Races of Golarion that could easily be PC races but aren't


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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So I am new here. Hi. Anyways due to a friend of mine complaining about wanting to be be an aquatic race that isn't A) a Human with gills B) A blue human with gills or C) has base land speed of 5 feeet, My DM had me help him use the race builder to make a playable Grindylow(IDK why but he could not be persuaded to be any other aquatic race). This got me to thinking there are a number of races that I think it could easily be PC characters.

So now I am doing race write-ups for several races that are at the very least as feasible as being characters as goblins are and I was curious to see what races other people think could feasibly be PC races.

My personal list as it stands is:

Lizardfolk (Kinda a classic fantasy race that got the most basic generic treatment in the ARG which really surprised me)

Gnolls (Ditto for what I just said. Was really expecting Gnolls getting a full write up with racial archetypes and everything in the ARG)

Troglodytes (Similar to Lizardfolk i know but there are only a couple Darkland PC races and they have more of a culture than goblins as far as I can tell)

Locathah (Did a lot of aquatic race research for my friend and these guys seem to be the most friendly and non homicidal race in the sea and seem perfect for a PC race... though I question their 10 foot movement)

Grindylow( I guess? IDK they are octopus goblins. Kinda even baffled my DM let a PC be one. Already did work on em though.)

Charau-ka (One of the races I think would be really great as a PC race. They are incredibly prolific in the Mwangi Expanse. Plus a new small race)

Boggards (I like Gripplis but I hate being a 2 foot frogman. Boggards basically have a similar culture except more violent and are 5 feet tall. Honestly I may be biased)

I know we have a ton of races as is with the Advanced Race Guide but still are there any other races anyone can think of that could be a good PC race?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you want more details on gnolls, troglodytes and gripplis, etc, check out the Monster Codex. It has a lot of good stuff in it.

This pdf probably has what you're looking for if you want to have a strongly aquatic character. There are 40 different aquatic races starting with humanoids but ranging from giant crab-people through full-on fish-people, penguinoids, sentient lizards, swimming tentacled eyeballs, snails, squidy things, etc. I own a copy and highly recommend it. Your GM will no doubt appreciate having some extra aquatic mobs to throw at you too. =]

Contributor

Adlets totally fit this bill.

On one hand, they stand out because they're pretty much the only Medium humanoids in the game with 10 racial Hit Dice. On the other hand, their list alignment is Neutral, so its sort of like, "Why?"


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

given current stats and alignment, lizardfolk are probably the most obvious candidates.


Dark folk....
Although listed with racial Hit die in the bestiaries, these can easily be accounted for by the rather obvious class theme attached to each..
Dark Creeper = Rouge
Dark Stalker = Ranger
Dark Slayer = Sorcerer
Dark Dancer = Bard
Dark Caller = Cleric or Summoner


As a side note, your friend could have easily reflavored one of the extant aquatic races so it looked like whatever he wanted.


Lord-of-Boggards wrote:

So I am new here. Hi. Anyways due to a friend of mine complaining about wanting to be be an aquatic race that isn't A) a Human with gills B) A blue human with gills or C) has base land speed of 5 feeet, My DM had me help him use the race builder to make a playable Grindylow(IDK why but he could not be persuaded to be any other aquatic race). This got me to thinking there are a number of races that I think it could easily be PC characters.

So now I am doing race write-ups for several races that are at the very least as feasible as being characters as goblins are and I was curious to see what races other people think could feasibly be PC races.

My personal list as it stands is:

Lizardfolk (Kinda a classic fantasy race that got the most basic generic treatment in the ARG which really surprised me)

Gnolls (Ditto for what I just said. Was really expecting Gnolls getting a full write up with racial archetypes and everything in the ARG)

Troglodytes (Similar to Lizardfolk i know but there are only a couple Darkland PC races and they have more of a culture than goblins as far as I can tell)

Locathah (Did a lot of aquatic race research for my friend and these guys seem to be the most friendly and non homicidal race in the sea and seem perfect for a PC race... though I question their 10 foot movement)

Grindylow( I guess? IDK they are octopus goblins. Kinda even baffled my DM let a PC be one. Already did work on em though.)

Charau-ka (One of the races I think would be really great as a PC race. They are incredibly prolific in the Mwangi Expanse. Plus a new small race)

Boggards (I like Gripplis but I hate being a 2 foot frogman. Boggards basically have a similar culture except more violent and are 5 feet tall. Honestly I may be biased)

I know we have a ton of races as is with the Advanced Race Guide but still are there any other races anyone can think of that could be a good PC race?

Issue with Trogs is they have that always on aura of stench.


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I really hoped the ARG or the Monster Codex would have given player stats for Gnolls and/or Lizardfolk. Other than that, I would really like to play a Large character. The problem is, of course, that most of the Large races have racial hit dice, and the easiest choices (Ogres and Minotaurs) are not really PC material in Golarion.

Dark Archive

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Lord-of-Boggards wrote:

My personal list as it stands is:

Lizardfolk (Kinda a classic fantasy race that got the most basic generic treatment in the ARG which really surprised me)

I'd drop the natural armor bonus to +2 (for PC and NPC lizardfolk, and trogs, and sahuagin), before opening them up for PC use. If I, as GM, want to bring them back up to a buffer AC for an encounter, I can just pop a chain shirt or breastplate or whatever on them.

Quote:
Gnolls (Ditto for what I just said. Was really expecting Gnolls getting a full write up with racial archetypes and everything in the ARG)

Xendrik Expeditions Organized Play (convention games) for 3.5 just dumped the racial HD and used them as is. Seemed simple enough, and added another +Str race (other than half-orc or certain shifters) to the options available.

Not as much of a fan of the others you've picked, but I'd similarly just nuke any racial HD they have (across the board. NPC members of those races would have warrior levels or whatever to bring them back up if I want them to function at a higher CR).

Other options;
Bugbear
Centaur
Dark Folk (needs a lot of work...)
Derro (ditto)
Mite
Satyr / Fauns (less magical powers, but still fey peeps with goat or deer legs and a musical bent)
Serpentfolk (more like the Green Ronin version from the Freeport adventures, or the Scarred Lands' Assaathi, than the more Mind-Flayer-level version used by Paizo)

Aquatic elves and / or aquatic hobgoblins, who may or may not exist in Golarion.


I dont want to sound negative, but my experience is that when a player wants a Race written up for him it is generally a bad idea, especially if you dont know the person or if he is someone you just randomly picked up. I've more than once been asked to write up a D&D 4th race (Gem people? That pretty evocative plant race?).

Unless you really enjoy writing rules I advice against it, that being said lets talk about aquatic race options!
.

Grindylows in pathfinder are pretty much octopus loving goblins with gills and tentacle feet.
Thus we are looking at: Dex bonus, Cha penalty, and a wildcard penalty.
This is an aquatic race, so a con penalty does not make sense, aquatic creatures have to be sturdy to survive in deep water.
The creature has tentacles for feet and lives in water, aquatic creature tentacles evolve to let the creature swim and grapple, but because the creature has less to worry about gravity in water the tentacles themselves arent really "strong" in the way walking legs are and thus unsuited to ground movement, that means a base speed of 10, tops, but, because Grindylow are "Aberrations" their natural evolution is sqewed, which affords them a little "evolutionary flexibility". Note that this speed penalty is naturally balanced by an above average speed in water, so dont grant the grindylow a benefit somewhere else.
Finally, looking at the unique abilities Grindylow have in the beastiary, they have: Tangling Tentacles, a pretty durn powerful ability, the Jet ability, and a +4 racial benefit to stealth.

Taking all of the above:
Ability scores: -2 str, +4 Dex, -2 Cha.
Base speed: 15ft. Swim speed: 30ft. Jet 200ft.
Darkvision 60ft.
+4 Stealth.
Tangling tentacles (Bestiary2).

All of that puts the grindylow way above the race-point line of roughly 10, so lets see what can be changed:

The ability scores are fine.
The speed is a bit skewed, a creature with 15 base speed and 30ft swim speed as a playable character should'nt be able to go faster, so the jet ability is one benefit too much. In other words, the base speed has to go down to 10ft, or the jet has to go.
The abilities too are too good, the stealth bonus is worth 5 rp, the darkvision 2 and the tangling tentacles, its really strong so lets say 7 RP. If we count jet as an ability then its worth 3 rp. thats a total of 17 Rp, a whole lot!

If we drop Tangling tentacles the race instantly becomes fair and balanced without reducing speed or removing jet, it's essentially a sea-goblin who can go super fast. (My choice, it removes a potentially problematic ability while the race still stays completely playable)
If we drop the base speed to 10ft (a weakness worth roughly 3rp) and remove Jet we get 11 Rp for a slow but tricky tentacle goblin, still a fair race but very vulnerable in fights that go bad and potentially broken in fights that go good (if this goblin takes the trip-chain and gets dex to damage in melee somehow (Swashbuckler) he will become very deadly very fast).
.

Have you considered showing him Kuo-Toa? It's a D&D critter with no pathfinder equivalent at the moment but in a home game there is nothing to stop you from statting it up. Note that these kuo toa differ from the D&D concept somewhat, think of it as a pathfinder port.

Kuo toa are medium sized "Piranha people", they are at home equally in and out of the water but prefer dank areas, sometimes underground, near a large body of water such as a wide and shallow river or a coral reef. Kuo Toa need to eat meat in copious anounts to survive, and lean towards raiding more civilized race's pastures as a source of meat when their own territory fails to yield the meat supply a Kuo-Toa village needs. At times Kuo toa can trade valuables such as pearls and skrimshaw, but more often they take what they need by stealth and force. Kuo toa societies with no neighbours to rely upon have a terrible tendency to grow and fall in numbers rapidly, they grow when the water's they live around yield sufficient amounts of fish, but when the sea witholds its bounty, the Kuo toa fall upon their own.

Ability scores:
+2 Strength. +2 Con. -2 Wisdom. (1rp).
Low light vision (1 Rp).
Bite 1d4. (2rp).
Swim 30ft. (2rp).
Amphibious (2rp).
Societally challenged: Kuo toa take a -2 Penalty to Bluff and Diplomacy skill checks. (-3 RP)
Pack slip: A Kuo toa may, as an immediate action, take a 5ft step. This step is in addition to other movement this round, but can only be taken if you would be so positioned near a foe that you or an ally would flank that foe. (3rp).

This race is pretty much broken in regards to combat (What barbarian would'nt want a +2 to both STR and CON and a bite attack too?) but it really deepens the pit of social skill and will save penalties that martial characters tend to bury themselves in.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why cater to requests for a specail snowflake race that is even more special than the existing special snowflakes?

A player character that is a goblin-slash-octopus??? Really? You really want this dude hanging out down at Joe's Bar & Grill looking for a new quest? I mean, most savvy folks would shoot that critter on sight. Not to be racist, or anything, but monsters are monsters and this "octoblin" or "goblipus" looks like a squirming abberation if ever I saw one.

We've already got a few aquatic races in PF, let him play one of those, if he must (merfolk, gillmen, undines). We've also got loads of Lovecraftian horrors, let him play a deep one throwback - human for starters, but that fishman transformation is just waiting to happen.

Or just make him a deformed gnome. That alone is curse enough to slake anyone's thirst for a special snowflake race. <g>

Dark Archive

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Wheldrake wrote:
Why cater to requests for a specail snowflake race that is even more special than the existing special snowflakes?

Why cater to special snowflake GMs whose precious brainchild cannot countenance any story or rules element other than those they already chose? (and by 'chose' I mean, 'let someone else choose for them, by using only the core races in the core book')

It's all relative, and in no case warrants insulting people who chose peanut butter over chocolate by calling them 'special snowflakes.'


tsuruki wrote:

I dont want to sound negative, but my experience is that when a player wants a Race written up for him it is generally a bad idea, especially if you dont know the person or if he is someone you just randomly picked up. I've more than once been asked to write up a D&D 4th race (Gem people? That pretty evocative plant race?).

Unless you really enjoy writing rules I advice against it, that being said lets talk about aquatic race options!
.

Grindylows in pathfinder are pretty much octopus loving goblins with gills and tentacle feet.
Thus we are looking at: Dex bonus, Cha penalty, and a wildcard penalty.
This is an aquatic race, so a con penalty does not make sense, aquatic creatures have to be sturdy to survive in deep water.
The creature has tentacles for feet and lives in water, aquatic creature tentacles evolve to let the creature swim and grapple, but because the creature has less to worry about gravity in water the tentacles themselves arent really "strong" in the way walking legs are and thus unsuited to ground movement, that means a base speed of 10, tops, but, because Grindylow are "Aberrations" their natural evolution is sqewed, which affords them a little "evolutionary flexibility". Note that this speed penalty is naturally balanced by an above average speed in water, so dont grant the grindylow a benefit somewhere else.
Finally, looking at the unique abilities Grindylow have in the beastiary, they have: Tangling Tentacles, a pretty durn powerful ability, the Jet ability, and a +4 racial benefit to stealth.

Taking all of the above:
Ability scores: -2 str, +4 Dex, -2 Cha.
Base speed: 15ft. Swim speed: 30ft. Jet 200ft.
Darkvision 60ft.
+4 Stealth.
Tangling tentacles (Bestiary2).

All of that puts the grindylow way above the race-point line of roughly 10, so lets see what can be changed:

The ability scores are fine.
The speed is a bit skewed, a creature with 15 base speed and 30ft swim speed as a playable character should'nt be able to go faster, so the jet ability is one benefit...

The guy is a friend of mine. And honestly my GM doesn't care if he plays a Grindylow as long as the race isn't completely broken, actually exists on Golarion, there is a good backstory to the Grindylow adventurer, and that my friend is aware most people are gonna want him dead. The party actually thinks it will be fun to try and smuggle a Grindylow into cities. And honestly I like writing rules. Its why my DM wanted me to write up the race for em.

I basically noticed everything you pointed out as far as grindylows go. Personally I am probably going to drop the Jet due to the fact from a biological standpoint there is no way a Grindylow could do that... They don't have a siphon they breathe through the gills on their neck. also Octopus can't really jet anywhere near that fast. Squid can. Octopus not so much. Grindylow don't like squid. As far the tentacles go I was going to give them a watered down version of Tangling Tentacles and then give em a racial feat to bring it up to the normal ability.

Also I loved Kuo Toa and I really like your write up. Since I think my DM wants to do a lot in the Mwangi expanse next campaign Piranha people seem pretty great. Only thing is that he doesn't really want to add new races to Golarion but I may be able to talk him around.

Starbuck_II wrote:


Issue with Trogs is they have that always on aura of stench.

See I have been wondering if the stench was at will. The race builder actually gives the exact same ability for 8RP. I thought Trogs did the stench when frightened or angry and by producing an oil through special glands but I may be getting some D&D mixed with my pathfinder.

Set wrote:


Other options;
Bugbear
Centaur
Dark Folk (needs a lot of work...)
Derro (ditto)
Mite
Satyr / Fauns (less magical powers, but still fey peeps with goat or deer legs and a musical bent)
Serpentfolk (more like the Green Ronin version from the Freeport adventures, or the Scarred Lands' Assaathi, than the more Mind-Flayer-level version used by Paizo)

Aquatic elves and / or aquatic hobgoblins, who may or may not exist in Golarion.

Bugbears(I originally thought about bugbears but Idk cause they are basically a race of lone homicidal maniacs that terrorize innocents and... actually they would probably be at home with most adventurer parties)

Centaur(lol can't believe I didn't think about em before. They probably wouldn't need as many RP as other large sized races due to them only being able to wield medium sized weapons)

Dark folk( I almost put these in my original list but wasn't sure about all the weird sub species but i like nighttree's idea)

Derro(I like Derro but they do need a lot of work... but I enjoy trying to figure it out.)

Mites(I don't know much about em. I will go look. They have some sort of vermin empathy don't they?)

Satyr or Fauns( Seem easy enough and wouldn't have the whole "Evil Monster" problem)

Serpentfolk( I looked into the serpentfolk in the Bestiary and thought they were a little overpowered. I would like to make a much weaker version)

And I have a question. Does anyone know if Grimlocks are actually on Golarion? They are in Into the Darklands but I can't any stats for them anywhere.

Also Adlets seem like a they are really overpowered for no apperent reason in the Bestiary and I think a very watered down version would make an excellent northern race.

Umm are there any Insectoid races. There are no Thri-keen in Pathfinder and I like insectoid races. The only thing I can find are Bogstriders


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Wheldrake wrote:

Why cater to requests for a specail snowflake race that is even more special than the existing special snowflakes?

A player character that is a goblin-slash-octopus??? Really? You really want this dude hanging out down at Joe's Bar & Grill looking for a new quest? I mean, most savvy folks would shoot that critter on sight. Not to be racist, or anything, but monsters are monsters and this "octoblin" or "goblipus" looks like a squirming abberation if ever I saw one.

We've already got a few aquatic races in PF, let him play one of those, if he must (merfolk, gillmen, undines). We've also got loads of Lovecraftian horrors, let him play a deep one throwback - human for starters, but that fishman transformation is just waiting to happen.

Or just make him a deformed gnome. That alone is curse enough to slake anyone's thirst for a special snowflake race. <g>

I rather dislike the whole way special-snowflake gets used on these boards in such a negative way. The the one exceptionally weird character amongst a group of otherwise probably mostly human (or some other relatively common-place for the setting race) characters is a trope which certainly has a valid place in fiction, and I think in gaming too... for that matter so do parties full of oddballs (X-Men and Inhumans immediately come to mind here).

As you mentioned the other PCs in some sense are "existing special snowflakes" anyhow.

Anyhow, I actually like the deformed gnome idea... because it immediately makes me think gnome alchemist whom had a alchemical mishap happen. Playing the result of that could be fun.


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Otyugh


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Cerulean Seas is an entire campaign setting underwater. It has 12 aquatic races in it. That's my recommendation...

Farastu wrote:
As you mentioned the other PCs in some sense are "existing special snowflakes" anyhow.

The answer is obvious: ban PCs!


Lord-of-Boggards wrote:
Dark folk( I almost put these in my original list but wasn't sure about all the weird sub species but i like nighttree's idea)

I did a homebrew, using the race builder guide...created the race as small...with an alternate racial ability of medium (same RP cost).

And then just used the "Role" format for each sub-species ;)


nighttree wrote:


I did a homebrew, using the race builder guide...created the race as small...with an alternate racial ability of medium (same RP cost).
And then just used the "Role" format for each sub-species ;)

Seems like a great idea. I just realized Darkfolk are Neutral not Evil... huh learn something new everyday


Lol yes, bugbears certainly can embody the murder-hobo lifestyle quite well.


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137ben wrote:

Cerulean Seas is an entire campaign setting underwater. It has 12 aquatic races in it. That's my recommendation...

Farastu wrote:
As you mentioned the other PCs in some sense are "existing special snowflakes" anyhow.
The answer is obvious: ban PCs!

Nooooooooooo! We'll all be stuck playing Macs!


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tsuruki wrote:
Lol yes, bugbears certainly can embody the murder-hobo lifestyle quite well.

To be fair Bugbears may be a little less violent than a lot of murder-hobos. I mean at least a Bugbear probably wouldn't wipe out an entire village in one go just for a handful of gold coins.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lord-of-Boggards wrote:
tsuruki wrote:
Lol yes, bugbears certainly can embody the murder-hobo lifestyle quite well.
To be fair Bugbears may be a little less violent than a lot of murder-hobos. I mean at least a Bugbear probably wouldn't wipe out an entire village in one go just for a handful of gold coins.

Of course not! You wipe them all out in one go, they never have the chance to be afraid & you miss out on all that sweet, sweet, terror...


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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
Lord-of-Boggards wrote:
tsuruki wrote:
Lol yes, bugbears certainly can embody the murder-hobo lifestyle quite well.
To be fair Bugbears may be a little less violent than a lot of murder-hobos. I mean at least a Bugbear probably wouldn't wipe out an entire village in one go just for a handful of gold coins.
Of course not! You wipe them all out in one go, they never have the chance to be afraid & you miss out on all that sweet, sweet, terror...

Yeah thats why you start with taking a people in the dead of night without anyone noticing and then you start leaving toes scattered around the village


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Devilkiller wrote:
Otyugh

Gesundheit.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
137ben wrote:

Cerulean Seas is an entire campaign setting underwater. It has 12 aquatic races in it. That's my recommendation...

Farastu wrote:
As you mentioned the other PCs in some sense are "existing special snowflakes" anyhow.
The answer is obvious: ban PCs!

Nooooooooooo! We'll all be stuck playing Macs!

Something something, mac am better, waving fist.

Side note: As a PC-user, I only have an opinion on PC vs. Mac about 10 minutes into the latest anti-PC rant by one of my mac-fan kith and kin. I swear, it just comes out of freaking nowhere and suddenly I am with them or against them in the holy crusade against windows.

Anyway, I like freaky-deaky snowflake races because I'm a damned Otherkin furry whatever that wants to be magic. I am BadWrongFun, and I laugh at condemnations of my BadWrongFunness! AHAHAHAHAHA!


Seriously? 50 or so races and he needs a custom?

Um, I'd hand this guy a big glass of kwitcherbeechin and a side of shaddapandpickone.


thegreenteagamer wrote:

Seriously? 50 or so races and he needs a custom?

Um, I'd hand this guy a big glass of kwitcherbeechin and a side of shaddapandpickone.

You've never wanted to play something that isn't on the "master list"?


To be honest, I don't see why a whole lot of other races can't be used as PCs.

I allow players to use any race they want, as long as their characters can be made to fit into equivalent power levels of standard PC races. If the race in question is still a bit too powerful, we just give the character an initial permanent injury or something to prevent use of one of the special traits for that race (to bring the initial power level down). We can usually figure something out by taking an extra 10 minutes or so during character creation.


Devilkiller wrote:
Otyugh

I'd allow it.


Farastu wrote:
I rather dislike the whole way special-snowflake gets used on these boards in such a negative way. The the one exceptionally weird character amongst a group of otherwise probably mostly human (or some other relatively common-place for the setting race) characters is a trope which certainly has a valid place in fiction, and I think in gaming too...

Exactly. There's nothing wrong with wanting to play a unique and interesting character.


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Minotaur(16RP)
-Stats +2Str +2Wis -2Int
-Type: Monstrous Humanoid(3RP)
-Size: Medium
-Speed 30ft
-Senses: darkvision 60ft(0RP)
-Tough Hide(+1 natural armor)(2RP)
-Lesser Natural Cunning(4RP)- Immune to maze spells, +6 bonus on survival checks to prevent from getting lost and survival is always a class skill.
-+2 racial bonus intimidate and survival(4RP)
-battle born(prof. with battle axe, great axe, maul, war hammer)(2RP)
-Languages: common and giant(1RP)

Gargoyle(15RP)
-Stats +2Con +2wis -2Int
-Type: Monstrous Humanoid(earth)(3RP)
-Size: Medium
-Speed 30ft climb 20ft fly 30(clumsy)(6RP)
-Senses: darkvision 60ft
-Stony Skin(+1 natural armor)(2RP)
-Horns- gore 1d6(1RP)
-Gargoyle Stealth(2RP)-+2 racial bonus on stealth(+4 stony environments)
-Languages: common and terran(1RP)

Harpy(15RP)
-Stats +2Dex +2Cha -2Con
-Type: Monstrous Humanoid(3RP)
-Size: Medium
-Speed: 20ft fly 40ft(poor)(6RP)
-Senses: darkvision 60ft
-Captivating Song(2RP)-functions as the monster ability except it only effects one target and is usable 1/day.
-Musical talent-(2RP) +2 racial bonus on perform and perform is always a class skill.
-Keen Eyesight-(2RP) +2 racial bonus on perception checks and halves perception penalties on distance during the day.
-Languages: common

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Farastu wrote:

I rather dislike the whole way special-snowflake gets used on these boards in such a negative way. The the one exceptionally weird character amongst a group of otherwise probably mostly human (or some other relatively common-place for the setting race) characters is a trope which certainly has a valid place in fiction, and I think in gaming too... for that matter so do parties full of oddballs (X-Men and Inhumans immediately come to mind here).

As you mentioned the other PCs in some sense are "existing special snowflakes" anyhow.

Anyhow, I actually like the deformed gnome idea... because it immediately makes me think gnome alchemist whom had a alchemical mishap happen. Playing the result of that could be fun.

I think it comes from experience with players whose only way of making their character unique or special is to give them a unique race, or other oddball character choice. Often the actual personality of the character is a one dimensional flavorless bore, and they rely on their obvious unique thing to create a thin artificial veneer of interestingness. Obviously this isn't true with all players, but I've seen it many times.

A particularly egregious example would be a VtM LARP I was in several years ago where the storyteller wouldn't say "no" to anyone. Walking around meeting people it was like, "Oh, you're also from a clan/bloodline with less than 5 members left in the world? You should go talk to these seven other people just like you!" It got so bad that people playing one of the standard seven clans became the rare and interesting ones.

Again I'm not saying this is the case here, but the backlash against "special snowflakeness" is probably due to experiences like these. I've seen it enough times that it's tough not to jump to a stereotype when I see people complain about how the core races are "confining" or "limiting." Looking around the real world, it looks to me like there are over seven billion unique ways to be a human, let alone adding in even one other race.

Contributor

ryric wrote:
Looking around the real world, it looks to me like there are over seven billion unique ways to be a human, let alone adding in even one other race.

Good point, and well-stated.

In my experience, most players of RPGs are at least somewhat concerned with two aspects (among many that exist) when it comes to character creation, those being mechanical competency and storytelling. Note that the two aspects are not mutually exclusive to one another—you can have great storytelling and great mechanical competency (however you want to define that, but one way lots of people do so is "DPR") in the same character, you can have neither in one character, you can have one but not the other. We've all sat across the table from players exhibiting both, neither, or one in excess of the other.

It seems to me that people who really want to play what some here are calling "oddball" races are usually striving to contribute to one or the other (and more rarely, both) of those aspects. They want to play a high-strength race because they've got a killer DPR build in mind or they want to play the last survivor of a dying planet for the potential richness that might add to the collaborative story they're going to be telling around the table with the GM and other players.

My personal preference is for the core seven races. I think they're varied enough, strong enough, complicated enough, and rich enough to greatly contribute both in terms of mechanics and of story to any given game. They're not at all "vanilla" unless by that you mean actually like real-world vanilla—subtle, strong, and complex.

All of which is to say, play what you will and I hope you have fun. But be aware that it is perfectly possible for some people to have fun without the use of outlier or optimized races, classes, builds, or mechanics, and that as those people, to judge by the products Paizo and other major game companies produce, are probably more numerous than you think, they are probably more likely to be first-served by designers and marketers.

Shadow Lodge

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What makes a race PC playable to me is how it fits in the world. If you set your campaign in Geb then ghouls would be a perfectly fine playable race, but for anywhere else in Golarion they wouldn't. Basically, if a creature could walk into a city and not be attacked on sight, then you could make a PC out of it. Otherwise it should stay as a monster, unless you are designing your own story which specifically accounts for the PC being a monster.

I think one of the issues with letting players make their own or choose bizarre races is the feelings of the rest of the group. If you tell them all at character creation they can play monsters, then all well and good. The issues arise when 5 people come to the table with core races, cause that's what the GM said they could play, and the 6th has their "special snowflake," that they convinced the GM to let them play. And now the other five are like why do they get the special treatment, the normal rules are good enough for the rest of us, why can't they abide too? As long as that situation is avoided, I think weird races are fine.


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I understand both sides of the argument but I was just asking what other races could be easily be PC races... or at least make as much sense as having goblins as PCs. O well kinda figured this argument would start.

3 people in my group like being nonstandard races, the other 3 are always an elf, a half elf, and a dwarf. No one in my group ever cares if one person plays something bizarre. Its not even like he is trying to optimize the Grindylow. He wants to be a Cavalier... Those tentacles will be real useful while riding a turtle... Also our campaign is starting in the Shackles so the Grindylow isn't completely out of left field.

I actually tend to not optimize my characters when I play weird races. My Kobold Fighter was pretty great...

Dragon78 wrote:

Minotaur(16RP)

Gargoyle(15RP)

Harpy(15RP)

I like these write-ups. Lol isn't the little gargoyle write up in the ARG like 28 RP? I like this write up for gargoyles much much better.

Anyways I never really understood why gargoyles are evil in Pathfinder and D&D.

See now i want to be a Gargoyle... Maybe a Gargoyle Alchemist

gnoams wrote:
What makes a race PC playable to me is how it fits in the world. If you set your campaign in Geb then ghouls would be a perfectly fine playable race, but for anywhere else in Golarion they wouldn't.

I get you point. Its like Gnolls are accepted in some places as citizens. I can't remember what city it is but some city has a section called Dogtown that's inhabited by Gnolls. A Gnoll PC doesn't make a sense if your campaign is in Irrisen but if it is in wherever I am thinking of it makes perfect sense.

Though actually I was trying to think of good Darklands races and Ghouls are actually a major and somewhat civilized race. Thanks.


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Cyclopes(13RP)
-Stats: +2Str +2Wis -2Cha
-Type: Humanoid(Giant)
-Size:Medium
-Speed: 30ft
-Senses: low-light vision(1RP)
-Flash of insight(1/day)(3RP)
-Focused Sight-+4 racial bonus on perception checks(4RP)
-Weapon Familiarity(great axe, great club)(2RP)
-Tough Skin(+1 natural armor)(2RP)
-Languages: common and giant(1RP)

Satyr(13RP)
-Stats: +2Dex +2Cha -2Wis
-Type: Fey(2RP)
-Size: Medium
-Speed: 40ft(1RP)
-Senses: low-light vision
-Fey Skin- DR2/cold iron(2RP)
-Satyr Magic- dancing lights at will, charm person and sleep each 1/day.(3RP)
-+2 perception and perform(4RP)
-Languages: common and sylvan(1RP)

Medusa(14RP)
-Stats: +2Con +2Cha -2Str
-Type: Monstrous Humanoid(3RP)
-Size: Medium
-Speed: 30ft
-Senses: darkvision 60ft
-Lesser Petrifying Gaze- single target 30ft fort save negates(DC10+1/2level+cha mod) or turned to stone, usable 1/day(3RP)
-All-Around Vision(4RP)
-Snakes- Bite 1d6(1RP)
-Poison- can make your bite poisonous as swift action after striking an enemy. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1+Con mod.(3RP)
-Languages: common

Nixie(16RP)
-Stats +2Dex +2Cha -2Str
-Type: Fey(aquatic)(2RP)
-Size: Small
-Speed: 20ft swim 30ft(2RP)
-Senses: low-light vision
-Nixie Magic- charm person and water breathing(1/day)(4RP)
-Fey Skin-DR2/cold iron(2RP)
-Spell Resistance(lesser)(2RP)
-Amphibious(1RP)
-Nixie's Empathy-+2 racial bonus to wild empathy checks(2RP)
-Languages: common and sylvan(1RP)


I don't mind non-standard races. It is not like DnD is known for its deep and profound exploration of non-human psychology (assuming we can imagine such thing in the first place, or, conversely, that it could exist in creatures that have much the same basic requirements as humans). If players like certain aesthetics, far it be from me to argue with them. In PF playing non-standard races can be a powerful option, depending on starting level, but well, so is playing a full caster, and I'm not banning those any time soon.

The only exception are creatures so intensely reviled, that not even simple commoners, who can fooled with a simple Hat of Disguise, but almost everyone will want to kill them on sight; or those who don't fit in an adventuring party's routine because they work too differently. Both points mostly go for undead.


I've always seen two main problems with adding to the list of playable races:

1. What would happen if a member of the race, unknown to anyone in town, tried walk in and order a meal at the local tavern and find a place to stay at the local inn?

2. Can the race be made into something reasonably balanced for level 1 characters? (no more than 15 RP spent)

There's plenty of races that pass #1 but fail #2, and similarly a lot of races fail #1 despite passing #2 with flying colors. It's very difficult for goblins to integrate into society anywhere, because pyromaniac sociopaths are anathema to medieval towns. Centaurs would probably be able to integrate into society seamlessly in most of Golarion, yet there's just no way to produce a racial build that meaningfully allows centaur PCs at level 1.


Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:

{. . .}

Centaurs would probably be able to integrate into society seamlessly in most of Golarion, yet there's just no way to produce a racial build that meaningfully allows centaur PCs at level 1.

One could always go the Dark Sun approach (or at least what used to be the Dark Sun approach), and start everybody off at level 5 (or whatever number), deducting racial hit dice from available starting class levels to balance things. Separately or in combination with this, you could take the D&D 3.5 Savage Species approach (but preferably with some of the flaws fixed) and have monstrous characters start out as in the examples above, but then have them be able to upgrade themselves by adding paragon/prestige class levels. Pathfinder already does something sort of similar with the Drow Noble series of feats and similar feat chains for a few other races such as Aasimar (this one being most notable because it lets you get flight; 1 or 2 other examples exist).

Dark Archive

RPs are a bad way to gauge the power of a race. I can easily build a 10 RP (maybe even less) race that is far better than any of the core races (even dwarves), especially if I'm building the race for a niche.


Thanks to whoever moved the thread. It makes more sense here


a humanoid type of leshy
law and chaos planetouched
revenant
nephil or something like a half-giant
sidhe


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I wanted vegepygmies, so I statted them up in Wayfinder #8. :)

And a summoner archetype to go with it...

So they are mute. They probably don't drink alcohol, so entering a bar is pointless, except to aid some muscle or talk to the indoor ferns. Who drinks alcohol anyway?


I once set down to look, how many critters from all bestiaries may be PC races. Estimated something around 120-200 candidates for further consideration.


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All interested might want to look at this THREAD or REDACTED.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
Why cater to requests for a specail snowflake race that is even more special than the existing special snowflakes?

Why cater to special snowflake GMs whose precious brainchild cannot countenance any story or rules element other than those they already chose? (and by 'chose' I mean, 'let someone else choose for them, by using only the core races in the core book')

It's all relative, and in no case warrants insulting people who chose peanut butter over chocolate by calling them 'special snowflakes.'

It's more incumbent on the player to fit his concept to the gameworld than it is for the GM to bend his world around one player who wants to be "different" for no particular reason other than to be different.


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OceanShieldWolf wrote:
I wanted vegepygmies, so I statted them up in Wayfinder #8. :)

I guess vegepygmy characters would be the wallflowers . . . .

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
All interested might want to look at this THREAD or REDACTED.

Wow . . . where did this come from? Even seems to be a Paizo product from looking at it, but doesn't come up in the search for Paizo products. (Even looked at the beginning and end of the thread, but didn't see it. EDIT: Buried somewhere in the middle.)


Mackenzie Kavanaugh wrote:
2. Can the race be made into something reasonably balanced for level 1 characters? (no more than 15 RP spent.

Almost anything can be made to be reasonably balanced for first level characters. I could work with a player who wanted to be a Tarrasque and balance it out. Between deformities, physical injuries, curses, etc., you can de-power anything to within playable levels.

I like for my players to be able to explore different types of characters, if they want to. It doesn't take much work or time to help them do that. Some just like having a character that looks different, but I have encountered quite a number of them who are interested in exploring the psychology of unusual species and/or the challenge of finding a way to successfully play a character with a distinct social disadvantage.

RPGs are about fantasy. Some people fantasize about playing characters who aren't just humans with pointy ears, a short stature, hairy feet, green skin, etc.


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Kobolds.
They may be in the ARG but with those crappy stats they are no real PC race.

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