Homebrewing: How to handle races with innate abilities?

Ancestries & Backgrounds

Just to give a little context before the question: Now that the the playtest cicle started "calming down", one of the two long-term groups I DM for actually liked the system so much that they want our next campaign (which is conveniently starting in a month or so) to use PF2. Of course we are going to have a lot of house rules, but going to the point now. The setting is Eberron, or at least a slightly different version of Eberron that I use. For those who don't know it is a D&D setting with a technomagical feel. There are three races that I'll need to homebrew to make Eberron... well, Eberron:

Shifters (kind of half-lycantropes) are mostly fine, I can include their transformations as a heritage thing with no problems. Changelings and Warforged however... not so much.

Changelings are kind of an inbetween of humans and doppelgangers, and they can morph into other humanoids within the same size category (only the Changelings, clothes and equipment don't morph with them). This is a very powerful ability in itself, and I can't tie it to Heritage either because this is what defines the race.

Warforged are a similar story. They are a mix of a living creature and a magical construct, and because of that they don't need to sleep, eat, drink or breathe, and are also resistant to poison and immune to diseases for obvious reasons.

The thing is, how do I handle that? Currently I have them getting those things for free, but the races have one less Ability Score Increase (Warforged are just Constitution, Choice and Changelings are just Charisma, Choice) but I don't know if this is the best way of doing that. What do you guys think? Do you have any suggestions?

Liberty's Edge

For the Changeling I think that's a simple enough one to deal with, add it for free but keep the Ability Scores Flat, provide no Bonuses or Penalties. This should even them out pretty well to counter the shifting and makes sense that their anatomy is more "average" on baseline than other creatures.

Warforged however are another story. I'd provide 3-5 different Heritages, Steel, Stone, Precious Metal. Each one of them should get the basic Construct style traits but also one that makes sense for their theme. Set the Ability Score boost to CON or STR with a penalty to CHA for SURE.
Steel could be more mobile and faster, Stone could have an innate Natural Armor AC Bonus, and Precious Metals could provide a bonus to Mind Affecting Spells/Powers. My advice however for ALL Warforged, get rid of the Poison/Disease Immunities, and make sure they can be Crit.

The Warforged would be empirically better than other races on paper, but I'm not sure how actionable those advantages would be in an average campaign. If the party are homeless vagabonds, not having to eat or sleep would be a major advantage. But in an average adventure, being immune to the Sleep spell and attacks from poisonous creatures would be the extent of the advantages.

I'm not sure how balanced it would be, but perhaps you can just short the Warforged on its ancestry feats. They get none, or the ones available are very dull and situational.

Changeling being a Human ancestry is better than low-light vision, but only if the PC is good at Deception. As I see it, being a Changeling would only replace a Disguise Kit and shorten Impersonate checks to 1 action, not give any bonuses to Deception.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have nothing useful to add. But Eberron is my favorite campaign setting ever.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Ancestries & Backgrounds / Homebrewing: How to handle races with innate abilities? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Ancestries & Backgrounds