Proposal: Officially ban FR-style backgrounds

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  1. #1

    Proposal: Officially ban FR-style backgrounds

    We've had an unofficial policy that we only allow two types of backgrounds: our official regional benefits, and PHB2 style backgrounds (meaning, backgrounds which give a list of skills and optionally languages, and the player has the option of: gaining a +2 untyped bonus to one of the skills; adding one of the skills to their class's skill list; becoming fluent in one of the languages).

    Sources with other backgrounds (such as the FRCG and the Scales of War backgrounds article from Dragon) were either voted down or not proposed. But with the new proposal system, some of these other backgrounds became legal, because we never specifically made a proposal about them. So rather than propose each of them for exclusion individually, I propose we adopt the above as an official rule.

    To date, the items which this would automatically ban (as far as I know) are:

    Dragon 366: the Scales of War backgrounds article
    Dragon 371: the backgrounds in the Legacy of Acerarak article, which look like PHB2 backgrounds but have additional bonuses
    Dragon 376: the regional benefits from the Adventurers of the Realms and Sarifal articles

    If my main proposal doesn't pass, I also propose we ban each of these individually


  • #2
    Registered User
    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Ignore Mal Malenkirk
    Some of these background were so obviously strong for some character class that in a living campaign we could end up having 80% of characters coming from the same background.

    For example, Orb wizard and the Thay background... We are talking a 6 to (in extreme case) 12 hp difference. Not a lot of Living FR orb wizard would come from elswhere!

    Impiltur would probably do the same for Avengers.

    Other backgrounds are just flat out stronger than their general counterpart.

    Consider Cormyr :

    Insight becomes a class skill AND you gain +2 to Insight AND you gain +2 to saving against fear effect. Any of these three elements could be considered a sufficient background benefits...

    So yeah, ban then, ban them hard!

  • #3
    Just to be clear, the backgrounds from the FR book itself are already banned, partly for flavour and partly for just those reasons. The issue is that, under the new proposal system, we have to keep on top of every new article that comes out with backgrounds in it and remember to ban them. I'm just proposing auto-banning everything that doesn't fit the PHB2 mold, except stuff we make up for the setting (or specifically decide to allow).

  • #4
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Ignore Mal Malenkirk
    Oh... I see. Then...

    Ban them, ban them hard!

  • #5
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    Jul 2002
    Los Angeles, CA

    Ignore garyh
    My communities:

    Yes to banning any and all backgrounds stronger than the PHB2 baseline.
    Gary Hoggatt -
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  • #6
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    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    YES from me as well.
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  • #8
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    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)

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