Completely contradicting class / race combos


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Liberty's Edge

I'm looking to make a completely stupid character who makes no sense as a character in terms of class and race (Thinking along the halfling barbarian line of thinking, or Sir Bearington). Do any of you have any particular favourites or out-of-the box ideas for these kind of combos?

Many thanks in advance!


Er, every single strength based class on a strength malus race, every single dex based class on a dex malus race, and so on. Seriously, there are literally hundreds, possibly thousands of combination that don't "make sense".

Although a lot of options can still be made sensible with the right archetype or feats. For instance, halfling isn't really a bad race for an Urban Barbarian, Savage Technologist, or Primal Hunter.


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I would say dwarf sorceror, but there is an AT that changes out the casting stat for wisdom.

Elven barbarian maybe because they have a constitution penalty and elves are generally considered cultured and civilized.


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I'd hope that most races aren't as specialised as worker ants, unable to conceive of venturing outside their expected role.

Mind you, a dwarf cavalier (with a standard mount) seems odd. Dwarven societies aren't ever presented as having a horse-riding or camel-riding ruling class that I know of, and such social classes can be difficult to enter from outside. That's besides the odd image.

Sczarni

Gnome wizard has the support of lore, but the rues seem to say they'd make better sorcerors.

Elf gunslinger is the opposite-- mechanics-wise it works, but lore-wise it doesn't.

Dwarf bards are a pretty far stretch. My GM has told me that dwarven lands tend to use clerics as their lorekeepers instead. He also says that barbarians are similarly "against the grain" of what dwarves are all about.

Goblin wizard is an offbeat choice, since goblins are so against reading. They even made an archetype specifically for goblins so they can be wizards without learning to read.


With enough investment, any race could really be any class.

I think Halflings because of the racial feats, and the stalwart feat chain can get a pretty high DR through barbarian.

The only exception I would add would be something like a kobold, where the penalty is greater than 2.


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Silent Saturn wrote:
Dwarf bards are a pretty far stretch. My GM has told me that dwarven lands tend to use clerics as their lorekeepers instead. He also says that barbarians are similarly "against the grain" of what dwarves are all about.

My timpani playing Dwarven bard disagrees.

And, Dwarven barbarians are part of published D&D lore going back at least 20-25 years.


Even a penalty of just -2 on your casting stat on a 9/9 casting class is really brutal if you can't find an archetype to mitigate it

What's more bothersome, though, is the complementary situation to what Silent Saturn said above: where the lore supports a combination and the mechanics don't. For instance, by the lore, a decent percentage of Elves should be druidically oriented, but their racial traits, including ability score adjustments, don't support this (although at least they don't have a penalty to Wisdom). Another one is Orcs and the Keen Scent feat, which requires 13 Wisdom, while Orcs have a Wisdom penalty. Another one that finally got partially fixed fairly recently was Changelings and Witches: Changelings just didn't have much in their racial features to support being Witches, including but not limited having no Intelligence bonus, and the Changeling-specific archetype being highly specialized and not great -- Halflings have better racial traits for being Witches -- eventually they got the Witchborn alternate racial trait to get an option for an Intelligence bonus, and much more recently Blood of the Coven gave them sub-races, but many of these DON'T give them an Intelligence bonus, and some even give them a penalty.


APG, races:
Quote:
Dwarf cavaliers are almost unheard of; the few dwarven cavaliers are almost exclusively surface dwellers, riding on ponies or even giant boars. Not surprisingly, many dwarves see cavaliers as odd folk, not to be trusted.
Quote:
The general lack of flora below ground leads few dwarves to take up the druid's call.
Quote:
Most dwarves do not understand the powerful bond between a summoner and his eidolon, making this a rare profession for the stout folk.

Apparently, Dwarves are the least class-diverse among the core races.

^Dwarves do get a Bard archetype (Stonesinger), which is actually pretty good, even though the Charisma penalty hurts.

Likewise, Suli get a Magus archetype (Elemental Knight), but unfortunately it is incompatible with the Eldritch Scion archetype that they really need to be able to use their strong point of Charisma instead of their weak point of Intelligence.

* * * * * * * *

Just thinking more generally about what you need to be a spellcaster if you have various levels of bonus or penalty to your primary casting stat -- assuming that you have to use your natural ability score (including level-up increases) to be able to cast your spells, what is the minimum that you need?

4/9 caster: Need to get to 14 by the time you get to level 12, which is the 3rd level-up increase, so you have to start with 11.

  • For a +2 bonus, this means you could get back 1 in point buy (although you probably shouldn't).
  • For a +0, this means you would have to spend 1 in point buy.
  • For a -2 penalty (for example, Dwarven Bloodrager or Paladin with most archetypes or no archetype), you have to spend 3 in point buy.
  • For a -4 penalty (for example, the Evil Iconic Duergar Antipaladin), you have to spend 7 in point buy (just barely usable).
6/9 caster: Need to get to 16 by the time you get to level 16, which is the 4th level-up increase, so you have to start with 12.
  • For a +2 bonus, this means you could spend exactly 0 in point buy.
  • For a +0, this means you have to spend 2 in point buy.
  • For a -2 penalty (for example, a Suli Magus who really wanted the Elemental Knight archetype), this means you have to spend 5 in point buy.
  • For a -4 penalty, this means you have to spend 10 in point buy (for all practical purposes unusable).
9/9 caster: Need to get to 19 by the time you get to level 16, which is the 4th level-up increase, so you have to start with 15.
  • For a +2 bonus, this means you have to spend 3 in point buy.
  • For a +0, this means you have to spend 7 in point buy (just barely usable -- better have something really good to make up for this, like the Halfling Jinx and Creepy Doll alternate racial traits on a Witch).
  • For a -2 penalty (for example, Orc Wizard), this means you have to spend 13 in point buy (for all practical purposes unusable).
  • For a -4 penalty, this means you have to spend 21 in point buy (super-unusable -- actually, the Rules As Written don't even let you do this).

Of course, this doesn't tell the whole story, since 9/9 casters are usually less MAD than 6/9 casters and 4/9 casters, and thus can afford to concentrate their point buy more (at least for a decently wide range of common builds). Also, it depends how high you want to crank your Save DCs (and sometimes other aspects of spells that depend upon your primary casting stat) -- if you are casting spells that enemies can Save against, you need a primary casting stat considerably above the minimum needed to cast all your spells.

Note that the minimum required casting stat does not go up linearly -- 6/9 needs only 1 more than 4/9, but 9/9 needs 3 more than 6/9. Therefore, the clash between racial ability score adjustments and class requirements also does not go up linearly -- 6/9 is only a little bit harder than 4/9 unless you are fighting a -4 penalty, but 9/9 is a lot harder than 6/9.


We've got all sorts of racial archetypes for classes that are often reliant on ability scores the race penalizes. Dwarf cleric, dwarf paladin, halfling cavalier, catfolk monk, drow fighter, fetchling ranger, goblin barbarian, ifrit inquisitor, kobold fighter, orc witch, oread summoner, tiefling cleric, etc.


^Yes, but as noted above, some of them don't do anything about the penalty.


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Tiefling, Orc, or Drow Paladin: not disallowed but really against type.

Aasimar Antipaladin: As above but in reverse.

Hill Giant Rogue: *hides behind a tree* "YOU CAN'T SEE ME!"

Gnome Monk: Because any race that literally dies from boredom should NOT be quietly meditating.


UAE, headbands or automatic bonus progression lower those requirements drastically. You'd need to cast spells without saves - buffs, some battlefield control, the odd blast which has no save, utility spells - but it's quite doable.


^I know, but I really hate that rule -- it makes you too much of a thing of your magic items (Arcane Cyborg?). And then I hear other people complain about the "Big Six". I'd rather give everybody 20 point buy (instead of 15 point buy) and make magic item bonuses not qualifying for feats, spells, etc.

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Tiefling, Orc, or Drow Paladin: not disallowed but really against type.

Tieflings actually get a pretty good official Favored Class Bonus for Paladin -- better than the one that Aasimars get (which is a nice idea but progresses way too slowly).

Drow get an official Favored Class Bonus for Paladin, but it's too situational for most purposes. Oh well, you can't win them all; lots of other races also get poor Favored Class Bonuses for Paladin.

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Aasimar Antipaladin: As above but in reverse.

While they don't get an Antipaladin Favored Class Bonus (seems that nobody other than Drow does), they do get an official feat that is flavored (in more ways than one) for an Antipaladin.

Derek Vande Brake wrote:

Hill Giant Rogue: *hides behind a tree* "YOU CAN'T SEE ME!"

{. . .}

Could be worse. At least they don't think that if you can't see them, then they can't see you . . . .

Contributor

I played a kitsune bloodrager from 1st to 12th in PFS—he was a really fun, effective character. (He even got the killing blow, a critical hit, on a runelord!)

Silver Crusade

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Current favorite of mine: Dhampir Oracle with the Life mystery, Pharasma's greatest practical joke.


Barbarian Android


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Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Drow Paladin: not disallowed but really against type.

You mean because all drow are chaotic good?

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Aasimar Antipaladin: As above but in reverse.

Actually..:
"Aasimars who have had particularly difficult childhoods often have an even worse time in their adolescent years, and may undergo dramatic mental and physical changes that make them even more vulnerable to corruption and exploitation. Aasimars who develop evil personalities usually pledge themselves to their twisted path during adolescence.

(...)
Aasimars who live under the constant pressure of trying to fit in or who separate themselves from their peers are most likely to turn toward evil. Contrary to popular belief while aasimars are ofen called toward good works and kind dispositions, this tendency is not a guarantee. Most have no direct connection to their celestial progenitors, nor any contact with the Outer Planes, and when they find themselves mistreated or held apart from the rest of their parent society, the loneliness often becomes too much, allowing anger and neurosis to creep in. Evil aasimars commonly display exaggerated loner tendencies, refusing to trust even their most loyal assistants and imparting their secrets to no one, not even to paper. Others display over-the-top megalomania, believing themselves to be the pinnacle of mortality and all others to be blundering, small-minded fools." Blood of Angels pg. 6f.

Derek Vande Brake wrote:
Gnome Monk: Because any race that literally dies from boredom should NOT be quietly meditating.

See "Bleachlings", Legacy of the First World pg. 6.

Kageshira wrote:
Barbarian Android

That's what the Empathy feat is for.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Could be worse. At least they don't think that if you can't see them, then they can't see you

Or even worse, they could have come to some unfortunate conclusions about armor check penalties...

Shadow Lodge

Kobold Barbarian(Wild Rager archetype). :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Kobold Barbarian(Wild Rager archetype). :)

...that race and combination (but not the archetype) appears in an AP.

Shadow Lodge

Ahahahaha! XD


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...and what's worse is that the way they're designed, they're very much a TPK if the party isn't crafty/smart/careful.

Like a true kobold.


Playing against type, even with a -2 penalty to a key ability, isn't necessarily "stupid," just challenging. And sometimes that challenge is a lot of the fun for certain characters and/or players.

There's plenty of lore in various editions of D&D for dwarven bards (chanters), dwarven barbarians (battleragers), elf barbarians (wild elves), and other examples along these lines.

In my current home game, I've set myself a challenge as a GM to make a nation of kobolds into a plausible conquerer race. Sure, they're ruled by a dragon and a few half-dragons, but that alone can't offset the huge net penalty the race has to ability scores...


Ideas for the kobold army:
Relies on a few higher-level commanders, possibly your half-dragons (conveniently immune to a specific energy type)

Step 1: have an alchemist with Implant Bomb, dealing AoE energy damage on death of the front line.
Step 2: Have a Skald with a Linnorm Death Curse rage power corresponding to the bomb energy type (save vs elemental vulnerability if you kill an affected creature)
Step 3: Give your cannon fodder protections against the energy type (or don't, if you want chain reactions and have no regard for their lives)
Step 4: Charge and subject your enemy to fiery/icy/acidic death. Throw AoEs around (like bombs) if your force has resistances up.

Seems like a fitting strategy for a dragon-focused gang of clever rascals


I think Catfolk, being a generally chaotic race along with negative wisdom, having a monk archetype that doesn't trade away the lawful-ness or wisdom is hillarous.


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Strix cavalier. I can't imagine many Strix ditching their sixty foot fly speed for a forty foot land speed.


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Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
Strix cavalier. I can't imagine many Strix ditching their sixty foot fly speed for a forty foot land speed.

Strix cavalier with muleback cords and a heavyload belt who simply straps himself to his horse and lifts it up into the air along with him.


If I recall correctly, the old descriptions of the Core Races on www.d20pfsrd.com (before they updated from the Advanced Race Guide and its successors) had text for all Core Race/(Core + APG + UM) Class combinations, including the seriously nom-optimal ones like Dwarven Bard and Elven Barbarian.


Silent Saturn wrote:

Dwarf bards are a pretty far stretch. My GM has told me that dwarven lands tend to use clerics as their lorekeepers instead. He also says that barbarians are similarly "against the grain" of what dwarves are all about.

Goblin wizard is an offbeat choice, since goblins are so against reading. They even made an archetype specifically for goblins so they can be wizards without learning to read.

Humbug!

The Complete Book of Dwarves was published in 1991 and included The Battlerager as a class kit for dwarves. The Battlerager has more in common with the 3.0 Barbarian than the 2nd edition Barbarian does IMO. Dwarves are the original "barbarian" for 3.0 essentially. I don't know where the first representation of them was, but I know one appeared in an RA Salvatore novel (1-3 years prior to the CBoD).

Also, a dwarven barbarian invented the Dwarven Door Game at least 7 years ago.

Normally I might agree that goblins aren't wizards, but we had a long running one in a campaign. Originally he was actually an elf, but a titan transformed him into a goblin (and everyone's memory of him into a goblin). So, my group is quite familiar with the concept.


SorrySleeping wrote:
I think Catfolk, being a generally chaotic race along with negative wisdom, having a monk archetype that doesn't trade away the lawful-ness or wisdom is hillarous.

I have a very fun and lawful catfolk samurai.... going against the common grain can be fun and exciting yes yes!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No one has mentioned the Astomoi yet? These guys have no way of providing verbal components for spells, making them colossally unsuitable to be Wizards in spite of an intelligence bonus. Sure, at high levels you could get away with slapping Silent Spell on everything, but it's a pretty crippling downside that goes far beyond misplaced racial bonuses/penalties. Hmm... seems I'm either mis-remembering or misread it, since they do get to use thought components instead of verbal components. Well, these guys still have a lot of pitfalls if you want to make them into a bard. But hey, at least they can still cast and pantomime.


Dasrak wrote:
No one has mentioned the Astomoi yet? These guys have no way of providing verbal components for spells, making them colossally unsuitable to be Wizards in spite of an intelligence bonus. Sure, at high levels you could get away with slapping Silent Spell on everything, but it's a pretty crippling downside that goes far beyond misplaced racial bonuses/penalties. Hmm... seems I'm either mis-remembering or misread it, since they do get to use thought components instead of verbal components. Well, these guys still have a lot of pitfalls if you want to make them into a bard. But hey, at least they can still cast and pantomime.

Even if they didn't get to use thought components instead, come 5th level an astomoi pact wizard with the deaf curse would be a terror to behold. Until then, well, I hope you're a fan of peacebond, lipstitch, shadow anchor, and pilfering hand.


Irontruth wrote:
Silent Saturn wrote:

Dwarf bards are a pretty far stretch. My GM has told me that dwarven lands tend to use clerics as their lorekeepers instead. He also says that barbarians are similarly "against the grain" of what dwarves are all about.

Goblin wizard is an offbeat choice, since goblins are so against reading. They even made an archetype specifically for goblins so they can be wizards without learning to read.

Humbug!

The Complete Book of Dwarves was published in 1991 and included The Battlerager as a class kit for dwarves. The Battlerager has more in common with the 3.0 Barbarian than the 2nd edition Barbarian does IMO. Dwarves are the original "barbarian" for 3.0 essentially. I don't know where the first representation of them was, but I know one appeared in an RA Salvatore novel (1-3 years prior to the CBoD).

My Dwarven Battlerager (actually the Fighter/Cleric version) invented a couple of games.

Dwarven Catch: Two people take turns throwing an axe back and forth at each other. Last one standing wins.

Pin the Tail on the Yeti: Involves a length of rope tied to a spike and a mallet. The goal is to sneak up on a yeti and nail a tail onto it's butt. The yetis in my character's alpine mountain home had a healthy fear of stealthy dwarves.

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