PDA

View Full Version : Cerian [Homebrew Race, D&D 3.5E]



AlistairThorne
2009-11-05, 09:30 PM
Cerian [Race]

Fluff
The powerful Cerian race is generally viewed as the undisputed masters of espionage and intrigue. Their Dreamers and Conduits leverage their natural advantages, forming the basis of their powerful Mageocracy. Although many Gray Elves are capable of competing directly with the Cerians, and do so at all levels of the Mageocracy. Few other races have any representatives amongst the Quorum.

Most races consider the Cerians arrogant individualists who meddle where they are not wanted. Few Cerians live outside their heavily forested homeland. Those that do, usually do so because they believe that the removal of tyrants and other evil forces is more important than their lives.

Appearance
Cerians appear almost human. However, the strange black flecks in the whites of their eyes as well as their universally silver eye color makes them stand out. Most Cerians have unusual hair colors by human standards, such as purple or crimson. All Cerians have pale grey skin that never tans further setting them apart from their fellow humans. However, with the right makeup and herbal brews they can disguise themselves as child or teenage humans.

Stats

+2 Wisdom, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma
Small size. +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ĺ those of Medium characters.
A Cerianís base land speed is 20 feet.
Pass without Trace (Su): A Cerian has the innate ability to use pass without trace (self only, as a free action) as the spell cast by a druid of the Cerianís class levels. At will.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by Cerians. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
Darkvision out to 120 feet
Low-light vision out to 120 feet.
Telepathy out to 120 feet.
Immune to all Divinations intended to gather information about a Cerian except for those used to pierce Illusions.
+4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. +8 racial bonus to disguise themselves as children or young teenage humans.
Automatic Languages: Common, Cerian, and Sylvan
Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Goblin, Orc, Elven.
Favored Class: Rogue.
Level Adjustment: +2

Temotei
2009-11-05, 11:22 PM
How many times per day can you use Pass Without Trace? At will?

AlistairThorne
2009-11-05, 11:51 PM
How many times per day can you use Pass Without Trace? At will?

Yes, sorry taht wasn't clear.

Teutonic Knight
2009-11-06, 12:09 AM
What's the benefit of having both low-light and darkvision? Besides seeing in color in low light.

Solaris
2009-11-06, 12:55 AM
What's the benefit of having both low-light and darkvision? Besides seeing in color in low light.

That's pretty much it.

Hm. Might want to consider the size modifiers for being Small, too: -2 Str, +2 Dex.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-06, 01:12 AM
That's pretty much it.

Hm. Might want to consider the size modifiers for being Small, too: -2 Str, +2 Dex.
I don't want to improve it for spellcasters anymore than it already is.

@Teutonic
That is it.

Krazddndfreek
2009-11-06, 01:15 AM
might wanna just give it the penalty to strength though, because constant Mind Blank is a bit strong. So is telepathy and some of the other nice things this race has.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-06, 01:32 AM
might wanna just give it the penalty to strength though, because constant Mind Blank is a bit strong. So is telepathy and some of the other nice things this race has.

You may be right.

Just as a caster-oriented race...-2 to str is a 'meh who cares' penalty. I didn't want to penalise non-casters for taking it.

deuxhero
2009-11-06, 10:18 PM
Fluff:
Ughh, sterotypes are the first line. Why must every race be so pidgeonholed? If it was any real race the book would be yanked/post would be moded. Almost every race does this.

After that they are basicly elfs (arrogant, forest dwelling) , a race I already can't stand.


Crunch:two permanent spells (one 1st level, the other 8th) that say "sorry, your invesetmet in tracking/enchantment? worthless", +2 all mental stats, great visson, small size. Way more that +2 LA.

Solaris
2009-11-07, 06:01 AM
Fluff:
Ughh, stereotypes are the first line. Why must every race be so pigeonholed? If it was any real race the book would be yanked/post would be modded. Almost every race does this.

After that they are basically elfs (arrogant, forest dwelling) , a race I already can't stand.

And I can't understand people mistaking someone posting something in the homebrew forum to mean they want to hear you say you don't like what they made. There. We're all confused now. I've seen plenty of threads where I thought it was total crap. You know what I did? I kept my mouth shut and I walked away. It's just plain mean-spirited to trundle on into a thread and gripe about the fluff of a homebrew race.


Crunch:two permanent spells (one 1st level, the other 8th) that say "sorry, your investment in tracking/enchantment? worthless", +2 all mental stats, great vision, small size. Way more that +2 LA.

And for the other bajillion builds that aren't so focused on Track and divinations..? I'm just not seeing the "Way more than +2".
What does Pass Without Trace really get the race? "You can't follow me" is about the sum of it. You'd have an argument for Mind Blank, as immunity to mind-affecting and divinations is really something, but it's worth - at most - a +1 LA with some favorable stats. The great vision? Vision? They had better arguments with the telepathy being worth something. Darkvision 120 ft and low-light vision is a whole lot like what the drow have, and the drow get some pretty comparable stuff to this guy. Small size, after all, is an effective +2 Dex, while SR is comparable to the Mind Blank. SR is more general but fallible, Mind Blank is more specialized. With a +2 LA, that helps counteract the unbalanced boosts to the mental abilities, as LA really hurts casters. Don't forget, the increase in cost between LAs isn't as simple as "One +1 plus one +1 equals one +2".

I still think it should get -2 Strength, if only because of the size.

deuxhero
2009-11-07, 10:15 AM
Hard to improve if you don't know what's wrong.

Golden-Esque
2009-11-07, 11:11 AM
Stats

+2 Wisdom, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma
Small size. +1 bonus to Armor Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits ĺ those of Medium characters.
A Cerianís base land speed is 20 feet.
Pass without Trace (Su): A Cerian has the innate ability to use pass without trace (self only, as a free action) as the spell cast by a druid of the Cerianís class levels. At will.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by Cerians. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
Darkvision out to 120 feet and low-light vision.
Telepathy out to 120 feet.
Immune to all Divinations intended to gather information about a Cerian except for those used to pierce Illusions.
Automatic Languages: Common, Cerian, and Elven Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Giant, Goblin, Orc.
+4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. +8 racial bonus to disguise themselves as children or young teenage humans.
Level Adjustment: +2


I'm not going to critique you on your fluff. That's your business and not mine :P.

Anyway, lets see.

Personally, I don't like that you've omitted the (+2 Dex, -2 Str) part of being Small. It'd be one thing if you took away something else, but those penalties are a core part of the size rules in 3.5 Edition. By omitting them without saying anything, most people are going to assume that you merely forgot about them.
I think your spell-like ability for Pass Without Trace would be better if you restricted it to something like (3 + Character's Level). Yeah, it's definitely not an OP Spell to have as a racial in most situations, but an annoyance is that a 1st Level Cerian is just as good at being unable to be found as a 20th Level one, which is bad design.
You should reword your Vision line to "Darkvision out to X and Low-Light Vision out to Y.
I'm not sure what your Telepathy trait does, but I have a sinking feeling in my gut that its a deal-breaker.
Change Automatic Languages (Elven) to Slyvan and make Elven a bonus language. Slyvan is the universal language of the Forest and you didn't provide any lore to explain why a Cerian would know Elven.
The bonuses to Hide and Move Silently should come before the Language Bonuses.
You don't have a Favored Class. Might I suggest Rogue?

AlistairThorne
2009-11-07, 01:04 PM
Fluff:
Ughh, sterotypes are the first line. Why must every race be so pidgeonholed? If it was any real race the book would be yanked/post would be moded. Almost every race does this.

It is for a game that plays to stereotypes.

We have 1984-style Paladins as the main antagonists. AKA 'Detect Evil = Thought Crime = Grab and/or kill you'



After that they are basicly elfs (arrogant, forest dwelling) , a race I already can't stand.

Yes.



Crunch:two permanent spells (one 1st level, the other 8th) that say "sorry, your invesetmet in tracking/enchantment? worthless", +2 all mental stats, great visson, small size. Way more that +2 LA.
You have no logical argument with this...hence my lack of caring. I've gone over this with someone else and it boiled down to 'DM fiat to fix WotC material'. So I won't repeat myself other than to say I thinky ou can build something better (at best, equal) with Draconic + God-Blooded of Vecna + Forest Gnome.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-07, 01:13 PM
I'm not going to critique you on your fluff. That's your business and not mine :P.

As you like. I don't mind people critiquing to their hearts content as long as I can understand the logic behind it.



Anyway, lets see.

Personally, I don't like that you've omitted the (+2 Dex, -2 Str) part of being Small. It'd be one thing if you took away something else, but those penalties are a core part of the size rules in 3.5 Edition. By omitting them without saying anything, most people are going to assume that you merely forgot about them.

I did not want to make the race stronger for casters and penalize non-casters who took it was why I made that decision.

I can understand why you think that way...but the Small Core races don't nesc. have the +2 to Dex.



I think your spell-like ability for Pass Without Trace would be better if you restricted it to something like (3 + Character's Level). Yeah, it's definitely not an OP Spell to have as a racial in most situations, but an annoyance is that a 1st Level Cerian is just as good at being unable to be found as a 20th Level one, which is bad design.

Perhaps you are correct. The races WotC gives Pass Without Trace with roughly the same flavor did it the way I did, hence my choice.



You should reword your Vision line to "Darkvision out to X and Low-Light Vision out to Y.

I will then.



I'm not sure what your Telepathy trait does, but I have a sinking feeling in my gut that its a deal-breaker.

Basically, you can talk to people mentally. That is it without feats which enhance that ability. With a feat called Mindsight you can detect what square invisible/concealed creatures are in if they aren't mindless.



Change Automatic Languages (Elven) to Slyvan and make Elven a bonus language. Slyvan is the universal language of the Forest and you didn't provide any lore to explain why a Cerian would know Elven.

Alright.



The bonuses to Hide and Move Silently should come before the Language Bonuses.

Alright.



You don't have a Favored Class. Might I suggest Rogue?

That is mainly 'cause it is a non-issue for the way I handle multi-classing. I shall add it tho.

deuxhero
2009-11-07, 02:36 PM
It is for a game that plays to stereotypes.

We have 1984-style Paladins as the main antagonists. AKA 'Detect Evil = Thought Crime = Grab and/or kill you'


You have no logical argument with this...hence my lack of caring. I've gone over this with someone else and it boiled down to 'DM fiat to fix WotC material'. So I won't repeat myself other than to say I thinky ou can build something better (at best, equal) with Draconic + God-Blooded of Vecna + Forest Gnome.

1.Ok, suits the game then.

2.How is noting you have a permanent 8th level spell as a race feature not a logical argument.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-07, 02:55 PM
1.Ok, suits the game then.

2.How is noting you have a permanent 8th level spell as a race feature not a logical argument.

So I won't repeat myself other than to say I think you can build something better (at best, equal) with Draconic + God-Blooded of Vecna + Forest Gnome.

Please go and read the God-Blooded of Vecna and all shall be revealed.

Solaris
2009-11-07, 05:06 PM
I'm not going to critique you on your fluff. That's your business and not mine :P.

Anyway, lets see.

Personally, I don't like that you've omitted the (+2 Dex, -2 Str) part of being Small. It'd be one thing if you took away something else, but those penalties are a core part of the size rules in 3.5 Edition. By omitting them without saying anything, most people are going to assume that you merely forgot about them.
I think your spell-like ability for Pass Without Trace would be better if you restricted it to something like (3 + Character's Level). Yeah, it's definitely not an OP Spell to have as a racial in most situations, but an annoyance is that a 1st Level Cerian is just as good at being unable to be found as a 20th Level one, which is bad design.
You should reword your Vision line to "Darkvision out to X and Low-Light Vision out to Y.


Well, it could be that they have an effective +2 Str, -2 Dex after size adjustments, but I don't think it really fits 'em for being like human children/teens - unless they're freakishly strong little waifs, anyhow.
After 3/day, you might as well allow it at will. At least, that's what I've found anyhow. You got a point about scaling, but...
Problem: Low-Light Vision doesn't have a stated range. It's simply "See twice as far as a human in conditions of poor illumination."


1.Ok, suits the game then.

2.How is noting you have a permanent 8th level spell as a race feature not a logical argument.

2. Because it's not. You need to do a run-through of why that specific 8th-level spell is such a game-breaker when, going by WotC-published material, it's something you can get at LA +1. If it were "Immunity to mind-affecting and divinations", would you honestly be reacting with the outrage that you are, or is this a knee-jerk reaction?

onthetown
2009-11-07, 05:07 PM
I, for one, love the fluff. It actually defies the usual stereotype of small characters being open and kind-hearted, and tall characters as the arrogant ones.

I can see why you wouldn't want to penalize non-casters, but I think something's gotta give with those ability boosts. I can see the logic behind the three boosts you've given, and since you don't want to penalize non-casters, what about -2 Constitution? It makes sense, IMO anyway, since they are small.

Love the race... have you posted the setting you're playing? It sounds very interesting.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-07, 05:25 PM
I, for one, love the fluff. It actually defies the usual stereotype of small characters being open and kind-hearted, and tall characters as the arrogant ones.

Yes, I dislike the idea that small creatures are kind-hearted little hobbits. :P



I can see why you wouldn't want to penalize non-casters, but I think something's gotta give with those ability boosts. I can see the logic behind the three boosts you've given, and since you don't want to penalize non-casters, what about -2 Constitution? It makes sense, IMO anyway, since they are small.

This is true.

I think a -2 Con penalty is likely to fall evenly against anyone not rushing to life as an Undead so that seems reasnoble.



Love the race... have you posted the setting you're playing? It sounds very interesting.
http://www.myth-weavers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=15043&tg=10681

It is a WIP but I've already posted the game-ad anyway.

Latronis
2009-11-08, 12:58 AM
Isn't the telepathy standard basically 100'? Just seems a bit odd to me. Though it kinda makes sense with the 120' darkvision

Golden-Esque
2009-11-08, 03:23 AM
I did not want to make the race stronger for casters and penalize non-casters who took it was why I made that decision.

Let me rephrase this, then. On average, the small races tend to be weaker then the larger ones. Both gnomes and halflings have the -2 penalty to Strength, so if you want to keep your LA +0, it might be a good idea to penalize Strength. It's not a huge middle finger to melee characters, as you can always focus on Dexterity and take Weapon Finesse, or just focus on archery. Also, a Dex / Str style fits your "they look like human children" concept very well, as children tend to be quicker and more limber then their adult counterparts, but physically weaker.


Perhaps you are correct. The races WotC gives Pass Without Trace with roughly the same flavor did it the way I did, hence my choice.
Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I'm just telling you what I would do :). You could also try {x + Ability Mod}. 1 + Charisma or Intelligence would be your best bet (Sorcerer/Wizard); and since your race has an inherent +2 to both abilities, you're automatically at 2 uses per day assuming you put a 10 or 11 in that ability score.



Basically, you can talk to people mentally. That is it without feats which enhance that ability. With a feat called Mindsight you can detect what square invisible/concealed creatures are in if they aren't mindless. How does it work in reverse? Can people without Telepathy communicate with a creature that does? That's a little nutty, and it might need some nerf bat swings, or else you can co-ordinate an entire legion's worth of attacks without a single word, in essence, as long as you're all within 100 feet of a Cerian (chain to one, chain to another, boom boom boom).


That is mainly 'cause it is a non-issue for the way I handle multi-classing. I shall add it tho. That's cool then. Just curious. A lot of times I put up my own work with references to my campaign setting or other works and people are like "WHAT?!?!!?!"

Solaris
2009-11-08, 01:39 PM
That's cool then. Just curious. A lot of times I put up my own work with references to my campaign setting or other works and people are like "WHAT?!?!!?!"

I know exactly how you feel.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-08, 04:10 PM
Let me rephrase this, then. On average, the small races tend to be weaker then the larger ones. Both gnomes and halflings have the -2 penalty to Strength, so if you want to keep your LA +0, it might be a good idea to penalize Strength. It's not a huge middle finger to melee characters, as you can always focus on Dexterity and take Weapon Finesse, or just focus on archery. Also, a Dex / Str style fits your "they look like human children" concept very well, as children tend to be quicker and more limber then their adult counterparts, but physically weaker.

Yes. But this LA +2, not LA +0. :P




Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I'm just telling you what I would do :). You could also try {x + Ability Mod}. 1 + Charisma or Intelligence would be your best bet (Sorcerer/Wizard); and since your race has an inherent +2 to both abilities, you're automatically at 2 uses per day assuming you put a 10 or 11 in that ability score.

True but I think I'll stick with the continuous. Saves on book keeping. :smallwink:



How does it work in reverse? Can people without Telepathy communicate with a creature that does? That's a little nutty, and it might need some nerf bat swings, or else you can co-ordinate an entire legion's worth of attacks without a single word, in essence, as long as you're all within 100 feet of a Cerian (chain to one, chain to another, boom boom boom).


http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#telepathy
I'd say no, RAW.

But you could do top-down control that way.



That's cool then. Just curious. A lot of times I put up my own work with references to my campaign setting or other works and people are like "WHAT?!?!!?!"
Heh.

Volos
2009-11-09, 05:15 PM
Your level adjustment is way off. With all those bonuses and no penalties, you would be looking at probably a +4 or +5 level adjustment. I'm not 100% on this, but you should look up the rules for level adjustment just in case... unless you like having your players having epic powerful sneaky people.

Solaris
2009-11-09, 08:45 PM
Your level adjustment is way off. With all those bonuses and no penalties, you would be looking at probably a +4 or +5 level adjustment. I'm not 100% on this, but you should look up the rules for level adjustment just in case... unless you like having your players having epic powerful sneaky people.

Compare it to a drow, then come back and tell him that again.

Milskidasith
2009-11-09, 08:59 PM
Compare it to a drow, then come back and tell him that again.

It's much stronger than a Drow; Drows get SR, which hurts their ability to be buffed, they aren't small (good for casters), and they get one less mental ability score increase. Plus, no immunity to mind affecting.

Still, relative to a lot of templates you can add this isn't all that amazing, especially since +2 to all mental stats doesn't help your spells per day much.

Solaris
2009-11-09, 10:57 PM
It's much stronger than a Drow; Drows get SR, which hurts their ability to be buffed, they aren't small (good for casters), and they get one less mental ability score increase. Plus, no immunity to mind affecting.

Still, relative to a lot of templates you can add this isn't all that amazing, especially since +2 to all mental stats doesn't help your spells per day much.

Yes, but the drow's SR is general protection whereas the cerians are protected against mind-affecting and divinations only (which, admittedly, is nothing to sneeze at). I'd take the immunity to mind-affecting over SR, sure, but they're still fairly comparable abilities. As you know, drow can voluntarily lower their SR as a standard action, enabling pre-battle buffs but not in-battle buffs. While they aren't small, they do get +2 Dex - something that helps compensate for the drow's larger size. They're much more on-par with each other if the Cerian gets the proposed -2 Con penalty.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-10, 12:46 AM
It's much stronger than a Drow; Drows get SR, which hurts their ability to be buffed, they aren't small (good for casters), and they get one less mental ability score increase. Plus, no immunity to mind affecting.

Still, relative to a lot of templates you can add this isn't all that amazing, especially since +2 to all mental stats doesn't help your spells per day much.

I was with you until you said SR hurts their ability to be buffed.



A creature can voluntarily lower its spell resistance. Doing so is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Once a creature lowers its resistance, it remains down until the creatureís next turn. At the beginning of the creatureís next turn, the creatureís spell resistance automatically returns unless the creature intentionally keeps it down (also a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity).


You can't buff them in combat...but if you are buffing in combat I must question your choice of tactics severly.

@LordWolfgang
The last person I pointed out my counter argument to, realised the only argument was for me to Rule 0 templates made by WotC. I pointed out that wasn't a valid argument.

Calling this LA +4 or +5 shows a lack of understanding.

Draconic God-Blooded of Vecna Forest Gnome

Go read what those do and tell me you think this should be +4 or +5. That is a +2 LA combo.

Milskidasith
2009-11-10, 12:49 AM
I was with you until you said SR hurts their ability to be buffed.



You can't buff them in combat...but if you are buffing in combat I must question your choice of tactics severly.

There are plenty of useful in combat buffs, unless you want DMM Persist on everything. Girallon's Blessing is one; 4:1 on power attack with 2.5x strength bonus or four brand new claw attacks for an animal is well worth a combat action even if you only take one full attack. There are other buffs that are just as useful, and plus Quickened lower level buffs don't hurt. Taking an extra standard action to apply round/level buffs is not a good feature.

Admiral Squish
2009-11-10, 01:42 AM
I'd make it so they are constantly under the effects of pass without trace, suppressed or resumed as a free action. The effect you're going for, just simpler.

Darkvision 120 is double the usual reach of darkvision. Why not just call it at darkvision 60?

Telepathy 120? Immunity to divination? +6 net MENTAL stat bonus? +1 to illusion DCs? This is just leaving itself WIDE for caster cheese. If you don't want LA, fine, just go for RHD, but this NEEDS something to balance it. It loses nothing and gets a bunch of mid-to-high power abilities and bonuses.

Temotei
2009-11-10, 01:48 AM
# Level Adjustment: +2

If you don't want LA, fine, just go for RHD, but this NEEDS something to balance it.

?

Anyways, I agree that a -2 penalty to constitution would make this better.

Admiral Squish
2009-11-10, 12:36 PM
?

Anyways, I agree that a -2 penalty to constitution would make this better.

I was referring to earlier when he mentioned that draconic god-born thing as citing how his LA was appropriate.

-2 con, -2 str, and a couple other penalties in various places. This needs some major limiting.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-10, 01:10 PM
There are plenty of useful in combat buffs, unless you want DMM Persist on everything. Girallon's Blessing is one; 4:1 on power attack with 2.5x strength bonus or four brand new claw attacks for an animal is well worth a combat action even if you only take one full attack. There are other buffs that are just as useful, and plus Quickened lower level buffs don't hurt. Taking an extra standard action to apply round/level buffs is not a good feature.

I pretty much Persist my buffs in an optimisation game. :P

But I could see someone wanting access to it.

But the Drow was always argued as a weak 2 LA which is why I kinda view it as a non-issue. :P Also SR 11+HD, can be broken with the Take 10 on CL check item due to the 2 LA.

@People who insist on rating this upward
I'm going to ignore you unless you provide me a logical argument why this Race is superior to the combination I just suggested. 'cause so far, no one has been able to do that.

I think you'll find, in overall power level, they are about equal. The only difference is, this has unified fluff.

Admiral Squish
2009-11-10, 02:49 PM
the difference is the above combination is a game-breaking design that was never intended to exist. This is SUPPOSED to be a player race. We're looking for middle-tier, not horrific pazuzu brokenness.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-10, 03:11 PM
the difference is the above combination is a game-breaking design that was never intended to exist. This is SUPPOSED to be a player race. We're looking for middle-tier, not horrific pazuzu brokenness.
I think are you confusing me as someone who uses DM fiat to bring down the overall power level of the game beyond preventing the absolutely broken options (e.g. Infinite Loops, Wish SLAs combined with Planar Binding).

This is intended for a game where that combination might exist.

Temotei
2009-11-10, 05:00 PM
I suppose it's your creation and your setting, so you will do what you will. Anyways, DMs/players can always change it slightly to make it less powerful if they see fit.

AlistairThorne
2009-11-10, 08:54 PM
I suppose it's your creation and your setting, so you will do what you will. Anyways, DMs/players can always change it slightly to make it less powerful if they see fit.

Essentially.

I just dislike arguments that are 'Rule 0 the combination that equals it'. :P