Playing only Core Races


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Sovereign Court

Is this going too far? It seems like the vast majority of Golarion (judging from the descriptions of towns and NPC stat blocks) are the core races. Is it reasonable to tell players they must select a race from the core races only?


I think that's perfectly acceptable. James Jacobs recently stated as much on his Q&A thread. He said restricting it in one way leads to better party cohesion but remember to open it up in other ways.

For example, in my current Jade Regent campaign I made them pick from only the core races and said they all had to have lived in Sandpoint for at least a couple of years. But I gave them the option to pick absolutely any class and archetype.

Sovereign Court

Would this forum say it is reasonable to tell the players

-Core Races only
-No Advanced Class Guide classes

Lantern Lodge

taldanrebel2187 wrote:

Would this forum say it is reasonable to tell the players

-Core Races only
-No Advanced Class Guide classes

whilst it's still only the play test sure, if one of your layers can provide the book then no, a race restriction can make sense for a region as can certain class blocks but effectively banning at least two full sources of material just comes across as being a grumpy GM. Although I tend to run along regional lines for Golarion unless a sufficiently plausible and detailed backstory is provided

Dark Archive

Look at how Gygax did it. If you wanted to be a Dwarf you had to have at least 8 strength and 12 constitution before racial modifiers. Qualifying for Paladin was very hard, and you had to stick to certain class/race combinations, so you still couldn't play a Dwarven Paladin.

Now you could go and ban half of the races and classes on a whim, but modern players are a bit spoiled. This isn't very surprising as they payed good money for books they want to use.
So you can, but don't be surprised if all of a sudden nobody wants you to be the GM anymore.

Though to be honest, I'm the kind of player who'd love a core-only challenge.

Silver Crusade

I'd say run it by your players. Some prefer a wider choice, and the game is about everyone having a good time. So, focus on that first and foremost.

I'm about to start running Jade Regent, and the party currently consists of a Skinchanger, a Gathlain, and a Catfolk. I prefer running games and playing games with races as far away from core as possible.

I did restrict a little bit (No Trox, or Drow Nobles) and no Gillmen or Merfolk (Because one can't walk and the outer would likely DIE because of drying out.)


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The current campaign I'm playing in was Core Races only, and limited to Core/APG with the caveat of no summoners allowed. Our group was perfectly fine with that...as we're friends and we get together to hang out and play a game.

Making the choices limited doesn't really limit the imagination...just the mechanics.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
taldanrebel2187 wrote:

Would this forum say it is reasonable to tell the players

-Core Races only
-No Advanced Class Guide classes

It's reasonable to set whatever restrictions you want in the context of the campaign you're running. You can say... "Only Humans from Sandpoint" if you're running a Sandpoint campaign and you want all of the characters to have longstanding connections to each other.

Sovereign Court

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My two copper...

Mary Sue characters ruin roleplay. Ultimately it's a game about roleplay. I think thematically inappropriate characters are rarely justified under anything more than the guise of expectation of special treatment, or just blatant min-maxing. But exceptions exist.

Sovereign Court

You are not going to get a forum consensus on this. Some people like to restrict to core races, others like mos eisley cantina, and even more are inbetween. None of them are badwrongfun they are just preferences. Each table has to find their own.

Shadow Lodge

I would a tell everyone that it is core only, but if one player then came to me with a cool idea that was a race that could "pass" and as human and you could trust the player to keep it a secret I might allow it.

For example, sure you can be a changeling, of course you don't know you're a changeling. Matter of fact, You never heard of a changelings.

Allowing each player a chance to shine is good. Using race (and half elves/orcs have an advantage here) as a story point is as good a plot point as any.

"Race" is only a problem when everyone is using race to be special, which causes nobody to be special.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You can do what you want in your own games.

For me though, core races only is a turnoff. Not saying I'd never play in a game like that, but pretty much the only core race I will play is human. All the others bore me to death anymore.

Grand Lodge

On my recent campaign I had to lay it down so that my players could only play core races. I'm usually pretty lax, but when I ran Skull and Shackles I had a party consisting of a tengu, an android, an aasimar, and a skinwalker. I was ok with this as I wanted them to go wild and enjoy themselves with whatever. This go around though I was looking for something a little more traditional, and they all agreed so it was great.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If your group is fine with restrictions, I don't see an issue.

Optimally I would prefer to create a "core" set of races for each region, and restrict race choices to races only commonly found in those region.

So like in Numeria, you could play any of the core Avistan races (Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Halfling, Human, Half-orc, Half-elf), plus races with a presence in the region (Android, Kasatha, Orc, and Ratfolk).


If you wish to limit it based on RP (fitting in with the locals' races), you could refluff other races as subraces/ehtnicities of the core races. This would allow a variety of racial abilities to choose from without having the party be all rare races.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I usually restrict my games to Core races + Aasimar & Tiefling, unless there's a good story reason why other races would be considered.

-Skeld


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally, I think it depends on the group. Talk with them about it. That said...non-core is not universally the same thing as thematically inappropriate...or being a Mary Sue. Some people are honestly bored of most if not all of the core races, and it's not like it's wrong for them to feel that way...if playing a new race is what it takes to get their creative juices flowing, then consider talking with them about it and see if you can come up with something suitable. Same deal with classes, some people might just be burnt out on the core ones and want to try something a bit new or different.

Of course, some might honestly not care, and be fine with those restrictions. Takes some ideas off the table, but they're always up for a dwarven barbarian or cleric, or another elven wizard or halfling rogue. Who knows? Not me, I don't know your group. Reasonable, unreasonable...that depends who you're talking to. It's not exactly a hard variable, everyone has their own opinions on what is or isn't reasonable. Which goes both directions, of course. I'm sure you find it a reasonable stipulation, but someone else might easily find it totally unreasonable...while you simultaneously find their own stance to be totally unreasonable, compared to your own reasonable opinion. People get different things out of roleplay, after all.

Not that you're a slave of group consensus or anything. You are the DM. You get to make the rules. And if some people would rather not play under you than abide by those rules, if you're willing to do that, that's fine...if not necessarily reasonable. Or you could argue they aren't necessarily reasonable. Perspective, eh? I'd say what's reasonable is what works for the largest group of people, but if what works for the largest group doesn't work for the DM, there's not going to be a game. Of course...same's true if it doesn't work for any of the players, but since that's more people, less likely, though possible.

Well, that's my two cents on the subject, anyways.


i like using my advanced race guide and i know how to use the race builder to build 15-20 point races that are actually balanced with the 8-12 point races because i don't always pile up synergistic features. but i use it as a guideline and eyeball the race afterwards. i'm not one of those people who builds a 5 point race that is outright better than any 30 point race. because i know Race Points are worthless. and the feel of the race is more important than how many RP i can shoehorn it under.

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