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  1. #1
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    Advanced Race Guide - Discussion

    I've not gotten very far in it, but since it sounds like folks have already started pondering over in the General thread, I thought I'd throw in a placeholder here to get things started / try to centralize the discussion so it doesn't get lost over in general.
    **My most recent fiction is in Viridian Legacy: The Wasting of Duny Slough**

 

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    I would say that one thing we can decide before really reading through is that, due to the nature of the book, we probably want to amend the normal "approved in 6 months if no one objects" rule. I think it's safe enough to implement that for already-approved races, since I think we should be able to review those elements in time, but I'm for inverting the rules for races which aren't already approved: i.e., any rules content involving previously non-playable races must be explicitly approved, or else it's assumed excluded regardless of the passage of time.
    **My most recent fiction is in Viridian Legacy: The Wasting of Duny Slough**

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    I agree with this, jkason.
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    I agree with jkason as well.

    For the new races, my question is, do we want to decide how many new ones we want to take, and go from there? I feel like having a target number at least would help whittle things down. But others may want to take a different approach.

    One thing I think we should do is rule against traditionally-evil races as being approved for PC use. So:

    - Goblins
    - Hobgoblins
    - Kobolds
    - Orcs
    - Duergar
    - Svirfneblins

    I also think the (new?) Strix fit this bill as well.

    I would vote NO to using these races for PCs.

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    I's say get the races we currently allow straightened out before we worry about new ones.

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    No harm in broaching the subject.

    On that topic, though, the only thing I've seen thus far that I would consider banning for LPF is the mermaid's alternate racial trait that gives them 15' land speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qik View Post
    For the new races, my question is, do we want to decide how many new ones we want to take, and go from there? I feel like having a target number at least would help whittle things down. But others may want to take a different approach.
    While I understand the idea of trying to limit the expansion, a target number feels a bit arbitrary to me. I'm not sure that adding X races is a good measuring stick, and part of me wonders if that might not push us to accept more than we should (if we're 'under the limit'), though I could certainly be wrong. YMMV, of course, but I think when we get to the point of starting to consider new races, we might be better off agreeing on a good standard on what makes a race 'playable' in LPF.

    I'm probably being a little redundant, since I think I talked about this in the Wayang proposal, but I figure it doesn't hurt to toss it into the general thread so it's part and parcel of the archive. So:

    ***The uniqueness continuum***

    * A new race that doesn't really bring a lot of new flavor to the table doesn't seem worth the time to me. There's already a lot of choices to make when creating a character, so if we can avoid too many options that are 'just a little different,' I think we should.

    * Some races may also be TOO oddball, however, or have a flavor which is decidedly at odds with LPF for any of a number of imaginable reasons. If we can't come up with a reasonable place to fit culturally, that's a solid strike against it.

    * Then, too, a race--oddball or not--may fit best as a rare species. I think we need to make approvals with the assumption that any new race will suddenly become the only race people choose. If it strains credibility to have the Dunn Wright packed with X species looking for work, I think we should be especially careful about giving it a thumbs up.

    * It's entirely possible that, despite not having a readily available 'place' in E'n as it exists, a race might spark the imagination. If it doesn't have a place, but the flavor (from the book or modified by whomever is championing it) is especially inspirational from a character / adventure hook angle, that strikes me as a plus.

    ***Power Scale***

    * Flavor aside, a fair amount of racial decision will be based on the mechanics of an intended build. Races whose statistics and racial alts make them decidedly more or less powerful than existing races come with a big red warning sign (see above for my 'assume everyone will take the new race' suggestion). I have less to say in this regard because I'm definitely not as confident in my math skills on this one, but obviously I think it has to come into play.

    * Modification - Power level seems to me an easier thing to adjust. If a race 'feels' right for players / regular adventurers, but one or more elements of its math are just plain wrong, nixing those seems a fairly straightforward solution.
    **My most recent fiction is in Viridian Legacy: The Wasting of Duny Slough**

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    Okay, here's the things that niggled at me in the Core Races chapter. I'm not violently opposed to anything, but they seemed odd enough to me to warrant mention, at least. I think it should be obvious, but any expansions on rules content already excluded (e.g firearms, crafting) are de facto excluded with regards to Advanced Race Guide.

    * Forgemaster (Dwarf archetypes, pg. 16) has multiple craft-based abilities. They seem to be additions rather than replacements, so Im not sure it hurts the archetype to just dump them.

    * Gauntlets of Skill at Arms (Elven Magic Equipment, pg. 28): fluff text says "gloves" all over the place. I'm assuming this is a typo.

    * Gloves of Elvenkind (Elven Magic Equipment, pg. 29): +5 seems like a large bonus for less than 10,000 gp, but the DCs on casting defensively seem pretty steep, anyway, and there aren't a lot of other ways to boost your bonus, so this might not be out of line.

    * Knack w/ Poison (Gnome Racial Alt, pg. 32): One of the benefits here is to a craft skill, which is probably why one of its replaced elements is Obsessive. I'm wondering if the LPF version should just remove the craft bonus and only replace Illusion Resistance? Or is a bonus vs. poison good enough that it needs a higher cost?

    * Obsession Log (Gnome Equipment, pg. 37): Since we changed the racial trait, I'm inclined to just nix this piece of equipment, though I suppose it could always just be a gnome-fluffed MW tool for a Gnome's racially-bonused skill.

    * Paragon Surge (Half-Elf spell, pg. 48). +2 to two ability scores and any feat (with prereq restrictions) seems like a lot to get for a minute / level. It only works on half-elves, but does seem like there's some spamming potential for a spontaneous-caster half-elf. Maybe I just have a poor sense of the 'circumstantial' feats, though, and this isn't nearly as useful as I think it is.

    * The flavor of the Blood God Disciple (Half-Orc archetypes, pg. 53) abilities might be questionable, especially given that, as written, the eidolon could be munching on helpless foes. PC's can (and do) still coup-de-grace, though, so I'm not sure this isn't just a more graphic instance of an already-occurring practice.

    * Resilient Brute (Half-Orc Feats, pg. 57): I'm split on this one. Crits are rare enough that you probably don't need to use this more than once a day, so the limit doesn't seem like much of a limit to me. On the other hand, the rarity of crits may make its own case for the power level of the feat.

    * Half-blood Extraction (Half-Orc spells, pg. 59): If I'm reading this right, the spell permanently (instantaneous duration) changes a half-orc (playable race) into an orc (non-playable race). I'm inclined to nix it for that reason, rather than argue with folk about a spell that turns their PC into an NPC. I suppose, though, we should take a hard look at the Reincarnate spell if my argument stands, since it has the potential to do the same thing (though the target race is randomized in that case).

    * Risky Striker (Halfling feates, pg. 67): The basic feat seems like a modified Power Attack mechanic, but the scaling on this feat only increases the bonus (to damage), without increasing the penalty (to AC). Seems off to me.
    **My most recent fiction is in Viridian Legacy: The Wasting of Duny Slough**

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkason View Post
    * A new race that doesn't really bring a lot of new flavor to the table doesn't seem worth the time to me. There's already a lot of choices to make when creating a character, so if we can avoid too many options that are 'just a little different,' I think we should.
    One thing that has been bothering me about this point of view is whether or not the judges of Living Pathfinder would be opposed to the inclusion of Ethnically different parts of pre-existing races.

    For example one of the reasons I am highly favorable to the inclusion of Variant Racial Traits is that it allows a creative player to come up with a custom version of a given race that is potentially unique to a given region of the world of E'n. In point of fact I could even see an argument being made for sanctioning certain packages of racial variants so that there are pre-existing ethnic groups that are native to E'n. This way we don't have to worry as much about the whole thing with people wanting to play races that are similar yet not all that different from pre-existing races... because the pre-existing races already have different ethnicities within them that are sanctioned.

    The reason I want variant ethnic groups is because this system would very heavily reflect REALITY. For example there is no single one type of human being. There are Chinese Humans, Indian Humans, African Humans, Arabian Humans, Caucasian Humans, and many many more. Each of which has evolved a different subset of traits that is unique to the region where they originally came to live. I feel it is just as likely that a similar set of evolutionary traits would exist in the various species of creatures on E'n. For example the Elves of two different forests would likely be slightly different in skin pigmentation, and possibly also in how they interact with their respective forests. Humans who live in the high Mountains would likely have evolved a lighter skin tone than humans who live in the deep desert. Etc... Etc...
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