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Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-06, 04:53 PM
I discovered Phanaton's the other day from their artwork, but couldn't find any stats for them so I thought I'd make my own. I'm a little out of my depth here as tiny playable races are rubbish at combat (but great for casters) yet these little fella's are clearly meant for melee. But I've tried to keep them useful, balanced, and true to the art whilst (hopefully) not making them too desirable for casters.

Here's the two images I've based this off (ones quite big so I've spoilered them separately)
http://www.hypersteve.com/Dragon130gallery2/images/phanaton.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_lpL870wV2A4/SHybkGE_MTI/AAAAAAAACMw/efpMR3jdCvw/s1600/scan0011.jpg
For those who can't see said images, Phanatons are basically a cross between a flying squirrel and a monkey.

Phanaton Racial Traits

-4 Strength, +4 Dexterity, and -4 Constitution: Phanaton are incredibly nimble and light and as such their bodies are very wiry.
Humanoid (Phanaton)
Tiny Size: As Tiny creatures, they receive +2 to hit, +2 AC, -8 grapple, +8 on Hide checks, but use smaller weapons than humans and their lifting and carrying capacity is 1/2 what a Medium-size character with the same Strength carries. They also have no reach (see Tail Grip for exception).
Speed: 10' (2 squares); Climb 10'.
Low-Light Vision: Phanaton can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.
Natural Weapons: 1 bite (1d3)
Climb Speed: Phanaton are natural born climbers and have a +8 racial bonus on Balance and Climb checks. They can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. They may use their Dexterity modifier instead of their Strength modifier for Climb checks.
Gliding: Able to glide with speed 20 & Average maneuverability as long as they descends 5 for each 20 of forward movement. Can never hover, even if maneuverability improves and cannot glide while carrying a Medium or heavier load. In addition, due to their body mass and shape a Phanaton takes no fall damage unless they are in a medium or heavier load in which case they take a maximum fall damage of 1d6, regardless of distance fallen.
Bouncy: A Phanaton does not take penalties to Jump checks due to land speed, they may use their Dexterity modifier for Jump checks instead of Strength modifier. Also during each Move action a Phanaton makes they may make a single free Jump check at any point for additional movement. This free Jump check is always considered to have a running start and any distance moved during the jump is not counted against the normal maximum movement for that movement. Otherwise treat this Jump check as you would any other.
Tail Grip: Phanaton have fully prehensile tails and as such can manipulate or hold objects with them. Extensive training allows Phanoton's to wield a light slashing weapon they are proficient with in their tail and attack with it as if it were a secondary natural weapon. This attack is considered to have 5ft reach with damage and critical range equal to that of the weapon carried and always uses dexterity for hit and damage instead of strength.
Unusual bodyshape: Phanatons patagium and light body frame makes it hard to fit armour in an effective way, as such any armour made for a Phanaton costs double what it would normally do. Phanatons also always suffer from 10% Arcane Spell Failure in addition to any armour they are wearing due to their patagium making it harder to make some somantic gestures correctly.
Favored Class: Swordsage (or Rogue if not using ToB)
Level Adjustment: +0


So, what do you think, balanced? Viable melee combatant (if a little unorthodox in its tactics)? Still too good for casters? Or just asking for jumpomancer abuse? =(

Temotei
2010-01-06, 05:45 PM
10' speed? :smallannoyed:

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-06, 05:49 PM
10 speed + a horizontal jump for extra movement (ignoring penalties for your low speed).

On average, this thing has a speed of 20 feet without ranks in jump.

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-06, 05:51 PM
10' speed? :smallannoyed:

Well they are Tiny don't forget, they get most of their movement from their Bouncy ability, which lets them Jump during any Move action.

This ability coupled with the lack of Jump penalty due to land speed (would be -12 otherwise), it being considered a running start and them being able to use dex instead of str means they have quite a good land speed in actuality.

At level one, even without any ranks in Jump, they're moving a minimum of 15ft for each movement and a max of 30ft, 35ft if they put 1 rank in Jump. By later levels they should be able to easily out run human consistently and avoid difficult terrain much easier than a human walking would etc.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-06, 05:54 PM
Minimum 10 feet, actually.

If you have at least 14 Dex before racial adjustments, though (which is certain to be common), than what you say is true.

Temotei
2010-01-06, 05:58 PM
This would be fun for an adventure in a jungle or forest, for obvious reasons. Or a sky campaign! :smallamused:

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-06, 06:21 PM
Minimum 10 feet, actually.

If you have at least 14 Dex before racial adjustments, though (which is certain to be common), than what you say is true.

Ah good point actually, I was adding a +2 to jump that it use to have (but have since removed). Either way you can move much further than 10ft due to the free jump ability during movement.


This would be fun for an adventure in a jungle or forest, for obvious reasons. Or a sky campaign! :smallamused:

Yeah, they're meant to be well suited to forest life, but equally they'd work very well in an urban setting due to being able to scamper along roof tops and clear gaps easily. Sky campaigns may be quite good too, if nothing else due to the inability to die whilst falling the handy ability to glide over to other ships etc even if they cant actually fully fly.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-06, 06:32 PM
Also fun in a seafaring campaign. Climb the masts and glide onto an eneny ship. :smallbiggrin:

Temotei
2010-01-06, 06:42 PM
This calls for a pirate campaign. I wouldn't mind having all of the PCs as phanatons. :smallamused:

Only if the OP starts it though. :smalltongue:

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-06, 06:43 PM
Also fun in a seafaring campaign. Climb the masts and glide onto an eneny ship. :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, and then bounce around the rigging to stay out of danger whilst fighting. So... they're basically fun in any setting! :biggrin:

Just ensure you pick up Underfoot Combat and Confound the Big Folk as soon as possible and they're pretty potent fighters considering Medium creatures are two larger than Tiny and thus count for all of those abilities.

Although the -4 con hurts a lot, I'm still a little concerned about that, but they do have a lot of other interesting abilities at their disposal and are clearly geared for more sudden ambushes and then fleeing out of combat range.


This calls for a pirate campaign. I wouldn't mind having all of the PCs as phanatons. :smallamused:

Only if the OP starts it though. :smalltongue:

Woo, I do love pirates! I would DM but I'm currently running a different campaign atm where these critters are about to be encountered living in some dense forests/swamps. Although I might have a band of them strike out to the seas near by as pirate accomplices :smallwink:

Do you have any critiques about any element of the build though, or have I got it well balanced already?

Temotei
2010-01-06, 06:46 PM
Yeah, and then bounce around the rigging to stay out of danger whilst fighting. So... they're basically fun in any setting! :biggrin:

Just ensure you pick up Underfoot Combat and Confound the Big Folk as soon as possible and they're pretty potent fighters considering Medium creatures are two larger than Tiny and thus count for all of those abilities.

Although the -4 con hurts a lot, I'm still a little concerned about that, but they do have a lot of other interesting abilities at their disposal and are clearly geared for more sudden ambushes and then fleeing out of combat range.

Do you have any critiques about any element of the build though, or have I got it well balanced already?

I just noticed you have a separate Climb bonus from the climb speed. Is that intentional? It's the same thing, just written out.

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-06, 06:49 PM
I just noticed you have a separate Climb bonus from the climb speed. Is that intentional? It's the same thing, just written out.

No, its not separate, its just spelt out for ease, like all the bonuses for being Tiny are. It just looked neater on its own line rather than on the speed line. Besides, it can't be in addition to the climb speed bonus as they're both racial bonuses so wouldn't stack. I'll edit it to make it clearer now though.

Temotei
2010-01-06, 06:57 PM
No, its not separate, its just spelt out for ease, like all the bonuses for being Tiny are. It just looked neater on its own line rather than on the speed line. Besides, it can't be in addition to the climb speed bonus as they're both racial bonuses so wouldn't stack. I'll edit it to make it clearer now though.

I never said they stacked. I was just wondering if you intentionally did that. :smallwink:

Latronis
2010-01-06, 11:30 PM
I must say: Still too good for casters.

Temotei
2010-01-06, 11:40 PM
I must say: Still too good for casters.

Explain yourself, sir!

Although, reduce person could help with them.

Latronis
2010-01-06, 11:47 PM
Explain yourself, sir!

Although, reduce person could help with them.

Well for starters they are tiny, and arn't even overly restricted movement wise for being tiny.

Big dex bonus and dex based climb checks with a climb speed and tiny size also gives them amazing positioning ability before things like flight come into play.

and although the con hit hurts a little they don't really have any bad for a caster, so the tiny guys are just better for casters than something larger without specific caster bonuses

Temotei
2010-01-06, 11:51 PM
Well for starters they are tiny, and arn't even overly restricted movement wise for being tiny.

Big dex bonus and dex based climb checks with a climb speed and tiny size also gives them amazing positioning ability before things like flight come into play.

and although the con hit hurts a little they don't really have any bad for a caster, so the tiny guys are just better for casters than something larger without specific caster bonuses

They also get 10% spell failure.

Latronis
2010-01-06, 11:56 PM
They also get 10% spell failure.

oh

i completely overlooked that.

I was all unusual body shape... armour costs lots... wizards dont care >_<

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-07, 04:23 AM
Well for starters they are tiny, and arn't even overly restricted movement wise for being tiny.

Big dex bonus and dex based climb checks with a climb speed and tiny size also gives them amazing positioning ability before things like flight come into play.

and although the con hit hurts a little they don't really have any bad for a caster, so the tiny guys are just better for casters than something larger without specific caster bonuses

Well restricting their movement hurts casters and fighters alike, so can't really help that. The climb and climb speed as you say only really aid before they get flight anyway, so a minor low level buff which is meaningless in endgame play for casters again isn't too concerning.

The con is a big turn off for all classes sadly, but it does really put low level casters on edge as they have much lower hit dice. And as pointed out by Temotei221 they also get 10% ASF naturally (which yes doesn't cover all magic, nor does it cover all spells even, but is a clear negative for casters),

I could throw a penalty to a caster stat, but any mental stat is a caster stat so it'd only restrict some of them... and frankly, I've no idea how to make them more balanced so they're still able to be viable fighters but not overpowered casters. If you've any suggestions, I'm more than happy to hear them :smallsmile:


I was all unusual body shape... armour costs lots... wizards dont care >_<

Also, due to them being Tiny, and thus armour costing 1/2 naturally. Armour costs the same as it would for a medium character. So it's not a real fault in comparison to a medium (or small) race, its just not a perk anymore.

In theory you could still wear normal armour, but then you'd lose half of your abilities (like gliding and bouncy as they need your patagium unrestrained). But yeah, that ability is basically a deterrent to casters looking for an easy ride due to the size of the race (and thus losing out on the cool wielding of blades in your tail whilst jumping on people look).

Latronis
2010-01-07, 04:44 AM
well the ASF is a drawback, actually that's probably even a bigger turn off than a wizard with a racial intelligence penalty. Though it is odd. If there were any wizardry tradition amoungst them they would learn how to cast with their tails or something. Like any other spellcasting race without hands.

Owrtho
2010-01-07, 04:52 AM
I expect that they don't actually have any of their own casters normally, thus any that wish to learn must do so from other races, and as such do a worse job as they have different body types.

Owrtho

Latronis
2010-01-07, 05:28 AM
I expect that they don't actually have any of their own casters normally, thus any that wish to learn must do so from other races, and as such do a worse job as they have different body types.

Owrtho

If that's the case then they probably shouldn't have any at all :smalltongue:

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-07, 10:22 AM
I expect that they don't actually have any of their own casters normally, thus any that wish to learn must do so from other races, and as such do a worse job as they have different body types.


If that's the case then they probably shouldn't have any at all :smalltongue:

This was somewhat my thinking behind it, they can still be a druids or rangers which are befitting to their flavour, or clerics and paladins (which still work to an extend) as arcane spell failure doesn't effect their ability to cast. I've also never seen a race in 3rd edition restrict class choices to that degree and for good reason too, its harder for them, but not impossible.

If you can think of something else which makes them less desirable for casters or at least balances the benefits from being tiny for casters without reducing their ability to be a fighter then I'll use that instead.

paddyfool
2010-01-07, 10:32 AM
Hm. No arcane caster would touch them, which rules out wizards, sorcerors, and somewhat counts against bards.

Most other classes would be very leary of that Con... but with a starting Con of 14, say, you only go down to 10, which isn't so bad for some. Plus the tail is nice for classes like Rogue who can add on damage to every attack, and +8 to hide/move silently is good for them too... so yeah, this would make a fine little sneaky Rogue, even if you will be sneaking weeeewwwy swwwwooowwwy. Or maybe Rogue/Swashbuckler, with all that bounding around. Probably best for rather silly campaigns, but great fun in them.

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-07, 10:49 AM
Hm. No arcane caster would touch them, which rules out wizards, sorcerors, and somewhat counts against bards.

Well I don't want to fully exclude them, I just don't want them to benefit from the clear boons being Tiny is to casters without having to pay for it somehow. Sadly, its hard to get casters to pay for anything without reducing CL, which often means LA which sucks even more for fighters. :smallmad:


Most other classes would be very leary of that Con... but with a starting Con of 14, say, you only go down to 10, which isn't so bad for some. Plus the tail is nice for classes like Rogue who can add on damage to every attack, and +8 to hide/move silently is good for them too... so yeah, this would make a fine little sneaky Rogue, even if you will be sneaking weeeewwwy swwwwooowwwy. Or maybe Rogue/Swashbuckler, with all that bounding around. Probably best for rather silly campaigns, but great fun in them.

Well they are meant to be quite good as rogues (as they look the type). Although they could still move silently whilst using their free jump during movement (5ft move then jump which doesn't count against movement so have still technically moved at only half speed thus no penalty) so they can probably move quicker than most rogues. They also work quite well for archers of any sort due to the dex boost, so long as you don't mind not having any Str bonus for extra damage.

I'll admit they do look more like comic relief due to size, cuteness and their ability to wield blades in their tails (despite how awesome that is) - ultimately they fall foul to the ewok syndrome... but that's no reason to omit them from serious games, you just have to be careful in how you include them.

dsmiles
2010-01-07, 11:42 AM
IMHO, Str and Con penalties do not a melee combatant make. I can see this being the sneaky, dagger-chucking (or hand crossbow-shooting)rogue, though.

Temotei
2010-01-07, 11:45 PM
The phanaton are on Crystal Keep under races. They're Small with +2 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con, some skill bonuses, low-light vision, a natural attack, gliding, and +1 on saves when in forests.

Reaper_Monkey
2010-01-08, 06:20 AM
The phanaton are on Crystal Keep under races. They're Small with +2 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Con, some skill bonuses, low-light vision, a natural attack, gliding, and +1 on saves when in forests.

Huh, so there is... but it doesn't seem to say how they wield daggers in their tails :smallfrown: Which is clearly a part of who they are what with the artwork for them.

I guess making them Small instead of Tiny would solve a lot of the movement issues and make them less desirable for casters due to lower stats. Perhaps giving them slight build to make them still able to get away with some of the beneficial Tiny properties (namely hide and squeezing rules).

I'll see if making them Small helps any, I was working on making them a paragon class to move some of the power into class levels which would stack with rogue/swordsage and thus withhold them from casters, but I'll see how this goes. Thanks for the tip off. :smallsmile:

Temotei
2010-01-18, 12:51 AM
Huh, so there is... but it doesn't seem to say how they wield daggers in their tails :smallfrown: Which is clearly a part of who they are what with the artwork for them.

I guess making them Small instead of Tiny would solve a lot of the movement issues and make them less desirable for casters due to lower stats. Perhaps giving them slight build to make them still able to get away with some of the beneficial Tiny properties (namely hide and squeezing rules).

I'll see if making them Small helps any, I was working on making them a paragon class to move some of the power into class levels which would stack with rogue/swordsage and thus withhold them from casters, but I'll see how this goes. Thanks for the tip off. :smallsmile:

You're welcome. I'm still inspired to start a sea campaign with this race as the staple character race. That would be sweet.

I'm not going to though. Too much stuff. Unless someone else started it. Then...maybe. :smalltongue:

Flickerdart
2010-01-18, 01:00 AM
The real question is: can you shoot these guys out of catapults?

Temotei
2010-01-18, 01:02 AM
The real question is: can you shoot these guys out of catapults?

Totally. :smallbiggrin:

Glide put to the test!