Proposal: Wayangs




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    Proposal: Wayangs

    I'd like to make a proposal to have the Wayang race (from Paizo's Dragon Empires setting) available for play in LPF. While I generally like the idea of trying avoid an over-proliferation of PC races, the Wayangs really strike me as interesting, for both their fluff and their crunch, and I think they'd fit in well into our setting. I also like the idea of having a small-sized race available for play that is mechanically distinct from halflings and gnomes (whose similar stat bonuses and penalties frustrate me to no end).

    As far as the fluff of Wayangs in E'n, I picture it as being something like this:

    Wayangs are close relatives of gnomes, and share their fey roots. Both can trace their origins to the Hidden Path, but whereas Gnomes can be seen as much purer expressions of that path, Wayangs seem to have originated from a point at which the Hidden Path intersects with vertices of the Essential Path which express dimness and concealment, such as Darkness, Smoke, and Oil. Whether the Wayang arise from one specific intersection, or whether they are born of a multitude of them, remains uncertain. Either way, the resultant race is a muted relative of their gregarious cousins: Wayangs emphasize secretiveness and stealth, tending to be far more introverted than Gnomes, and their appearance (mostly muted grays and blacks, with occasionally deep purples, blues, or reds) reflects this.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here's the crunch; I modified the languages slightly to reflect the absence of the the Tien tongues.

    All wayangs are humanoids with the wayang subtype. They have the following racial traits.

    Ability Scores: Wayangs are nimble and cagey, but their perception of the world is clouded by shadows. They have the following ability score adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, 2 Wisdom.

    Size: Wayangs are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a 1 penalty on their combat maneuver checks and to CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.

    Speed: Wayangs have a base speed of 20 feet.

    Senses: Darkvision 60' (wayangs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.)

    Special Abilities:

    Light and Dark (Su)
    Once per day as an immediate action, a wayang can treat positive and negative energy effects as if the wayang were an undead creature, taking damage from positive energy and healing damage from negative energy. This ability lasts for 1 minute once activated.

    Lurker (Ex)
    Wayangs gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.

    Shadow Magic (Ex/Sp)
    Wayangs add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against spells of the shadow subschool that they cast. Wayangs with a Charisma score of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/dayghost sound, pass without trace, and ventriloquism. The caster level for these effects is equal to the wayangs level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spells level + the wayangs Charisma modifier.

    Shadow Resistance (Ex)
    Wayangs get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against spells of the shadow subschool.

    Languages: Wayangs begin play speaking Common and Wayang. Wayangs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Aklo, Draconic, Goblin, and Infernal.

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    May want to be careful with the stealth bonus. As small creatures, wayangs will already get +4 size. At first level, a typical wayang will have something like +13 to stealth (+4 size + 3 class skill +1 rank + 2 racial + 3 DEX).

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    Stealth is a bit pimped for sure, although I don't know if a substitution is necessary, or, if so, what would replace it. From a fluff perspective, I think the stealth bonus makes a lot of sense, and I don't know if the +2 puts things on a level where it'd pose a balance problem. But I'm certainly open to hearing otherwise.

    Frankly, I think the perception bonus makes less sense, at least from a fluff perspective: so their "perception of the world is clouded by shadows" (-2 Wis), but they get a bonus to Perception? Seems a bit at-odds to me, and strikes me as a defacto bonus that doesn't really belong. But of course, you won't catch Wayangs complaining.

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    I like that you've given them a bit of E'n fluff. I'm just not sure it's enough to overcome my ambivalence towards this race. Accumulated modifiers (-Wis +Perception) still make them more observant than the average human which is strange considering that little tidbit that you pointed out. The stealth modifiers are really good and this race would make excellent rogues given that sneak attack would help alleviate lower damage for being small.

    Overall, I just don't like this race enough to give it a 'yes' but neither do I dislike it enough, or think it too unbalanced to give it a 'no'. There are other races (like grippli, ratfolk, suli, vanara and vishkanya) that I find much more interesting. I'm gonna leave this sit for a bit and mull it over and hopefully others will drop in and discuss.

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    Yeah, the -Wis +Perception bit is ... odd. Especially since that's the primary skill you use Wisdom for anyway.

    I'm wondering, though, if this race might not get some tweaking in the upcoming Advanced Races Guide? Since even the person proposing it recognizes some oddities to the mechanics, maybe we should table discussion to see if it's modified there?

    I recognize it's a couple months away, but just my first thought.

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    Based on this post by James Jacobs, it looks like they'll be some additional information in the ARG, but I'd imagine that information will be more on the order of adding fluff than modifying crunch. If you look at the tengu entry from the bestiary vs from the Dragon Empires setting, that seems to be all that really changed. Slightly different situation, of course, but I'd still be surprised to see changes of the things we're talking about. In any event, it'd be a bummer to wait that long just to reassess our standing on allowing Wayangs, though if that's the vote, then I'll of course go with it.

    What do people think about replacing the Perception bonus with something that makes more sense? I'd be up for that. Perhaps +2 for Sleight of Hand (based on their caginess/secrecy) or Knowledge (Planes) (given the association with the shadow planes)?

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    Yep - Wayang was an approved race, and we approved the ARG material (including alternate racial traits) for all approved races with only a few exceptions that were specified on the wiki.
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    I really like the fluff you've put together for these little fellas! I also think they fill a niche with the whole "Gnomes' dark cousins" schtick, and I think that's needed as well. I've found myself drawn to the small races recently, so more options for them is a plus for me.

    I like the Gripli, too, but I tried to make a Gripli PC and just couldn't make one that worked for me. Like the Tengu and Merfolk, I think they're just a little too different for my taste in spite of the mechanical advantages. I'd use them as NPC's in a heartbeat, though. Not that they're not playable - GlassEye's doing a great job with his Tengu - I just have a hard time playing them as differently as I should.

    SO - I'd like to see these guys in LPF. But I do think it's worthwhile to wait and see if the Race Guide changes anything about them that has a big impact before voting them in, and it sounds like the stealth question needs a little discussion.

    I think they're fine as-is from a balance perspective (a little front loaded, but that just means GM's can cut loose a little more ), but the fluff suggested for the WIS/Perception question is cool, and if we decide the stealth is too much I like the Knowledge (The Planes) replacement for its fit.
    Last edited by Mowgli; Saturday, 28th April, 2012 at 03:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mowgli View Post
    I really like the fluff you've put together for these little fellas! I also think they fill a niche with the whole "Gnomes' dark cousins" schtick, and I think that's needed as well. I've found myself drawn to the small races recently, so more options for them is a plus for me.
    I do agree that the fluff write up is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mowgli
    SO - I'd like to see these guys in LPF. But I do think it's worthwhile to wait and see if the Race Guide changes anything about them that has a big impact before voting them in, and it sounds like the stealth question needs a little discussion.
    I see it that we are on the verge of needing to decide our take on races in general with the Races Guide on the horizon. Rather than address it race by race we might need to determine overall guidelines for acceptable races to be allowed in and then apply that "formula" to races from the Races Guide.

    Otherwise we are apt to be inconsistent with our acceptance of race proposals. That is one of the reasons I would like to see a delay in adding new races to see what really is in the Races Guide book when published. In the interim, perhaps working up a guideline when reviewing new races.

    Quote Originally Posted by mowgli
    I think they're fine as-is from a balance perspective (a little front loaded, but that just means GM's can cut loose a little more ), but the fluff suggested for the WIS/Perception question is cool, and if we decide the stealth is too much I like the Knowledge (The Planes) replacement for its fit.
    If we do allow new races I think we should accept them RAW. No changes, modifications, etc (save for fluff). That to me opens even more of a slippery slope. We try to keep as close to RAW as possible to ease entry for people into the LPF. If we start swapping racial abilities someone will join in 6 months and then be surprised the race doesn't work like they think it does. I think it is best to avoid that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronWolf View Post
    I see it that we are on the verge of needing to decide our take on races in general with the Races Guide on the horizon. Rather than address it race by race we might need to determine overall guidelines for acceptable races to be allowed in and then apply that "formula" to races from the Races Guide.

    Otherwise we are apt to be inconsistent with our acceptance of race proposals. That is one of the reasons I would like to see a delay in adding new races to see what really is in the Races Guide book when published. In the interim, perhaps working up a guideline when reviewing new races.

    If we do allow new races I think we should accept them RAW. No changes, modifications, etc (save for fluff). That to me opens even more of a slippery slope. We try to keep as close to RAW as possible to ease entry for people into the LPF. If we start swapping racial abilities someone will join in 6 months and then be surprised the race doesn't work like they think it does. I think it is best to avoid that.
    I agree with pretty much all of this. So far we've made very few changes to RAW for races, and only when nessessary to make them work in a shared world setting. That's a good approach to move forward with, IMO.
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