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Titanium_Dragon
2005-07-07, 05:44 PM
Because I am weird, I have a 32 page document on my computer which includes background, descriptions, cultural notes, ect. on all the races in my campaign, and I still need to add four more. As I enjoy balanced but interesting parties, I'm going to be running a PnP campaign this fall which involves all of these races. Though most of them are straight out of various books with only cosmetic/cultural/campaign specific (read: non statistical) changes, some are made up wholesale and others are altered considerably. It is these latter two which I'd like feedback on the balance of. Because I don't want to put you all to sleep with 10 pages of background, I'm just going to post the statistics for the races, and a little note for what each is.

Quis: Smaller, weaker, but more magical elves, generally pretty reclusive.
Medium Size
Base Speed of 30
+2 Dexterity
+2 Wisdom
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
Immune to sleep effects
+2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects
Low-Light Vision: An elf can see twice as far as a human in poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Weapon Proficiency: Sylvan elves gain the Martial/Exotic Weapon Proficiency feats for the short sword, rapier, shuriken, longbow, and shortbow, due to their culture's emphasis on archery, swordplay, and exotic weaponry.
+2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
An elf passing within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check as if they were actively looking for it due to their keen senses.
* * *Spell-like abilities: A quis with a charisma of at least 10 can cast prestidigitation and dancing lights 1x/day. Caster level: 1st.
Favored class: Wizard or Sorcerer, whichever is higher.

Blagen: Orcish invaders from the west. Bigger and smarter than normal orcs, don't really seem themselves as related to orcs (though of course orcs claim to be related to them).
Medium Size
Base Speed of 30
+4 Strength
-2 Dexterity
+2 Constitution
Weapon Familiarity: Blagen treat dwarven waraxes (though they simply call them waraxes) and fullblades as martial rather than exotic weapons.
Toughness: Blagen recieve the Toughness feat as a bonus feat at first level
+1 effective character level
Favored class: Fighter

Si-Sivence: Big constrictor-snake-like people; have no legs, but have arms.
Medium Size
Base Speed of 20
+2 Wisdom
+2 racial bonus to Balance checks
+2 racial bonus to Climb checks
+2 racial bonus to Swim checks
-10 racial penalty on Jump checks having no legs, jumping is nearly impossible for Sivence.
+2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease and poison their slow and alien metabolism makes them harder to effect with such things. Onset/incubation time is doubled for poisons/disease, though they suffer the same effects as others if they fail their saving throws.
Ectothermic: Sivence count as being exposed to cold one category worse than they are actually being exposed to if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Additionally, a Sivence who takes cold damage counts as being under the effect of a slow spell for one round. A Sivence which has lost over half of its hit points due to cold damage or which is taking continual damage from cold is slowed until they spend at least ten minutes warming themselves. A Sivence knocked unconscious by cold damage will not regain consciousness until it has been warmed up for at least ten minutes, and will remain rigid and coma-like. All cold damage a Sivence takes is automatically considered to be lethal damage.
Constrict: A Sivence who has grappled an opponent may constrict them, dealing 1d6+strength-and-a-half damage.
Slow Metabolism: A Sivence eats food, drinks water, and breathes air as though it was a size category smaller than it actually is; thus a Si-Sivence counts as being a small creature for the purposes of food, air, and water consumption.
Snake-Like: A Sivence can squeeze through an opening two size categories smaller than it actually is, due to its narrow body and strange physiology. However, it may not use its arms while it is squeezing through such spaces.
Favored class: Cleric

Ka-Sivence: Smaller viperish snake people; again, no legs, but have arms.
Small Size
Base Speed of 15
+4 Dexterity
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
+2 racial bonus to Balance checks
+2 racial bonus to Climb checks
+2 racial bonus to Swim checks
-10 racial penalty on Jump checks having no legs, jumping is nearly impossible for Sivence.
+2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease and poison their slow and alien metabolism makes them harder to effect with such things. Onset/incubation time is doubled for poisons/disease, though they suffer the same effects as others if they fail their saving throws.
Ectothermic: Sivence count as being exposed to cold one category worse than they are actually being exposed to if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Additionally, a Sivence who takes cold damage counts as being under the effect of a slow spell for one round. A Sivence which has lost over half of its hit points due to cold damage or which is taking continual damage from cold is slowed until they spend at least ten minutes warming themselves. A Sivence knocked unconscious by cold damage will not regain consciousness until it has been warmed up for at least ten minutes, and will remain rigid and coma-like. All cold damage a Sivence takes is automatically considered to be lethal damage.
Poison: A Ka-Sivence can deliver a debilitating venom with their bite; it has a DC 13 save and deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage as both primary and secondary damage. Because they are not ideally suited for biting struggling prey, they can only deliver a bite to a foe they have grappled; a bite deals 1d2 points of piercing damage in addition to the poison.
Slow Metabolism: A Sivence eats food, drinks water, and breathes air as though it was a size category smaller than it actually is; thus a Ka-Sivence counts as being a tiny creature for the purposes of food, air, and water consumption.
Snake-Like: A Sivence can squeeze through an opening two size categories smaller than it actually is, due to its narrow body and strange physiology. However, it may not use its arms while it is squeezing through such spaces.
Favored class: Rogue (Not really sure if this is the best class for them to have favored, but couldn't really think of what else it would be.)

Kobolds: Much like normal kobolds, but more of a slave race. Much abused and looked down upon. I changed their statistics from the MM to make them a more attractive player character race:
Small Size
Base Speed of 30
+2 Dexterity
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
+2 racial bonus to Craft (trapmaking) checks
+2 racial bonus to any Craft check made in order to repair an item or object
+2 racial bonus to Gather Information checks
+2 racial bonus to Profession (miner) checks
+2 racial bonus to Search checks
-5 penalty to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks
+2 racial bonus on all saving throws kobolds are small and very good at cowering, ducking out of the way, or otherwise avoiding misfortune
+4 racial bonus on saving throws versus disease and ingested poison; kobolds are used to eating stale, half-rotten, or otherwise undesirable foods, and can eat things that would make most other races very sick.
-4 penalty on saving throws against fear kobolds tend to give in to fear easily
+2 Natural Armor Class bonus
Darkvision out to 60 feet
Dodge: Kobolds gain the Dodge feat as a bonus feat at first level
Tough to Starve (Ex): A kobold can go twice as long without food or water as a member of another race, and only has to make Constitution checks half as often once the checks begin.
Adaptable (Ex): Kobolds gain ability score increases every third level rather than every fourth level (i.e. at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th levels)
Race of Destiny (Ex): Kobolds can take the destiny feats from Races of Destiny without needing to meet the racial prerequisites.
Favored class: Any

Muckdweller: Tiny denizens of the swamps and jungles, primitive and insular society. A race by the same name existed in AD&D 2nd edition.
Tiny Size
Base Speed of 20
Swim Speed of 30
+4 Dexterity
-4 Strength
-2 Constitution
+4 racial bonus to Climb checks
+4 racial bonus to Jump checks
+4 racial bonus to Move Silently checks
+4 racial bonus to Tumble checks
+8 racial bonus to Swim checks, and they can always take 10 on Swim checks, regardless of conditions
Low-Light Vision: Muckdwellers can see twice as far as humans under poor light conditions
Hold Breath (Ex): A muckdwller can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to five times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
Favored Class: Scout

Aaracocra: Birdfolk. I know there are statistics for them in Races of Faerun, but I don't like giving races a penalty that will screw them over half the time, while the other half the time it won't matter and they'll be very powerful.
Medium Size
Base Speed of 20
Flying Speed 50 (Average)
+2 Dexterity
+2 Charisma
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
+2 racial bonus on Climb checks
+2 racial bonus on Perform (sing) checks
+2 racial bonus on Spot checks
+2 racial bonus on Appraise checks related to woven items, decorative items made using natural materials, or any object which uses feathers
+2 racial bonus on Craft checks related to weaving and jewelry using natural materials
Talons: They can wield weapons and manipulate items in their foot-talons while flying as if they were hands, but they count as off-hand weapons unless the aaracocra has Multiweapon fighting. An aaracocra's talons cannot be used effectively in combat while on the ground unless it is prone. Out of combat, however, they can use all their limbs effectively for crafting and other similar tasks which can be carried out while lying down.
Wing-arms: It is difficult for an aaracocra in flight to use its wing-arms effectively for anything but flying. They suffer a -4 penalty to all actions involving their wing-arms while in flight other than flying. They do not suffer this penalty if they are using a foot bow. They cannot fly while carrying anything heavier than a light load, and cannot fly while wearing medium or heavy armor.
+1 effective character level
Favored Class: Bard

Thoughts/opinions/criticisms? Are they overpowered, about right, underpowered? And how could I change them?

EDIT: I gave the Blagen the Toughness feat as a bonus feat at first levle, and changed kobolds as per many people's reccommendations.

Malachi, the Lich King
2005-07-07, 05:58 PM
They certainly don't look overpowered to me. I'd have to playtest some of them to know for sure but I'd say you erred on the side of underpowering them, especially the kobolds. The bonuses you've given them are next to negligable but the detriments are enough to make me not want to try playing one.
The snakes' speed restriction does more than enough to balance them out. The orc's +1 ECL hit might be too much for essentially just another +2 str but no way do I give that out without something else. Maybe give them another little perk? I've handed out additional distance to darkvision without feeling too much pain as a DM.

Just initial thoughts anyway.

The Demented One
2005-07-07, 05:58 PM
Quis-Another elf variant? Whoop dee doo.

Blagen: Might want to make LA +2.

Si-Sivence: Needs at least a +1 LA

Ka-Sivence: Might need a LA, not sure if the poison warrants it.

Kobolds-Looks okay.

Muckdweller: May need a +1 LA for the swim speed, not sure. SS probably has something to say on it.

Aaracorca: I'd give this a +2 LA.

Caelestion
2005-07-07, 05:59 PM
Well, you've just given the Quis an Exotic Weapon for free. That's quite different from some martial weapons!

Cael.

TSGames
2005-07-07, 06:05 PM
I am in agreement with Malachi, but aside from that it looks extreamely balanced although, you may want to lower the snake races' jump penatly to -8 instead of -10. *The DMG(I forget where) states that if a creatures is not made for jumping(it gave the example of an elephant) it takes a -8 penalty.

The Glyphstone
2005-07-07, 06:16 PM
Cool, but why do the birdmen and the kobolds have the same racial adjustments?

stainboy
2005-07-07, 06:26 PM
The Sivence races look cool, and overall I'd say they're fine as EL 0. If anything, they're weaker than other core races. A couple of tweaks you might want to consider:

-The low base speed of the Sivence is a SEVERE handicap, especially since Sivence can't wear boots or ride most mounts properly, and thus can't benefit from Boots of Longstrider or a mount's movement speed. I'd set that back to 30' (Si-Sevence) and 20' (Ka-Sivence).

-The Si-Sivence probably shouldn't have a +2 Wisdom bonus. None of the core races have bonuses to mental stats because mental stat bonuses are far too beneficial to primary casters. Also, combining a +2 Wisdom and a Constrict attack makes for a wicked monk build.

-A +1 natural armor bonus from scales would probably be appropriate.

-I'd restrict that thing about squeezing through narrow openings to one size category smaller, not two. I don't know how a snake-taur with a human-sized torso (Medium) is going to squeeze through an opening that's a tight fit for a house cat (Tiny).

-Rather than just the skill bonuses, you might want to give Sivence either a Swim speed of 10' or a Brachiation speed of 10'. (It would make the most sense to pick one or the other - there aren't many creatures in nature that are at home both swimming and climbing through trees).

-Does full-body armor (anything more than a breastplate) exist for Sivence? If I were you I'd say it doesn't, as it would interfere with a snake's slithering.

-Figure out what happens mechanically when a Ka-Sivence starts using a medium-sized PC as a mount - wrapping around his neck to benefit from his faster movement speed and ability to jump. Make this not a good idea. I promise anyone playing a Ka-Sivence wizard will think of this exploit within the first session.

Randomman413
2005-07-07, 08:27 PM
stupid question, but what does LA stand for? playing swrpg, ive never...heard of it.

Hzurr
2005-07-07, 08:38 PM
ah yes. For some reason none of the creatures in SWRPG have Level Adjustments, and as a result you get some really broken creatures.

But yes, LA=Level Adjustment. If you're playing a creature with a leveladjustment of +2 (say a drow), and you're a lvl 1 rogue, you're treated as a lvl 3 character (ECL or effective character level)


Oh, also I echo what stainboy said

Randomman413
2005-07-07, 08:41 PM
mmm...delicious...

heretic
2005-07-07, 08:51 PM
I'd say they all seem either balanced or underpowered except the elfies. There are so many elf variants and I if they made one with the same ability adjustments, they wouldn't give them spell-like abilities

Titanium_Dragon
2005-07-07, 11:06 PM
They certainly don't look overpowered to me. *I'd have to playtest some of them to know for sure but I'd say you erred on the side of underpowering them, especially the kobolds. *The bonuses you've given them are next to negligable but the detriments are enough to make me not want to try playing one.

Yeah, I thought they looked weak too. I'm not exactly sure what I should do to fix it though. I was debating them having the following special ability:

Weedy (Ex): Kobolds are looked down upon by every sentient race. No sentient creature will ever target a kobold with an attack unless the kobold proves itself to be a threat or there are nothing but kobolds around.

But I figured that A) it doesn't work against PCs, so why does it work against NPCs and B) its too annoying to implement. I was trying to think up some flavorful ability, but I don't really know what I could do.


The snakes' speed restriction does more than enough to balance them out. *The orc's +1 ECL hit might be too much for essentially just another +2 str but no way do I give that out without something else. *Maybe give them another little perk? *I've handed out additional distance to darkvision without feeling too much pain as a DM.

Maybe give them Toughness as a bonus feat? I'm planning on starting out this campaign at second level, so it might help them a bit. Might still be a bit minor though. Also, wouldn't it essentially be another 2 strength and 2 constitution? Only a -2 to dexterity and a +4 to strength and constitution leaves them up 2 on strength and constitution. Unless I'm missing something.


Quis-Another elf variant? Whoop dee doo.


Well, you've just given the Quis an Exotic Weapon for free. *That's quite different from some martial weapons!

That is very true, and I'm not really sure I like the Quis anyway; they're not really that involved in the campaign setting and I might just drop them entirely as I don't really care about them much. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

And as an aside, yeah, I did give them shuriken proficiency for free, but honestly shuriken are pretty bad weapons - there's lots of better options, and the only ones who do really get a bonus from it are monks, who get proficiency in it anyway. Maybe I should drop the longbow/shortbow proficiency and give them shuriken proficency and some other interesting weird weapon that would look cool in forests. Maybe even change all their bonus weapon things. What would you suggest?


Quis-Another elf variant? Whoop dee doo.

Blagen: Might want to make LA +2.

Si-Sivence: Needs at least a +1 LA

Ka-Sivence: Might need a LA, not sure if the poison warrants it.

Kobolds-Looks okay.

Muckdweller: May need a +1 LA for the swim speed, not sure. SS probably has something to say on it.

Aaracorca: I'd give this a +2 LA.

You seem to judge them harsher than most, and suggested going to SS (something I generally use as a reference for such). Anyway, here is what SS says about these races:

Blagen: +1 ECL (unbalanced ability scores, net bonus +4 physical - not enough to warrant +2 because it isn't a total of +10.) Also, a Blagen with one level of fighter seems clearly worse than a half-orc with three, and even a blagen with 18 levels of fighter seems worse than a half-orc with 20 - the half-orc has an additional ability increase and an additional bonus feat, an additional point of AC, gained an attack two levels earlier, and has +1 to hit, but 9-(2*con modifier) less hit points and deals 1 less damage. A half-orc with a Con of 12 will have more HP than the blagen with a Con of 14. 19 and 20 seem closer to me. A blagen with one level of fighter (or barbarian) seems about equivalent to a half-orc with two levels of such; equivalent to-hit chances, deals a point more of damage, but has less hit points.

Si-Sivence: +1 (unbalanced ability modifier - +2 mental) -1 (slower movement rate for their size) +1 (constrict special attack) -1 (ectothermic) = 0 ECL. The rest of their abilities are marginal, of normal racial quality; the only thing I'd really wonder is if ectothermic is really worth a -1, though it is harsh if they do get nailed by cold stuff, and people will likely know their vulnerability if they're capable of using cold stuff - wizards, sorcerers and the like.

Ka-Sivence: -1 (small size) -1 (Ectothermic) - 1 (really freaking slow) +1 (poison) = -2 ECL by SS. Even discounting ectothermic, they're still at -1. I personally think they're fine because they make pretty decent rogues, sorcerers, or wizards, and would be quite likely to hit with ranged attacks. Not sure though. I was debating whether to allow them to use the poison bite attack as a natural weapon, but was debating whether that'd be too good or not. On the downside, it is somewhat nasty, but on the upside, it means they'd have to be in close combat, somewhere they likely do not want to be with fewer hp and strength (and probably armor as well with a poor strength score and poor movement).

Kobold: -1 (small size) -1 (overall penalty to ability scores) +1 (one point of natural armor is theoretically worth this; I think its silly but eh) = -1 ECL by the SS.

Muckdweller: -1 (tiny size) -1 (overall penalty to ability scores) +1 (swim speed) +1 (more than +2 bonus to three skills) = 0 ECL by the SS.

Aaracocra: -1 (overall penalty to ability scores, though this is arguable) +2 (fly) +1 (more than +2 bonus to three skills) -1 (slow land speed) = +1 ECL by the SS. Again, might be +2, if you argue that a bonus to charisma is roughly equivalent to a penalty to constitution.


-The low base speed of the Sivence is a SEVERE handicap, especially since Sivence can't wear boots or ride most mounts properly, and thus can't benefit from Boots of Longstrider or a mount's movement speed. I'd set that back to 30' (Si-Sevence) and 20' (Ka-Sivence).

Well, I was debating raising it for the Ka-Sivence, because a movement of 15' is pretty awful. As for them not being able to ride a mount properly - I don't think that's so true; it would certainly require a different type of saddle, but I'm sure they would have them given that they have a civilization of their own, though I can see how it would be harder for them to stay in the saddle.


-The Si-Sivence probably shouldn't have a +2 Wisdom bonus. None of the core races have bonuses to mental stats because mental stat bonuses are far too beneficial to primary casters. Also, combining a +2 Wisdom and a Constrict attack makes for a wicked monk build.

I can definitely see your point about the latter; improved grapple would certainly be their friend, though then again unless they have really high strength they'd probably do more damage using unarmed attacks than with the constrict as a monk anyway. Also, it isn't terribly awesome against large foes, who are likely to be considerably stronger. Or am I misunderstanding this ability?

As for none of the core races having bonuses to mental stats - well, yeah, that's absolutely true, but I'm not so sure its because it would make a caster all that broken. +2 is another bonus spell of a higher slot, but in reality this means they are essentially getting (using standard elite stats) a 17+5+6 = 28 Wisdom at 20th level, which is a bonus 9th level, 5th level, and 1st level spell slot - an advantage, to be sure. But if they started with a 17 or 18 in the stat, all they'd really be gaining would be a 6th level spell slot (which is pretty nice) and a 2nd level one (oh yay, another resist energy). However, in conjugation with your other suggestion it does remain in balance. The other thing it does is raise the DCs by 1, but a human can do the same by choosing the right feat, and a gnomes get a +1 against illusions.


-A +1 natural armor bonus from scales would probably be appropriate.

It probably wouldn't be game breaking, and it does make some amount of sense - kobolds get it, after all.


-I'd restrict that thing about squeezing through narrow openings to one size category smaller, not two. I don't know how a snake-taur with a human-sized torso (Medium) is going to squeeze through an opening that's a tight fit for a house cat (Tiny).

Yeah, you're right about that.


-Rather than just the skill bonuses, you might want to give Sivence either a Swim speed of 10' or a Brachiation speed of 10'. (It would make the most sense to pick one or the other - there aren't many creatures in nature that are at home both swimming and climbing through trees).

Well, other than humans. ;D But we don't have a swim or climb speed in D&D. A swim speed would probably be more appropriate than climb in the case of the Si-Sivence, though I could see either with the Ka-Sivence. Though, it does effectively give them a +8 bonus to that skill and the ability to take 10. Not that it would be game breaking by any means, either, though climb speed is generally more useful than swim IMO.


-Does full-body armor (anything more than a breastplate) exist for Sivence? If I were you I'd say it doesn't, as it would interfere with a snake's slithering.

I'd be liable to agree, but I can see how it would work - you'd have plates down the back, and leave the bottom free, though it would almost certainly be rather awkward at best. Of course, if I do the +1 armor bonus thing, then it would about balance this out for fighters.


-Figure out what happens mechanically when a Ka-Sivence starts using a medium-sized PC as a mount - wrapping around his neck to benefit from his faster movement speed and ability to jump. Make this not a good idea. I promise anyone playing a Ka-Sivence wizard will think of this exploit within the first session.

Probably the same thing that happens when a halfling wizard decides to take a ride on the half orc - I laugh at them, make sure that he hits his head every time the "mount" goes through a doorway without ducking, and treat their mount as an awkward mount, which is a -5 penalty to all ride checks (per the Ride skill). They'd have to be making a DC 10 Ride check every round they want to take a standard action when their "mount" does; including the -5 penalty, that's essentially a DC 15 Ride check. Additionally they'd have to make a DC 5 Ride check to stay in their seat every time they or their mount takes damage or takes any standard and many move actions (such as running, attacking, or bull rushing). They'd have to make a DC 15 Ride check if their "mount" jumped. They'd have to make a DC 5 Ride check if they wanted to use their hands. And if they're riding bareback, they're taking an additional -5 penalty to all these rolls, for a -10 penalty total - pretty hefty. And for obvious reasons, they gain no synergy bonus for having Animal Affinity or 5 ranks in Handle Animal. If they decided to get a saddle, it'd have to be custom made and I'd say that the mount takes a -2 penalty to many rolls - attacking in close combat would likely be one of them. A low-level Ka-Sivence is probably not going to be making many of these ride checks, and if they fall off they're going to be taking damage from falling and get laughed at to boot. Also, I'd probably assign an additional -5 penalty to any Ride checks they made because their "mount" is not trained to be one (unless there is some penalty outlined elsewhere for this same thing, in which case I'd use that instead), though if they wanted to take a feat to be "trained as a mount", I'd let them get rid of it - but the mount would have to take it. I would also make it so the Ka-Sivence would use the same rules as riding a normal mount in as far as "what they can do if their mount moves" is concerned. Heck, I might just make them make DC 20 Ride checks every round because their mount is untrained for combat riding rather than giving them a -5 penalty - that's probably worse for them anyway.

And even if they can put up with all that, they'd look kind of silly (though also kind of cool).

Annarrkkii
2005-07-07, 11:47 PM
* Hmm... they seem pretty good to me. The Kobold's bonus to Charisma makes little sense to me, as you later give them severe penalties to two of the primary Charisma-based skills. Also, with the charisma bonus, nobody is ever going to play anything beside a sorcerer if they're a kobold. I mean, they're perfect. Maybe you'll see some rogues, with the free Dodge feat and save bonuses. Unfortunately, they almost completely eclipse the halfling, except for the EL, which I'm not entirely sure is justifiable. I'd get rid of the Charisma bonus, as the kobolds you are portraying don't seem very charismatic, especiallly with the idea of Weedy.

* I see no problem with the Sivense, really, except that, again, they're too perfect for a class, in the case of the constrictors. In this case, it's cleric. They make awesome clerics, and, as was mentioned earlier, even awesomer monks. Natural armor and Wisdom bonuses, and Constrict make them perfect. Constrict is, actually, better than a monk's unarmed attack until third level or so, or whenever it increases to d8, as the Strength-and-half bonus to the damage is better than a simple unarmed strike. Also, they're skills are all monks skills, I believe.

*I'm not saying these are faults, really, as halflings and half-orcs are hyper-specialized, too. However, just because a class is favored for a race, doesn't *mean they have to be perfect for it, as in the case of the elves or the gnome. I'd go for a little more versatility. I'd change the Si-Sivence's Widom bonus for +2 Con. (or Str.), and -2 Cha., -2 Int. If that is too brutish for you, then maybe +2 Con. (or Str.) and -2 Dex. In fact, that makes sense, as constrictors could be understandably less agile than others, *despite their snakelike nature. As it is, according to Savage Species, they are due for a +1 LA for unbalanced ability scores.

*For the kobolds, just make them less specialized. Perhaps get rid of the Charisma bonus for the kobolds and replace it with natural spell-like cantrips, as gnomes, or something else that is incentive or potential for other classes besides sorcerers. I just can't *envision a kobold as having natural Charisma bonus. I mean, is the typical Kobold villgaer really more charismatic than the average human villager? Are their politicians really more influencial and moving, and their musicians more skillful? Well, I guess with the politicians they're not more influencial, thanks to the penalty to Diplomacy. What I'm saying is, you only gave the kobolds the bonus to charisma to make them better Sorcerors, but there's no real explanation for the other effects of higher charisma. If you're insistent on making them better sorcerer's (/bards), then give them a +1 CL for arcane spells or something, or bonus spells, or whatever, that should *justify the LA, which is otherwise uncessary, in my opinion. Maybe you could ditch Dodge, too...

*Just my rather longer than I expected 2 cp.

*

Ayana
2005-07-08, 02:31 AM
My opinion is most of these are on the weak-ish side.

Here's what I'd do for them if I was to apply them to my campaign (but keep in mind I use WotC rules/precedent more as suggestions than hard rules ;)):

Quis - Replace Rapier with a more forest-oriented melee weapon. (if you're feeling adventurous you could even put something like net) I think Kukri would be interesting (looks quite suited to cutting your day through undergrowth). I'm not too keen on the idea of the auto-door-search for foresty elves. Sure they might be keen-sighted, but they're rather unfamiliar with doors (and secret doors) in general. They need a bit more foresty and magical flavor, so how about Know Direction at will and Hide From Animals 1/day when in a forest environment?

Blagen - I'm quite +4 or more starting stats for a PC even with the LA. Also what they gain is not worth the +1 LA in the long term. I would say +2str,-4dex,+2con, LA 0. Alternately start them as +2str,-2dex,+2con, LA+1 and either give them +1 str at level 7 and 14 or say let them roll each hit die twice and choose the better result. A Blagen can Rage 1/day (as a barbarian) except the duration is equal to its Consititution modifier (not 3+Con) rounds. A Blagen who is a barbarian instead can rage 1 more times per day than normal (and with his normal rage duration). A Blagen reduced to 0 hit points (but not below) can act normally without dropping to -1 HP if he takes more than a partial action.

Si-Sivence - Unless your campaign has a lot of underwater action add them Swim 20' speed. I'd forgo the Climb bonus and instead give them a penalty (most adventuring-style climbing such as up a wall, rope, etc would probably be quite hard for a big snakeperson) and up the Balance bonus (along with a stability bonus against being tripped). Reduce the Snake-like to 1 size category smaller. Add 1 natural armor to start (+1 at level 11). (This assumes they lack the ability to wear full body armor, I'm having trouble picturing how flexible plates would be attached to the upper side of a snake without requiring straps around the bottom side - which would be both hindering and uncomfortable most likely)

Ka-Sivence - Again, not a fan of +4 to a stat for PC races, I'd go -2str,+2dex. See above regarding swim speed. I'd change the poison to be a 10' line breath weapon usable 3/day (and requiring at least 30 minutes to recharge in between) or a poison spit as a ranged touch with a range of 20' (3/day, 30min recharge). Add natural armor as above.

Kobolds - I have to agree with the above posters about +CHA not fitting them. -2str, -2cha, +2dex, +2con (weak and lacking force of personality but dextrous and hardy from their life as a slave race). If they've been a multi-purpose slave race a list of multiple crafts and professions from which to choose one of each to have +2 to would be interesting; or if your campaign doesn't feature crafting as an overly-important aspect even a +2 to all Craft (as slaves they've helped wherever was needed and learned a bit of everything in the process). +2 reflex, +2 fortitude, -2 will (-4 vs fear or domination effects). Drop Dodge. +2 sorcerer spells known (of at most 2 levels lower than they can maximum cast, if this would put these bonus spells below L0, they can still be chosen from the L0 list), these two known spells can be re-selected at every odd numbered level. Alternately, if you have them as dragon related, have them choose a dragon type at character creation, gaining Energy Substitution (of the element related to that dragon) as a bonus feat along with either Resistance to the same elemnt equal to their character level (increasing as level increases) or the ability to apply this Energy Substitution without increasing the casting time of the spell.

I'll do the other 2 races later on if you want more ideas, getting sleepy. http://smilies.sofrayt.com/%5E/l0/sleeping.gif

Shiyuan
2005-07-08, 03:31 AM
Quis: Smaller, weaker, but more magical elves, generally pretty reclusive.
Medium Size
Base Speed of 30
+2 Dexterity
+2 Wisdom
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
Immune to sleep effects
+2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects
Low-Light Vision: An elf can see twice as far as a human in poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
Weapon Proficiency: Sylvan elves gain the Martial/Exotic Weapon Proficiency feats for the short sword, rapier, shuriken, longbow, and shortbow, due to their culture's emphasis on archery, swordplay, and exotic weaponry.
+2 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks.
An elf passing within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check as if they were actively looking for it due to their keen senses.
Spell-like abilities: A quis with a charisma of at least 10 can cast prestidigitation and dancing lights 1x/day. Caster level: 1st.
Favored class: Wizard or Sorcerer, whichever is higher.


From what I've been told and read up on, upping a big spellcasting stat such as Int or Wis, usually requires a LA of at least +1. I remember looking at the Blues (the goblin variants in the Expanded Psionics Handbook), and seeing that despite having everything else be very goblin-like in racial traits, and a psionics racial trait that is common to several LA +0 psionic races, the Blues get LA +1 merely for having a racial ability adjustment to Int, despite having it properly "balanced" by negative ability score adjustments (yes, plural). At first baffled by this seemingly erroneous LA, I went on the Wizards of the Coast website, and got a response that more or less told me that having a positive racial ability adjustment to either Int or Wis leads to an increase in LA because your effectively increasing their caster level and spells DCs. Not sure on the stance in regards to Cha though. Have to look that up. Other than that, they look pretty good and the suggestions made by the others also have been very good.

Ayana
2005-07-08, 03:54 AM
That would seem to be contradicted by official published races such as Sun Elves (FRCS, +2int-2con) and Lesser Planetouched (which retain their stat gains but become Humanoid(Planetouched) and LA 0)

Shiyuan
2005-07-08, 03:59 AM
That would seem to be contradicted by official published races such as Sun Elves (FRCS, +2int-2con) and Lesser Planetouched (which retain their stat gains but become Humanoid(Planetouched) and LA 0)

I know... weird, isn't it?

Titanium_Dragon
2005-07-08, 04:18 AM
At first baffled by this seemingly erroneous LA, I went on the Wizards of the Coast website, and got a response that more or less told me that having a positive racial ability adjustment to either Int or Wis leads to an increase in LA because your effectively increasing their caster level and spells DCs. Not sure on the stance in regards to Cha though. Have to look that up.

Except, of course, that is incorrect. Star Elves have a bonus to charisma and 0 ECL, and Gray Elves have a bonus to intelligence and 0 ECL. I'm fairly certain the reason Blues have ECL is due to their psionic abilities, though honestly I don't think they should have ECL either.

As for the kobolds:

Quite true. Honestly, the reason I gave them a charisma bonus is because it was the only thing I could really justify giving them. Kobolds are weedy.

As for them being hardy: hardly. Kobolds are weak and easily killed, that is a hallmark of being a Kobold. Their base stats from the MM are -4 strength +2 dexterity -2 constituion. To make a character with those stats at -all- appealing it would have to either

A) have some really nice abilities or
B) have negative ECL

B is not much of an option, and A I couldn't really justify, so I tried to balance out the stats more. It doesn't really work, though.

But because they are sorcerous, I don't really see them as having a penalty to charisma either - charisma is not just how others look at you, it is also a je ne sais pas ability score that can encompass a number of things which don't really seem related to Charisma to me.

Now, I could dump the whole sorcerous angle - that is quite possible. I don't really like it though. Slaves with sorcerous ability are usually killed, but escapees/free born kobolds often rise to prominance in their communities via such. I'd have to come up with a different power structure (and favored class) for them, and its pretty obvious if it isn't sorcerer it'd definitely be rogue, infringing all the more on the territory of the halfing (and goblin) and pidgeonholing them further.

Dodge seemed like an appropriate feat because it fits - ducking blows and cowering and dodging things. It also sets them up for taking Mobility and Spring Attack, feats which are pretty appropriate for them.

Kobolds are taken advantage of because they are weak, but there has to be some reason for a PC to be one. Giving them caster-related feats makes them want to be casters, and I don't want them all to be casters. One possibility might be giving them Draconic Heritage as a bonus feat as well, which would allow all kobolds, regardless of class, to take those feats. Again, though, most of those are caster-related, making them want to be casters and not really benefitting them much if they decide not to be - only Draconic Resistance and Draconic Skin would really benefit them.

Two other possible feats include Heroic Destiny or Improved Initiative, the latter of which would play into their being fast. Dive for Cover might also be a fun feat, and it is rather weedy as well. Tactile Trapsmith might also make sense - it allows Dexterity to be used instead of intelligence on Search and Disable Device checks.

I'll respond to the rest after I've slept... getting tired xx

Ayana
2005-07-08, 04:45 AM
On the internal aspect, being a slave race however is rather unlikely to build confidence in one's self.

To keep them from all being sorcerers maybe have a list of a few feats from which they choose 1 (the limited list will keep them from infringing too bad on humans and extra feat can make a race really really loved - see humans).

In regards to them getting killed by their owners if they cast magic, that is a big reason I didn't suggest any Sp abilities. However as most slaves would be commoners they wouldn't be able to cast anything even if they are racially predisposed towards it. Those who can would either have to make sure to keep it secret or get away (become adventurers!).

Leperflesh
2005-07-11, 08:33 PM
I think aspects of a 'slave race' would have to include:

1. they are universally (or nearly universally) considered 'inferior'. Most people think they deserve to be slaves.
2. they are less powerful than their masters, even when they outnumber them

A high CHA implies that 1. is unlikely, and a high number of them tending to be sorcerors would tend to rule out number 2 as well. Typically of course one main advantage that slaveowners have over their slaves is that escaped slaves are fugitives in the society at whole, hunted down and dealt with extremely harshly. Also the masters have good equipment and arms, while the slaves are never allowed to have dangerous weapons or armor.

Still, in many cases you'd need to have one master overseeing several slaves, or else it's not worth having them at all. And in that case, if the slaves are very charismatic, and can cast spells... you see the problem.

So I think your dilemma is a fundamental one: you want your kobolds to be a subjugated race, but you also want them to be good at sorcery, and I'm afraid that that's probably not ever going to work quite right.

I suggest that instead you give the kobolds some advantage that would be cool for ANY class, to make them attractive as a PC race.

Skillpoints appeals too much to rogues, feats too much to fighters, those have been discussed and hashed out already. CON bonus is already ruled out, too.

How about greatly improved saving throws? The idea being, they are weedy, so they tend to escape serious damage a lot. Give them a progression, even: bonus points to all saves at every other level or something like that. Improved saving throws helps any character class.

Aside from that, I'd concentrate on non-combat attributes or benefits, so that you aren't making it implausible that they'd be a subjugated race.

Here's some thoughts:
-a secret sign-language that all Kobolds know, allowing them to communicate to eachother without speaking, concealing their hands from the eyes of their masters. Developed over centuries of subjugation, it's an advanced language that no other race can take normally, because kobolds won't teach it (or even admit it exists).
- they are used to living on scraps of slave rations. Kobolds can go twice as long without food or water than normal, and subsist on half-rations indefinetly. (I think this rule is a CON based one, but you can tie it as a racial ability so it should work OK)
- scavenging. They are used to hoarding every scrap of useful material, for making clothes, scrounging coppers, or what have you. give them some kind of bonus to obtaining or having a useful scrap or small item whenever one is needed, or maybe give them the ability to recover value from items that for others are already worthless/ruined.
- how about an ability similar to that of the bard, for knowing local knowledge? Like, these guys are used to being ignored by whoever is around, their masters are so used to treating them like they're not even there that they overhear (and share with eachother) all kinds of tidbits of info and gossip. This wouldn't be useful for, like, knowing the activation word for the Amulet of Baldoroth, but normal knowledge:local would come easy to them, plus maybe a bonus on attempts at gather information?

This kind of thing still might not be enough to impress your jaded players. I thought of one other thing, but it might be way too overpowered: allow them to gain an extra ability point at a faster rate than normal. This might make sense, if you consider that the vast majority of enslaved or subjugated kobolds never manage to gain any levels, or maybe just one or two. But if they got an extra ability point every 3 levels instead of every 4, that'd be a nice incentive.

-Lep

MrNexx
2005-07-11, 09:20 PM
I know... weird, isn't it?

Par for the course... after all, according to the DMG's guidelines for designing races, a bonus to Constitution can be balanced by anything except a penalty to Strength... and yet, we have the canon gnomes.

MrNexx
2005-07-11, 09:27 PM
-a secret sign-language that all Kobolds know, allowing them to communicate to eachother without speaking, concealing their hands from the eyes of their masters. Developed over centuries of subjugation, it's an advanced language that no other race can take normally, because kobolds won't teach it (or even admit it exists).

On this thought, what if it had something to do with features other races would be hard pressed to match? What if kobolds use their tails as the primary method of communicating in this system, as other races are less likely to pay attention to their tails, and its something no one else can easily fake? It could be supplemented with hand gestures and posture, to give it a bigger range, but the attitude of the tail might be a major factor.


- they are used to living on scraps of slave rations. Kobolds can go twice as long without food or water than normal, and subsist on half-rations indefinetly. (I think this rule is a CON based one, but you can tie it as a racial ability so it should work OK)

That looks good for a slave race... those who couldn't hack it died. You might also throw in a need for less sleep, or some sort of quick-waking.



- scavenging. They are used to hoarding every scrap of useful material, for making clothes, scrounging coppers, or what have you. give them some kind of bonus to obtaining or having a useful scrap or small item whenever one is needed, or maybe give them the ability to recover value from items that for others are already worthless/ruined.

Bonus to craft checks made to repair an item (not make, but repair)?


- how about an ability similar to that of the bard, for knowing local knowledge? Like, these guys are used to being ignored by whoever is around, their masters are so used to treating them like they're not even there that they overhear (and share with eachother) all kinds of tidbits of info and gossip. This wouldn't be useful for, like, knowing the activation word for the Amulet of Baldoroth, but normal knowledge:local would come easy to them, plus maybe a bonus on attempts at gather information?

I'd call this a straight-up bonus on Gather Information, and Knowledge: Local.

Titanium_Dragon
2005-07-13, 05:56 PM
After listening to the above advice, some changes to the kobolds; can someone tell me if this is any more attractive/interesting?

Small Size
Base Speed of 30
+2 Dexterity
-2 Strength
-2 Constitution
+2 racial bonus to Craft (trapmaking) checks
+2 racial bonus to any Craft check made in order to repair an item or object
+2 racial bonus to Gather Information checks
+2 racial bonus to Profession (miner) checks
+2 racial bonus to Search checks
-5 penalty to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks
+2 racial bonus on all saving throws kobolds are small and very good at cowering, ducking out of the way, or otherwise avoiding misfortune
+4 racial bonus on saving throws versus disease and ingested poison; kobolds are used to eating stale, half-rotten, or otherwise undesirable foods, and can eat things that would make most other races very sick.
-4 penalty on saving throws against fear kobolds tend to give in to fear easily
+2 Natural Armor Class bonus
Darkvision out to 60 feet
Dodge: Kobolds gain the Dodge feat as a bonus feat at first level
Tough to Starve (Ex): A kobold can go twice as long without food or water as a member of another race, and only has to make Constitution checks half as often once the checks begin.
Adaptable (Ex): Kobolds gain ability score increases every third level rather than every fourth level (i.e. at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th levels)
Race of Destiny (Ex): Kobolds can take the destiny feats from Races of Destiny without needing to meet the racial prerequisites.
Favored class: Any

The Glyphstone
2005-07-13, 07:42 PM
Adaptable: Right there is a FANTASTICALLY good trait, at least in my opinion.

stainboy
2005-07-15, 03:39 PM
I can definitely see your point about the latter; improved grapple would certainly be their friend, though then again unless they have really high strength they'd probably do more damage using unarmed attacks than with the constrict as a monk anyway. Also, it isn't terribly awesome against large foes, who are likely to be considerably stronger. Or am I misunderstanding this ability?

Yeah, I just reread the rules for grapple and constriction, and you're right: any time a Si-Sivence monk could apply his constriction damage, he could apply his unarmed strike damage instead, which would almost always be better. Perhaps a rule that a Si-Sivence monk deals damage as if one size category large when using a grapple to deal damage would be in order.


Well, other than humans. ;D

Thinking about it again, I suppose if the Sivence were swamp dwellers they could reasonably have both Brachiation and Swim speeds.


A swim speed would probably be more appropriate than climb in the case of the Si-Sivence, though I could see either with the Ka-Sivence. Though, it does effectively give them a +8 bonus to that skill and the ability to take 10. Not that it would be game breaking by any means, either, though climb speed is generally more useful than swim IMO.

That's why I said Brachiation. I don't think they should be more able to climb walls than a human, but they'd definitely be better at climbing trees or ladders.


Probably the same thing that happens when a halfling wizard decides to take a ride on the half orc - I laugh at them, make sure that he hits his head every time the "mount" goes through a doorway without ducking, and treat their mount as an awkward mount, which is a -5 penalty to all ride checks (per the Ride skill). They'd have to be making a DC 10 Ride check every round they want to take a standard action when their "mount" does; including the -5 penalty, that's essentially a DC 15 Ride check. Additionally they'd have to make a DC 5 Ride check to stay in their seat every time they or their mount takes damage or takes any standard and many move actions (such as running, attacking, or bull rushing). They'd have to make a DC 15 Ride check if their "mount" jumped. They'd have to make a DC 5 Ride check if they wanted to use their hands. And if they're riding bareback, they're taking an additional -5 penalty to all these rolls, for a -10 penalty total - pretty hefty. And for obvious reasons, they gain no synergy bonus for having Animal Affinity or 5 ranks in Handle Animal. If they decided to get a saddle, it'd have to be custom made and I'd say that the mount takes a -2 penalty to many rolls - attacking in close combat would likely be one of them. A low-level Ka-Sivence is probably not going to be making many of these ride checks, and if they fall off they're going to be taking damage from falling and get laughed at to boot. Also, I'd probably assign an additional -5 penalty to any Ride checks they made because their "mount" is not trained to be one (unless there is some penalty outlined elsewhere for this same thing, in which case I'd use that instead), though if they wanted to take a feat to be "trained as a mount", I'd let them get rid of it - but the mount would have to take it. I would also make it so the Ka-Sivence would use the same rules as riding a normal mount in as far as "what they can do if their mount moves" is concerned. Heck, I might just make them make DC 20 Ride checks every round because their mount is untrained for combat riding rather than giving them a -5 penalty - that's probably worse for them anyway.

And even if they can put up with all that, they'd look kind of silly (though also kind of cool).

Sounds like you've got that covered. Wish I could rattle off the mounted combat rules like that...

Titanium_Dragon
2005-07-15, 11:25 PM
Adaptable: Right there is a FANTASTICALLY good trait, at least in my opinion.

As in, it makes kobolds worth playing, or as in, it breaks them?


Thinking about it again, I suppose if the Sivence were swamp dwellers they could reasonably have both Brachiation and Swim speeds.

They are denizens of the swamps and jungles.

The Glyphstone
2005-07-16, 06:54 AM
It makes them definitely worth playing. Combined with all the other cool stuff, potentially gamebreaking. I mean, other than the stat decreases, the only penalty that actually matters is the -4 vs. fear - not a lot of players take full advantage of Intimidate/Diplomacy.

Any other race gets stat boosts at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. That totals +5 to any stat(s). A Kobold would get boosts at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18, for 6 in all. So I guess it's not too bad, but still very good. I guess it's like gnomes, they've got special abilities up the wazoo and don't have any LA.

What might make it slightly more balanced, IMHO, would be instead of just increasing ability score boots, swap it for feats:
Adaptable: Kobolds can adapt quickly to their environment, but are slower to learn new tricks. They gain an ability score boost every 3 levels (instead of 4) but recieve a new feat every 4 levels (instead of 3).

Orran
2008-09-02, 05:54 AM
Let's compare the Kobolds to halflings:

Basics:
Both small size.
Kobold: 30ft movement, 60ft darkvision
Halfling 20ft movement, average vision


Stats:
The same but the kobold also gets -2 con

Skills:
Halfling:
climb, jump, move silently, listen (all +2)
Kobold:
Trapmaking, craft to repair, gather information, mining, search (all +2)
Diplomacy and intimidate (-5)

Saving throws:
Halfling:
+1 to all, +2 v fear
Kobold:
+2 to all, +4 v disease and ingested poison, -4 v fear

The kobolds get -2 con for extra speed and darkvision but are fairly balanced, on top of all this they get.

+2 natural armor (giving them an AC 4 higher than a human)
Dodge (not a great feat but a useful prereq and is better than nothing)
Tough to starve
Adaptable
Race of destiny
Any favored class.

Compared to a halflings:
+1 with thrown weapons
Favored class rogue.

I think that these kobolds are more powerful than halflings, which isn't particularly fair. The change to adaptble suggested by glyphstone helps, but also I think they should lose dodge.

Kredine
2008-09-02, 05:58 AM
Gonna have to agree with Orran.

The Kobold race is too good.
Even if I do love kobolds in all thier scaly glory.