1st Posted Racial Build - Atan




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  1. #1
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    1st Posted Racial Build - Atan

    Looking for comments on thoughts on the balance of the following race. Does the ECL look right?


    ATAN (Giant Kin Humanoid)
    (Inspired by David Eddings’ Tamuli with further inspiration from the Half-Giant)

    Atans, often confused with half-giants, are another race of large human-like warriors of giant-blood decent found in the more hostile environments of the world. Though often confused with and call half-giants, the term is really a misnomer. Although the origin of this race was probably due to a magical unification of a giant and a human, the race is self-procreating and they are not half breeds such as half-giants, half-elves and half-orcs. Atans have a strong hatred of the “True Giants” and go to war against them often, joining many of the other Giant-Kin such as Firbolgs in the fight against the Giants.

    Personality: Atans are warriors by genetics, its part of their blood as well as their upbringing. Atans also tend to have somewhat quick tempers and kill over minor insults. Thus the formality and laws of their society are designed to control these instincts. Atans are a cynical and somewhat single-minded race, yet they still hold an interest in communication and cooperation. Their culture is based in the fact that all Atans are warriors. They learn to walk by the age of two, to run by the age of three, and can run from sunrise to sunset by the age of seven. Atan children learn to wrestle not long after learning to walk, and test one another regularly. Atan children join a formal martial training camp at the age of nine and continue to train till they about 18. After this they serve in the militia for at least two years before being aloud to choose to leave the community.

    Physical Description: Atans (Atanas for females) are a rare race of large humans ranging from 6 to 8 feet in height, and weighing in around 300 pounds. Their size however, does not hinder their agility – they are just as agile as humans. Their facial features are human, although locked in a naturally dour expression, sometimes even appearing menacing. An Atan typically has thick hair worn long and braided, and ranges from browns to black. Their eyes are the full range of human colors. Atans speak with low-pitched voices, which sometimes can make them very hard to understand. A typical Atan lives for 200 years and comes to maturity at around 20.

    Relations: Atans tend to fair well amongst most races except those with an innate hatred of Giants. However, due to their similarity with Dwarves, and their love of fighting and hatred of true Giants, Atans form a strong bond with Dwarves once they get to know one another.

    Alignment: Atan life is very ceremonial. Every major event constitutes a ceremony that involves most of the community. Such events are births, rites of passage, marriage, death, etc. Typical daily ceremonies involve the warrior culture, such as the change of the guard, training grounds, etc. Thus Atans are a very formal race with a preference for ceremony and formality in all they do. This ritualized society, along with a need to control their innate tempers, results in many Atans being of Lawful alignment. However some embrace the inner turmoil and lean toward Chaos.

    Atan Lands: Atans generally prefer to live in desert, hilly or mountainous regions of temperate climate. They do form societies of their own, based heavily on the way of the warrior and much custom and ceremony.

    Religion: Atans are very ceremonial in nature, but not very religious though they do have their small share of clerics. Atan clerics follow human and giant deities of strength, war, and courage.

    Language: Atans speak the guttural and grating language of the giants as well as keeping current in the Common language.

    Names: Atan names seem very similar to Dwarven names but tend to be a bit longer, more guttural, tend toward double consonants, and always begin and end in consonants for males and vowels for women. Clan names on the other hand are very short, and generally what an Atan gives to a stranger who they do not trust or that do not know their ways. They have a birth name, a warriors name earned after their right of passage and graduation from the martial training camps, and a clan name. They are also always addressed as Atan or Atana before their name, similar to how humans use Sir or Lady.
    Male Names: Brokktorran, Darakkaran, Felendakkimar, Gergorrisun, Guskkalishorulin, Koskkardan, Muldinarrin, Ryshanddalas, Talkkynbor, Vykknarison, Zarkkonyn.
    Female Names: Albarynna, Azmerrelfinia, Edesynnia, Erissalla, Illyskkarinia, Iosylzaria, Ogdomarynsia, Onsalarisha, Ulsharinisa, Uulimarra, Ynsarkkyma, Yultrania.
    Clan Names: Brokk, Darkkon, Gurnn, Lordekk, Sharnn, Tordekk.

    Adventurers: Atans love any chance to express their love of and training for battle. Some are fueled by a chance to employ their skills, other have a zeal and desire to see the world, others are driven by more personal desires and needs to fulfill quests and missions.


    ATAN RACIAL TRAITS
    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: Atans are exceptionally strong and hardy due to their build and natural affinity to the ways of war. However, due to their size they tend to not emphasize the mental areas of formal learning. Their brash attitude toward combat and general feelings of invulnerability, tend to make them a bit cautious. Their personalities are gruff and serious – much like those of Dwarves, and their size in combination with personality make them very intimidating.
    • Medium Size: As medium-sized creatures, Atans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    • Atan base speed is 30 feet. Atans retain their full movement while wearing Atan Battle Armor, however.
    Intimidating: Atans gain a +2 racial bonus to all Intimidation skill checks.
    Brawler: Atans learn to fight from a very early age and thus gain the Improved Unarmed Combat feat or the Improved Grapple feat as a bonus racial feat.
    Tough: Atans spend much of their youth training in combat and exposed to the harsh climates of their home, all without the use of armor, becoming more resilient over time and thus gain a +2 Natural Armor bonus.
    Runner: An Atan's primary form of travel is their own feet, and they train in long distance running from early in their youth. As such Atans gain the Run and Endurance feats as bonus racial feats.
    Giant Kin: For all special abilities and effects such as Giant-Bane, an Atan is considered a Giant though they do not gain the Giant type, remaining instead as Humanoids and thus are equally affected by spells and effects that affect both Giants and Humanoids.
    Powerful Build: The physical stature of Atans, due to their giant blood heritage, lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger. Whenever an Atan is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), they are treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to them. An Atan is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature's special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. They can also use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject's size category.
    Restricted Armor Usage: Atans do not deal well with the constrictiveness of heavy armors and will never choose to wear armor more restrictive than Light armor unless it is “Atan Battle Armor” (see below). If an Atan is forced to do so for any reason, they suffer a non-proficiency penalty of double the normal armor check penalty when wearing that armor. However, if a class grants feats that train the Atan in the use of Medium or Heavy armor, this penalty is reduced to a standard non-proficiency penalty when wearing Medium or Heavy armor.
    Atans gain Exotic Armor Proficiency in Atan Battle Armor. (See Below)
    Costly Living: All personal items cost the amount for a Large creature due to the unique physiology and wide build and heavy weight of the Atan.
    • Automatic Languages: Giant and Common. Bonus Languages: Dragon and Dwarven.
    • Favored Class: Fighter
    • Level Adjustment: +2


    Racial Stats:
    Starting Age: Adulthood = 20
    .....Training: Barb/Rog/Sor = +1d4, Bard/Ftr/Pal/Ran = +1d6, Clr/Dru/Mnk/Wiz = +3d6
    Age Categories: Middle = 90 / Old = 120 / Venerable = 200 / Maximum = +2d12
    Height: Male & Female = 6' + 2d12"
    Weight: Male = 300 / Female = 250 + [x(2d6)]

    Atan Battle Armor: This is racial exotic armor designed by the Atan Master Armorsmiths to take advantage of the natural strengths, and toughness of their race as well as the their natural predilection for running. The armor consists of a Padded Armor base with strategically placed hardened leather and steel plates. Much like Plate Mail mounting steel plates to chainmail. This armor is more flexible and lightweight than plate but provides the same basic protection. It is technically classified as Medium Exotic Armor. This armor is primarily worn only in times of war.

    Atan Battle Armor: 3,000gp / +7 AC / +3 MD / -4 ACP / 30% ASF / 20’ 15’ / 25 lb.

    Comments?
    Last edited by Khaalis; Tuesday, 4th May, 2004 at 10:29 AM.

 

  • #2
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    Well either the boards are dead, people dont like to comment on races or the race completely sucks and I should stick to working on classes.

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    Overall a nice race, but there are a few things that could be better.

    First, a matter of semantics: ATAN (Giant Kin Humanoid) should really be either (Giant) or (Humanoid). To include both does go well with the other abilities, but to me it just seems confusing.

    Continuing with size issues, I don't really understand the purpose of Powerful Build. Is the idea to just make the character large without a reach of 10'? If so, I think that classifying the Atan as large, but specifically limiting their reach does the same job much easier. To be honest, though, for +2 LA, I think the race deserves to get the reach as well. The Giant Kin, ability, on the other hand, seems to work pretty nicely.

    As for stats, I think some of your adjustments don't really match up with your description. Considering the race's interest in "communication and cooperation" and their strong communal ties to honor and ceremony, I find the -2 Cha confusing. If anything, I would have expected +2 cha (this also makes them much better Paladins, which, from the description, they seem to fit well). Furthermore, their quick temper and tendancy to "kill over minor insults" seems to lend itself to a -2 wis. The -2 int doesn't really seem to be described one way or the other. Given the description you give, and the +2 LA, I don't think it would be out of line to see stats of +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Cha.

    Finally, as written, I think the +2 LA is a little steep. +1 LA seems a little more reasonable. With the changes I recommended, though, the +2 LA seems about right.

  • #4
    This is awesome. I'm working on re-designing my own campaign world to match the Tamuli world. I'll share with you some constructive criticisms (stuff I'll likely implement to use this race in my world)

    1) Use 'humanoid' as type, unless you want to give them some of the bonuses of 'giant sized' - which I wouldn't, as Atans have plenty of other advantages. Size w/ reach would be a +1 LA.

    2) Adjust stat attribs as +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Wis, +2 Cha. Atans are strong and amazingly hardy. However, they've bred for warriors for so long, that it has taken it's toll on their mental faculties. On the other hand, they've bred to a warriors ideal for so long that they are amazingly beautiful people who can be incredibly charismatic. These attribs could cost a full LA - your choice.

    3) Atans simply don't wear armor. You can easily simplify your armor section to a very elegant thing by eliminating exotic armor altogether, then denying their racial bonus feats if they choose to wear any armor with an armor check penalty.

    4) Racial feats should include improved grapple, improved unarmed strike, endurance and run. These make the race worthy of a +1 LA.

    5) +2 Natural armor makes sense for an Atan, but is also worthy of an LA - though it might be debatable.

    So at most, it's an LA or 4 or 5.

    My take on the critical components for an Atan race (keeping the h-giant base)

    Type: Medium Humanoid
    Attributes: +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -4 Wis
    Racial Bonuses: Imp Grapple OR Imp Unarmed OR Imp Trip, Endurance OR Run, and JohtunBlud. +2 Natural Armor

    Special: Atans cannot wear armor. If an Atan should choose or be forced to don protective gear beyond light clothing, the Atan loses the use of the racial feats selected except for JohtunBlud. An Atan of age less than 50 must undergo a ceremonial passage into adulthood. This ceremony can only occur in an Atan settlement, and fell Atans must be present to act as father and mother to the Atan, though most Atans will prefere their own parents to be present.

    And the rest is flavor text, not dissimilar from your own.

    JohtunBlud is a feat that grants exactly what you were saying, but with better builtin restrictions. Any time it is favorable for the character to be considered 'large' for the purposes of any opposed roll, the character may be considered 'large'. This includes grappling, being swallowed, intimidation checks, etc.

    With Three feats, and a +2 Natural Armor, and the nice STR bonus (even if balanced with penalties) all at first level - I'd call this a LA +2 race. In all honesty, the str bonus begins to fade by third level, and a third level fighter can easily have all of these feats. The skill penalties of the intelligence penalty further balances the str bonus, which leaves only the +2 NA for consideration. IMO the NA+2 is not worth an LA on it's own. Drop a feat or drop the +/- 4's on the stats to 2's, and I could be argued to a +1 LA.


    That's my two cents. Hope it helps.

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    Very nice race, would the powerful build mean that they gained wings if they
    were given the half-dragon template.
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    First thanks for the replies, I was starting to wonder…

    Mass reply…
    First, a matter of semantics: ATAN (Giant Kin Humanoid) should really be either (Giant) or (Humanoid). To include both does go well with the other abilities, but to me it just seems confusing.
    Use 'humanoid' as type, unless you want to give them some of the bonuses of 'giant sized' - which I wouldn't, as Atans have plenty of other advantages. Size w/ reach would be a +1 LA.
    This is my bad, as it is a based on a homebrew system I use for Race classification. They are Humanoid type by standard classification. In my grouping of races (I compile races from many different sources), they are Humanoid, but considered Giant Kin for D&D purposes. It tends to explain them a little better and makes them a much more “fitting” racial option than Half-Giants and Half-Ogres.

    Continuing with size issues, I don't really understand the purpose of Powerful Build. Is the idea to just make the character large without a reach of 10'? If so, I think that classifying the Atan as large, but specifically limiting their reach does the same job much easier. To be honest, though, for +2 LA, I think the race deserves to get the reach as well. The Giant Kin, ability, on the other hand, seems to work pretty nicely.
    Would the powerful build mean that they gained wings if they were given the half-dragon template.
    The size issue is for various reasons. Again, the race is being designed from D&D mechanics terms as a more Humanoid (and non-psionic) replacement to the Half-Giant and Half-Ogre. Also, Atans are much larger than other humanoids, but in the average of 7’ (not 9-10’) and are exceptionally skilled at warcraft, especially unarmed combat. To reflect both of these points, I took a lead from both of the other races and took Powerful Build over “Large Size”. This removes the 10’ reach ability which immediately adds another +1 LA, and is too often badly abused with the Chain+Large+Trip build. As for the suggestion to use “Large but specifically limiting their reach” is something I wouldn’t want to do. I prefer to use an existing racial ability, as is from the books, than to put a special restriction on another. If that makes sense.

    It also removes the Half-Dragon Free Wings issue. They will NOT receive wings for the Half-Dragon. For +3, PC’s were never meant to get wings. Keep in Mind that the “Winged” template is +2 LA on its own.

    As for stats, I think some of your adjustments don't really match up with your description. Considering the race's interest in "communication and cooperation" and their strong communal ties to honor and ceremony, I find the -2 Cha confusing. If anything, I would have expected +2 cha (this also makes them much better Paladins, which, from the description, they seem to fit well). Furthermore, their quick temper and tendancy to "kill over minor insults" seems to lend itself to a -2 wis. The -2 int doesn't really seem to be described one way or the other. Given the description you give, and the +2 LA, I don't think it would be out of line to see stats of +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Wis, +2 Cha.
    Finally, as written, I think the +2 LA is a little steep. +1 LA seems a little more reasonable. With the changes I recommended, though, the +2 LA seems about right.

    Adjust stat attribs as +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Wis, +2 Cha. Atans are strong and amazingly hardy. However, they've bred for warriors for so long, that it has taken it's toll on their mental faculties. On the other hand, they've bred to a warriors ideal for so long that they are amazingly beautiful people who can be incredibly charismatic. These attribs could cost a full LA - your choice.
    For stats, I didn’t want to go overboard or to make them in need of a +1 LA just from unbalanced stats.
    +2 Str is a given, and was the easy part. Now that I think of it though the +2 Con is not necessary as a lot of this is covered by the Endurance feat. The problem with a +2 to Charisma is that even though the race is attractive and “can be charismatic” (as can Elves) it is not something the entire race is known for. Many are quite gruff and aloof, many outright hating outsiders. I chose not to penalize Wisdom because their tendencies for communication and cooperation are derived more from their philosophical views and training than from personality traits. They run their life based on sets of rituals and defined principles of philosophy. This to me described a race that is not penalized in their Wisdom. They are however, not the brightest bulbs in the box, thus the penalty to Intelligence. It is possible to be dumb but wise at the same time.

    The best compromise I see would be no bonus nor penalty to Charisma or Wisdom and thus: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int
    This would lock them into a +2 LA.

    Atans simply don't wear armor. You can easily simplify your armor section to a very elegant thing by eliminating exotic armor altogether, then denying their racial bonus feats if they choose to wear any armor with an armor check penalty.
    Special: Atans cannot wear armor. If an Atan should choose or be forced to don protective gear beyond light clothing, the Atan loses the use of the racial feats selected except for JohtunBlud.
    The problem with this is D&D mechanics. In the novels this worked, its fiction, and technically all Atans would be classified as “Monks” with the monk’s AC bonus. But in D&D it doesn’t work so well. Not everyone will be Monks, and I don’t think that assigning a Monk’s AC bonus to a Race is a good idea. I just wasn’t keen on restricting the race completely from the use of armor. That’s really a crippling penalty in D&D - even if you gave them +4 or +6 natural armor. Not only will their AC continually get worse on the average curve, and at higher levels this is a PC killer when a melee type needs a 25+ AC, but they also lose out on the ability to utilize any armor based magic items.

    Racial feats should include improved grapple, improved unarmed strike, endurance and run. These make the race worthy of a +1 LA.
    I wasn’t so sure I wanted to load them up with ALL of the feats as bonuses. They get 3 of the 4. The other unarmed feat they can take if they choose.

    +2 Natural armor makes sense for an Atan, but is also worthy of an LA - though it might be debatable.
    I don’t think a +2 is worthy of a full +1 LA. If it were a +4 or higher bonus I would agree. Though I am trying to keep it to a Low ECL race. I don’t personally like ECL 4 or 5 races with no HD.

    Type: Medium Humanoid
    Attributes: +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, -4 Wis
    Racial Bonuses: Imp Grapple OR Imp Unarmed OR Imp Trip, Endurance OR Run, and JohtunBlud. +2 Natural Armor
    JohtunBlud is a feat that grants exactly what you were saying, but with better builtin restrictions. Any time it is favorable for the character to be considered 'large' for the purposes of any opposed roll, the character may be considered 'large'. This includes grappling, being swallowed, intimidation checks, etc.
    This could work, but I think it’s a little too extreme. I don’t have the book handy but for some reason I think I found Jotunbrud to be a little off, not to mention Non OGL. The Powerful Build racial ability is now posted in other official WotC sources and is/will be considered an OGL abilty. As for the running, I think the Run and Endurance really need to go together. It is what the race is most famous for. I could agree to adding Imp.Trip as an option with the others, but I see it as more a specific tactic than a fighting style like Unarmed Strike (Boxing) vs. Grapple (Wrestling).

    And the rest is flavor text, not dissimilar from your own. An Atan of age less than 50 must undergo a ceremonial passage into adulthood. This ceremony can only occur in an Atan settlement, and fell Atans must be present to act as father and mother to the Atan, though most Atans will prefere their own parents to be present.
    This is a good comment that can be added into the flavor text of the race, but has no real impact on the mechanics of the class. I’ll work on working this in.

    With Three feats, and a +2 Natural Armor, and the nice STR bonus (even if balanced with penalties) all at first level - I'd call this a LA +2 race. In all honesty, the str bonus begins to fade by third level, and a third level fighter can easily have all of these feats. The skill penalties of the intelligence penalty further balances the str bonus, which leaves only the +2 NA for consideration. IMO the NA+2 is not worth an LA on it's own. Drop a feat or drop the +/- 4's on the stats to 2's, and I could be argued to a +1 LA.
    The balance factor on the feats is that only 1 is truly an impactive feat – the combat feat. Run and Endurance are flavor feats for most intensive purposes.

    If I keep it to the following – what ECL would people lean toward? I think still +2 LA. What if it were to drop the +2 CON and +2 Intimidate?

    +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int
    Medium Humanoid; Base Speed 30’

    Benefits:
    +2 Natural Armor
    4 Bonus Feats: Improved Unarmed OR Improved Grapple, + Run, Endurance, Exotic Armor (Atan)
    Powerful Build
    +2 Intimidate

    Penalties:
    Giant Kin (affected by spells/effects of both Giant and Humanoid)
    Armor Penalty: All other armor = x2 non-proficient penalty unless have the feats, then x1 non-proficient penalty.
    Costly Living

    Thoughts?

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