Race "roles"

Poll: Should races have variable abilities based on character's class?

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Thread: Race "roles"

  1. #1
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    Race "roles"

    The thread about combat roles made me think. According to its poll, most people want a member of each class to be able to perform any combat role (striker, tank etc.). What if we expanded this approach to races?
    Races have always been designed in such a way that they naturally gravitate towards some classes and away from others. This is mostly thanks to ability score modifiers, but other racial abilities have an impact too. What I'm proposing is to design races in such a way that they are equally viable as a member of each class, but still retain their uniqueness.
    Let me give you an example of what I envision, exemplified with the dwarf.

    THE DWARF
    CON+2, CHA-2
    - Some minor racial abilities like low light vision
    - If you have levels in fighter, knight, barbarian, etc. classes you get +1 to hit and damage with hammers and axes and +1 to AC with shields.
    - If you have levels in rogue, monk, or bard class, you get +2 to stealth and perception underground, as well as +2 to saves vs. poisons.
    - If you have levels in a caster class, you get +2 to saves against magic and you may use Wisdom in place of Charisma when determining spells per day, spell DC, etc.

    I've added a poll because everyone loves polls

  2. #2
    This wouldn't appeal to me. Parity between classes was overdone in 4e imo, i hope they dont think the problem with that edition (in terms of the player base) was roles weren't extended to races. Really i just want to see them go back to the basics.

  3. #3
    Would I take a concept that was as fundamentally wrong as combat roles and expand it? No.

  4. #4
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    I don't want races to gravitate to certain classes.
    I want races to gravitate to certain builds within the classes.

    An elf; because of their natural grace, accuracy, and frailty; should move to light armored duelist. Dwarves, with the toughness, stoutness, and slowness, move toward heavy armored smashers.

    Elf
    -Fighter: Light armored duelist with a good bow attack
    -Rogue: Archer rogue
    -Cleric: Caster Cleric with a bow
    -Wizard: Arcane archer/duelist

    Dwarf
    -Fighter: Heavy armor shield and weapon fighter
    -Rogue: Flanking rogue
    -Cleric: Classical armor and shield cleric
    -Wizard: Not so squishy still spell wizard in armor

    Halfling
    -Fighter: High AC Low damage fighter
    -Rogue: Sneak attack skirmisher
    -Cleric: Sneaky cleric
    -Wizard: Arcane trickster

    Half-orc
    -Fighter: High damage Low AC fighter
    -Rogue: Brutish rogue
    -Cleric: Melee cleric
    -Wizard: Mage with a very surprisingly damaging staff attack

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    Races felt pigeon-holed in 4e. If you wanted to play certain races you would be noticeably worse than other characters if you chose classes that didn't align with at least one and sometimes both of your stat bonuses.

    Races were more pigeon-holed than "combat roles".

    Part of the problem is a point-buy system were it costs significantly less points for an Elf to go from 16 Dex to 18 Dex while it is prohibitively expensive for a Dragonborn to go from 16 Dex to 18 Dex.

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    As a variant it's mechanically interesting - but for lasting game play? I don't care for the whole combat roles thing myself.
    I will however say that I think race should have more of an impact on character development (leveling and such) as opposed to just at chargen. Not sure how best to implement that.

  7. #7
    OMG, welcome to every bow-using Ranger being an Elf, every heavily armoured axe wielder a Dwarf.......

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    I do not like this idea. Other than what has been already said about reducing variety and increased complexity, there is the additional problem of races that lack these kind of bonuses for classes released in later books.

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    Interesting idea, but I prefer the current concept of races.

  10. #10
    It's an interesting suggestion, but I don't think it will work out at all. If nothing else, it would be a logistical nightmare to make sure every race has an ability for every class, since both the number of races and the number of classes will be constantly increasing as supplements are released for the game. Also, I don't think it is quite as appealing, because I like it when races give you flexibility beyond the concept of your class, and this would make race just a sub-option of class.

    Also, this exact method of implementing races doesn't have the mechanical depth to it that I really want to see. I want to see races that are as powerful as classes, and a few small bonuses designed to improve a class won't really supply that.

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