20 Level Racial Classes


Homebrew and House Rules


Starting with the core races.

Dwarf
Themes to cover: Tradition, Crafting, Racial Hatred, Racial Weapons
Class Feature Ideas:
HD d10
Good Fort & Will Saves
Full BAB,
Skills that reflect crafting & tradition. Ranger favored enemy bonuses (goblinoids, giants)
Fighter-like weapon group bonuses with racial weapons
Fighter-like ease of movement in armor

Elf
Themes to cover: Nature, Ar


Honestly, I think you are better off having racial ATs for base classes, which I think they have done. 3 level paragon dips, favored class features, PrCs... it's all there. What specifically are you looking for. There are a plethora of options that are fully supported and (relatively) balanced. What in your opinion is not supported?

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Why can't you do this with archetypes? Why do you need to be a dwarf to gain abilities related to stonecrafting and tradition?

Classes need a strong game mechanic to resolve around. If thematics is all you want, then you're better off refluffing an existing class or creating an archetype.


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Whoa. I remember back when "dwarf" was a class the first time... Mein Gott in Himmel! The myth of eternal recurrence is true!!


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Interesting. I do have an 'Elf' class that is the default for Elves that does something like this. It focuses on nigh everything 'elfy' and is best described as a dilettante class. Mediocre at most everything, but quite skilled. Not designed for PCs, but I had one player that loved them.


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I don't see any problem doing this for fun, but it's apparently not for everyone. I think elf would be dexterity based combat with some arcane spells. Which really would be an awful lot like a magus. Maybe a magus that loses spell combat to gain intelligence to damage and spellstrike with melee and ranged weapons.


Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
Whoa. I remember back when "dwarf" was a class the first time... Mein Gott in Himmel! The myth of eternal recurrence is true!!

The idea I'm going for was inspired by the 1st edition basic dwarf, elf, and halfling which were all classes before they were proper races. So yes you're right.

Other than that:

I realize people have a difficult time with stuff like this because they compare it to established classes and PF is so overstuffed, complicated, and escalated to power-levels out of control that most homebrew seems ridiculous.

My idea was to base them against things like the 3.5 fighter, wizard, bard, cleric, ranger, and rogue; therefore making them enticing options for players.

What I can't understand is the immediate unwillingness to give into the thought experiment and play with the idea on it's own merit. Why can't people just look at the overall concept and let's see (for fun) what kind of ideas we can put together?


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Sorry, you're right. Friedrich wasn't being helpful. I'll try, but I have lots of questions for what you're thinking about doing.

One thing you might have to address before implementing something like this would be what you would do with the existing race mechanics. That does seem to be an integral part of the game.

You could leave it as is, but then you'd have the possibility for a dwarf dwarf, an elf elf, a halfling halfling... not sure what the value add would be. And could other races take these 20 level classes? If not, why not? And if so, what would the non-mechanical description be?

So. There are some thing you could try with the existing race dynamics:

1. Use "human" as the default race, then allow the racial classes to be added on top of that.

2. Strip away the race mechanic entirely. This might then require that everyone take a racial class. I'm not sure.

3. Keep all of the racial mechanics. Then add "paragon" style 20-level racial classes, open to only members of that race.

Ok. So you've done that. Where does that leave you? What does being a "dwarf" class mean, above and beyond being a "dwarf" race? Are you simply even better at those things dwarves are good at (saves against spells, stonecunning, seeing in the dark, hating)?

More importantly, is there something such a class could offer that you couldn't duplicate with something else? For instance, in your suggested class, you could just make a dwarf fighter. Or a dwarf ranger or slayer. Those would have all of the qualities of what you are talking about for dwarves as a class.

The answer might be (as it almost always is): Magic.

What if you had a dwarf race-class that got some earth-based magical abilities? You could borrow some of the geokineticist abilities and phase them in, along with maybe wild shape for earth elemental forms at higher levels. Or perhaps a summoner-like spell-like ability to call underground-themed monsters...? Perhaps a druidic pass without trace for underground environments? Or, in keeping with the crafting, you could give Master Craftsman and the Magic Item Creation feats as bonus feats, similar to the wizard bonus feats--except maybe even earlier, so a "dwarf" class could craft a magic sword at level 5 without needing to wait till level 7 and blow 2 feats?

Just some thoughts off the top of my head.


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And part of the thing is that Pathfinder has so many classes and so many archetypes, that whatever we come up with is probably going to almost already exist in one of those. Dwarf was a good place to start though, because there isn't really a class that pefectly embodies it as the magus can the elf.

I agree with most of your dwarf class needs.
*Full BAB.
*Good Fortitude and Will saves.
*Bonuses for dwarven weapons.
*Bonuses for heavy armor and maybe even tower shield use.
*Scaling bonuses to Earth, metal and gem based checks.
*Something like favored enemy for giants, goblins and orcs.
*Bonuses against poisons, spells and SLAs.


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I only speak for myself but if you are going to do an entire racial class it should probably be powerful races. Giants, vampires, fey, etc


Human Class
*3/4 BAB
*8 skill points
*No good saves.
*Bonus feat at 1st level and every 3rd level.
*+1 to attack, damage, saves and checks. Increase bonus by 1 every 5th level
*Ability to count as any other class at half the human class level when qualifying for feats and other effects.


I've done some work in something similar. A single Paragon class instead of a class for every race, representing someone who embodies everything that the race likes about the itself, with each race working more like a Mystery with selectable themed abilities. Like a dwarf paragon can select some earth magic, some divine or ancestors based abilities, can become a powerful fighter specializing in hammers and axes, can gain lots and lots of crafting bonus, or become a druid/ranger specializing in the underground. Or mix and match to what the player thinks a dwarf among dwarfs would be.

The main class you could only select powers from your race, or one of your parent races for half elfs and half orcs, but it also had an Adopted archetype for choosing to become a Racial Paragon of a different race. Basically being so weeaboo you spontaneously turn half-japanese. And a Citizen of the World who could mix and match multiple races.

The class also gave some social bonus, because everyone that met a dwarven Paragon for instance, would instinctually think that he is the coolest dwarf to ever dwarf, and even their enemies can't help respecting someone so true to themselves. It also gave bonuses to ability scores, extra alternate racial traits from a small list, and some other suff I'm forgetting.

The class had a second archetype, the Pariah, who embodied everything the race consiers bad about itself, like a dwarven Paragon is traditional and wise, a hardworker and a master crafter, but a dwarven Pariah is a stubborn greedy drunkard, nearly obssessive about digging deeper for more riches. They traded the social bonuses for the ability to spread their vices and directly manipulate people.

I'm pretty sure I had two or three more archetypes but I can't remember what they were. Do you guys think this would be interesting? I dropped it because I lost interest in doing the race abilities but if you guys wanted to help brainstorm I could post what I already have.

NoTongue wrote:
I only speak for myself but if you are going to do an entire racial class it should probably be powerful races. Giants, vampires, fey, etc

There are, at least that I remember from the top of my head, two 3pp already doing this, Rite Publishing and Dreamscarred Press. Racial Paragons as classes tho, is something that would need to be homebrewed.

Quibblemuch, I think the main thing this type of class could offer is flavor. If you want to be The Best Dwarf, right now, there are four racial archetypes, each touching on one side of being a dwarf, and none of them on the totality. So you need either a very innefective four class multiclass, or to find a 4 class gestalt game.


While I agree that other classes do this better with archetypes, imagine a game where the gm only allows elves to progress in the elf claas, dwarves in the dwarf class etc. There are no elven wizatds, druids, rangers, magi, etc.

In that sort of setting a racial class could be broken down into several paths that represent the different aspects/themes of the race. In elves you could have: magic, art, war, and forestry. Abilities are available with prerequisites so you can cherry pick based on how many paths,you have available (starting with one at 1st level and gaining more as you level)

In this setting only humans can choose any class available having ultimate flexibility and half races could mulriclass out of their racial parent's class with one or more general classes.


Or half races could have their own classes but be able to mulriclass into a parents race class or a human general class. Sort of similar to 3.5 unearthed arcana paragon classes.


JosMartigan wrote:

While I agree that other classes do this better with archetypes, imagine a game where the gm only allows elves to progress in the elf claas, dwarves in the dwarf class etc. There are no elven wizatds, druids, rangers, magi, etc.

In that sort of setting a racial class could be broken down into several paths that represent the different aspects/themes of the race. In elves you could have: magic, art, war, and forestry. Abilities are available with prerequisites so you can cherry pick based on how many paths,you have available (starting with one at 1st level and gaining more as you level)

In this setting only humans can choose any class available having ultimate flexibility and half races could mulriclass out of their racial parent's class with one or more general classes.

Well that sounds needlessly restrictive, and probably the players will just decide to be humans, maybe half-elf or half-orc. Seems like a lot of work for what you could get by saying "Humans only campaign."

That said, whatever work you do on these classes I can later cannibalize for my own homebrew, so I'm willing to help you out. Keep in mind, I can throw ideas, I can help with balancing, but this is your project, so the main work of fullt writting out stuff, turning ideas to rules, and making final decisions is yours.

So, if you still want to do it, first some questions: How many classes? Core (Dwarf, Elf, Halfling, Gnome, Orc), more? Are Drow and aquatic Elves, for example, conjunts of talents or archetypes? Do you want the classes to be just talents (Rogue Genius Games style) or some fixed class features that you think are essential for the race with other themes being talents? Which race/class you want to do first?


Maybe it could be theoretically useful as a sorta time-saver for making NPC's as their very own racial NPC class too- without havin' to bother building them out as a fully statted character...

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