greatsword as they already have a week or two invested in Shortsword and Longsword. Switching to axe (effectively double skilling) will not be beneficial in the early stages.

Meanwhile the "dwarf" character is given 4 days worth of Light Axe which in turn qualifies him to start training War Axe and that is a prerequisite for Great Axe. In the "dwarf" situation it makes no sense early on to train longsword at all. He will probably train the War Axe that he already qualifies for and that in turn will encourage him to train Great Axe later on as his 2 hander not Great Sword.

Hence, even though 4 days initial training makes next to no difference in itself a year down the track, the decisions made early on due to that initial bonus may actually have a profound effect on the way the character was actually developed.

Goblin Squad Member

@Neadenil Edam, that's a clear explanation of the problem.

My recommended solution would be to give that new Human a certain amount of XP that can be spent on a Culturally appropriate set of skills.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't think that the case Neadenil Edam is discussing is a problem; I think that it is a great way to have the effect that most humans use swords and most dwarves use axes without having the effect that ONLY humans use swords and ONLY dwarves use axes.

Goblin Squad Member

Good point, Decius.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Racial traits should make a character better, not just having a head start in something.

The Gen Con Q&A audio, clearly stated that Elves would be better with bows . That means that at maximum level a Human archer vs. an Elf Archer, the Elf would still have an advantage.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
I don't think that the case Neadenil Edam is discussing is a problem; I think that it is a great way to have the effect that most humans use swords and most dwarves use axes without having the effect that ONLY humans use swords and ONLY dwarves use axes.

It's still pushing the stereotype, which benefits those going for "best build" against those going for character development. In this case, a min/maxing swordswoman will choose to play human because it's "best"; she gets free training in sword, so she can spend her other training points (the ones she pays for) on other useful things -call it "skill X". The dwarf of the House of Swords, on the orher hand, gets "free" training in something he doesn't want (axes) and must spend his other training points on sword. The player willing to go with the stereotype gets two desired skills (sword plus skill X)) for the price of one, while the player doing something different gets one desired skill (sword) and one skill that may be useful but isn't what he would have chosen (axe). He's still going to need skill X, and while he trains it, the human will be training skill Y, and so on.

Nihimon's suggestion of a starting xp pool, on the other hand, lets both characters choose only "desired" skills.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Deianira, it's only "best" for specific comparison timeframes. It's not "best" between two characters who are "maxed", and it's not "best" when the other character has a three-month head start.

I think what most of us want to avoid is the situation where a Human can never be as good as an Elf. If the Human merely has to spend a little more time training to catch up, I think that's okay, don't you?

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The dwarf and the human are on equal footing when dual-wielding an ax and a sword, or when wielding a bow. The dwarf who started working on swordplay X days before the human is ALSO on equal footing, for all time.

There should be some starting XP regardless of starting skills, but that should be spendable on anything, and the same for every race.

Goblin Squad Member

I'd not add anything drastic. Just a small buff, as above, in context of mountains, woods, settlements etc. Just to inform when you play a character that the race has roots that influence your gameplay a little when the conditions are suitable?

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Keovar wrote:
Humans getting... slightly faster XP accrual.
I'm pretty sure Ryan has made it clear that everyone gaining XP will do so at the same rate.

Yeah, I wouldn't really expect that, but I'd hope that there's something which would make humans a good, popular choice. They're usually claimed to be the most common in the world, but rarely a majority in many games that don't give them any particular speciality. In PFRPG, their 'theme' is versatile bonuses rather than specialization toward a 'typical' member of the race, and that seems to work well. What could they get to represent the flexible bonus stat, bonus feat, and recurring bonus skills?

Goblin Squad Member

Deianira wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
I don't think that the case Neadenil Edam is discussing is a problem; I think that it is a great way to have the effect that most humans use swords and most dwarves use axes without having the effect that ONLY humans use swords and ONLY dwarves use axes.

It's still pushing the stereotype, which benefits those going for "best build" against those going for character development. In this case, a min/maxing swordswoman will choose to play human because it's "best"; she gets free training in sword, so she can spend her other training points (the ones she pays for) on other useful things -call it "skill X". The dwarf of the House of Swords, on the orher hand, gets "free" training in something he doesn't want (axes) and must spend his other training points on sword. The player willing to go with the stereotype gets two desired skills (sword plus skill X)) for the price of one, while the player doing something different gets one desired skill (sword) and one skill that may be useful but isn't what he would have chosen (axe). He's still going to need skill X, and while he trains it, the human will be training skill Y, and so on.

Nihimon's suggestion of a starting xp pool, on the other hand, lets both characters choose only "desired" skills.

A min/maxer will choose the best geographical location and ignore the week or so of free skills as irrelevant. If the dwarven area is better for resources or other access they will start as a dwarf and if they want swords they will just ignore the 4 days of axe.

On the other hand if every race starts equal I fail to see the point in any starting XP pool at all. It just unnecessarily complicates matters and is likely to lead a to new players making some ill-founded decisions before they have had a chance to talk to people in game and get advise.

Bearing in mind that in the first day or two you will be churning out a new skill every 15 to 20 minutes (if eve is anything to go by)and your first days "queue" may have 10 or 20 skill sin it there really seems no need at all for a starting XP pool.

Goblin Squad Member

Keovar wrote:
... I'd hope that there's something which would make humans a good, popular choice. They're usually claimed to be the most common in the world, but rarely a majority in many games that don't give them any particular speciality.

I completely agree.

Keovar wrote:
In PFRPG, their 'theme' is versatile bonuses rather than specialization toward a 'typical' member of the race, and that seems to work well. What could they get to represent the flexible bonus stat, bonus feat, and recurring bonus skills?

One way would be to simply give Humans more Bonus XP than other Races. Many would choose Humans just for that, but those who wanted to play a different Race wouldn't face a permanent disadvantage.

Goblin Squad Member

So wait, is this proposing to have racism as a game mechanic?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Keovar wrote:
... I'd hope that there's something which would make humans a good, popular choice. They're usually claimed to be the most common in the world, but rarely a majority in many games that don't give them any particular speciality.
I completely agree.

I tend towards the view that in the D&D world that humans are "common" in both senses of the word ...

a) they are common in the sense that there are way more of them
b) they are common in the sense that exceptional individuals are rarer compared to exotic races

This provides a neat explanation for why many adventure parties have few or no humans. Humans simply rarely are of the caliber to survive as an adventurer. Sure many try but most die early.

Goblin Squad Member

Papaver wrote:
So wait, is this proposing to have racism as a game mechanic?

In D&D, and most if its clones, there have racial traits, attributes and bonuses. Even in non D&D based games, like Star Trek Online, there are species differences.

These are typically only minor differences and so are usually not considered to be a lure for min / maxers.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
One way would be to simply give Humans more Bonus XP than other Races.

How does that differ from what I said?

Goblin Squad Member

Racial stat bonuses are good. Racial immunities is too hard to balance for PVP. There is no min/maxing in a skill over-time based game.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

One thing that always bugged me about MMOs with multiple races (and two sexes) is that there were "no advantages to choosing any one race or sex over another", even though the lore clearly stated there were. It is either hard to implement (I don't think so) or the developer didn't want to invest the time to distinguish the differences in the races (much more likely) for fear of making one race "overpowered" and everyone would choose it, or the overall game system would not allow it.

As Zen mentions above, I prefer Dwarves. I like their history and culture. I thought WoW did a great job with Dwarves, and both males and females were fun to play. The jokes were funny, the facial expressions were well animated (I miss facial expressions in most games...it's a huge deal to me but games that invest in facials are rare), but Dwarves received no bonuses when fighting or adventuring in the snowy or mountainous areas even though the lore was clear. Trolls should have gotten bonuses to swamp territory, woodland elves bonuses in forests, but non had them.

Also in many games your PnP character can choose to be an "RP character" by choosing a bonus from a list, that also came with one or two defects. But some defects were not really bad, and some bonuses were really nice. For example, "extended night vision" would come with an "unsightly scar from your childhood". Who cares about the scar! Take the extended night vision! So every in the party had extended night vision, but were low charisma. If their play style didn't require higher charisma, the whole group had the best of whatever was on the list.

Same with stat rolls. Games that started with a stat roll enabled the player to roll forever until 3 18's came up (Bard's Tale?).

Why not make the player choose early, but the effect will not be felt (or known) until much later when the player had invested too much time to simply reroll. After playing a time based character for 2-3 months, I am not likely to dump that toon as long as the defect isn't not crippling to my play style.

Goblin Squad Member

As said if a racial bonus is contextual to area it could also be a x1 use per day for limited duration? Again that would help limit it's effect but atst be useful? If the effect is that you get more dwarfs in mountain settlements and elves in wooded hex settlements, not a bad result?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think racial traits and abilities should exist, but they should be situational enough so that you don't feel obligated or tempted to pick that race just for said bonus. However, I think in their intended situation they should feel like they have an effect.

If I were a Dwarf, I should feel like I have a slight edge due to:

Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.

So maybe +15% chance to dodge against giants? +20%? A flat increase to damage resistance?

Darkvision: Dwarves can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.

Increased perception in areas of low-light vision/smaller penalties to perception in areas of low-light vision?

Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison

An ability that lasts 10 seconds and reduces poison damage by 20% for the duration?

All of these wouldn't be things that would make you feel as though you need to play as a Dwarf, nor would they feel overpowered in a PvP battle, but they would make you feel like being a Dwarf is more than just a difference in your character model. Your adventuring party is attacked by giants in a deep cave, and their weapons are poisoned. It's a good day to be a Dwarf.

------------

I do think that they shouldn't be preset though. Not all of X race are the same and each race can be diverse. Just like in the tabletop, I think you should have some choice over which traits/feats/abilities you receive because of your race.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
AvenaOats wrote:
As said if a racial bonus is contextual to area it could also be a x1 use per day for limited duration? Again that would help limit it's effect but atst be useful? If the effect is that you get more dwarfs in mountain settlements and elves in wooded hex settlements, not a bad result?

You have to be careful. Giving too large a bonus in a particular area is functionally the same as giving too large a negative in another. Pushing a character in a certain direction is limiting no matter how you do it. That's why I think bonuses should be useful just before the point at which they would cause more Dwarf players to be in the mountains or more Elves to be in the forest (for non-RP reasons).

Of course, min-max players will always take a 5% bonus in a particular area and try to make a 5% net increase off of it, but they are the exceptions. I don't think bonuses should make the average player think "I'm a Dwarf, these abilities REALLY want me to play in the mountains. I like the forests but meh, I also like efficiency".

1 to 50 of 103 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Licensed Products / Digital Games / Pathfinder Online / Racials.... Should we have them? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.