Can Something Be Done About Variant Dhampir Errors?


Pathfinder Player Companion

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Scarab Sages

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First off, please excuse and redirect me if I've placed this in the wrong forum.

I was just alerted to the fact that there are variant Dhampirs published in Blood of the Night. Cool, right? I looked at the link above for quick insight, and I liked what I saw. The 4 variants all look very cool - there's just one pretty big problem: The ability modifiers of 2 of the 4 (the Ajibachana and the Ru-Shi) are completely at odds with how they're described. I shall specify:

Ajibachana:

"More often the result of curiosity or experimentation Than mating, the dhampir offspring of vetalas are born with sharp minds and are inclined to ask questions. Known as ajibachanas, they are forceful and precocious, but their progenitors' distaste for the devout is mirrored in their weakness around holy or unholy sites.

Just like their vampire parents, ajibachanas yearn for knowledge and often engage in scholarly pursuits, but their mortality drives them to work harder and learn faster. In a few short decades, they might gain a better understanding of themselves and their accumulated knowledge than Their eternally childish parents ever could have."

This screams 'Intelligence bonus' and possibly 'Wisdom penalty' ("childlike mentality", "distaste for the devout") - yet what's listed? Wisdom bonus, Intelligence penalty. DOES NOT COMPUTE!

Ru-Shi:

"Jiang-shis lack any natural desire for physical contact or procreation, and their putrefying internal organs make most unable to conceive. Ru-shis' skin remains gray, regardless of exposure to the sun, and their eyes have unusually light irises and pupils. Their movements are typically stiff and awkward. Ru-shis are often mathematically or linguistically gifted, though some cast aside such natural gifts, bitter and scornful as they are of anything that might remind them of their monstrous forebears."

They get an Intelligence bonus, so that's as it should be - but since when does "their movements are typically stiff and awkward" translate to a Dexterity BONUS? This may not be as egregious an issue as in the case of the Ajibachana, but there's another element of disappointment to this: Am I the only one who's noticed that of ALL of Pathfinder's published PC races, ALL such races with the "Standard" ability modifier scheme (+2 to one physical, +2 to one mental, -2 to one of either) that include a +2 to Intelligence are accompanied by +2 to Dexterity? There has yet to be a single PC race that gets +2 Intelligence coupled with +2 Strength or Constitution, and here was an opportunity for such a thing. We've already got Elves, Sylphs, and Wayangs (the last of whose modifier schemes the Ru-Shi's echoes exactly, as presently written), wasn't this the perfect opportunity to break new ground?

Obviously, a home game could fix this with a snap of the DM's fingers, but I'm a Pathfinder Society player, and while Dhampirs may not be Society legal without a Boon at present, I'd love to play either of these variants were I to get such a Boon or the rules were to expand again (as for last time, I have to say: bringing in Aasimar and Tieflings the first round of such expanded inclusion made perfect sense, but Tengus seemed like a very left-field choice for #3 - that's not a complaint, just an observation), but the messed-up ability modifiers kind of spoils an awesome thing. Is there some way that could be rectified, like errata or a PFS ruling (since DMs can don't need errata to fix it in their home games) allowing altered modifier schema (while presumably preserving the possibility of the extant version for those who are already playing them like they are)? I don't want to be a nudje, but I haven't been before, and I feel this request has pretty strong legs.

May I suggest a the following altered schema, a couple options each:

For Vetala-Born:

+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom: Ajibachana are very agile and smart, but irreverent and foolhardy.

OR

+2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom: A wise man once said that "every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it" - it would seem, then, that Ajibachana maintain an echo of their ancestor's immortality in their eternally youthful mindset.

For Jiang-Shi-Born:

+2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Dexterity: Ru-Shi are mentally gifted, and their bodies are as tough - and as rigid - as an embalmed corpse.

OR

-2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence: Though technically alive, the body of a Ru-Shi is rigid without and rotten within. However, they are gifted with the prodigious mental powers that can only come from viewing life from an outsider's perspective.

Scarab Sages

*BUMP*

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I am investigating (the printed text does not match the developed Word file).

Scarab Sages

Thanks for responding and investigating.


I had the exact same thoughts and wanted the exact same ability scores as your Vetala 1 and Jiang-Shi blocks. If I ever run a campaign where a player wants to hit those races up I'm telling them that I don't run the same modifiers the book does, official rulings be damned.

Your observation about the +Int and +Dex thing was pretty astute, too; I hadn't realized. I would like to note that technically the Lashunta don't follow that (both male and female have +Int, males have +Str/-Wis and females have +Cha/-Con) and are a class level race, but they aren't in the ARG so they only sort of count. The fact is that no core, featured, or uncommon race has stats like that (unless there's an assimar/tiefling variant we're both forgetting, or maybe one of the skinwalker variants) and that's weird.

Scarab Sages

Zodiac_Sheep wrote:

I had the exact same thoughts and wanted the exact same ability scores as your Vetala 1 and Jiang-Shi blocks. If I ever run a campaign where a player wants to hit those races up I'm telling them that I don't run the same modifiers the book does, official rulings be damned.

Your observation about the +Int and +Dex thing was pretty astute, too; I hadn't realized. I would like to note that technically the Lashunta don't follow that (both male and female have +Int, males have +Str/-Wis and females have +Cha/-Con) and are a class level race, but they aren't in the ARG so they only sort of count. The fact is that no core, featured, or uncommon race has stats like that (unless there's an assimar/tiefling variant we're both forgetting, or maybe one of the skinwalker variants) and that's weird.

Kind words, thank you. There is a variant Aasimar (the peri-descended Emberkin) that gets +2 Intelligence and +2 Charisma (my Sorcerer is one of those), but they don't count - as I said, I'm only talking about races with the "Standard" ability modifier scheme, as codified in the Advanced Race Guide (and reiterated here). Aasimar go by the "Flexible" scheme (note that lack of a penalty to anything). Tieflings go by the "Standard" scheme, but they, too, get their Intelligence bonus paired with a Dexterity bonus, and the only variant from Blood of Fiends with an Intelligence bonus is the daemon-descended Grimspawn...who get the same bonuses, the only difference being a penalty to Wisdom instead of Charisma. Yay.

Scarab Sages

Any news?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Not exactly the best time of year to get speedy updates on things. :)

Shadow Lodge

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


Ajibachana:

"More often the result of curiosity or experimentation Than mating, the dhampir offspring of vetalas are born with sharp minds and are inclined to ask questions. Known as ajibachanas, they are forceful and precocious, but their progenitors' distaste for the devout is mirrored in their weakness around holy or unholy sites.

Just like their vampire parents, ajibachanas yearn for knowledge and often engage in scholarly pursuits, but their mortality drives them to work harder and learn faster. In a few short decades, they might gain a better understanding of themselves and their accumulated knowledge than Their eternally childish parents ever could have."

This screams 'Intelligence bonus' and possibly 'Wisdom penalty' ("childlike mentality", "distaste for the devout") - yet what's listed? Wisdom bonus, Intelligence penalty. DOES NOT COMPUTE!

I disagree. Just because they have sharp minds does not mean they should get +2 Int. It could be that they have a quick wit, willpower, and are observant, rather than the ability to memorize. I suggest you actually red the vampires they come from. The Vetala are basically evil child spirits that steal the livings memories and experiences (draining their Wis). If anything, stats would be like +2 Wis & Cha, -2 Int.

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:


Ru-Shi:

"Jiang-shis lack any natural desire for physical contact or procreation, and their putrefying internal organs make most unable to conceive. Ru-shis' skin remains gray, regardless of exposure to the sun, and their eyes have unusually light irises and pupils. Their movements are typically stiff and awkward. Ru-shis are often mathematically or linguistically gifted, though some cast aside such natural gifts, bitter and scornful as they are of anything that might remind them of their monstrous forebears."

They get an Intelligence bonus, so that's as it should be - but since when does "their movements are typically stiff and awkward" translate to a Dexterity BONUS?

Again, I don't really see an issue. Maybe they have a more alien and abnormal grace, and the come from the Jiang-shi, which are noted for being both very dexterous and intellectually cunning, but are essentially unclean ghost-like vampires, incorrectly buried or magical curses. So +2 Dex and Int, -2 Wis seems to fit perfectly.


So some of the racial mods are miss prints/errors, that is good to know.

Grand Lodge

I'm more interested in how the wrong print file went to print...

Shadow Lodge

It's not uncommon for things to get change from how the writer originally submitted it. That doesn't mean it's wrong, it might just be a way to cut down on word count or something like that.

Grand Lodge

It's when SKR says its not according to what file should have gone that I perk up.

Scarab Sages

You know what else is weird? While every other ability score features several races who suffer a penalty to it, there appears to be only ONE race out of ALL Paizo-published races to have a *penalty* to Dexterity, and you really have to look for it: The Syrinx, from the Inner Sea Bestiary. Also, you know who ELSE gets +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 [something]? Frigging Inner Sea Bestiary Androids (I'm not saying the way they do it in that case doesn't add up, it's just that it's like "sheesh, ANOTHER one?")...!


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Well if we ever see a playable turtle race then we could have a race with -2 dex and hopefully a +2 natural armor bonus;) But I agree we do need more races with dex penalties.

I would also like to see variants on non-crossbread races like catfolk, tengu, grippli, gnomes, etc.

I would like to see more types of goblins as well.

So when are we going to see an update on this subject about dhampir racial mods?

Grand Lodge

Are we gonna get some errata on the Dhampir?


Quote:
re: Jiang-Shi-Born/Ru-Shi: since when does "their movements are typically stiff and awkward" translate to a Dexterity BONUS?

I don't really see a problem here. Ru-shi are never described as clumsy or inccurate at range or slow to react, i.e. the actual mechanical effects of DEX. "Awkward" is something that is in the eye of the beholder, it is often applied to SOCIAL awkwardness, it can mean that normal humans find their movement "un-natural" looking, but that doesn't mean it can't be very effective, mechanically. Advances in sports like high jumping's "Fosbury flop" could certainly have been called "awkward", never mind that they were damn effective.

If anything I would say the references to "unsettled, graceless bearing", "lack any natural desire for physical contact", " putrefying internal organs", "stiff and awkward", and bizarre unsettling appearance along with alienation from both sides of their parentage's races, would in fact be VERY much more in line with penalty to CHA.

I would recommend: +2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CHA

Your suggested bonus to CON seems to have zero basis in the text, so I don't see how it's preferable to DEX.
With putrefying organs, and being a living creature in fact dependent on organ functions, a CON penalty would seem more relevant, if anything.
Your suggestion for +4 bonus to INT just falls outside the parameter of PC race stats.
The only stat that could possibly be allowed +4 in a PC race should be CON, because it isn't a primary or even secondry offensive stat in any class. Well, Scarred Witch Doctor uses it, so any such race should have no means to qualify as that, i.e. count as Orc or Human (to be able to take Racial Heritage to count as Orc).

Re: Ru-Shi skill bonuses to Acrobatics and Engineering, I'm not sure about the Acrobatics, nothing really directly suggests that in the text, although it's not incompatable with the 'awkward un-natural but unsettlingly effective" approach to DEX. The DEX bonus could be retained while changing Acrobatics to Linguistics though, which is more based in the text.


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re: Vetala-born/Ajibachana, I understand how you got to both alternate stat sets,
there is some subtle indicators which would be in line with a CHA bonus, although DEX has just as many.
But a set of stat modifiers that ALL apply to mental stats just seems too far outside the norm,
thus I would defer to the +2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 WIS.

The reference to "In a few short decades" makes me think this variant could use a different aging scale than the others, perhaps human or half-orc scale?


I agree the absurd over abundance of "+DEX + INT -SOMETHING" is rather stale,
as well as the total lack of any -DEX races...

If Large PC races are a no-go, I would think at least a "Powerful Build" one that used one size higher CMB/CMD would be OK, especially WITHOUT a STR bonus. I would also like to see a quadruped PC race, maybe make it a Small quadruped race even. (quadruped with humanoid hands as well, for 6 limbs ala Centaur)

Grand Lodge

Let me also throw my official "I'm interested in this" hat into this thread. Looking forward to when we hear something official about this, again.

Scarab Sages

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Just to keep the issue fresh....

Scarab Sages

*BUMP*

Liberty's Edge

Also throwing my "I'm interested in the outcome" since I have a campaign starting shortly with a dhampir in it.

Scarab Sages

Any news?


Marked for interest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also very interested if there is any new info... Dot.

Shadow Lodge

Agree, this needs looking into.

Scarab Sages

Still hoping for an update....

Scarab Sages

*Ground Control to Major Sean....*

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

*Sean don't work here, Sean is gone...*
*Told the editors, and passed the message on...*

Scarab Sages

*You're breaking up? Is something wrong?*

*Can you hear me, Major Sean...?*

*sniff*

Well...NEXT!

Scarab Sages

Still hoping for an answer....

Scarab Sages

*holds up a candle*

Paizo Employee Developer

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Hi!

First off, apologies for the long delay in an official reply to this matter.

Second off, after taking a look into this, I've found that yes, there are some issues with the variant dhampir racial ability modifiers from pages 20–21 of Blood of the Night.

To rectify some obvious oversights and make the ability modifiers of jiang-shi-born and vetala-born dhampirs more in line with their flavor text, use the following errata:

Jiang-Shi-Born (Ru-Shi): +2 Str, +2 Int, –2 Dex
Vetala-Born (Ajibachana): +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Wis

Interestingly, while jiang-shi themselves boast high Dexterity scores (representing their ability to hop around the battlefield quickly without being hindered by such obstacles as difficult terrain), jiang-shi-born lack this dextrous trait (and are indeed clumsier than most dhampirs), likely because they are able to walk on both legs and have some sort of physiological disconnect between their unique undead lineage and their mortal physicality. This is represented by the penalty to Dexterity.

A ru-shi's physical gifts do not manifest in a Constitution bonus (in fact, ru-shi are often even sicklier than most dhampirs as a result of their constantly rotting internal organs). However, ru-shi do manage to inherit some of the unnatural strength of their undead forebears, represented by the racial bonus to Strength.

Hopefully these corrections were worth the wait and clear up the discrepancies. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask here and I'll get back to you as soon as possible (much sooner than this long-overdue reply, for sure :]).

Happy dhampiring!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Patrick!!

Scarab Sages

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...AAAND we have liftoff! The creatures of the night, what beautiful errata they generate! This is Ground Control to Major Pat, you've really made the grade, and the papers want to know if you are the Wind, if you are the Sun, and if maybe someday we'll all be one, et cetera et cetera...I'm definitely looking forward to playing a Ru-Shi!

Grand Lodge

Great stuff. Thanks for that - is this in the Errata for the product yet?


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

They should send you a racial boon for all your patience. Impressive. Ive complained about "soon" recently and that was only a couple hour delay ;)

Scarab Sages

Duncan7291 wrote:
They should send you a racial boon for all your patience. Impressive. Ive complained about "soon" recently and that was only a couple hour delay ;)

I certainly wouldn't object if they did. :)

Scarab Sages

Helaman wrote:
Great stuff. Thanks for that - is this in the Errata for the product yet?

I just got the actual book - I second this question.

Grand Lodge

As a player companion, no we likely won't see an "official" errata posted for this product. Even if it does go into a second printing, it's likely it'll get changed with no announcement outside of this thread. Adventurer's Armory was kind of the anomaly to this rule, but that was because it was so...special...in its first printing.


What was the change(or changes) to the Adventurer's Armory?

Grand Lodge

The changes happened a while back. Errata was released for the first printing back in July of 2011. Here's the link. If you already have the 2nd printing, then all of this should be in there.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
You know what else is weird? While every other ability score features several races who suffer a penalty to it, there appears to be only ONE race out of ALL Paizo-published races to have a *penalty* to Dexterity, and you really have to look for it: The Syrinx, from the Inner Sea Bestiary. Also, you know who ELSE gets +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 [something]? Frigging Inner Sea Bestiary Androids (I'm not saying the way they do it in that case doesn't add up, it's just that it's like "sheesh, ANOTHER one?")...!

With so many races you are going to get a lot of duplicates of certain schemes.


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Hmmm, if we were able to get an errata for the Dampire variants, I wonder if the same could be done for the skinwalkers? There are a few issues with them.

Witchwolves for example, their name and their description make them out to be all about being witches and that their witches are their leaders and the strongest members of their packs. However, they have a racial penalty to intelligence! They make terrible witches. The only work around is if they're allowed to use that Orc only Scarred Witchdoctor archetype that lets them use Con as their primary casting stat.

Werebear kin are described has suddenly gaining a burst of strength when they first shapeshift, but have a Con bonus instead of a Strength bonus.

There's also the weird issue with several types of skinwalkers gaining mental stats instead of physical stats when they shapeshift, which hurts their spellcasters (they have to stay shifted for a day to get bonus spells) and is thematically problematic.

I'm only pointing these things out of love for skinwalkers and a desire for their stats to match up more with their descriptions ;)

Grand Lodge

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Patrick Renie wrote:

Hi!

First off, apologies for the long delay in an official reply to this matter.

Second off, after taking a look into this, I've found that yes, there are some issues with the variant dhampir racial ability modifiers from pages 20–21 of Blood of the Night.

To rectify some obvious oversights and make the ability modifiers of jiang-shi-born and vetala-born dhampirs more in line with their flavor text, use the following errata:

Jiang-Shi-Born (Ru-Shi): +2 Str, +2 Int, –2 Dex
Vetala-Born (Ajibachana): +2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Wis

Interestingly, while jiang-shi themselves boast high Dexterity scores (representing their ability to hop around the battlefield quickly without being hindered by such obstacles as difficult terrain), jiang-shi-born lack this dextrous trait (and are indeed clumsier than most dhampirs), likely because they are able to walk on both legs and have some sort of physiological disconnect between their unique undead lineage and their mortal physicality. This is represented by the penalty to Dexterity.

A ru-shi's physical gifts do not manifest in a Constitution bonus (in fact, ru-shi are often even sicklier than most dhampirs as a result of their constantly rotting internal organs). However, ru-shi do manage to inherit some of the unnatural strength of their undead forebears, represented by the racial bonus to Strength.

Hopefully these corrections were worth the wait and clear up the discrepancies. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask here and I'll get back to you as soon as possible (much sooner than this long-overdue reply, for sure :]).

Happy dhampiring!

Is this posted anyplace else, like maybe in the thread for Blood of the Night, or the Golarion FAQ, or some place where PFS players don't get hit by a stealth errata?

My source was this book, HeroLabs used the "corrected" stats from Inner Sea Races, which I don't yet own, so I made a bug report, since their stats didn't match the official source.

had to dig for this, and I am not sure this is actually PFS legal as a correction.


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kinevon wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
jiang-shi-born and vetala-born dhampirs errata

Is this posted anyplace else, like maybe in the thread for Blood of the Night, or the Golarion FAQ, or some place where PFS players don't get hit by a stealth errata?

My source was this book, HeroLabs used the "corrected" stats from Inner Sea Races, which I don't yet own, so I made a bug report, since their stats didn't match the official source.

had to dig for this, and I am not sure this is actually PFS legal as a correction.

I think the updated dhampir errata is in the new Inner Sea Races book, but I don't have it yet, so I can't confirm it for you.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

On page 241 of Inner Sea Races, Jiang-Shi-Born (Ru-Shi) are listed with +2 Str, +2 Int, -2 Dex and Vetala-Born are listed with +2 Dex, +2 Int, and -2 Wis.

Scarab Sages

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I noticed that. :)

Scarab Sages

Duncan7291 wrote:
They should send you a racial boon for all your patience. Impressive. Ive complained about "soon" recently and that was only a couple hour delay ;)

I'm just saying, to anyone who might be listening, I would be oh so happy if they actually did this, perhaps in recognition for my humble assistance in this matter, especially since I've got no fewer than 4 potential really good ideas for Dhampir characters (one for each subtype!), and I'm stuck living somewhere where Boons of any sort are very hard to come by (in-person Society being moribund here, and Conventions while we still had them rarely managing to qualify for Boon support).

:)?

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