Advanced Race Guide - Discussion

Hmm - I'll have to check out the Great Chasm proposal - I think that was slightly before my time.

In that case, DC, I feel like that's what we're already doing, no? HM's Horselords of the Pell, for instance, suggests a fluff that characters with certain abilities would gravitate towards. By creating fluff, we're already creating cultures which suggest certain tie-ins to the mechanics.

I'm not trying to be snarky - I feel like we're already doing what you're suggesting (at least as I understand it), if in a disorderly and ad hoc way (which probably can't be helped).
I suppose I just prefer more order than chaos in my RPG's, but I suppose a tad bit of chaos can't be helped ;)
 

Qik

Visitor
Again, I see your point, but in a collective setting like this, I think quasi-chaos is the best we can hope for. :D
 

Qik

Visitor
Oddly enough, I think they may be one of my favorites of what I've read. I thought they might actually fit really well in Heth (land of plague and poison) and/or Rhat'matanis (a bit more eastern-themed, where they might have been bred by the sorcerer-priests). Of course, the latter may have to do with the fact that, as soon as I skimmed over them, I thought "darnit, Ru would have been a great Vishkanya." :)
Figures. :p

Your comment inspired me to return to them. Although there's something about the fluff that makes me cringe (that picture doesn't help...), I can see the upside. Their mechanics are quite possibly the first I've seen that make poison use really viable in PF without house rules of some sort. They're certainly on the unique end of the spectrum, which is a bonus. And the Subtle Appearance alternate racial trait provides them with a viable way to blend in.

If they do get approved, I'd be cool with you recasting Ru as a human-looking Vishkanya. (For whatever that's worth. ;))
 

jkason

Visitor
Your comment inspired me to return to them. Although there's something about the fluff that makes me cringe (that picture doesn't help...), I can see the upside.
I've got some ideas percolating that would recast their fluff; been thinking on the 'created by sorcerer-priests' bit and the caste system in Rhat'matanis, and I think the combination might make them more interesting than the vague 'alien beauty' stuff. But, that's for after working out the pre-existing races.

Speaking of those, went through our 4 non-core races for my final 'sticking point' bullets (the others are earlier in the thread, here). Here's what I came up with:

* Long-Nose Form, Tengu Wings, and Tengu Raven Form (Tengu feats, pg 166-7): They don't seem overpowered from a crunch perspective, I suppose, but it does seem odd that a non-SLA race has so many SLA feats available. It may work with the LPF fluff, though, where Tengus were originally servants to a god (and thus they might conceivably retain a measure of otherworldly magic?).

* Fiendish Vessel (Tiefling Archetype, pg 171): Probably goes without saying, but since the archetype requires a fiendish patron and exact alignment match, I think it should be out of bounds for PCs under the 'no evil characters' rule. Honestly, even if you could create a neutral fiend as your patron, I think the intent of the archetype is such that I'm not especially comfortable with it for PCs.

* Strongtail (Merfolk Alt trait, pg 195): I think I've heard more than enough good argument against this trait. Losing speed in a little-used movement mode for increasing one you use all the time doesn't really seem like much of a trade-off outside of aquatic campaigns.
 

Qik

Visitor
Out of the three of those, the one that bothers me the least is the Tengu. I also thought the introduction of SLAs seemed a bit unintegrated into the race as a whole, but I can live with that. Like you said, we can find ways to explain them within our own canon.

From the remaining two, the Strongtail merfolk racial trait is the one the strikes me as the most problematic. I would be against including it into LPF. I suppose an extra 10' isn't catastrophically over-powered, as there are already ways around the merfolk's speed limitations, but I don't like the idea of making it that much easier for anyone.

Fiendish Vessel - I see the problems with this, and imagine it will get excluded as well. It's kind of a shame, because, fluff extracted, it's an interesting archetype for a cleric - the whole free Improved Familiar is pretty awesome. But yes, the evil alignment/evil god-worshipping/evil fluff is a deal-breaker for LPF.

In short: I'd say YES to the tengu without exception, and NO to the Fiendish Vessel and the Strongtail Merfolk trait.

PS ~ Fiendish Vessel would make a great villain, though.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
My thoughts, having not yet read or even seen the ARG:

1. Merfolk already get a whopping natural armor bonus and ability bonuses with only the speed drawback. Frankly, I do not love any big bonus/big drawback race for PCs, because almost any big drawback can be easily worked around with a readily accessible combination of feats, traits, and class features, leaving only the big bonus for the charcater to enjoy. In this case, they're just taking away the big drawback from get-go.

2. Dear sweet Jesus, please please please no catfolk. Please please please please please please please please please please no. Cat-headed races are dead, rotting, pustulent, festering, maggot-ridden horse carcasses that most fantasy-race creators cannot resist beating with the biggest hammer they can find. I beg you not to do this to LPF.

3. I'm not totally opposed to regional variants of races. Not that I have any idea what this entails, but Daylily (and Cavernous Hode to a lesser extent) seem a bit different than the mainstream racial variants. But I can live with it either way.
 
I think regional variants could easily be handled with the racial alternate features; just do something similar to what they did in the ARG along those lines. The variants are basically a collection of suggested alternate features that combine to give a specific flavor.
 

Qik

Visitor
I don't have any deep-seated hatred of catfolk, but I have to say that I also am not fond of them, either. Which is a shame, because I really like the mechanics offered for them in the ARG. But try as I might, I can't conceptualize them in a way which I think fits them into the setting (or any setting, really - they just seem forced).

If people want to recommend traits and trait combinations associated with various cultures and locales, that would of course be fine. We've already done that at certain points, recommending things like classes and archetypes that would suit certain factions. I'm just against over-formalizing these sorts of things, and I don't think they're worth having major debates over (just my personal opinion, of course).
 

jkason

Visitor
2. Dear sweet Jesus, please please please no catfolk. Please please please please please please please please please please no. Cat-headed races are dead, rotting, pustulent, festering, maggot-ridden horse carcasses that most fantasy-race creators cannot resist beating with the biggest hammer they can find. I beg you not to do this to LPF.
Is it catfolk specifically that you hate so forcefully, or anthropomorphism in race creation in general? They aren't my favorites in the book, but I guess I've not encountered as much 'cat-headed love' as you have if it's the former.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
I'm not entirely against anthros, but it has to be done well. For example, I happen to like to like tengu, because they're not simply humans with bird heads -- they're actually humanoid birds. Tengu are the exception to the general rule, however.
Most of the time, anthro races amount to sticking a cat head on a human body and slapping a Dex bonus on the package. It's lazy race-making at best, and outright yiff at worst.

I think catfolk could possibly be done well, but because of all the outright :):):):) versions that are out there, the bar is set extremely high as far as I'm concerned.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
I like Grippli and Ratfolk (though I'm not too fond of the alchemist schtick for ratfolk). Catfolk are meh. If the mechanics weren't so stereotypical 'cat' it might be better. Landing on your feet and bad luck to cross the black catfolk's path? I think they could have done so much better if they had worked on catfolk culture rather than focusing on all the physical aspects of the race.

On another note: I thought the physical description of the Vishkanya was much better in the Bestiary 3 than in the ARG.
 

mfloyd3

Explorer
This perhaps hijacks the thread, but the discussion here seems to assume that if races are approved, they should be retconned into the existing world. What about making the arrival of one or more races into an event? A war or natural disaster on a distant continent sends hordes of refugees of bizarre races to the shores of E'n. Or something similar happens in a deep, subterranean world and sends a similar group to the surface. Interesting possibilities, both for new characters and for GMs who want to tie their adventure to the action. And it adds an RP side to the novelty of the new races.

I thought I'd throw the idea out there. If there's interest, I'll volunteer to write up a formal proposal for the fluff surrounding the event after there's some agreement on which races are to be added.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
I don't think the races are 'arriving' so much as 'being discovered by Venza.' To, me E'n seems to be having an era of exploration and rediscovery after the Time of Darkness, and the known world (according to Venza) covers less than a quarter of the actual world.

Twenty years ago, elves and dwarves were probably fairly rare sights in the city. Now they've got lizardmen and tengu and who knows what else walking around. So if a race of monkey-men show up at this point from some far-flung reaches, most of the inhabitants have learned to take it in stride.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
I think that's an interesting idea that is worth talking about. (And mfloyd3-fluff is always good stuff.)
 

Qik

Visitor
This perhaps hijacks the thread, but the discussion here seems to assume that if races are approved, they should be retconned into the existing world. What about making the arrival of one or more races into an event? A war or natural disaster on a distant continent sends hordes of refugees of bizarre races to the shores of E'n. Or something similar happens in a deep, subterranean world and sends a similar group to the surface. Interesting possibilities, both for new characters and for GMs who want to tie their adventure to the action. And it adds an RP side to the novelty of the new races.

I thought I'd throw the idea out there. If there's interest, I'll volunteer to write up a formal proposal for the fluff surrounding the event after there's some agreement on which races are to be added.
That's an interesting idea. In practice, I imagine we would do a combination of both - maybe once we've chosen the races to add to LPF, we can select one or two or a few for this 'event.' It just depends on what we end up with. For instance, I don't think Grippili really scream "dramatic entrance;" Vishkanya or Ifrit, much more so. I could imagine some mass of Ifrits emerging, previously unknown or only rumored, from the Living Sands of Rhat'matanis.

Also, Illi Esse would be a suitable place for the outsider races to make an appearance.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
For instance, I don't think Grippili really scream "dramatic entrance;" Vishkanya or Ifrit, much more so. I could imagine some mass of Ifrits emerging, previously unknown or only rumored, from the Living Sands of Rhat'matanis.
You just gave me a great idea.
 

Qik

Visitor
I like Grippli and Ratfolk (though I'm not too fond of the alchemist schtick for ratfolk). Catfolk are meh. If the mechanics weren't so stereotypical 'cat' it might be better. Landing on your feet and bad luck to cross the black catfolk's path? I think they could have done so much better if they had worked on catfolk culture rather than focusing on all the physical aspects of the race.

On another note: I thought the physical description of the Vishkanya was much better in the Bestiary 3 than in the ARG.
I haven't spent much time with the Ratfolk yet, but my initial reaction is a cringe. There's just something about people-sized rats walking around that seems way out of sync with the rest of the world to me. As always, that's a very subjective sense, though.

I found that some of the Uncommon races suffered from the two page limitation.

You just gave me a great idea.
Boy does that every make me nervous.... ;)
 

jkason

Visitor
That's an interesting idea. In practice, I imagine we would do a combination of both - maybe once we've chosen the races to add to LPF, we can select one or two or a few for this 'event.' It just depends on what we end up with. For instance, I don't think Grippili really scream "dramatic entrance;" Vishkanya or Ifrit, much more so.
I've actually been working on some Vishkanya fluff as part of an integration / proposal, but figured it was early to throw that out there. It gives them what I think would be interesting positions in both Rhat'matanis and Heth. Maybe I'll post it here just for folks to comment on in terms of its good/bad fluff...

Grippli figured fairly prominently in the previous scene in the adventure I'm running so it's a bit late for a dramatic entrance for them anyway.
I wanted to XP this one, but apparently I haven't spread enough. The family running the lilypad were much fun. :)
 

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