Stats for new races / new stats for old

prosfilaes

Adventurer
I've been working on and off on my own campaign setting, and I want orcs and goblins to be feasible for PCs. So I went back to the bestiary and boosted their stats a little.

Fvan Orcs

These orcs from the western side of the continent enjoy battle for its own sake. Skilled musicians (their music and poetry are big on the other side of the continent), they lack the empathy to understand how their neighbors feel about war.

+4 Str, +2 Chr, -2 Int, -2 Wis
Darkvision, 60 ft.
Weapon Familiarity (per Bestiary)
Ferocity

San orcs

The orcs on the eastern side of the continent are fighting for survival in the face of the progressive growth of the northern desert. Battle is not a game to them; they fight for land, and when they take land, they keep it.

+4 Str, -2 Chr
Darkvision 60 ft.
Weapon Familiarity (per Bestiary)
Ferocity

Goblins (fairly standard)
+4 Dex, -2 Str
Small
30 ft Move
Darkvision 60 ft
+4 racial bonus on Ride and Stealth

Dragonettes

These guys are basically LG city kobolds. They're utterly secretive and utterly trustworthy.

-2 Str, +2 Chr, +2 Wis
Small
30 ft move
+1 natural armor
Speak to rats
No more often then once per two weeks, they can shed their skin (in 12 hours) and change their color and skin patterns completely, effectively hiding themselves from non-dragonettes.

Are these reasonable PC races? Not too powerful, but not too weak?
 

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prosfilaes

Adventurer
What is wrong with using them as written in the Bestiary? I think they were pretty balanced...

All the PC races have a total +2 to stats. The Orcs have +4 Str, -2 Int, -2 Wis, -2 Chr for a total -2. Their good features are darkvision, ferocity and weapon familiarity; their bad feature is light sensitivity, which IMO more than counterbalances the darkvision. (And ferocity is a double-edged sword; it can kill a character that would have survived without it.)

Goblins weren't quite so bad, but they have net +0 to stats, and no major advantages. I think removing the -2 Chr makes them stack up a little better next to the halfling.
 


Aus_Snow

First Post
As it stands, in 3e (and yes, in Pathfinder too), CR doesn't translate very well to ECL. I know, they're "not meant to be" the same thing to begin with. Except, yeah, they sort of are, when they are. And actually, CR doesn't always equate to... CR, either. :D

Aaaanyway. Taking any old monster and turning it into a PC (or even NPC) race, can quickly reveal the inequality between PC-side mechanics and monster-side mechanics. Might as well be two different games, sometimes. ;) As of old (and of new...), in fact. Just less so.

tl;dr: You'd have to rework the CR/ECL system, and maybe some other things too, if you wanted balance of the kind you seem to want. Is +8 Strength balanced by -2 to four other abilities? Well, now... :p
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
You'd have to rework the CR/ECL system, and maybe some other things too, if you wanted balance of the kind you seem to want.

I don't see that at all. What I want is three new PC races labeled Fvan Orc, San Orc and Goblin. I started from the bestiary stats to build on the work of others, but this isn't a great project to make monsters into PCs; it's an attempt to make add a couple more PC races to a campaign world.

Is +8 Strength balanced by -2 to four other abilities? Well, now... :p

I won't argue that +4 stat, -2 stat is a little more powerful than +2 stat, +2 stat, -2 stat in most circumstances. I'm not sure I see the Goblins as unconditionally better at any one class than any other race. I might slap the orcs with a -2 Dex; it would cut down on the fighter awesomeness a little.
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Went on a bit of a tangent there, sorry. :D

As for +4s, I would say that for the most part, -2s and even -4s mightn't mean anything at all. For example, the Orc might as well just have -2 Wis, as that actually affects something that is even somewhat likely to come up during play. Int and Cha? Feh - just means they're being gently nudged away from certain classes. So, a total of +2, in effect. But even then, the -2 Wis is less likely to matter than, say, Con or Dex. By far. So really, it's closer to just +4.

All that matters is how it'll play out, most of the time, IMO. Not how it adds up on paper. Attacks and defences (e.g., saves), along with durability in general, are the biggies, of course.

Mind you, then there's the core Dwarf... Hm. :hmm: Just the first that springs to mind.

Some things are not very well balanced, as is. The fundamental system of balancing races, and to some extent monsters - though that's a different system, in some ways, natch - is a bit lacking, suffice it to say.

I think some good work was done wrt that, for Pathfinder - adjusting things according to how they'll probably work out in play. But there's a lot more that needs to be done. YMMV, etc. :)


Oops, just as tangential. :eek:
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
As for +4s, I would say that for the most part, -2s and even -4s mightn't mean anything at all. For example, the Orc might as well just have -2 Wis, as that actually affects something that is even somewhat likely to come up during play. Int and Cha? Feh - just means they're being gently nudged away from certain classes.

True, but of the core races, only the elf has a negative to something (Con) that really matters; -2 Cha or -2 Str just nudge you away from certain classes.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
Having discovered [Pathfinder] Golden's Guide to Race Building - Giant in the Playground Forums , I figured I'd poke at these.

Fvan Orcs

+4 Str, +2 Chr, -2 Int, -2 Wis
Darkvision, 60 ft.
Weapon Familiarity (per Bestiary)
Ferocity

+6 Attributes
+2 Darkvision
+4 Ferocity
+1 Weapon Familiarity

For a net +13, on the high side; an additional -2 Dex would bring it down to +9. (I'd argue that Ferocity is overpriced; IMO it's a fancy way of turning an unconscious character into a dead character.)

San orcs

+4 Str, -2 Chr
Darkvision 60 ft.
Weapon Familiarity (per Bestiary)
Ferocity

+8 Attributes
+2 Darkvision
+4 Ferocity
+1 Weapon Familiarity

For a net +15, very high; an additional -2 Dex would bring it down to +11.

Goblins (fairly standard)
+4 Dex, -2 Str
Small
30 ft Move
Darkvision 60 ft
+4 racial bonus on Ride and Stealth

+8 Attributes
+2 Darkvision
+? Mad Skills, but +4
+3,4?

For a net +13 or 14. Reducing the skill bonuses to a +2 to Stealth would make it +11.

Dragonettes

-2 Str, +2 Chr, +2 Wis
Small
30 ft move
+1 natural armor
Speak to rats
No more often then once per two weeks, they can shed their skin (in 12 hours) and change their color and skin patterns completely, effectively hiding themselves from non-dragonettes.

+2 Attributes (really?)
+4 Natural Armor
+1, +2? Speak to Rats
+0 Shed skin

+7, +8 a little on the weak side. Could toss in darkvision, maybe the less overused Skilled like a human
 

DumbPaladin

First Post
So I went back to the bestiary and boosted their stats a little.

More than a little, I think.


Fvan Orcs
+4 Str, +2 Chr, -2 Int, -2 Wis

San orcs
+4 Str, -2 Chr

Are these reasonable PC races? Not too powerful, but not too weak?


I don't believe so: the Orc choices are pretty much a powergamer/munchkin's dream.

Both boost Strength by +4, allowing a possibility of a starting STR of 22 at level 1, which is already better than anything any other PC race can do.

But suggesting that a -2 to Charisma is enough to offset +4 to Strength isn't going to work. Dwarves are arguably the best choice for stat modifiers: they get a +2 boost to 2 of the 3 stats that are tied to saving throws, and they lose -2 from the stat that most non-casting classes use as a dump stat anyway: Charisma. They receive a slight negative of moving at 20 feet, but really that's the only balancing factor. Every other race that has a racial negative loses it to an important physical attribute.

Most dwarven PCs do not even remotely care about losing 2 Charisma. I suspect it will be the same for anyone playing your hypothetical Orcs.

Charisma just isn't important as an attribute, unless you're a Bard, a Paladin, a Sorcerer, or an Oracle. Maybe still slightly important to a Cleric.

The -2 to Charisma is just not a balancing factor. Make it -2 to Constitution and you will get a lot closer to something less easily abused, but it'd be even better to drop the +4 all together.

Also: balancing +4 to Strength and Charisma with a -2 to the two mental stats is not going to matter to anyone choosing to play a melee class. -2 to Dex and -2 to Int would be a somewhat better combination.
 



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