Playable Races for Ruins of Azlant


Ruins of Azlant


Turns out I'll be running this instead of Starfinder (getting to play Starfinder instead). Based on comments from the authors and the official player's guide I've decided to allow all of the core races except for: half-orcs, dwarves and elves. In addition I'm allowing Changelings (Sea Hag only), Gillmen (CRB rules only) and Wyrwoods.

I'm disallowing dwarves, elves and half-orcs as they have little connection in relation to Azlant or what I presume is in the rest of the adventure, while the other three races will have a much stronger connection.

Here's an excerpt of the Player's Guide I'm developing. I've got a customised version of Wyrwoods as well to help tone them down a bit:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma: Wyrwoods are quick and calculating, although also quite alien.
Normal Speed: Wyrwoods have a base speed of 30 feet.
Small: Wyrwoods are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Darkvision: Wyrwoods can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Living Construct: Wyrwoods gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and effects that cause either exhaustion or fatigue. In addition they do not breathe, eat, or sleep, although they can still prepare spells after 8 hours of rest and drink potions. However as living constructs, Wyrwoods cannot be raised or resurrected.
Languages: Wyrwoods speak Common. A wyrwood with a high Intelligence score can choose from the following: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc.

What races are other GMs allowing their players to select?

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Interesting choice to ban elves, dwarves, and half-orcs considering how the AP starts. Its literally just people who were chosen to go on this expedition to help settle a colony. Because of that it seems a little weird to restrict dwarves, elves, and half-orcs.

Plus you should remember that half-orcs are half human. In that way they do have a connection to the Azlanti.

Plus a character of any of the core races could be deeply interested in the lost history and relics of an ancient, magically advanced, race. I guess I just don't see how race has to have a connection to the Azlanti when there's so much more relevance to be gained via character personality, backstory, and motivations.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't think of anything I would ban (except Noble Drow) with the usual requirement that more unusual races need a good explanation from the player before being taken.
(Ok I actually ban Gnomes and Halflings because I have an irrational hatred of them but that is nothing to do with this campaign)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Interesting choice to ban elves, dwarves, and half-orcs considering how the AP starts. Its literally just people who were chosen to go on this expedition to help settle a colony. Because of that it seems a little weird to restrict dwarves, elves, and half-orcs.

At this stage I'm tweaking the introduction to have the University of Almas offering to sponsor colonists to hire them to explicitly seek out ruins of Azlant. For this reason, it isn't just "a bunch of random colonists" but it becomes "a bunch of colonists who also have a strong interest in seeking out ruins of Azlant, or at least to be paid to seek out ruins of Azlant." While academics/scholars would be encouraged (even if it is just an undergraduate degree in Azlanti architecture), the university will also sponsor guards for the other scholars.

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Plus you should remember that half-orcs are half human. In that way they do have a connection to the Azlanti.

However they're not native to Almas. Although the same is true for Wyrwoods, I also think there's a compelling enough reason to allow them to be played by players in this campaign (plus one of the authors recommended it as well).

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Plus a character of any of the core races could be deeply interested in the lost history and relics of an ancient, magically advanced, race.

Sure. That's a big reason I'm allowing gnomes in the campaign.

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I guess I just don't see how race has to have a connection to the Azlanti when there's so much more relevance to be gained via character personality, backstory, and motivations.

You're right. I could also have a player group comprised of a catfolk, ifrit, tengu, oread and an android. But I prefer to have a much smaller selection for the player's to choose from in order to tie in with the campaign better and have a particular aesthetic. Although I could probably be persuaded to allow dwarves in the campaign as well if I allow gunslingers (elves have little to no connection to the campaign as far as I can see), mostly because I like the image of a dwarf marching through a forest with a gun in hand.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah, well your changing of the AP start certainly makes your selection of races to exclude make alot more sense. I still think I'd allow half-orcs as they're pretty much "native" all over the inner sea. They're an extremely common race and I'd be willing to bet they could be found in pretty much any major settlement in the Inner Sea.

To take Almas for example, 1% of its population of 76,600 is defined as other. Assuming at least 20% of that 1% is half-orcs (a very reasonable assumption considering how common half-orcs are, in fact its probably higher) that's still 153 half-orcs living there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Another thing: By providing a small subset of races I'm hoping for players to take a much closer look at those options and consider how the presented races can help them tell the story they want to tell. If I say "here, any race you can imagine" I expect I'll get a lot of aberration hunting dwarves, aasimars, tieflings and undines. None of these races have any particularly strong ties to the campaign. Instead they're simply the optimal choices (aasimars and tieflings because you get +2 to almost any two stats you want plus a suite of other racial features). I'd rather race selection be an element of story telling rather than optimising.

Jurassic Pratt wrote:
I still think I'd allow half-orcs as they're pretty much "native" all over the inner sea. They're an extremely common race and I'd be willing to bet they could be found in pretty much any major settlement in the Inner Sea

Half-orcs originally were in the list of allowed races. However according to Andoran, Spirit of Liberty the racial makeup of Almas is: 73% human, 9% halfling, 8% dwarf, 7% elf, 2% gnome and 1% other. Of the other 4 settlements detailed, half-orcs are only worth mentioning in two of them (at 1% per settlement). Given this and without any really compelling reason to include them I decided to leave them off the list.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Elves kinda do have more of a connection to Azlant though. (At least more than halflings) Aquatic and Mordant Spire Elves are known for exploring and protecting the ruins.
Another race that has a strong connection and is somewhat prevalent in Almas is gillmen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Captain collateral damage wrote:
Elves kinda do have more of a connection to Azlant though.

I don't want to allow a Mordant Spire elf (as from what lore I know they're opposed to Azlanti ruins being explored). If the mordant spire elves turn out to be prominently featured I'd be happy to include elves as a playable race (although I've included half-aquatic elves in the event that Mordant Spire elves are at least mentioned).

Captain collateral damage wrote:
Another race that has a strong connection and is somewhat prevalent in Almas is gillmen.

Already allowing them ;) (minus the "aboleths can take over a gillmen at any moment" trait from Inner Sea Races).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Elves are definitely involved in Book 3, and probably somewhat from then on.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I generally allow things mentioned in the players guide as likely, so I'm allowing core races, changelings, and gillmen. Somehow, people are reluctant to play gillmen in an aboleth-heavy campaign.

I'm also letting my players each make 2 characters that they can swap out between sessions, at least until such time as I feel this is creating a ridiculous power creep. (I'm not allowing the off-characters to do crafting or anything in the downtime. They can just do end-of-day healing and make end-of-day knowledge checks at a penalty.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I have an entire party of Gillmen playing in my campaign, only one took the Slimehunter alternate race feature.

Shadow Lodge

Bellona wrote:
Elves are definitely involvedwill definitely be done yet another disservice in Book 3, and probably somewhat from then on.

Taking bets against this possibility.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
Elves are definitely involved in Book 3, and probably somewhat from then on.

I don't understand why it is you think that, but I can say with certainty that there is an elf NPC in the third adventure, and there are plenty of aquatic elves in the fourth adventure. Other than that, there's not much elfiness in this story about one of the earliest powerful human cultures.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It was precisely that NPC in Book 3 that I was thinking about, plus the aquatic elves in Book 4. Plus the possibility of keeping in contact with either elven groups later on. (I would think that the elves have an axe to grind with the villain's race too.)

Grand Lodge Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bellona wrote:
It was precisely that NPC in Book 3 that I was thinking about, plus the aquatic elves in Book 4. Plus the possibility of keeping in contact with either elven groups later on. (I would think that the elves have an axe to grind with the villain's race too.)

Yep, the villain's race is one of the Mordant Spire elves' chief enemies, and I'd wager many aquatic elves, too, are aware of how big a threat they are even though they don't oppose them quite so actively as their island-dwelling cousins do.

I think there are many compelling reasons for an elf PC to join the expedition. An elf PC might even have some aquatic elf or Mordant Spire elf ancestry. Come to think of it, maybe the Andorens want to send an elf or two onto the island precisely because they're aware of these two groups, and they think an elf could act as a liaison if the colonists come into contact with the region's native elves.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Half orcs would be just the people to jump on a ship to a new colony, trying to find a place where prejudice is less prejudicial.

I could see opening elves as replacement characters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
Come to think of it, maybe the Andorens want to send an elf or two onto the island precisely because they're aware of these two groups, and they think an elf could act as a liaison if the colonists come into contact with the region's native elves.

That's fair. I'm including (non-aquatic and non-drow) elves on the list of playable races.

Kerney wrote:
Half orcs would be just the people to jump on a ship to a new colony, trying to find a place where prejudice is less prejudicial.

That was my thinking to. Except for the fact that (1) Andoran is supposedly free of prejudice in the first place so living in Andoran is just perfectly fine if you're escaping prejudice, and (2) there just doesn't seem to be that many half-orcs in Andoran.

I want close ties with the colony and my PCs so I'm requiring a strong Andoran connection.

Shadow Lodge

Kerney wrote:
Half orcs would be just the people to jump on a ship to a new colony, trying to find a place where prejudice is less prejudicial.

That was my thinking to. Except for the fact that (1) Andoran is supposedly free of prejudice in the first place so living in Andoran is just perfectly fine if you're escaping prejudice, and (2) there just doesn't seem to be that many half-orcs in Andoran.

I want close ties with the colony and my PCs so I'm requiring a strong Andoran connection.

1) I've always felt that in Andoran, you might be equal before the law as a half orc or tiefling. It doesn't mean your neighbors don't flinch at the sight of you or you don't face 'soft' predjudice or racial profiling.

On the other hand being one of the founders of new colony/small community might give you a chance to excel on your own merits and earn the trust of the people around you, earning true acceptance.

2) True, but I could see some, especially among freed slaves.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So based on my idea of

Spoiler:
possibly having the PCs time traveling to the Azlanti era in Book 6, inhabiting the bodies of one of their direct ancestors
I have decided to have only races that could be descended from someone who was alive in the Azlanti era. This removes gnomes from the equation (because they only came to Golarion after Earthfall) and Wyrwoods (due to not having offspring AFAIK). So to replace those two options I've decided to introduce half-orcs and tieflings. Neither of which have a strong presence in Andoran, but could be freed slaves.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm also looking at playing a wyrwood, though I'm not sure what level of racial mechanics tweaking it'll involve. Azlanti-born constructs heading into Azlanti ruins seems like as good an opportunity as any to play a weird race!

I'm currently chewing on name and backstory ideas. Inner Sea Races says most of 'em are from Arcadia, and there's a tiny bit of info in the Distant Shores article on Segada, the Arcadian city—which I think Adam Daigle wrote, come to think of it!
There aren't many specific details from which to draw inspiration, though, especially when it comes to names. Might settle on the slightly trope-y "function descriptor" convention (like a metalworker's last name being Smith), or possibly a date/"birth" day descriptor like the Journeymen from the old Myth computer game.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Ruins of Azlant / Playable Races for Ruins of Azlant All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Ruins of Azlant