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Deadly
2005-08-12, 07:14 AM
I'm working on my own campaign setting, and need to detail the different races. Of the standard races I only have humans, elves and dwarves (which, except for dwarves, are quite different from the norm). In addition I have 3 special races, and it is mostly those I need some help with.

The first of those races were originally called Evarii, inspired by the name of their main deity. Since I removed that deity a long time ago, and since I really don't like that name anyway I really need a new. Unfortunatly I'm terrible at names, so any suggestions would be nice.

This race is the predominant race in this setting, and one of the 4 original races. Each of the 4 original races are tied to one of the 4 deities, and the Evarii are so tied to the deity of the sun. This is an important aspect of their being, it's not just their preffered deity.

Their appearance could be roughly described as half-elves with wings. They are slightly smaller and thinner than humans, their skin is light brown with a golden/red hue, and their hair is usually dark red or brown.

They are generally highly lawful. Like dwarves their society is strongly based on honor and duty, and just like dwarves they are masters of warfare. But where dwarves are strong and stout warriors, the Evarii are master tacticians and leaders, using intellect rather than raw strength to win a battle.

Their society is matriarchal, with the females ranking highest in just about everything.

Not surprisingly they have always maintained good relations with the dwarves, both because they complement each other very well in war, but also because they have always shared lands.

Being the first of the races to recover from the Dark Aeon (a dark and chaotic period that lasted thousands of years), the Evarii now try to unite the human race. The human race is still young, and most humans live as nomads and barbarians in the wild. Since it is believed that the humans are an offspring of the Evarii race, the Evarii hope to help the humans. Unfortunatly many humans mistakenly think the Evarii are trying to dominate them.

I'm not quite sure about their racial abilities and such, but this is what I have so far.

+2 int, +2 cha, -2 con : Master tacticians and leaders, but to allow flight their bodies are light and frail.

Speed : 30 ft, fly 90 ft

+2 to diplomacy and spot checks : Skilled diplomats and they have a keen sense of danger.

Weapon Focus with spears and shortspears : The spear is the favored weapon in the Evarii society, and everyone learn to use one effectively.

Favored Class : Fighter; I would say paladin, but I have changed it so that paladin is a prestige class in this setting. Most of those ranking high in the military multiclass to paladin when they reach a certain age however.

I would like to add some more things, but I consider flight a really big thing and don't want them to seem overpowered. Weapon Focus is also a big boon IMO. But on the other hand all the other races could be altered to balance this. Some ideas I had :

Bonus to saving throws against mind affecting effects, since they are raised to be highly loyal.

A slight resistance to piercing damage, countered by an equal susceptibility to bludgeoning damage. Using their ability to fly a lot when fighting, arrows are their greatest enemy so they might have developed some protection, but I imagine their bones to be hollow (like birds) so they break more easily.

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome.

Xvos
2005-08-12, 11:29 AM
As you've said flight is a really big deal as it allows a huge range of tatical options and allows you to bypass many traps and creatures that plague low level games. For that reason I would suggest dropping the +2 Cha and leaving it at that, I would aslo suggest only giving them weapon focus with Spears OR Short Spears, players choice, rather than both. A bonus to saving throws agains mind affeting would not be too amiss as long as it is only +1 or +2, any more would be excessive. Other than that I think they seem ok.

An Int bonus tells me they are likely to end up with quite a few fighters with combat experise and your also going to see a fair few arcane spellcasters/psions if you are using these classes due to the big boost this ability gives them, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip and flight, think of the possibilities if you give one of them a whip (15 foot reach)

As for names it depends on how you wish to construct them and what your languages are like (if you are constructing languages) or what the rest of their language is like for consistency.

Solinarii would fit with the feel of your previous name and also is clearly sun related.

Also consider if they have more than one name, are they perhaps called one thing by themselves and another by outsiders? If so perhaps outsiders might call them Hawk Elves or simply Birdmen because of their similarities in looks to elves and birds, both show a lack of understanding of their nature which you would expect from an exterior source who cannot pronounce or cannot be bothered to learn the species own name for itself.

Frojoe21
2005-08-12, 11:29 AM
That has a big, bold LEVEL ADJUSTMENT stamped on it. Unbalanced ability scores, free feats...Yep, thats a level adjustment alright. You may want to consider Raptorians from Races of wild, cause thats a little too overpowered.

Deadly
2005-08-12, 12:18 PM
Thanks for the comments.

I really want to keep both the int and cha bonus, but I agree it may be a good idea to balance it a bit. I though about adding a -2 to str but that really destroy the whole fighter idea. Maybe it could be balanced in some other way.

As for weapons, maybe I could say that they gain profiency with all kinds of spears (normal, long, short and javelin) and gain focus with just normal spear. Since just about every class can use spears anyway this might not be too overpowered.

I imagined a +1 to save vs mind. It's just supposed to be a minor detail, suggesting at their strict upbringing.

I would really like to avoid a level adjustment for any of the base races. Except for humans it should be easy to balance the classes to be equal in power.

As for names I imagine something similar to Tolkien's elven. I like Solinarii though, may just end up with something like that. Other suggestions are welcome ofcause.

Xvos
2005-08-12, 12:40 PM
That has a big, bold LEVEL ADJUSTMENT stamped on it. *Unbalanced ability scores, free feats...Yep, thats a level adjustment alright. *You may want to consider Raptorians from Races of wild, cause thats a little too overpowered.

Actually his scores aren't unbalanced accorsing to the DMG and Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes all get virtual 'free feats' and are ECL 0. Proficiency seems fair, as does the weapon focus on one, that I see as acceptable, if you want to balance them a bit more add the +1 against mind affecting and give them a further -2 con, makes them quite frail, but the ability to fly should more than make up for it.

Resistance to piercing damage I don't see, but low light vision perhaps, as they already have a spot bonus, it would add to the whole sharp eyed thing and coupled with the +2 Cha and +1 Saving throw bonus would nicely balance the -4 Con.

What is there maneuverability in flight, I would suggest no better than Good, perhaps less than that to prevent them hovering, also would suggest giving them a fly speed of 30, same as their ground speed, 60 tops.

Deadly
2005-08-12, 01:49 PM
I decided not to add low-light vision or darkvision because I don't see it fitting this race. The + to spot is more like a sixth sense and not really related to vision.

I just looked over the rules for flight, and I agree the speed should be lowered to 30. As for maneuverability I'm leaning towards Good, but I see your point about hovering. Have to wonder why there's only good or average and nothing in between. I would preffer Good but with no hovering.

I'm going to keep the -4 to con in mind, depends a lot on how the other races turn out.

So this is the result so far :

+2 int, +2 cha, -2 con

Speed : 30 ft, fly 30 ft (Good)

+2 to diplomacy and spot checks

+1 to saving throws against mind affecting effects

Profiency in spear, longspear, shortspear and javelin

Weapon Focus with spear

Favored Class : Fighter

Xvos
2005-08-12, 02:05 PM
That to me looks fair and not overpowered, some would argue that 2 pluses to mental stats are too much, I disagree especially with favoured class fighter.

Deadly
2005-08-12, 03:20 PM
Well, I'm quite satisfied about it too. I may end up changing some details but overall it's good. Ofcause I'm still open to suggestions.

The second race is the Jael, which I originally called "darklings" because I imagined them as underground halflings. I ended up with something completely different :)

Jaels are amphibian humanoids, able to breathe in both air and water. They are small, only about half the size of a human, and covered by very fine, black scales with a faint blue hue. They have no hair, very large black eyes, and webs between their toes and fingers. They also have the distinct ability to change the color of their scales, blending in with their surroundings.

Jaels are generally very neutral in every aspect. They just don't care that much about what happens outside their own communities. Most Jaels are True Neutral.

They live on the bank of rivers and lakes, usually near or in forests. They live in small, loose groups, never building actual villages or cities. Usually their homes are build around the base of trees, and always near water.

Jaels are also one of the 4 original races, tied to the deity of the moons (and water). They are mostly active at night.

These are the stats so far. They might need some tweaking and balancing.

Small humanoid, Amphibian Subtype

Speed : 30 ft, swim 30 ft (Good)

+2 dex, -2 str : Agile but weak, just think halflings.

+4 on hide checks. Can change the color of their scales to match the surroundings.

+2 to search and spot. Jaels have very keen visual senses

+2 to appraise. Jaels have a keen eye for valuable items.

Darkvision: Can see in the dark

Waterbreathing : Can breathe under water.

Favored class : Rogue

Adghar
2005-08-12, 03:54 PM
Actually his scores aren't unbalanced accorsing to the DMG


??? Con =/= Str; last I checked the only stat that called for 2 other stats for rebalancing was Str.

That AND free feat-like abilities AND both flying and land speeds(30 ft. good?!) is kind of asking to have a level adjustment, but it sounds as if all your available races are going to be strengthened anyway.

The Jael sounds okay, with lots of skill bonuses to out the flying race, but they still get a lot of spear bonuses AND an unbalanced stat layout, so you should either up the skill bonuses some more or add another stat bonus (Cha or perhaps Wis, maybe even extra Dex) Although if being small in your campaign would be beneficial, then maybe you just need another stat bonus.

Xvos
2005-08-12, 04:06 PM
??? Con =/= Str; last I checked the only stat that called for 2 other stats for rebalancing was Str.

That AND free feat-like abilities AND both flying and land speeds(30 ft. good?!) is kind of asking to have a level adjustment, but it sounds as if all your available races are going to be strengthened anyway.

The Jael sounds okay, with lots of skill bonuses to out the flying race, but they still get a lot of spear bonuses AND an unbalanced stat layout, so you should either up the skill bonuses some more or add another stat bonus (Cha or perhaps Wis, maybe even extra Dex) Although if being small in your campaign would be beneficial, then maybe you just need another stat bonus.

Dex calls for it too, I mixed it up with Con I knew there were two, but con is not it my bad.

Deadly
2005-08-12, 04:31 PM
Size follow the standard rules in my setting. Being small grants a +1 to AC, +1 to attack and +4 to hide, but can not use large weapons and can't carry as much as a larger creature. I consider that a bonus :)

An additional +2 to wisdom may be closest to my picture of this race. They are not overly intelligent or charismatic, but they do have keen senses and good perception. I just feel thats already covered by the skills.

Edit : Just remembered that halflings have a speed of only 20, so the Jael should naturally not have one of 30.

I'm quite new to D&D, i've never even played it, I just like to read the books and come up with stuff. I guess it's hard to remember rules when you never really use them ::)

Deadly
2005-08-13, 05:54 AM
I'm going to keep the Jael's +2 dex/-2 str and instead give the Evarii a -4 con. I hope that balances it out well enough.

Onward to the last of my custom races. This one is more complicated as it's basically one race with 4 subraces, and I have barely decided what they are exactly.

This one also needs a name, so any suggestions would be very appreciated. I'll call them EH for now.

The EH could be described as semi-elemental humanoids. They are not true elementals, nor are they half-elementals. Also, their shape and appearance is much like that of humans or elves, but not enough to say which one they have most in common with.

I imagine that they have a minor shapechanging ability. They can't change their shape completely, but they can change some features, like their face and such. However, this ability can never hide the fact that they are EH.

They are very rare, and most just wander around, sometimes in the company of elves who also wander around with no idea where they are going. Noone knows how they came to be, but some believe they are a bad sign and treat them as such. No matter how they came to be they are still a young race.

I'm having a hard time finding a favored class for them. I imagine either cleric, druid or sorcerer. Cleric and Druid are bad because some of them will likely have a penalty to wisdom. And I think having sorcerer as a favored class is a bit odd.

These are the stats so far, but they really need some tweaking, I'm far from satisfied with it right now.

Air

+2 dex, -2 wis : Agile and quick, but prone to rash actions

Shapechange: Can change appearance slightly. +4 to disguise.

+2 to saving throws against air effects

Darkvision

Earth

+2 str, +2 con, -2 dex, -2 int : Strong and Hardy, but slow and dim witted

Shapechange: Can change appearance slightly. +4 to disguise.

+2 to saving throws against earth effects

Darkvision

Fire

+2 cha, -2 str : Attractive and fascinating, but weak

Shapechange: Can change appearance slightly. +4 to disguise.

+2 to saving throws against fire effects

Darkvision

Water

+2 str, -2 wis : Strong but rash.

Shapechange: Can change appearance slightly. +4 to disguise.

+2 to saving throws against water effects

Darkvision

Ashes
2005-08-13, 08:43 AM
None of those are balanced. Every single ability adjustment is broken. Either in an overpowering or underpowering way.

Deadly
2005-08-13, 09:10 AM
None of those are balanced. Every single ability adjustment is broken. Either in an overpowering or underpowering way.

I know two of them are, but I can't see anything wrong with Earth or Fire.

Earth: Str need 2 others to balance, the same with dex, so they outweigh each other. The bonus to Con is balanced by the penalty to int.

Fire : I can see how this might be underpowered. However, this was on the assumption that favored class would be Sorcerer, and since sorcerers have little use for strength and much use for charisma I though it was fair. Ofcause, if FC doesn't end up being sorcerer I'll have to change it.

My biggest problem with those 4 are that I have a hard time imagining which scores they should have. Logically they should have a penalty to all mental abilities (as none of the elements are sentient), but that's just stupid.

If you have any suggestions I'm all ears.

Pop Goes the Weasel
2005-08-13, 12:54 PM
Are they more elemental that the gensai?
Also, for the Jaels, I would strongly consider adding a bonus mto swim checks.

Deadly
2005-08-13, 01:20 PM
Are they more elemental that the gensai?
Also, for the Jaels, I would strongly consider adding a bonus mto swim checks.

It's hard to say, but I think they would be more elemental than Genasi in a way, but not more powerful.

I might give the Jael a bonus to swim, but I didn't think it was needed. I gave them a swim speed to indicate that they are natural swimmers, not just good at it. Would a fish get a swim bonus?