Would You Play As A Race That...?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


A race that as a +2Str +2Dex +2Con +2Int +2Wis +2Cha but has no other racial abilities/traits?

A race that has the human highly skilled(+1 skill point per Lv) and an ability that makes all skills as class skills, but nothing else(not even racial mods)?

What racial abilities do you think would make a race that has a -2 to all stats worth playing?


Dragon78 wrote:
A race that as a +2Str +2Dex +2Con +2Int +2Wis +2Cha but has no other racial abilities/traits?

That’d be a rather strong race. Above expected for PCs. A good choice for a class that’s more MAD, but really good at everything.

Quote:
A race that has the human highly skilled(+1 skill point per Lv) and an ability that makes all skills as class skills, but nothing else(not even racial mods)?

That’s pretty weak. An extra skill point is nice, but not even the equivalent of +2 to intelligence. And there are already lots of ways to gain any class skills you may actually want.

Quote:
What racial abilities do you think would make a race that has a -2 to all stats worth playing?

It’d have to be something pretty strong for a PC to have. Maybe average flight or permanent fast healing 1. And it’d still almost never get chosen for a SAD class.

Dark Archive

1 is really strong if used right. Normally humans can get +2 to 2 stats at the cost of all racial features. The suggested option is more powerful.

2.nope. not by a longshot. Getting all class skills is not worth much and easily done other ways.

3. Incorporeal and telekinetic.


#1 depends on what I'd want to play. Some builds need extra feats, some builds want racial stuff (archetypes, racial traits, FCBs etc.). Other builds, especially MAD ones, would like it a lot. Comes with a +1 to all saves, skill checks, HP/level, and skill ranks/level.

On a side note, that does actually exist as a race, pureblooded Azlanti (see ISWG pg. 12).

#2 hell no, that's what you might call an "NPC race" (comperable to a regular race like non-adept NPC classes are to PC classes). Classes with the skill ranks to make use of these class skills tend to already have plenty of class skills. The human racial trait Comprehensive Education turns all knowledges into class skills (replacing Skilled), with the floating +2 on Int, that already covers most of what the hypothetical race does, only much better.

#3 once again depends on what I'd want to play. Pounce would be very high on my list for a martial (best coupled with a boost to saves and skills), something that grants more spells or higher DCs for a full caster.


Yeah, but doesn't the Azlanti have all the human racial abilities as well?

What would you add to option #2 to make it worth it?


I could see humans having a racial option that trades the bonus feat for making all skills class skills. So, option 2 is pretty much just a human. If you’re making a new race, the floating bonus that humans get would be closest to the base races.


Dragon78 wrote:
What would you add to option #2 to make it worth it?

I'd break it a bit.

Akashic Fragment: The character gets one less skill point per level. All skills are considered class skills for this character. If the character is trained in a knowledge skill, they may use that skill as if it was any other knowledge skill. This character may use any knowledge skill to qualify for requirements that call for one or more different knowledge skills.

Example: Knewb has 7 ranks in KS: Planes. When trying to identify a heraldic symbol Knewb uses KS: Planes in place of KS: Nobility. After leveling Knewb uses his 7 ranks in KS:Planes in place of two different knowledge skills to meet the skill requirements for the Loremaster prestige class.


Meirril wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
What would you add to option #2 to make it worth it?

I'd break it a bit.

Akashic Fragment: The character gets one less skill point per level. All skills are considered class skills for this character. If the character is trained in a knowledge skill, they may use that skill as if it was any other knowledge skill. This character may use any knowledge skill to qualify for requirements that call for one or more different knowledge skills.

Does this mean you can use that skill for EVERY other knowledge skill or for any ONE other knowledge skill?

If it's Every other knowledge skill then this is effectively +8 skill points per level, which is way too strong.


MrCharisma wrote:
If it's Every other knowledge skill then this is effectively +8 skill points per level, which is way too strong.

I'm not so sure about that. It's not free floating skill ranks, after all. People rarely put points into Engineering, Geography, History, or Nobility, because checks for these are usually so rare and/or irrelevant that they're not worth the skill ranks. Which in return makes effective skill ranks in those worth significantly less.

Dragon78 wrote:
What would you add to option #2 to make it worth it?

Something combat relevant would help, obviously. The reasoning behind Meirril's idea is very sound, too - class skills are useless if you don't have the skill ranks for them. The 'existing' racial traits only benefit classes with a large number of skill ranks, and those classes tend to have plenty of class skills already. Out of the 6 or 8 skill rank/level classes, Hunter and Ranger have the least class skills with 15 each, followed by Slayer with 17, everything else has at least 20 (out of 35 total skills). There are some int-based casters with few class skills, but I don't see a Witch (11 class skills) taking this race over half-orc of elf with Fey Thoughts, or Sage Sorcerer (9 class skills) taking it over a human with Comprehensive Education (they only have one knowledge class skill by default).

In the end, class skills just aren't a big deal in Pathfinder.

Dragon78 wrote:
Yeah, but doesn't the Azlanti have all the human racial abilities as well?

It's not really clear. I took it as the +2 to all ability scores beign the only racial traits. The adaptability and flexibility of humans (that the floating bonus, the free feat, and the free skill rank represent) don't really seem to be characteristics of the old azlanti. My knowledge of Golarion lore is rather limited, though.


Dragon78 wrote:

A race that as a +2Str +2Dex +2Con +2Int +2Wis +2Cha but has no other racial abilities/traits?

A race that has the human highly skilled(+1 skill point per Lv) and an ability that makes all skills as class skills, but nothing else(not even racial mods)?

What racial abilities do you think would make a race that has a -2 to all stats worth playing?

Depends on why the race has those particular racial abilities.

In a vacuum:

1. If I had to, but it sounds kinda boring.
2. Sure, but again, it sounds kinda boring.
3. This one is hard for me to think about in a vacuum, but it'd have to be a lot better than most PC-appropriate racial abilities.


Dragon78 wrote:
What racial abilities do you think would make a race that has a -2 to all stats worth playing?

Bonus skill point(s) per level, a bonus spell slot of each spell level 1st-4th, and some sort of overpowered boost to Familiars, Eidolons, and Phantoms.


3. Maybe a few daily uses of burst of adrenaline and burst of insight as a starting point. These two spells from Occult Adventures give you a +8 enhancement bonus on physical respective mental stats as an immediate action, but only for that roll and you are fatigued respective dazed 1 round afterwards. So if a roll really matters, you can make up for your many weaknesses and shine for a moment.

Anyhow, guess I'd play a bard with such penalizing scores: That way I can stay out of melee, and I don't really need high mental stats either. Maybe 6th-level casters are generally best suited to deal with such disadvantages.


1. Probably not, while it seems strong on paper how many character concepts need more than 2 high stats? Even then this may not be as helpful as it seems unless you actually have the rolls to back it up. Of course if you already have said rolls then you probably can get away with only getting a bonus to one or two stats to make your concept work. I would rather have interesting abilities than a race that gets bonuses stats I don't care about.

2. This seems terrible since it will automatically overlap with whatever your class(es) give you and you'll struggle to even get 1 point into every skill. For example, one of my current characters has everything as a class skill except appraise, disable device and disguise. But because I only get 4 to 6 skill points per level its difficult to get much use out of it, especially since his int is only 11. This means 1 point into a knowledge skill gives me a whooping +4, making it barely worth the effort.

I would rather have a mixture of weaker abilities that add flavor and can be swapped for other equivalent abilities. Rather than a single powerful ability. This is why the bonus feat that humans get is so compelling, its the ultimate in flexibility since, even though it's one ability, it can be used to gain any number of interesting powers that will synergize with whatever you're trying to do.

3. Probably a laundry list of the most desired/sought out features and/or abilities. A bonus feat, darkvision, more than 2 arms, natural flight etc.. It would probably need around 5 of these kinds of abilities that are universally useful. In this way players would be willing to "put up with" the annoyance of having a -2 to all of their primary stats. As it would be more than made up for by the cool abilities the race grants you. In any case it would need to be offset by multiple abilities, because any ability powerful enough on its own to offset a -2 to all stats is potentially game breaking.


LordKailas wrote:
I would rather have interesting abilities than a race that gets bonuses stats I don't care about.

Don't you? +Dex gives you reflex save, AC, and initiative, that's something you care about. +Con gives you HP and fort save, that's something you care about. +Int gives you skill ranks, that's something you care about. +Wis gives you will save and perception, that's something you care about. +Str at least frees up some point buy-points while staying out of troubles with carrying capacity and ability damage. You might genuinly not care about +Cha, but for everyone that can't dump a stat, this is a godsend.

I'd say it's stronger in practice than on paper!


Derklord wrote:
LordKailas wrote:
I would rather have interesting abilities than a race that gets bonuses stats I don't care about.

Don't you? +Dex gives you reflex save, AC, and initiative, that's something you care about. +Con gives you HP and fort save, that's something you care about. +Int gives you skill ranks, that's something you care about. +Wis gives you will save and perception, that's something you care about. +Str at least frees up some point buy-points while staying out of troubles with carrying capacity and ability damage. You might genuinly not care about +Cha, but for everyone that can't dump a stat, this is a godsend.

I'd say it's stronger in practice than on paper!

in each case its only something I care about when I'm playing a character that cares about that thing. I have yet to play a character that cared about all of those things.

+Dex gives you reflex save, AC, and initiative? Nope, I never cared about any of these things on my cleric necromancer. I would much rather have something useful that synergizes with my character than a measly +1 to these things.

+Con gives you HP and for save. Unless I'm planning on being in melee con is never a priority for my characters. I care about not having a penalty but the bonus doesn't matter. The last dwarven wizard I played died permanently as a result of a botched fort save against a disintegrate spell. My +2 to con from being a dwarf clearly didn't make a difference nor did the extra hp the character enjoyed. So, not only do I not care about a few extra hp or an extra bonus to fort saves, it very clearly doesn't matter as he was one of the shortest lived wizards I've ever played.

+Int gives you skill ranks. Sure, it's nice and all, but if I need more skills then I'll just get a Scarlet and Blue Sphere ioun stone and have it implanted, one for each skill I want max ranks in. While I play a lot of humans I find myself constantly trading away the +1 skill point per level for something else. So, no it really isn't something I care about getting.

+Wis gives you will save and perception. If I'm worried about an effect based on a will save then I find a way to be immune to that thing. If I'm sitting at a +3 will save, raising it to a +4 isn't going to matter most of the time, so it's not something I care about. Perception is important but again we are only talking about a +1. In my experience its only important for 1 or 2 characters to have a high perception. When someone else in the group has a +15, does it really matter that I have a +7 instead of a +6? no not really.

+Str at least frees up some point buy-points while staying out of troubles with carrying capacity and ability damage. This isn't a problem I often have to deal with and I play a lot of characters that dump strength. When it comes to carrying capacities, a masterwork backpack is often sufficient at low levels and a handy haversack is one of my go to magic items for every character I play regardless of their strength score at higher levels.

As for ability drain, the only monster I tend to encounter as a PC that deals notable strength damage are shadows. Yes, they are scary but if I'm a low str character, I'm not a front liner and so I'm going to already have strategies to effectively play "keep away" anyway. So, no I really don't care about strength either.


There's a difference between "not caring about something" and "something not being useful to your character".

You roll initiative every combat and likely get attacked most combats. Those bonuses will eventually pay off in a big way.

Lol. Did you just try to claim that you dying from dumping constitution is proof that you shouldn't care about constitution? I feel like you just lost all of your credibility there.

I guess a bonus skill point isn't so hot for some niche builds, but it's also a bonus to a few good skills.

Failing a will save is usually so catastrophic that even a +1 is very meaningful.

There are lots of options to compensate for people dumping strength already. It's still not worthless to have better strength, but it's probably the dump stat most supported by the game. It'd be nice for the CMD bump anyway, which you'll also get from the dexterity bonus. So the race gets a +2 to CMD which would be good for most casters.

But ability damage and drain in general is a good reason that such a race would be strong. For instance, the biggest danger of dumping charisma is that so many things damage charisma, probably because game designers know that people dump charisma.

And I think you're missing the forest for the trees. Those little bonuses are each small, but when you add them all up across the entire character, they become more significant. Sure your cleric may only want wisdom, but getting all of those other bonuses means that they will absolutely come into play


Melkiador wrote:
You roll initiative every combat and likely get attacked most combats. Those bonuses will eventually pay off in a big way.

do they? ac is limited by armor and I'm used to going last most combats. The only time this doesn't happen is when I roll really well or I'm playing a dex based character. what's more, the last caster I played her AC rarely mattered. Either I didn't get attacked or their bonus to hit was so much higher than my AC that a +1 wouldn't of mattered. The less your AC gets targeted the less small bonuses matter since a small bonus will rarely make the difference between a hit and a miss. If your AC is targeted all the time then I absolutely agree a small bonus will have huge payoffs over time. As you will more often a difference of one or two can be the difference of not only how often you get hit, but how often things crit against you.

Melkiador wrote:
Lol. Did you just try to claim that you dying from dumping constitution is proof that you shouldn't care about constitution? I feel like you just lost all of your credibility there.

???

my wizard had a 14 in con, thanks to the +2 he got from his racial bonus and my character died regardless. I didn't realize having a 14 in a stat meant I was "dumping" it. The wizard still died to a fort save because they are a wizard, the "little bonus" he got did little to change it.

Melkiador wrote:
Failing a will save is usually so catastrophic that even a +1 is very meaningful.

It literally gives you a 5% increased chance of success. I would much rather have an ability that negates the effect completely or reduces it by half. Heck, I'll even take an ability that gives me a re-roll over a +5%. If it's a choice between +5% and not +5%, then yes +5% is better. But that's not the question, the question is +5% vs something that gives you a re-roll or augments an ability that is your character's primary focus.

Melkiador wrote:
There are lots of options to compensate for people dumping strength already. It's still not worthless to have better strength, but it's probably the dump stat most supported by the game. It'd be nice for the CMD bump anyway, which you'll also get from the dexterity bonus. So the race gets a +2 to CMD which would be good for most casters.

Maybe in other games its more important. As a PC, I rarely have had my CMD targeted when playing a caster. As a DM when I start targeting caster's CMDs they start prepping spells like freedom of movement that allow them to negate the check in some way. So, I don't see much value to it based on my experience. But I'll concede others may have experienced things differently, where such a boost is useful.

Melkiador wrote:
But ability damage and drain in general is a good reason that such a race would be strong. For instance, the biggest danger of dumping charisma is that so many things damage charisma, probably because game designers know that people dump charisma.

Again, ability drain/damage isn't something I've encountered as being deadly as a PC. Shadows are the only thing that stand out in my mind, but that's because incorporeal + ability drain is difficult to deal with. A creature with only one of those abilities is bad, but both can be nightmarish for an unprepared group. Most of the time, it just slows the momentum of the adventure as PCs are forced to rest or even withdraw until they can repair the damage and come back better prepared.

If this is a problem regularly encountered by other groups and the ones I've played in happen to be odd, I'll concede that this could be very appealing if you're regularly having to use your stats as a form of HP.

Melkiador wrote:
And I think you're missing the forest for the trees. Those little bonuses are each small, but when you add them all up across the entire character, they become more significant. Sure your cleric may only want wisdom, but getting all of those other bonuses means that they will absolutely come into play

My point was, I would rather have other useful racial abilities than just a +2 to a stat that has only a minor impact on my character.


Do you play the APs? I find ability damage and grapples, especially, to be super common. So many monsters have Grab. Freedom of Movement is an option, but also expensive, either in burning spells or burning wealth for an item for that effect. FoM also isn't immediately available and when it first comes available, you probably aren't going to fill all of your top level slots with it.

And about Constitution you wrote:
I care about not having a penalty but the bonus doesn't matter.

Sounded like you were dumping it.


Melkiador wrote:
Do you play the APs? I find ability damage and grapples, especially, to be super common. So many monsters have Grab. Freedom of Movement is an option, but also expensive, either in burning spells or burning wealth for an item for that effect. FoM also isn't immediately available and when it first comes available, you probably aren't going to fill all of your top level slots with it.

I just finished playing Rise of the Runelords and we started Wrath of the Righteous. Outside of that I've only played a handful of APs and not past the 1st book in many cases (mostly due things outside the game). So, my experience with the APs is limited. The only time I've used pointbuy are for 1 shot adventures run at gaming conventions. For longer running campaigns, because everyone hates pointbuy, we typically use some sort of modified rolling system. Recently we've been using a rolling system were the group collectively rolls a single array of numbers and then everyone uses the same array to create their characters. I like this approach as it allows for rolling while still keeping everyone on even footing. So it's possible I'm used to all of my stats being generally higher.

Melkiador wrote:
Sounded like you were dumping it.

I see, if a stat needs to be a 10 or better then I don't consider it to be a dump stat. At most, it's just a stat that I don't need to expend resources on. To me a dump stat is something you can put an 8 or lower into without having to worry about it having a negative impact on the character 95% of the time. I never "dump con", but it does sometimes end up with my lowest stat, depending on the array I'm working with and what my character concept is.


Full disclosure, I skipped over the last couple of posts.

I find it weird that people say: "-2 to all stats? WORST EVER! +2 to all stats? Meh."

The thing about +2 to all stats is that it isn't just +1 to Initiative, AC, Reflex saves, or +1 Perception and Will saves.

It's +1 to every roll you'll ever make.

OR

It's a higher point buy. Would you rather a bonus feat or to have 10 more points to build yiur character?

15 point buy game but you wanted to play a Monk? Not a problem with your +2 Race. S-18, D-14, C-14, I-12, W-16, C-9 (or however you want to do it). That build is the equivalent of a 27 point Human missing a feat (I didn't count the INT, that's making up for the Human skill bonus). If you don't care about the skill points you can drop INT for WIS and it's a 32 point Human with one less feat.


You could say that the +2 to all it's stats is it's one racial trait. Would you call that a "savant", "paragon", or something else?


Paragon sounds good to me.

Someone said the Azlanti had it, what was it called there?


MrCharisma wrote:
Someone said the Azlanti had it, what was it called there?

The ability scores racial trait doesn't get a name. The information given in the book is very limited, either way. It mostly talks about how one could have such a character in the game. The entire mechanical part is just this:

"Pureblooded Azlanti (...) Unlike a typical human, a pureblooded ancient Azlanti gains a +2 bonus to all six ability scores. Such powerful humans can become player characters only with the permission of the GM." ISWG pg. 12

Dragon78 wrote:
You could say that the +2 to all it's stats is it's one racial trait. Would you call that a "savant", "paragon", or something else?

Again, the ability scores racial trait doesn't get a name. It should be noted that the race builder in ARG (that no one uses) already uses "paragon" for something much weaker (the orc spread). I'd probably call the +2 to all "legendary", if anything.


You could take a page from GURPS. Give the race a powerful advantage, and an overbearing weakness that isn't immediately detrimental.

Perfection: Members of this race receive a +2 racial bonus to all 6 ability scores.

Hubris: Members of this race are immune to abilities that extend their life span, remove this ability, or return them from the dead.


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1. My problem with +2 to everything is: It doesn't help to define your character. A +2 can be seen as an encouragement to focus on certain things, while a -2 gives you a hint what to avoid or work around.

Yes, +2 to everything is strong. And you can further build around it, although making really good use of all +2 seems challenging. +1 on certain saves and skill checks is nice, for example, but pales in comparison to what a class does with its primary score. See wizard and Int, for an extreme example.

If I had to build a character with such a race, I'd look into class combinations that are usually considered difficult, like a bard monk.


LordKailas wrote:
+Dex gives you reflex save, AC, and initiative? Nope, I never cared about any of these things on my cleric necromancer.

Why exactly would a Cleric not enjoy a bit of a bonus to Initiative? They cast buffs and debuffs a lot, which help more the earlier you can get them up.

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