Breaking the Mold - Choosing to Play a Non-Core Race


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Atarlost wrote:

The thing about special snowflakes is that the term is one of sarcastic derision. Like a real snowflake a special snowflake is functionally identical to all the other snowflakes.

Oh, another drow who, even if he uses different mechanics, is clearly based on Drizzt or that one chaotic neutral guy who also has a couple novels or a horribly generic evil female drow stereotype. Drizzt the sorcerer is not any more interesting than Drizzzt the dual scimitar ranger with 50% more zed.

Oh, another tiefling. Is he based on Hellboy? Is he based on one of those horrible dandified satan figures from popular culture? Is he Drizzt with red skin? Is he a cookie cutter mechanics uber alles build that uses the variable stat array and the prehensile tail alternate racial ability to enact horrible munchkinry?

Oh, a Dhampir. Is he based on an Anne Rice imitator or Anne Rice directly?

Oh, a Kitsune. Is this one furry fanservice or is she yet another fairly generic oriental flavored trickster or a specific anime trickster?

For a human at least I get until the first sentence of the origin story when they tell me where they're from before the boring stereotypes start piling on. And maybe if they're from somewhere like Absalom that isn't a thinly disguised national stereotype they might be vaguely original.

So its ok for a human to be a stereotype because you can ignore it but you can;t ignore a non-human being a stereotype. The truth is all stories have been told, all of them, every last one. We are now just retelling theses same stories over and over again with minor twists and some window dressing.

The story of Drizzt is just the story of some one coming from an evil place and becoming good. And people are ok with this when its a human but one you make it a drow you're just a clone. This story has been told thousands of times using humans as the protagonist, how is it not a clone if its a human but it is if its a drow.

The logic here is flawed. Everything we do whether its a human or anything else is going to be based on things we know as we try and retell the stories we enjoy, How many ties has the human noble savage story been told. But you;d be ok if it were a human maybe a Shoanti. But when you try and do it with an Orc all of a sudden that's a step to far. I call shenanigans.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why do so many people deny players the right to play exotic races? It's racism, plain and simple. Anything too far different from the self is rejected out of hand, with no consideration for the quality of the character or player. That, or species'ism. ;)


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Atarlost wrote:
Oh, a Dhampir. Is he based on an Anne Rice imitator or Anne Rice directly?

I dunno about you, but my Dhampirs are always based on D.


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eDwarD cullen?


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
eDwarD cullen?

Not exactly, but A+ for effort


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As (at least initially) purely an experiment to see how much hate this garners:

My Drow for Second Darkness: I haven't read any of the Drizzt Do'Urden novels, but I checked the Wikipedia entry on him to make sure I wasn't accidentally creating a clone. Check. For starters, she DOESN'T come from an evil place (unless your point of view REALLY has it in for Andorran). Instead, her mom and dad are the ones who came from the evil place (but think more of Romeo and Juliet instead of Drizzt Do'Urden, except that they successfully ran away instead of committing suicide, settled in Andorran, and never looked back . . . even being TOO eager to never look back, thus not teaching Sariel some basic facts that she REALLY SHOULD KNOW about her people of origin . . .).

* * * * * * * *

As for playing a Kasatha: While I am aware of the potential for archery cheese with this (surprisingly, Paizo even made an archetype for this), that isn't what I want one for. Instead, I want a Kasatha to be a 4-handed Bard . . . because a 4-armed organist is just too cool to pass up. I want this for Iron Gods. Would be an orphan raised by more common Humanoids, who thus didn't get the youthful training to have the Defensive Training, Desert Runner, Stalker(*), Spinal Sword Proficiency, Jumper, or Desert Stride racial traits, thus bringing the Race Points total down to being almost in line with Core Humanoids.

(*)Might want to keep the Stalker trait but reskin it as Paranoia. After all, if you're weird enough, the Technic League is going to be after you, and Core Humanoids who adopted a weirdo could conceivably teach that lesson effectively.

* * * * * * * *

As for not being able to play an alien properly, I am enough of a weirdo that this would exclude me from playing a Human character. I have to start somewhere . . . .

Besides, do any of you realize just how hard it is to hire aliens who DON'T have rubber foreheads?

Scarab Sages

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Apupunchau wrote:

After a while you’ve played all the standard the core rulebook. You’ve done hundreds of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings and you want to try something new. Or maybe as a GM you want to open up some additional options for your players. But just throwing a gnoll into a game doesn’t always work, if your GM even allows it. So here are some things you should think about when trying to use oddball races .

As a GM have you allowed something beyond Pathfinder’s core races? As a player have you gotten a chance to play something out of the ordinary?

I am currently playing a Lizardman Barbarian/Oracle in the Jade Regent campaign.

I have styled him as a mystic warrior, who doesn't worship a set pantheon, but instead, worships his ancestors and their spirits.

For example, his Oracle mystery is "Ancestors" (duh), and he is dual cursed. Of course his main curse is Lame, but he also has Haunted as his backup.

For Barbarian Rage Powers, I have taken the Spirit powers, so that when he stands next to someone the spirits will auto attack for him as well.

I picture him as a sort of Polynesian flavor, mixed with heavy doses of Aztec/Toltec influence.

I only gave him light basic armor, primitive weapons, and he is a cannibal. Not just like, eating people because he is hungry, but if they fought well against him he will eat certain body parts of his foes. He has eaten the tongues of sorcerers, the eyes of wizards, the hands of clerics, the heart of warriors, and more than a few brains of people who out tactic'd him.

I describe the Haunted curse as a few memorable spirits of foes that he was contemptuous of, and the Spirits that attack for him those of his ancestors who give negative energy to smite his foes.

He has an Auspicious Mark for luck bonuses during combat as he calls out to his ancestors for guidance.

He can curse with Misfortune to cause his enemies to stumble at inopportune times.

Very fun, very flavorful.

He is currently lvl 7 Barbarian, lvl 5 Oracle. His progression went:

Barb 1, Oracle 2, Barb 3-8, Oracle 9-11.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
stormcrow27 wrote:
An elf goes adventuring for many of the same reasons that regular shorter-lived people go adventuring....

Right. An Elf is a Regular Shorter-Lived Person With Pointy Ears. Got it.

You don't get to play unconvincing kasatha at my table until you can play convincing elves.

Umm, you missed my entire point. All races go adventuring for many of the same reasons. The reasons are either cultural, financial, emotional, or a direct threat to that person's existence or others. For example, in Golarion we have the elves that are raised by other races that are called the Forlorn. Elves of Golarion even states that many adventuring elves are drawn from this group, as these elves follow the shorter lived views of their peer group rather then the long-term take things as it goes view of elves raised amongst their race. So there is one background example of how an elf can be played with a short term viewpoint. However, normal elves are easy to play. It just means the player has to take the long-term viewpoint on solutions to problems, and look at things in patterns via intuition rather then logic. I understand your reluctance to allow non-core races for the roleplaying aspect, but if you never let or help a player with increasing his or her roleplaying ability by allowing them to play a non-core race or even the core races based on an agreement on how the character's background works, then you're going to be stuck with the same six races or even humans as long as you game. If that works for you, more power to you and your players.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Why do so many people deny players the right to play exotic races? It's racism, plain and simple. Anything too far different from the self is rejected out of hand, with no consideration for the quality of the character or player. That, or species'ism. ;)

Two reasons-

1. To avoid someone taking the race for mechanical advantages only. Noble drow are one of the better examples of this.

2. Fear of the exotic race disrupting the GM's story: Some GMs, whether due to fear of change or inexperience, don't like exotic races because it can disrupt their story. Playing the reactions of normal races or even the odd planetouched to things like the plant people from space or four armed insects (ala thri-kreen) etc, adds more complexity to the game.


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I'm a super tyrannical GM.

This one time I forced everyone to run an entire party of, like, all noble drow. I'm just, like, the worst. No choice at all. :/

('Cause it was a drow game. And I allowed two non-drow in the game who looked like drow. So... yeah, I forgot my point by now. Weeeeee...)


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Honestly I love exotic races, but if it isn't something I noted as being a common race in the campaign notes my stance can be summed up as "impress me". Tell me why you want it and how you're going to incorporate the weird race into your narrative and the party as a whole. This isn't to get people to not play the weird races, it's just to make them interesting.


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Tacticslion wrote:

I'm a super tyrannical GM.

This one time I forced everyone to run an entire party of, like, all noble drow. I'm just, like, the worst. No choice at all. :/

('Cause it was a drow game. And I allowed two non-drow in the game who looked like drow. So... yeah, I forgot my point by now. Weeeeee...)

Heh. I've been in at least three noble drow raise the house in the viewpoint of Lolth games over the years.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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While I don't ban races in my games, I do have a bit of disdain for players that think picking a weird race automatically makes their character interesting. Generally, if you can't figure out how to play an interesting human you're not suddenly gaining fascinating qualities by playing something obscure.

I blame my attitude on years of bad Vampire players who could only make characters stand out by picking some rare clan or bloodline that only had like 5 members in the world. Ok buddy, you have fun with that. I'll be over here playing a member of the basic seven clans who actually has a personality. This experience has soured me on players who seem to think "unique" is a substitute for "interesting."

But I don't ban anything out of hand. Pitch me a concept and I'll listen to whatever oddball thing you have in mind. Playing a weird race doesn't mean that the character can't be fun and engaging, it's just a warning flag.

Liberty's Edge

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I like trying out other races, though find it tricky to convince myself to as humans feel optimal for damn-near everything that cares about feats, even with Aasimar and Tieflings in the mix.

Honestly, there's a ton of uncommon race that are full of potential and extremely fun to explore, setting permitting. Admittedly, I've not encountered too many of those one-dimensional racial tropes I see a lot of complaining about.

I've played a Drow Tiefling with trauma-induced anthropophobia (and mild pyromania from the same memories). A Kitsune assassin with an identity crisis - they was raised in a foreign land to be a tool for noblemen. They don't even know what they are other than a shapeshifter.

I mean, there are a lot of really exotic races I just wouldn't go with; space aliens and androids are gonna be hard to justify and harder still to actually roleplay. But there's a decent few uncommon races and boatload of planarkin that are just human+.


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Tacticslion wrote:

I'm a super tyrannical GM.

This one time I forced everyone to run an entire party of, like, all noble drow. I'm just, like, the worst. No choice at all. :/

('Cause it was a drow game. And I allowed two non-drow in the game who looked like drow. So... yeah, I forgot my point by now. Weeeeee...)

stormcrow27 wrote:
Heh. I've been in at least three noble drow raise the house in the viewpoint of Lolth games over the years.

Actually, Lolth didn't exist.

Drowtales, woo~oo~!:
There was Beauty*, and there was Yoth - of the two, Yoth was the closest (not just in name**), though Beauty also held some traits.

The other gods included Mystery, the Great Ice*, Worthlessness, and the Lady of Rings and Masks; each were either very important or heretical, depending on which of the Four Lands (the four Great Caverns***) you came from.

But we had quite a few interesting and conflicted personalities, each of which had conflicting goals, but all of whom were effectively forced together into a group with a mandate of, "Work together or everything you care about - especially yourselves - gets destroyed and dies. Also you lost all social status, and if you hope to get it back, do these seemingly banal tasks for this horrible woman that none of you like and most of you have previous causes to hate."

It was a surprise and delight when, while said odious woman-in-charge was making a grand speech, I as the GM made a random in-character comment to their characters about her absolute power over them, and how she could do anything, like sever their ties to their other houses, incorporate them into her own, and even random declarations held the weight of law, like, "That one [the arcanist]^ is now my heir, [meaning I own everything she used to]." ... at which point, without exchanging any words, two PCs who'd hated each other - a party-girl assassin and the priestess of the Lady of Rings and Masks - just kind of looked at each other, silently nodded, and immediately declared intent to work together assassinate the NPC. Party girl bluffed her way adjacent to her, held her still in an iron grip, and Lady'-priestess used her hair pins eliminate the problem, leaving the rather benevolent (actually good-aligned) arcanist PC as the one that was now in charge of the other PCs.

And no one ever regretted a thing.

(There was a lot more to go, but that group consistently took out the BBEGs before they took out the mooks. It was impressive, funny, and rather fun. That left them with the mooks for themselves, and they always did humorous and relatively fun things with them. Hm. Maybe we can run the rest of that again sometime. Unlikely, but maybe.)

* Totally stolen from that one Ed Greenwood book; it was an okay book, but a really intriguing god system, enough to revist, later, even though I did nothing but borrow cursory elements from the setting (namely two names and vague deity concepts for drow). The setting otherwise resembled that book not in the slightest.
** It was also insane, associated with vermin and drow supremacy, and and the hypothetical ruler over the pantheon... buuu~uuut, it had no gender, its priestesses were generally not all that important, and it seemed to bless people regardless of their devotion to it.
*** Really a series of interconnected caverns that shared a larger socio-political tendency and environmental/climate-like tendency. (While there is no true climate that deep underground, there is an rather complex ecology that gives the effect of having a selection of four (well, really more, but the others are unknown) different major regions the function as kind of "climates" and balance themselves and the area as a whole.)
^ They made me note which person it was that was pointed to. I rolled. It was a PC. I rolled. It was the arcanist.


stormcrow27 wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Why do so many people deny players the right to play exotic races? It's racism, plain and simple. Anything too far different from the self is rejected out of hand, with no consideration for the quality of the character or player. That, or species'ism. ;)

Two reasons-

1. To avoid someone taking the race for mechanical advantages only. Noble drow are one of the better examples of this.

2. Fear of the exotic race disrupting the GM's story: Some GMs, whether due to fear of change or inexperience, don't like exotic races because it can disrupt their story. Playing the reactions of normal races or even the odd planetouched to things like the plant people from space or four armed insects (ala thri-kreen) etc, adds more complexity to the game.

Yeah, sure. It's only mechanics or fear or inexperience. Sure.

I thought this was the sort of opinion NOONE ever expressed on these forums. Ever.

Or so I was told.


Originality is overrated. I'm fine with hearing a story similar to a bunch of other stories as long as its still told well.

My Samurai for Jade Regent is a honor-bound stick-in-the-mud Human that is looking for a good death because he failed his Lord. And I love him to pieces, because its fun to play an uptight Samurai who starts a splash fight with his sworn Lord because he recognizes that she's a lot more stressed than he is.

I don't mind people playing off-the-wall races and such, when there's good story behind it. I do get annoyed with people that say Humans are boring or there's no reason to play one in a fantasy world with so many other races doing stuff. I rather like being the 'Normal' guy that surpasses other races with far superior gifts, because I'm just that good. Strokes my ego.


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Regarding this whole concept of roleplaying standards to play nonhumans - having to design a really well-written elf character and think about how their age would affect them and all, and that probably all of us are too unimaginative to play anything but humans anyway...

...how many of us are really "qualified" to be roleplaying anybody who's spent their whole life in an environment where magic is demonstrably real and probably at least somewhat commonplace, devils and angels frequently enough are in contact with people, and monsters roam the wilderness?

Really, the difference between humans and elves is imo not that significant compared to the difference between us and the most mundane, boring human accountant from Golarion you can imagine. I guess none of us should be playing Pathfinder, huh?


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Xerres wrote:
Originality is overrated.
Quote:
I don't mind people playing off-the-wall races and such, when there's good story behind it.

I can't wrap my head around this juxtaposition. Being a boring human isn't that big a deal because originality is overrated, but you need a good and clever story to play an off the wall race?

Straightforward, simple human, fine. Straightforward, simple tiefling, bad? I don't get it.

Quote:
I rather like being the 'Normal' guy that surpasses other races with far superior gifts, because I'm just that good. Strokes my ego.

But humans are the ones with superior gifts in Pathfinder.


I am playing my first non-core race (ratfolk in Hell's rebels) and I find it an interesting challenge exactly because you have to make an effort to fit him in. So he has maxed disguise because he tends to stand out, he has special rules for switching to walking on all fours (I cannot imagine a ratfolk not switching to four legged movement when in a hurry), he has a hard time choosing between exploring the treasure vault or the kitchen, and so on.
That being said, I strongly recommend combining an exotic race with a standard class, to not over-complicate things.


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Squiggit wrote:
Xerres wrote:
Originality is overrated.
Quote:
I don't mind people playing off-the-wall races and such, when there's good story behind it.

I can't wrap my head around this juxtaposition. Being a boring human isn't that big a deal because originality is overrated, but you need a good and clever story to play an off the wall race?

Straightforward, simple human, fine. Straightforward, simple tiefling, bad? I don't get it.

Originality is overrated just means there's too much emphasis on it, for my taste. Not that its bad or unnecessary at all, but doesn't need as much focus as it gets.

And going by that logic, your story for a Tiefling can be as simple and straightforward as my Human, as long as you tell the story well. Just taking that Samurai I mentioned, change him to a Tiefling, but alter nothing else, and I'm totally satisfied. I didn't say good and clever, just good. Not original, told well. If the Human Samurai story is told badly, I don't like it either.

Or like someone else mentioned, play a Drizzt clone if you like, just do it good. Make the character himself likeable and fun to play with. That's really what I want.

My thing is that off-the-wall races too often have the race as their story. Or a substitute for their story. As an example, someone in my group REALLY likes Gargoyles, and monster races in the general. But when he played a Gargoyle, or most monster things, that's their character. "The Monster". Tends to be quiet, and more about exploring the cool abilities of the race than interacting and developing and such. So I guess its cool and fun for him to play that, but all I get is some quiet monster person making a big deal of their in-born kerjiggery, but not really connecting with other characters or developing with the story.

Quote:
I rather like being the 'Normal' guy that surpasses other races with far superior gifts, because I'm just that good. Strokes my ego.
Quote:
But humans are the ones with superior gifts in Pathfinder.

Yeah, I guess. Its more personal experience, and more roleplay than mechanics. But like the Gargoyle, he'd constantly call my character 'Soft One' and there's was much made of him being physically superior to me. In the game with the Samurai, there's a Half-Construct Ulfen guy that often makes note that he towers over my Tian-Min guy. That Ulfen guy is also nearly undefeated in combat, demolishing every enemy we've ever fought so far.

I take it as a point of pride that the only person that's defeated that Ulfen in single combat so far, is my Samurai. Like I said, strokes my ego ;)


Tacticslion wrote:
Drowtales

I keep forgetting this is the name of a webcomic. Then I get reminded.

>.<


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The Dandy Lion wrote:

{. . .}

I mean, there are a lot of really exotic races I just wouldn't go with; space aliens and androids are gonna be hard to justify and harder still to actually roleplay. {. . .}.

Just wait another year . . .


Personal feeling:
The more exotic the race is, the harder it is to give a genuine performance as that race. Everytime I feel like I slip back to just playing a human as exotic race, I feel I have failed.


Though I don't always stick to it, something I try to do nowadays when coming up with a character is asking myself: Is there anything about this character or their story that would be better served by being an oddball race as opposed to a core race? For me personally, the answer is usually no. This is especially true if there's anything about their class or background that's already unusual to begin with. Bizarre abilities or a boatload of past drama/trauma -and- a less common race to boot? Unless it's written well, it kinda seems like overkill to me.

That doesn't mean that I don't enjoy non-core races though and sometimes I still play a Catfolk or whatever for no other reason than because gosh darn it, I really want to play a Catfolk and fulfill my childhood ambitions of being a literal catperson :3

Of course there are the occasional GMs who want non-core races; I'm actually in a couple of games on the forums where the GM (same GM for both games) banned all the core races except humans. One game has 3 humans, 2 aasimar, 1 tiefling, 1 oread, and 1 sylph. The other has 1 human, 1 changeling, 1 oread, 1 ifrit, 1 catfolk, and 1 caligni. Mainly what it shows me is that a lot of people are still inclined to go human+ when the available options are broadened.


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All the time, I kinda hate limiting my players to just the 7 core races. They pick pretty much any races from the Advanced Races Guide plus a few extra from 3rd-party books.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I like uncommon and unique races, from both side of the screen. Tengu and Kobolds are particular favorites, to the point that Kobolds are actually more neutral and widespread in my version of Golarion.

I have modified Golarion in such a way that some uncommon races are a bit more playable, however as a GM I do like to place limits on the selection of races, to fit a specific region or AP. Common early enemy races are right out: I wouldn't allow a Hobgoblin for Iron Fang, a Goblin for Rise of the RuneLords, and so on.

But if I were to run Strange Aeons I would be okay with Core + Deep One Hybrids, Changelings, Skinwalkers, Tieflings, and Dhampir. Since all of those races seem to either fit the theme or be expected in a place like Ustalav.

Similarly, if I were to run Iron Gods I would allow Core + Android, Kasatha, Orc, and Ratfolk, since those also fit the region.

and so on and so forth.


Personally I have a bad habit of having played mostly within the core races and only sparingly deviating from that. But it is mostly due to how I make builds rather than a dislike for other races. I actually love the idea of monster races and weird races but never have any good ideas for them, or my ideas never really seem realistic for any campaign I am in. It's a shame.

What I am absolutely a fan of are tieflings and catfolk. The former is because I get to be creative with how monstrous they look and how strange they are. They are the monster race for me, as fiends look all kinds of weird and that is so much fun for me. And catfolk because...well...

Anyway, if running in Golarion I'd allow basically anything. Lots of races are cool and weird and I highly encourage playing something outside the box.


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Don't really have anything to add to the conversation, but "Garbage-Tier" Waifu is a truly wonderful username. Bravo.


Our group has no restrictions on unusual races, but usually it hardly ever gets used; we tend to stick pretty close to Core.

However, for our Iron Gods game, we're a party of freaks.

We have an ifrit mysterious stranger gunslinger (our party face), a goblin grenadier/winged marauder alchemist, his lizardfolk vivisectionist/chirurgeon cohort, a small skinwalker goliath druid, and his kobold "dinosaur" herald (reskinned dragon herald) bard.

And they're actually pretty awesome. They seem to fit very well in Numeria.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have played a lot of races over the decades. I haven't played half-orc yet, though had one as a cohort before. I've played a lot of non-core races. I've even played a minotaur once, and a full dragon (with class levels even) before.

I find the term "out of the box" to be something measured in gradations. Then again, I started roleplaying with scifi and superhero rpgs long ago, so I'm used to things that would never fly in a traditional fantasy campaign.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One thing I realized, I have never played a plant creature before, even in other rpgs.


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KestrelZ wrote:
One thing I realized, I have never played a plant creature before, even in other rpgs.

This reminds me that I need to finish up homebrewing a half-dryad race. Why? Because plantgirls.


HyperMissingno wrote:
KestrelZ wrote:
One thing I realized, I have never played a plant creature before, even in other rpgs.
This reminds me that I need to finish up homebrewing a half-dryad race. Why? Because plantgirls.

Plantgirls are pretty important.

Also Pathfinder has a plant PC race. Ghoran. They are plants. And they are delicious as well.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Apupunchau wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


Which, in turn, means that any attempt to play a kasatha "because of their complete alienness" is doomed to failure, so there's no point in trying.

Basically, if your argument is "I can't play an interesting elf," why should I let you play an equally uninteresting but more freakish race?

Why does there need to be some weird 'interestingness' tax in the first place?
Because I insist you play the character written on your sheet. So don't write what you can't play.
So then in your games no one can ever play anything other than a human ever.

Probably not, because I'm not going to let you play anything strange until you demonstrate you can make an elf convincingly elvish, and being an elf isn't special-snowflake enough for you.

Except alot of people hate elves, you may have a love affair with them, but you shouldn't assume everyone else does.


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Personally, I despise everything in the core book, both races and classes, and I love exotic races and newer classes. However, I also love favored class bonuses, and that's where the exotic races really fail. Either they don't have an FCB for the class I'm interested in, or it sucks.

Most of the time I can get away with not worrying about FCB, but in some cases like the Skald/Bard or Barbarian, you REALLY need those extra rounds of rage/performance. Or Oracles, they're basically worthless without the extra spell FCB. Races that have those specific FCB become practically mandatory, which sucks.

Personally, I hate the idea that FCB should be tied to race at all. There should just be a list of FCB, and you pick the one for your character that matches your playing style.


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HeHateMe wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Apupunchau wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Which, in turn, means that any attempt to play a kasatha "because of their complete alienness" is doomed to failure, so there's no point in trying.

Basically, if your argument is "I can't play an interesting elf," why should I let you play an equally uninteresting but more freakish race?

Why does there need to be some weird 'interestingness' tax in the first place?
Because I insist you play the character written on your sheet. So don't write what you can't play.
So then in your games no one can ever play anything other than a human ever.

Probably not, because I'm not going to let you play anything strange until you demonstrate you can make an elf convincingly elvish, and being an elf isn't special-snowflake enough for you.

Except alot of people hate elves, you may have a love affair with them, but you shouldn't assume everyone else does.

I wouldn't stress too much about Orfamay's opinion if it doesn't jive with your own - if OQ isn't your GM, then it really doesn't matter. I find we rarely see eye-to-eye on a number of subjects, but gaming groups often find their own individual playstyles, and I suspect Orfamay would find our group's style equally objectionable.

Hearing opinions different than your own opens you to new ideas that you may not have considered. While it may not work for you or I, Orfamay's style may very well click with someone else and lead them to explore a path they hadn't considered that may create an experience more enjoyable for that person and their group.


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Uh...bards don't need that many rounds of performance unless they're playing 5 songs at once.

Liberty's Edge

My personal opinion about exotic depending on the type of campaign or setting. I may or may not allow them. At the very least I'm upfront with a yes or no to allow. To me someone telling that I need to convince a DM that I can play one correctly. Is just another way of saying no without saying it imo. Oreads or Undines don't exist. So beyond a description in the books. Their no real benchmark for a player to properly mimic one. What exactly is the standard where measuring the players performance in convincing a DM to allow a exotic race. Just be upfront and say yes or no.

It's like people saying their not against change simply because at the start they "well it's not because I'm against change" then proceed to show that yes they are very much against change they are also in denial about being against change.

Back to topic figure out what as a DM what one wants in terms of races before the start of the game. Tell thep layers. Don't bother with "well you can play a Ratfolk you just need to prove to me you can properly portray one at the table". Guess what players are not going to take the DM up on their offer. Were their to play D&D not Fantasy Shakespeare at the table.

I can kind of understand not wanting exotic races at the table. Any DM that tries that with core races is going to see me walking away as well as some others from the table. If anything come across as a warning sign to players to stay away from a particular DM. Is when one needs to convince a DM to play something else other than human from the core.


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^Also, most (all?) of the Planetouched, plus Dhampirs and Changelings, are explicitly described as being of partly or mostly Human origin, so they should be easier for a player to meet the roleplaying qualifications for than Elves.


Apupunchau wrote:

After a while you’ve played all the standard the core rulebook. You’ve done hundreds of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings and you want to try something new. Or maybe as a GM you want to open up some additional options for your players. But just throwing a gnoll into a game doesn’t always work, if your GM even allows it. So here are some things you should think about when trying to use oddball races .

As a GM have you allowed something beyond Pathfinder’s core races? As a player have you gotten a chance to play something out of the ordinary?

you know, i've never played a dwarf or elf yet, I should come up with a reason to by this point...


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HeHateMe wrote:


Personally, I hate the idea that FCB should be tied to race at all. There should just be a list of FCB, and you pick the one for your character that matches your playing style.

I personally think they just made the FCB really too generic to be racially tied. should increment a racial ability not a class ability...

you know, higher leveled humans are more human than lower leveled humans...

I just created a caste system, i'm wonderful.

So like a fighter might give +1/6 bonus feats, while a rogue might give 1 extra skill rank... wait feel like i hit a roadblock here.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Apupunchau wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


Which, in turn, means that any attempt to play a kasatha "because of their complete alienness" is doomed to failure, so there's no point in trying.

Basically, if your argument is "I can't play an interesting elf," why should I let you play an equally uninteresting but more freakish race?

Why does there need to be some weird 'interestingness' tax in the first place?
Because I insist you play the character written on your sheet. So don't write what you can't play.
So then in your games no one can ever play anything other than a human ever.

Probably not, because I'm not going to let you play anything strange until you demonstrate you can make an elf convincingly elvish, and being an elf isn't special-snowflake enough for you.

I would not be able to play an interesting elf. Mainly because I don't find elves to be interesting. I find the rat folk interesting and a few others (Maybe Kasatha, I'm not sure what they are) If I'm going to fail to play it to your satisfaction regardless, why not just let me play what I might enjoy (Setting appropriate of course.) What difference does it make?

Personally I usually don't play a lot of exoctic races at this point since I often base my character around the mini I have or found rather than trying to find a mini for my character. My PFS characters are a dwarven monk and a Tengu Oracle because I really liked one of Reaper's Dwarven monk minis and I got a really cool mini of a tengu with a straw hat and wooden sandals from a kickstarter I backed. My next one will be a half orc Alchemist because I got a mini of a half orc in a tux like outfit from the same kickstarter.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Apupunchau wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:


Which, in turn, means that any attempt to play a kasatha "because of their complete alienness" is doomed to failure, so there's no point in trying.

Basically, if your argument is "I can't play an interesting elf," why should I let you play an equally uninteresting but more freakish race?

Why does there need to be some weird 'interestingness' tax in the first place?
Because I insist you play the character written on your sheet. So don't write what you can't play.
So then in your games no one can ever play anything other than a human ever.

Probably not, because I'm not going to let you play anything strange until you demonstrate you can make an elf convincingly elvish, and being an elf isn't special-snowflake enough for you.

well i suppose this would be a good enough reason to play an elf probably.

B@!#*, i'm going to have you be 2nd guessing your privilege and getting madder than anyone who uses wood to make things that you won't even know what hit you.(dwarf fortress elves ftw)

I'm sorry, I got brain damage.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
RedRobe wrote:
I just switched it to +2 to one ability score of the player's choice, and called it a day.

Much the same, simple is best. I took a 'Changeling feat' that allows me a +2 daily re-assignable skill modifier that is a lot of fun. As I get more Changeling feats', they reset based on how many I have. When I got my 5th, the +2 jumped to +3, but still changes but once per day.

The only real problem I have with people playing 'exotics' is when they refuse to role play them. We have a dwarf that has no RP skills at all wanting to play a kitsune. He's going to play it as bob the grocer, just like all his past characters.


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Tacticslion wrote:

I'm a super tyrannical GM.

This one time I forced everyone to run an entire party of, like, all noble drow. I'm just, like, the worst. No choice at all. :/

('Cause it was a drow game. And I allowed two non-drow in the game who looked like drow. So... yeah, I forgot my point by now. Weeeeee...)

You should check out Sheoloth: the Sprawling City if you haven't already. It was originally written for 3.5, but a massively expanded and revised version was released for Mongoose Legend, along with a series of adventures.


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Anyhow, I restrict all PCs to the USUAL races from STANDARD fantasy. You know: talking lions, golems made of straw or tin, quadlins, munchkins, and flying monkeys. The races that show up in mainstream fantasy. None of these bizarre MMO races like elves or dwarves.


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If it isn't a monster girl, it isn't in my game. Fact.

Tacticslion wrote:

I'm a super tyrannical GM.

This one time I forced everyone to run an entire party of, like, all noble drow. I'm just, like, the worst. No choice at all. :/

('Cause it was a drow game. And I allowed two non-drow in the game who looked like drow. So... yeah, I forgot my point by now. Weeeeee...)

Actually I am running a game where everyone is a halfling. It is a paranormal investigation/kinda ridiculous game but also just a few other things? It is like if Scooby Doo was occasionally scary. Maybe. And the Mystery Inc. Gang was all 2 feet tall and had a lot less discernable morals.

There is a good reason, though. Halflings are really brave. They are able to handle the horrors of the unknown a lot better than other races. Frankly, the fact that the game is so ridiculous kinda works in their favour and is probably realistic :U


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Maneuvermoose wrote:
Anyhow, I restrict all PCs to the USUAL races from STANDARD fantasy. You know: talking lions, golems made of straw or tin, quadlins, munchkins, and flying monkeys. The races that show up in mainstream fantasy. None of these bizarre MMO races like elves or dwarves.

I'd love to play as a flying monkey.


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Jay's Wing wrote:
Maneuvermoose wrote:
Anyhow, I restrict all PCs to the USUAL races from STANDARD fantasy. You know: talking lions, golems made of straw or tin, quadlins, munchkins, and flying monkeys. The races that show up in mainstream fantasy. None of these bizarre MMO races like elves or dwarves.
I'd love to play as a flying monkey.

Same. In fact I think I have a mini of a flying monkey with a gun somewhere.

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