What is the deal with these Inner Sea Races tradeoffs?


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I got a peak at a subscribers PDF of Inner Sea Races and there is definately some cool stuff; giving Dwarves Toughness as an option work great for prereqs and Half-Elves finaly get access to Elven Weapon Training (which I'd love to see expanded to Drow and Aquatic-Elf variants in future) and giving all Geniekin a way to count as Human is a great asset to GMs who don't want to contigentcy plan.

But there are lots of problems.

Half-Elves now have a new Racial Trait that gives them a +2 to Charisma in addition to their existing Ability score increase. The problem is it trades Adaptability, Elven Immunities, Keen Senses, and Multitalented. By Paizos own race creation rules this reduces a Half-Elf from a 10 RP race to a 4. The trade also strips basically everything other than Low-Light Vision that makes Half-Elves unique.

Tieflings now have their own version of Scion of Humanity, which specifically prohibits a character from having any physical atribute that would make said Tiefling from looking different from a Human. Paizo has not felt the need to include this limitation on simular features for Aasimars or Geniekin.

There are more than a couple of these weird tradeoffs. I personally think the Half-Elf trait is the worse. Multitalented is easily worth a +2 to Charisma alone.

The Exchange

If you choose the +2 Chr it probably is better than the other options Using that race. It doesn't matter the RP total.

This applies to any optional "down grade" the player is getting the better part of the exchange.k

Edit: double checked multitalented...i would drop it for every half elf I ever play, if there was any thing else I could take (and there is, fey thoughts)

Scarab Sages

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Multitalented is pretty awful. You get two favored classes. Whoopity-doo. This gives you at best 10 hp or 10 skill points. Half of toughness if you go straight 10/10 for a multiclass, which is usually a horrible idea. In most cases, if you are going to multiclass, it's for a 1-5 level dip, and then it giving you much less.

If I was going to play a half elf I was looking to trade it before ARG. There are just some really good options to trade for now.


I can see taking the +2 CHA. For characters like a melee Oracle it could be incredibly useful. I do think they should probably keep one of those abilities they lose for it though.

Scarab Sages

The Pale King wrote:
I can see taking the +2 CHA. For characters like a melee Oracle it could be incredibly useful. I do think they should probably keep one of those abilities they lose for it though.

I compare it to a Human taking Dual Talent. +2 to any two ability scores in exchange for a bonus feat and skilled.

Half-elves trade a less useful set skill focus feat, Elven Immunities, Keen Senses, and the worthless multitalented for a +2 CHA.

It's a similar power trade for both. In both cases, you are giving up more than you gain, but the trade off can be worth it depending on your build.

It's great for Bards, Oracles, Mesmerists, Paladins, Sorcerers, and anyone else who is CHA-based.


Can you take the +2 in Cha then still while taking the +2 Cha option, essentially getting a +4?


Quatar wrote:
Can you take the +2 in Cha then still while taking the +2 Cha option, essentially getting a +4?

That's the million dollar question, and the answer is no.

Kindred-Raised wrote:
(...)They gain a +2 bonus to Charisma and one other ability score of their choice. This racial trait replaces the half-elf ’s usual racial ability score modifiers, as well as adaptability, elven immunities, keen senses, and multitalented.

It's circumstantially nice, but unless you're playing a class that really wants a +2 charisma bonus as well as a +2 bonus to something else I'd say you're losing more than you're adding. It's easy to dismiss multitalented and adaptability, but keep in mind that this also locks you out of the other alternate racial traits. Adaptability can instead be traded for Dual Minded or Ancestral Arms and Multitalented can be dropped for the excellent Arcane Training or Fey Thoughts.

All said, I think Kindred-raised is a decent option for something like a half-elf bloodrager, paladin or martial bard.


even if you added Keen Senses or Even Immunities as part of thde trade; my point is the alternate racial trait takes everything leaving the only racial ability Half-elve gain is Low-Light Vision.

I do agree this leaves Half-Elves fuctionally identicle to Humans other than qualifying for Elf only stuff it just feel like stripping the race of everything that makes them special. Even omitting Adaptability from the trade would give them something. Even adding a -2 to the alternate trait seems like a better option.

That and anything that encorages players to not be Human is a good thing IMHO, the absolute most boring choice in a fantasy setting.

That last part is mainly opinion though.

I also feel problem when the game developers explicitly state that a standard race should be 10RP to hold balance, outline what abilities add up to 10RP, and make something that does not line up with those previous guidelines.


Diminuendo wrote:

even if you added Keen Senses or Even Immunities as part of thde trade; my point is the alternate racial trait takes everything leaving the only racial ability Half-elve gain is Low-Light Vision.

I do agree this leaves Half-Elves fuctionally identicle to Humans other than qualifying for Elf only stuff it just feel like stripping the race of everything that makes them special. Even omitting Adaptability from the trade would give them something.

That and anything that encorages players to not be Human is a good thing IMHO, the absolute most boring choice in a fantasy setting.

That last part is mainly opinion though.

I tend to prefer playing humans, actually... It's close enough to reality to draw me into the game, but then I can use magic and other fantastical stuff to be heroic.

Other races create too much of a disconnect for me.


alexd1976 wrote:
Diminuendo wrote:

even if you added Keen Senses or Even Immunities as part of thde trade; my point is the alternate racial trait takes everything leaving the only racial ability Half-elve gain is Low-Light Vision.

I do agree this leaves Half-Elves fuctionally identicle to Humans other than qualifying for Elf only stuff it just feel like stripping the race of everything that makes them special. Even omitting Adaptability from the trade would give them something.

That and anything that encorages players to not be Human is a good thing IMHO, the absolute most boring choice in a fantasy setting.

That last part is mainly opinion though.

I tend to prefer playing humans, actually... It's close enough to reality to draw me into the game, but then I can use magic and other fantastical stuff to be heroic.

Other races create too much of a disconnect for me.

I have a couple of players say the same thing; thats why I explicitally labeled it as opinion. "It's my preferance" isn't exactly a resonable argument.

Designer

Imbicatus wrote:
The Pale King wrote:
I can see taking the +2 CHA. For characters like a melee Oracle it could be incredibly useful. I do think they should probably keep one of those abilities they lose for it though.

I compare it to a Human taking Dual Talent. +2 to any two ability scores in exchange for a bonus feat and skilled.

Half-elves trade a less useful set skill focus feat, Elven Immunities, Keen Senses, and the worthless multitalented for a +2 CHA.

It's a similar power trade for both. In both cases, you are giving up more than you gain, but the trade off can be worth it depending on your build.

It's great for Bards, Oracles, Mesmerists, Paladins, Sorcerers, and anyone else who is CHA-based.

It's indeed based on Dual Talent. You lose less than the human did (as you described), so if you wanted that Cha with Dual Talent anyway, the half-elf option is more-or-less strictly better (two languages, low-light vision, three possible FCB options, etc). Dual Talent isn't ubiquitous, but I've seen it around a fair amount, so that suggests this option will also have similar use.

As an aside on Race Points. Race Points are something of a rough guideline, but they're not usually a good measuring stick of the actual power of a race at all, since by their nature, they cost things out separately and completely ignore synergy (for just one example, having your Cha count as 2 higher, like the elemental races do, is way better for ifrit which also has +2 Cha, but it costs the same for all of them). It particularly doesn't help when new races, in an attempt to seem like they're more balanced, use weird RP tricks like undercosting their powers or giving a -1 RP for something minor. In general, if a new race looks too powerful but then "it only has 10 RP," it's still too powerful.


Yeah, the Race Builder was honestly one of Paizo's worst releases as far as mechanics/balance go. Most of the RP costs seem almost completely arbitrary, or like their point value was assigned so all the official races would add up to balanced totals. And as has been shown all too often on the boards, it's easy to use the rules make a 10 RP race that's incredibly overpowered (or a 30 RP race that's garbage).

Dark Archive

Has anyone ever managed to figure out why Paizo hates tieflings so much? Aasimar are mechanically better in pretty much every possible way. Everything tieflings get that's even remotely nice always comes with some sort of caveat or penalty along with it. What's up with that?


Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Has anyone ever managed to figure out why Paizo hates tieflings so much? Aasimar are mechanically better in pretty much every possible way. Everything tieflings get that's even remotely nice always comes with some sort of caveat or penalty along with it. What's up with that?

Well , you know , nobody likes the evil guys right :P?

Heh but really they are cooler , so they got that going for them , which is nice.

Dark Archive

Except they're worse in every way, which isn't cool.

Designer

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Chengar Qordath wrote:
And as has been shown all too often on the boards, it's easy to use the rules make a 10 RP race that's incredibly overpowered (or a 30 RP race that's garbage).

Chengar, I don't always agree with you, but this time I think you're right (I guess since at the time I was on the boards saying similar, it's not too unexpected though). There's also things in there like human languages, which give you one fewer language than everyone else gets, nonetheless cost 1 RP (everyone else pays 0) for a benefit (Int bonus languages unrestricted) that doesn't even matter much if at all unless you're an Int-based character.

To be fair, I believe that due to the inability to account for synergy between the abilities, a race builder of that sort was guaranteed from the start to not be usable as a balanced way for a player to customize her race. As a rough sort of guideline for GMs trying to make a new race or at least look around for racial abilities to include, it does alright (but should still only be a second step, preceded by coming up with the concept for the race first, and then followed by a serious examination and comparison), but as you say, it's not a good way to balance trade-offs for alternate racial abilities because the raw points don't matter; it's all about how the sort of character who would want the ability would use it.


I'll continue using my homebrew racial trait Bastard of Humanity (see Scion of Humanity) instead of Pass for Human


Mark Seifter wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
And as has been shown all too often on the boards, it's easy to use the rules make a 10 RP race that's incredibly overpowered (or a 30 RP race that's garbage).

Chengar, I don't always agree with you, but this time I think you're right (I guess since at the time I was on the boards saying similar, it's not too unexpected though). There's also things in there like human languages, which give you one fewer language than everyone else gets, nonetheless cost 1 RP (everyone else pays 0) for a benefit (Int bonus languages unrestricted) that doesn't even matter much if at all unless you're an Int-based character.

To be fair, I believe that due to the inability to account for synergy between the abilities, a race builder of that sort was guaranteed from the start to not be usable as a balanced way for a player to customize her race. As a rough sort of guideline for GMs trying to make a new race or at least look around for racial abilities to include, it does alright (but should still only be a second step, preceded by coming up with the concept for the race first, and then followed by a serious examination and comparison), but as you say, it's not a good way to balance trade-offs for alternate racial abilities because the raw points don't matter; it's all about how the sort of character who would want the ability would use it.

Yeah, the RP value of a given racial trait is far less important than what the choice does for a given character. It's really not a downgrade if a character is trading out 8 RP of nigh-useless abilities for four points of stuff that really synergizes with their class and abilities. Smashmouth the Barbarian would gladly trade out a +5 to Diplomacy for a +1 to Intimidate, because he never uses Diplomacy anyway.


Still, it would be nice if the racial point builder didn't say that +2 to Int is worth exactly as much as a skill point per level, or that +2 to a skill (less than half a feat) is equal to Improved Initiative(a feat) and twice as good as +2 to Will saves(identical to and stacks with Iron Will, which is a feat).

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Imbicatus wrote:

Multitalented is pretty awful. You get two favored classes. Whoopity-doo. This gives you at best 10 hp or 10 skill points. Half of toughness if you go straight 10/10 for a multiclass, which is usually a horrible idea. In most cases, if you are going to multiclass, it's for a 1-5 level dip, and then it giving you much less.

If I was going to play a half elf I was looking to trade it before ARG. There are just some really good options to trade for now.

I've gotten some good use out of it in cases where both FCBs are worth taking. But that still makes it super-niche.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
To be fair, I believe that due to the inability to account for synergy between the abilities, a race builder of that sort was guaranteed from the start to not be usable as a balanced way for a player to customize her race.

Mark, I agree with you here, but there was one point I wanted to bring up:

Quote:
it's all about how the sort of character who would want the ability would use it.

I was under the impression that this was supposed to be (at least somewhat) ameliorated by the fact that race-creation and character-creation were meant to be kept separate.

That is, if you allow for a player to make a custom race and then turn right around and take a class that just-so-happens to dovetail perfectly with that race's abilities, then it's inevitable that you'll wind up with an overly-powerful character.

On the other hand, if a custom race is made by a GM - presumably with a particular thematic concept in mind, rather than being made to abet a particular mechanical build - and then handed out to the players, that should (at least presumably) ablate that kind of abuse (or at least the more gratuitous instances of it).

Designer

Alzrius wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
To be fair, I believe that due to the inability to account for synergy between the abilities, a race builder of that sort was guaranteed from the start to not be usable as a balanced way for a player to customize her race.

Mark, I agree with you here, but there was one point I wanted to bring up:

Quote:
it's all about how the sort of character who would want the ability would use it.

I was under the impression that this was supposed to be (at least somewhat) ameliorated by the fact that race-creation and character-creation were meant to be kept separate.

That is, if you allow for a player to make a custom race and then turn right around and take a class that just-so-happens to dovetail perfectly with that race's abilities, then it's inevitable that you'll wind up with an overly-powerful character.

On the other hand, if a custom race is made by a GM - presumably with a particular thematic concept in mind, rather than being made to abet a particular mechanical build - and then handed out to the players, that should (at least presumably) ablate that kind of abuse (or at least the more gratuitous instances of it).

That point (that GMs should be making the race) is one of the points I made above, but what I mean when I mention considering how it will be used is that if you create a race that is overpowered for wizards (and balanced or weak for everyone else), then when the player asks to play a wizard of that race, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if a GM made it or a player made it. That's why not only should the GM make the race, but the GM should look at how the race works for many (ideally all) classes and such, but particularly the ones for which it was intended. It's not all about overpoweredness, as Chengar pointed out. Sometimes a race can come out too low for those expected classes. Changeling is an example, since overall they are not an underpowered race, but they are supposed to be good at being witches, and without the witchborn alternate racial, they are in the running for the worst race for witches that doesn't have an Intelligence penalty.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:


That point (that GMs should be making the race) is one of the points I made above, but what I mean when I mention considering how it will be used is that if you create a race that is overpowered for wizards (and balanced or weak for everyone else), then when the player asks to play a wizard of that race, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if a GM made it or a player made it. That's why not only should the GM make the race, but the GM should look at how the race works for many (ideally all) classes and such, but particularly the ones for which it was intended. It's not all about overpoweredness, as Chengar pointed out. Sometimes a race can come out too low for those expected classes. Changeling is an example, since overall they are not an underpowered race, but they are supposed to be good at being witches, and without...

This can also apply to racial archetype design. For example, the post errata Scarred Witch Doctor. It's an archetype written for orc witches, so fierce intelligence is well balanced form the perspective that there will be a -2 INT penalty if the archetype is taken. However, it's overpowered when taken by a half-orc with a +2 INT Bonus.

Designer

Imbicatus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


That point (that GMs should be making the race) is one of the points I made above, but what I mean when I mention considering how it will be used is that if you create a race that is overpowered for wizards (and balanced or weak for everyone else), then when the player asks to play a wizard of that race, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if a GM made it or a player made it. That's why not only should the GM make the race, but the GM should look at how the race works for many (ideally all) classes and such, but particularly the ones for which it was intended. It's not all about overpoweredness, as Chengar pointed out. Sometimes a race can come out too low for those expected classes. Changeling is an example, since overall they are not an underpowered race, but they are supposed to be good at being witches, and without...

This can also apply to racial archetype design. For example, the post errata Scarred Witch Doctor. It's an archetype written for orc witches, so fierce intelligence is well balanced form the perspective that there will be a -2 INT penalty if the archetype is taken. However, it's overpowered when taken by a half-orc with a +2 INT Bonus.

As with the example I made above involving ifrits, this exact same thing applies for the tiefling ability to count as 2 higher Charisma when applied to a +2 Cha tiefling heritage and for ifrits with that elemental ability as well. It was totally balanced when written for the original -2 Cha tiefling, and it is unbalanced now with races that already get +2.


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And the Half-Orc Scarred Wich Doctor(that poor, poor, archetype got hit with the nerf flavor bat...).


That was meant for Orcs.

Contributor

Diminuendo wrote:
Half-Elves now have a new Racial Trait that gives them a +2 to Charisma in addition to their existing Ability score increase. The problem is it trades Adaptability, Elven Immunities, Keen Senses, and Multitalented. By Paizos own race creation rules this reduces a Half-Elf from a 10 RP race to a 4. The trade also strips basically everything other than Low-Light Vision that makes Half-Elves unique.

Its basically the same as the human Dual Talent ability, which also trades all of the human's benefits (Bonus Feat and Skilled) for two +2 bonuses. Having two flexible +2 bonuses is a big deal, especially when we start talking about Charisma, AKA the most stackable stat in the game. In other words, if you're looking into that bonus, its probably a huge bonus for you.

Quote:
Tieflings now have their own version of Scion of Humanity, which specifically prohibits a character from having any physical atribute that would make said Tiefling from looking different from a Human. Paizo has not felt the need to include this limitation on simular features for Aasimars or Geniekin.

That's because aasimars and geniekin don't have racial traits that give them stuff like prehensile tails or cloven feet. That's a pretty tiefling thing.

Quote:
There are more than a couple of these weird tradeoffs. I personally think the Half-Elf trait is the worse. Multitalented is easily worth a +2 to Charisma alone.

Not if you don't plan on multiclassing it isn't. For a character who wants a +2 in one stat and a +2 to Charisma, that trait is fantastic. (Examples: paladins, oracles, sorcerers, arcanists, swashbucklers, bards, skalds, etc.) For almost all of those characters, you probably don't care about losing Skill Focus and a multiclassing bonus. Loss of immunity to sleep effects and a +2 bonus versus enchantments is a minor downside at best, and the +2 racial bonus to Perception checks, while awesome, isn't going to hold a candle to having double stat bonuses with no penalties for any of the classes that I mentioned.

Silver Crusade Contributor

The ones that bothered me were the Elf alternate racial traits. Most of them feel like they trade out too much - usually both elven magic and something else.

It's also interesting to compare Overwhelming Magic (from this book) with the simultaneously released Illustrious Urbanite (from Heroes of the Street). ^_^

Designer

Kalindlara wrote:

The ones that bothered me were the Elf alternate racial traits. Most of them feel like they trade out too much - usually both elven magic and something else.

It's also interesting to compare Overwhelming Magic (from this book) with the simultaneously released Illustrious Urbanite (from Heroes of the Street). ^_^

It's all about synergy and choices. The thing that makes, for instance, elven magic and weapon familiarity as a package a really nice thing to trade out for an ability that could be useful to a variety of classes is that both of those abilities have limited use to certain sorts of characters, but between them, there's usually something relevant (and sure, there are potentially characters that use both in a strong way, but they're rarer, and they should probably keep those abilities anyway since they're a perfect fit for them). Trading elven magic alone is good for something like retreat magic, since you trade a magic benefit for a magic benefit, so you know that the character is having to pick between two abilities they could at least use.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Legio_MCMLXXXVII wrote:
Has anyone ever managed to figure out why Paizo hates tieflings so much? Aasimar are mechanically better in pretty much every possible way. Everything tieflings get that's even remotely nice always comes with some sort of caveat or penalty along with it. What's up with that?

It's a 3.X carryover. If you check back to that you'll see the same thing there as well.

On the other hand, an all tiefling party with the right feats rocks with deeper darkness spells.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Mark Seifter wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

The ones that bothered me were the Elf alternate racial traits. Most of them feel like they trade out too much - usually both elven magic and something else.

It's also interesting to compare Overwhelming Magic (from this book) with the simultaneously released Illustrious Urbanite (from Heroes of the Street). ^_^

It's all about synergy and choices. The thing that makes, for instance, elven magic and weapon familiarity as a package a really nice thing to trade out for an ability that could be useful to a variety of classes is that both of those abilities have limited use to various characters, but between them, there's usually something relevant (and sure, there are potentially characters that use both in a strong way, but they're rarer, and they should probably keep those abilities anyway since they're a perfect fit for them). Trading elven magic alone is good for something like retreat magic, since you trade a magic benefit for a magic benefit, so you know that the character is having to pick between two abilities they could at least use.

I like one-for-one trades better, because it allows more mix-and-match.

I was thinking more in comparison to abilities from earlier books - trading elven magic for silent hunter or woodcraft, for example. Those were abilities where you traded something you couldn't use for something you could.

Is this a new direction on the part of the Design Team?

Designer

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Kalindlara wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

The ones that bothered me were the Elf alternate racial traits. Most of them feel like they trade out too much - usually both elven magic and something else.

It's also interesting to compare Overwhelming Magic (from this book) with the simultaneously released Illustrious Urbanite (from Heroes of the Street). ^_^

It's all about synergy and choices. The thing that makes, for instance, elven magic and weapon familiarity as a package a really nice thing to trade out for an ability that could be useful to a variety of classes is that both of those abilities have limited use to various characters, but between them, there's usually something relevant (and sure, there are potentially characters that use both in a strong way, but they're rarer, and they should probably keep those abilities anyway since they're a perfect fit for them). Trading elven magic alone is good for something like retreat magic, since you trade a magic benefit for a magic benefit, so you know that the character is having to pick between two abilities they could at least use.

I like one-for-one trades better, because it allows more mix-and-match.

I was thinking more in comparison to abilities from earlier books - trading elven magic for silent hunter or woodcraft, for example. Those were abilities where you traded something you couldn't use for something you could.

Is this a new direction on the part of the Design Team?

It's just a piece of the overall puzzle. Abilities that switch out something you definitely won't use for something you will use generally should have a different set of balance concerns, where often they are assisting an aspect of the race that the race was normally weak at but that we'd like to explore. For example, trading out weapon familiarity for Spell Focus would be very bad design because elves are already good at being wizards, and elf wizards now get more benefits for very little cost. However, trading out elven magic for something that helps barbarians and ties into the story of elves (maybe like ilduliel rage) would be a good thing because it is instead shoring up elves in a traditional weak point.

To use your example, elves are traditionally in stories good at being woodsy rangers or druids who disappear into the trees and are hard to see, but Pathfinder elves are kind of really bad at being rangers and druids, so it makes sense to give them that ability, even for a trade that the rangers wouldn't care about as much (or elf rogues and fighters might not care about at all).

Silver Crusade Contributor

I see. This seems quite reasonable.

Thank you! ^_^

Designer

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Kalindlara wrote:

I see. This seems quite reasonable.

Thank you! ^_^

No problem! I edited to also talk about your examples too.

Silver Crusade Contributor

Mark Seifter wrote:
For example, trading out weapon familiarity for Spell Focus would be very bad design because elves are already good at being wizards, and elf wizards now get more benefits for very little cost.

The arcane focus alternate racial trait (ARG) would like a word with you, by the way. :P

Designer

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Kalindlara wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For example, trading out weapon familiarity for Spell Focus would be very bad design because elves are already good at being wizards, and elf wizards now get more benefits for very little cost.
The arcane focus alternate racial trait (ARG) would like a word with you, by the way. :P

Yup, and there's worse offenders of this general idea than that out there. Things will always slip through that follow design principles in varying degrees, and we're sure as heck not perfect. One thing that arcane focus at least does is give a much more muted benefit (it is less than half of combat casting and less than the +2 all concentration traits even, as opposed to Spell Focus, even though race points would tell us that Spell Focus is the "same cost" as weapon familiarity), which is another thing that sometimes happens in those situations. There are examples I can think of that don't even follow that, and trade a weakness-shoring ability for something extremely powerful.


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captain yesterday wrote:
That was meant for Orcs.

That really doesn't matter now that the cool part of the archetype is dead.


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I would like to just find some abilities that replace a Catfolks' cat's luck ability and only the catfolk's cat's luck ability.

I am not a fan of alternate racial abilities that replaces multiple racial abilities all at once.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


That point (that GMs should be making the race) is one of the points I made above, but what I mean when I mention considering how it will be used is that if you create a race that is overpowered for wizards (and balanced or weak for everyone else), then when the player asks to play a wizard of that race, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if a GM made it or a player made it. That's why not only should the GM make the race, but the GM should look at how the race works for many (ideally all) classes and such, but particularly the ones for which it was intended. It's not all about overpoweredness, as Chengar pointed out. Sometimes a race can come out too low for those expected classes. Changeling is an example, since overall they are not an underpowered race, but they are supposed to be good at being witches, and without...

This can also apply to racial archetype design. For example, the post errata Scarred Witch Doctor. It's an archetype written for orc witches, so fierce intelligence is well balanced form the perspective that there will be a -2 INT penalty if the archetype is taken. However, it's overpowered when taken by a half-orc with a +2 INT Bonus.
As with the example I made above involving ifrits, this exact same thing applies for the tiefling ability to count as 2 higher Charisma when applied to a +2 Cha tiefling heritage and for ifrits with that elemental ability as well. It was totally balanced when written for the original -2 Cha tiefling, and it is unbalanced now with races that already get +2.

Just combed the book today and I have to say that I'm really glad Kobolds got this sort of treatment for the Draconic Bloodlines. They have natural dragon bloodline sorcerer tendencies but never had the stats to back that up.

Designer

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Xethik wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


That point (that GMs should be making the race) is one of the points I made above, but what I mean when I mention considering how it will be used is that if you create a race that is overpowered for wizards (and balanced or weak for everyone else), then when the player asks to play a wizard of that race, at the end of the day it doesn't matter if a GM made it or a player made it. That's why not only should the GM make the race, but the GM should look at how the race works for many (ideally all) classes and such, but particularly the ones for which it was intended. It's not all about overpoweredness, as Chengar pointed out. Sometimes a race can come out too low for those expected classes. Changeling is an example, since overall they are not an underpowered race, but they are supposed to be good at being witches, and without...

This can also apply to racial archetype design. For example, the post errata Scarred Witch Doctor. It's an archetype written for orc witches, so fierce intelligence is well balanced form the perspective that there will be a -2 INT penalty if the archetype is taken. However, it's overpowered when taken by a half-orc with a +2 INT Bonus.
As with the example I made above involving ifrits, this exact same thing applies for the tiefling ability to count as 2 higher Charisma when applied to a +2 Cha tiefling heritage and for ifrits with that elemental ability as well. It was totally balanced when written for the original -2 Cha tiefling, and it is unbalanced now with races that already get +2.
Just combed the book today and I have to say that I'm really glad Kobolds got this sort of treatment for the Draconic Bloodlines. They have natural dragon bloodline sorcerer tendencies but never had the stats to back that up.

Agreed. It didn't make sense that they couldn't have an option like that one given their Golarion (and even pre-Pathfinder really) story elements involving the blood of dragons. When I was helping the devs by developing this section, I tried to take an eye towards races that didn't have an option to back up their story elements. Another example of that is the half-orc option based around the Golarion orc cultural tendency of breeding half-orcs on purpose to be leaders. I wanted it to be the case that, rather than just a grab-bag of mechanical options that you might cherry-pick to build a strong character (and you can totally do that too if you like), you also see some of the story elements you might have already been thinking of including in your character so you can say "Yes, that one's me!" The freelancers did a good job with giving a good mixture to start out with, and I tried to strengthen that aspect of it.

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Mark,

I wanted to thank you for your openness on this book and the topics raised. Like others, I at first thought the half-elf bonus was a 'what a trap' thing, then realized yes it is actually better than dual talented in that it doesn't swap everything for that +2.

While I'd pass on it for my bards (EWP is really hard to pass up) IT does look delicious for an arcanist.

Designer

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Matthew Morris wrote:

Mark,

I wanted to thank you for your openness on this book and the topics raised. Like others, I at first thought the half-elf bonus was a 'what a trap' thing, then realized yes it is actually better than dual talented in that it doesn't swap everything for that +2.

While I'd pass on it for my bards (EWP is really hard to pass up) IT does look delicious for an arcanist.

I love talking shop with people, so no problem! It's definitely a great choice for an arcanist. It can be tricky to get those two stats in most ways (witchborn changeling does, but it also has -2 Con), and Peri aasimar do, but aasimar are an * race in the race list too.


Im just wondering about the SWD change now that it's actually getting commended on by a Designer.

Mark, would you call it an overlooked side effect that it suddenly made half orcs super effective at being scarred witch doctors? Just wondering if there is a slight regret with the change in hindsight now.

I had a player running a SWD at the time and let him continue to play her with con until she died. Overall she just seemed like a less efficient but much tankier caster. It felt right.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:


Agreed. It didn't make sense that they couldn't have an option like that one given their Golarion (and even pre-Pathfinder really) story elements involving the blood of dragons.

Oh man, reminds me of the Greater Draconic Rite of Passage from the 3.5 Kobold Web Enhancement.

It was just... janky and did some really bizarre things. +2 Charisma works much better!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

Mark,

I wanted to thank you for your openness on this book and the topics raised. Like others, I at first thought the half-elf bonus was a 'what a trap' thing, then realized yes it is actually better than dual talented in that it doesn't swap everything for that +2.

While I'd pass on it for my bards (EWP is really hard to pass up) IT does look delicious for an arcanist.

I love talking shop with people, so no problem! It's definitely a great choice for an arcanist. It can be tricky to get those two stats in most ways (witchborn changeling does, but it also has -2 Con), and Peri aasimar do, but aasimar are an * race in the race list too.

I still disagree; Dual Talented should be worth more simply due to the fact that you can choose both of the +2s. I understand the arguement that this makes them overpowered for Charisma baised casters, but you could make that same arguement for any race that bonuses Charisma, and the wording does restict you from putting both your +2s into Charisma. Halfings could be concidered just as powerful as they porbably have their bonus' in the optimal position for most Sorceror builds

Saying it's not fair due to Half-Elves being specalised to certain classes with this bonus is like saying Dwarves are OP because they make better Barbarians than Elves.

My last point is only preferance, but stripping out basically all of Half Elves unique racial abilitys for a single +2 just doesn't sit with me. Taking either Adaptive or Multitalented from the long list of features traded for Kindred-Raised allows much more racially theamatic options for PCs that are Half Elven, rather than making them an amorphus blob.

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