Advanced Race Guide - Discussion

Qik

Visitor
Well I guess the question is - do we want to just approve races based on individual proposals? Or do we want to try and do them as a group.

It seems like everyone has been drawn to different races, so it's hard to know what's the best way to approach doing this.
 

GlassEye

Community Supporter
I would suggest reviewing materials for the races we already have approved. Then looking at the material for races that have been referenced already in LPF and see if we want to include that as player options. Then look into adding other race options for players. The first could (theoretically) be accomplished fairly quickly; the second and third could be worked on at the same time.
 

Qik

Visitor
That sounds good.

Some of us mentioned our concerns back on pg 3 (on my settings, anyway). For me, it was the merfolk strongtail racial trait (adds 10' to a merfolk's landspeed at the expense of slowing their swim speed) and the tiefling's fiendish vessel archetype, which seems too evil-centric for LPF for me. I've already thrown my NO in for these two.
 
I think the material on existing races seems to be more or less agreed upon, so perhaps the judges want to go ahead and vote on at the alternate racial features and class bonuses, freeing up discussion for the remainder of the concerns.
 

jkason

Visitor
Had some more thoughts on elemental races, but I'll table for now so we can get down to nitty-gritty on the existing races.

To try to get things in one place, I'll quote my earlier posts. These were the elements that had me at least mildly concerned. I don't know that I want to vote them all down, but I did want to bring them to the attention of folk with stronger balance sense than me. I'm already assuming the exclusion of material that depends on previously-excluded rules (firearms, crafting):

* Forgemaster (Dwarf archetypes, pg. 16) has multiple craft-based abilities. They seem to be additions rather than replacements, so I’m 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 feats, 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.
* 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
Let's see how many of these I can get to in one sitting before my will fails. :p

- Risky Striker: Its conditional nature makes me unworried: opponents will need to be large at the least. I don't mind halflings getting a conditional bonus to melee damage. I think it's fine.

- Half-blood Extraction: Its not something that would have jumped out at me, but you make some good points. I'm in the process of being convinced it's problematic for LPF.

- Resilient Brute: I think it's fine.

- Blood God Disciple: I would be inclined to nix this one. It's just too borderline, and we tend to err on the side of caution here. I'm not sure I want a corpse-munching eidolon in LPF's ranks.

- Paragon Surge: I see the possible concern, but I'm not worried by it. It's high enough level, and it's only minute/level. I could probably be convinced otherwise, though.

- Obsession Log: Agree that there's no real need for it in LPF, given our take on Obsession.

- Knack with Poison: I'd agree with only having it replace Illusion Resistance given our ban on crafting.

- Gloves of Elvenkind: Again, I can see the possible concerns, but I think it's fine.

- Gauntlets of Skill at Arms: Looks like "gloves" is a typo to me, too.

- Forgemaster: The archetype obviously loses some gusto without the crafting abilities, but not much we can do about that. Anybody else find it weird that the Runeforger is 3+Int, instead of 3+Wis times a day?
 

jkason

Visitor
Let's see how many of these I can get to in one sitting before my will fails. :p
Yeah. Sorry. It's kind of a long list. I tend to over-think things when I'm trying to be 'judge-y'. :)

Paragon Surge: I see the possible concern, but I'm not worried by it. It's high enough level, and it's only minute/level. I could probably be convinced otherwise, though.
I hadn't come up with a specific case, myself, but I ran across this thread on the Paizo boards when I was skimming to see what they felt was overpowered.

Essentially, paragon surge lets a half-elf sorcerer (and in a later example in the thread, possibly also an oracle) dynamically pick any spell from the sorc/wiz list (or even any two) if the feat they choose is Expanded Arcana. Sage-blooded sorcerers might even get an additional casting (negating the 'spell tax') depending on their Int stat before casting, and folks with access to quickened versions of the spell don't even have to wait an extra round to start using their cherry-picked temp spell.

At this point, folks may feel sorcerers are sufficiently underpowered vs. wizards/witches/summoners that it doesn't matter, but that scenario does seem like a bit of an auto-win to me.
 
Essentially, paragon surge lets a half-elf sorcerer (and in a later example in the thread, possibly also an oracle) dynamically pick any spell from the sorc/wiz list (or even any two) if the feat they choose is Expanded Arcana. Sage-blooded sorcerers might even get an additional casting (negating the 'spell tax') depending on their Int stat before casting, and folks with access to quickened versions of the spell don't even have to wait an extra round to start using their cherry-picked temp spell.

At this point, folks may feel sorcerers are sufficiently underpowered vs. wizards/witches/summoners that it doesn't matter, but that scenario does seem like a bit of an auto-win to me.
My only thought is that is a lot of ifs and specific requirements to pull it off to it's maximum output. By itself, for the level of the spell, it's not particularly overpowered, and if you have paid the prereqs for quicken spell, which are notable enough you probably don't even have quicken spell when you first get access to this spell, you deserve to reap the benefits. The spell itself only increases the potential of having more spells to choose from; it does not give you added ability to cast them any faster. Given that you probably aren't going to be wasting time in combat casting this spell without the heavy investment of feats for quicken spell, most builds are effectively down one choice for combat, and out of combat, where your output is much weaker, it's a minor boost at best, and one in or out of combat that most of the time would be less cost effective than letting one of the other party members handle the problem.
 

Qik

Visitor
I'd seen the Paizo thread too, and my reaction thus far is also relatively subdued.

It does have the potential for abuse in this one specific manner, but I would have a hard time banning the spell just for this one specific problem. That said, it's certainly one of those gray cases worth considering.

The spell momentarily gives a sorcerer access to any spell they want. I guess the reason I have a hard time considering this to be problematic is because those spells are already available to a wizard, so the effect of those spells doesn't threaten to break the game or create an overly powerful character. Is it a boost for a higher level sorcerer's flexibility? Absolutely. I guess that just doesn't concern me. After all, wizard's are always encroaching on the sorcerer's territory (with the flexibility of a bonded item, Greater Spell Specialization, and the like).

Again, these are the kinds of things worth bringing up. I just don't think this spell is problematic even with the aforementioned loophole in mind.
 
I think the material on existing races seems to be more or less agreed upon, so perhaps the judges want to go ahead and vote on at the alternate racial features and class bonuses, freeing up discussion for the remainder of the concerns.
Did we get an actual vote on this started? I was building my 3rd character, and loved the class bonus Half orc's got for monks. Additional Stunning Fists per day? yes please.
 

Qik

Visitor
I've thrown a few votes out, but nothing has been finalized.

If it helps your cause, I'd vote YES to allowing the FC alternate bonuses for the approved races.
 

Systole

Community Supporter
I looked at the Paragon Surge/Half-Elf sorcerer combo, and to be honest, I don't think it's overpowered. I think it's stupid, but not overpowered. Basically, you're using a 3rd level spell to cast a spell not on your list of spells known. You know how else a sorcerer can cast a spell not on your list of spells known?[sblock=The answer!]He uses a scroll.[/sblock]It's a neat trick, but it's not broken. Look, most of the time, a sorcerer has all the tools he needs already in his spells known. Once in a while, he has to go to his handy haversack. Once in a very, very great while, what he needs isn't in his handy haversack. Therefore, once in a very, very great while, this is useful.



On the other hand, :):):):)ing Wild Caller. I will tell you right now, I will go utterly batshit :):):):)ing ballistic if LPF approves Wild Caller. At 20th level, a normal eidolon has 26 evolution points. A half-elf summoner who takes the already utterly broken favored class bonus will have 31. A Wild Caller will have 36, with the tradeoff being that the you can't pick any of the really crappy evolutions. Oh noes! Undead Appearance!? Curses, I really wanted that P.O.S. evolution!

Summoners are already one of the most overpowered classes in PF. I do not think we need an archetype that makes them 38.5% more broken.
 
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jkason

Visitor
Since there are obviously a lot of different elements of the ARG we're discussing in here, rather than voting on some at one point in this thread and others later, would it be advisable to keep this for ongoing discussion without necessarily a restriction, then create proposal threads for those areas we feel might be ready for approval or not?

From my perspective, the breakdown is something like this:

For already-approved races:
1) Alternate Racial traits
2) Racial Archetypes
3) Racial Feats
4) Racial Equipment
5) Racial Spells

We might combine feats/equipment/spells, but I do think the alt traits and archetypes are involved enough that they might warrant their own separate proposal threads.

Once we've given a thumbs up or down to each of those areas, then I think we get to any races we want to add, though I'm not sure if that should be a single approval thread, or if we want to make separate threads for each race we want to add. I'm inclined toward the latter, since ostensibly part of the approval would be viably integrating the race, whether through retcon or 'recent contact.'
 

jkason

Visitor
And, because I just looked out of curiosity: it appears that the ARG content has been added to d20pfsrd.com for those judges (or anyone else) without the books who wants to peruse it.
 

vmaaxt

Visitor
My 2cp:

I realize that I may not have much of a say here, but it looks like to me that everybody seems to be okay with the alternate racial traits for already approved races (discounting Strongtail). Would it be unreasonable to put forth a proposal for those traits only? Not the archetypes, but only alternate traits for species that already are PC approved.

I think the ARG has enough new stuff in it that significantly defies convention that the easiest way to handle it is in groups:

For PC Races:
1 Alternate Traits
2 Archetypes

Non-PC Races
3 Elemental races
4 Animal Races
5 "Dark" Races
6 Monstrous Races
7 The Rest, done on a case by case basis
 

Qik

Visitor
Personally, I'd think that we could do the new material for approved races in a single thread. Based on what's been raised here, there only seem to be a handful of things worth discussing/debating spread out among the spells, feats, archetypes, etc of the new races. As for equipment, I say we just dis/approve it first, then get to SK's notion of approving (some?) items for wider use.

I say we start there, and see how it goes.
 

vmaaxt

Visitor
I would like to officially make a proposal for the Alternate race traits and Archetypes from the Advanced Race Guide, for Existing PC approved races only. I would like to further exclude the following from approval:


Strongtail (merfolk)
Blood God Disciple (half-orc)
Wild Caller (half-elf)
 
hey guys, I kind of have a very strong interest in seeing the issue of Racial Equipment Voted on in here especially for the core races. Because I have already purchased an Elven Family Arcane Workbook for Fae'shiel (which technically should be considered as handed down to her from her family). But since I think that is from the ARG, I kind of need approval for her to actually use the darn book which I kind of already used in one roll. So before that roll becomes canon in an adventure I need the approval here if that is okay?

Any work towards making that kind of detail actually approved I would appreciate. The Elven Family Arcane Workbook is really no different in utilization from the Codex of Sapo, except that it grants the bonus to spellcraft and it grants an additional +2 bonus (on top of the initial +2 bonus) if the individual spends 1d4 hours studying the book instead of the base 1d4 rounds studying the book. So I don't see how that could be really problematic.
 

jkason

Visitor
I would like to officially make a proposal for the Alternate race traits and Archetypes from the Advanced Race Guide, for Existing PC approved races only.
Since this thread's so long and covers a lot of non-relevant stuff, I'm going to start a new proposal thread for just the already-approved races. Thanks for the bump. :)

hey guys, I kind of have a very strong interest in seeing the issue of Racial Equipment Voted on in here especially for the core races. Because I have already purchased an Elven Family Arcane Workbook for Fae'shiel (which technically should be considered as handed down to her from her family). But since I think that is from the ARG, I kind of need approval for her to actually use the darn book which I kind of already used in one roll.
Ugh. I didn't notice that was from ARG when I reviewed her, or I'd have brought it up then. Apologies for that. I'm just rolling everything (including equipment) into the new proposal thread. I'm hoping a fresh thread with a bit more focus will be easier to vote on.
 
My 2 Copper pieces

i really have no problems with any of the advanced races, as long as they don't come from chapter 4.

i don't see an issue with strongtail. a medium creature with a 15 foot land speed is still slower than a darn halfling. medium and heavy armor slows it down to only 10. they are still having to double move to do what most other races of the same size can do in a single move.

in fact, i would make strongtail a requirement for merfolk. spending 6 turns to close up to a foe the human can reach in one is a pretty stupid drawback.

not every merfolk should be forced to be a barbarian, travel domain cleric, or metal/flames oracle. 15 ft move before armor is enough of a penalty. considering most PCs will have 30. that can be a major difference.

i wouldn't even force strix to take clipped wings, flight isn't really any more powerful than walking. unless you are outdoors on the open plains. most dungeons have low ceilings to make flight impractical, and even if you could bypass traps with flight, all you are doing is saving yourself a handful of hit points and happy stick charges. you pay a price in lower attributes and in having less overall racial powers to work with.
 

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