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Qing Guang
2011-08-04, 04:22 PM
So I'm in the middle of writing a campaign, and originally my third major race (aside from elves and humans) was going to be the Illumians. But as I was going along, I realized that while they're kind of neat, they don't work as a nation. Moreover, at least one major enemy was going to be a member of that third race, and (as someone who was raised in a homebrew ruleset where one can't multiclass except in specific combos which are treated as a straight-up class - Fighting-Thief, Magical Fighter, etc) it was a huge headache trying to take advantage of the Illumian racials (I also was beginning to see said character as fitting very well as a Summoner, and ofc that basically translates to No Multiclass Ever). They were also a little too close to the humans.

So I started browsing around, and stumbled upon the Genasi. With tweaking, I figured, they'd do well as a unified non-human race.

I've modified them a bit and converted them as best I could for PF (assigning the ability bonuses based on my own associations with each element, not any established rules). I also tried to add back in a bit of what I liked about the Illumians (namely, magical markings selected by the character that grant specific powers).

Baekyon Genasi are born with unmarked, pearly-white skin and an affinity for all energy. When they reach adulthood, they select one of the five recognized elements (Fire, Air, Water, Earth, or Magic) and go through a ritual during which their hands/forearms and feet/calves are marked with patterns of that element, imbuing them with it power. On their forehead they receive a special mark that grants additional abilities (I'm thinking three choices per element - these will support different playstyles; one of the Air ones might be useful for a thief, and another for a sorcerer; I haven't worked out the details yet). They are forever after attuned to that element.

Here are the tentative stats:

Universal
Size: Medium
Land Speed: 30 ft.
Outsider (native)
+2 to saving throws vs Genasiís energy type (for Ley, +2 to saving throws vs. mind-affecting)
Spell-Like Abilities: 2/day; caster level = hit dice; DC = 10 + spell level + highest magic ability modifier (Cha, Int, or Wis)

Air Genasi
+2 Cha, +2 Dex, -2 Con
Breathless
Spell-Like Ability: Color Spray

Earth Genasi
+2 Wis, +2 Con, -2 Dex
Stone Skin (+2 to AC)
Spell-Like Ability: Shield

Fire Genasi
+2 Cha, +2 Str, -2 Wis
Flaming Touch (+1/die damage with attacks)
Spell-Like Ability: Burning Hands

Ley Genasi
+2 Cha/Int/Wis (any two), -2 Str
Heightened Magic (Cast one extra spell per day of <Ĺ level of highest spell known. Level and spell are selected at any time for spontaneous casters, or otherwise during spell preparation.)
Racial Ability: Charm Person

Water Genasi
+2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Str
Amphibious, swim speed 30 ft. (ignore the Swim skill)
Spell-Like Ability: Obscuring Mist

I feel like the spell-abilities are imbalanced from one type to another, but I'm not sure what to substitute in. And while Breathless and Amphibious will be useful, as there is a water segment, I'm not sure those are comparable to the other three passives (I'm having a horrible time making Fire's passive feel significant without being overpowered). Should the head markings give one skill bonus or two? Moreover, are they significantly different enough from the Genasi that I should rename them?

ShiningStarling
2011-08-04, 10:48 PM
For the Fire passive, I would suggest resist fire 10. Nice to have.

This seems like a good concept, and they aren't too different to rename.

Two skill bonuses would be better than one. More standard.

As far as build choices i would go with the general guideline of:

Air: Rogue (flighty), Wizard (knowing), Monk (swift)
Earth: Cleric (devoted), Fighter (steadfast), Ranger (earthly)
Fire: Barbarian (free-ranging), Sorcerer (powerful, unpredictable), Bard (enjoyable, jubilative)
Ley: Wizard (magic, studious), Sorcerer (magic, inherent), Druid (magic, natural)
Water: Paladin (cleansing), Wizard (intelligent), Rogue (flowing, evasive)

Just for build choices, no idea what they would do. For Paladin in Water, I suggest my soon-to-be-released Paladin improvement. :smallcool:

Anyway, good luck, hope this helps.

Qing Guang
2011-08-04, 11:27 PM
Hmm. I hadn't thought about resistance (well, I contemplated giving all of them +5 versus their energy, but then there was the problem of the Ley ones, so I went with the saving throws instead). The main thing is that I think I want Fire to have a really aggressive feel, so that's why I was thinking a damage buff (maybe an attack and spell DC bonus instead?). But if I can't come up with something that works I'll probably fall back on the resistance.

The builds are pretty much how I was envisioning the different elements to play out, so I think I'll base the insignias (not a great name, but until I come up with a better term than "forehead-marks" it'll have to do) on that. One of the character limitations for the campaign is that everybody start out as a "spiritual" class (Cleric, Druid, Inquisitor, Monk, Oracle, Paladin), so I need to tailor a Fire insignia for one of those... maybe Oracle (I was going to go with Inquisitor, but they wouldn't be particularly happy with the Wis penalty).

Anathemata
2011-08-05, 02:55 AM
I love it. Magic Genasi are very cool.

Agreed about the powers, though. Pathfinder has a slight variation on the powers for each group (feather fall-air, burning hands-fire, magic stone-earth and hydraulic push-water) but I don't like those too much either. Perhaps a affinity for the spirits, fey, and monsters of a given type? Like a unique take on Wild Empathy?

Also, I think the Genasi name is just fine, unless you feel a burning need to make them seem more removed from the original.

Keep up the good work!

ShiningStarling
2011-08-05, 08:13 AM
The builds are pretty much how I was envisioning the different elements to play out, so I think I'll base the insignias (not a great name, but until I come up with a better term than "forehead-marks" it'll have to do) on that. One of the character limitations for the campaign is that everybody start out as a "spiritual" class (Cleric, Druid, Inquisitor, Monk, Oracle, Paladin), so I need to tailor a Fire insignia for one of those... maybe Oracle (I was going to go with Inquisitor, but they wouldn't be particularly happy with the Wis penalty).

I would go with "birth-rights" or "destiny sigils" for the insignia names. Their extraplanar nature given them a heightened feel of how their destiny will pan out, etc.

Also, I would consider Sorcerer fairly spiritual, but I see your point. Oracle probably best.

Qing Guang
2011-08-05, 02:02 PM
I was toying with some new ideas for the Fire passive and the one I ended up liking the best was either a bonus to Attack and Spell DC, or the ability to ignore some of the opponent's armor and spell resistances. I'm not sure which is better, or what the number should be for that (maybe +2?).

For the destiny sigils (I like that name - thanks ObliviMancer!) I've got a few concepts:
1) Skill bonuses. This was the initial idea but IMO it's a little boring and hard to make as specific as I would like. I think I'll end up giving Genasi a universal skill bonus (but other than Knowledge (Planes), which may be a little too conditional, I haven't thought of what it would be).
2) Something akin to the Illumian words, but without the nasty cross-class conditional.
3) Bonus feats. Examples I came up with were Dodge (Air sigil, aimed at Rogues), Weapon Finesse (Water sigil, aimed at Rogues), and Quicken Spell (Air sigil, aimed at Wizards).

Oh, and just to give an idea of the general power level of the other playable races: Humans and Half-Orcs are banned as PCs; all the other core races are viable (though Half-Elves are discouraged), as are converted Sea Kin, Spellscales, Dragonborn (as a template), Aasimar, and maybe Jaebrin (but if nobody picks one I think I'll drop them).

Qing Guang
2011-08-07, 01:40 AM
Tentative sigils, using the feat-based idea. I'm not sure whether I'm entirely happy with it. Some of them are much more class-specific than others. And yeah, I did skip a couple prereqs; generally it was because I was directing a playstyle that would then lead you to fulfill it later anyway (and with Fire Music, it was just a matter of "meh these guys are almost made of fire").

Unfortunately I haven't done much as an arcane spellcaster, so I'm not entirely sure how useful Metamagic feats actually are. Could somebody fill me in?

Air
Sigil of the Cyclone: Dodge
Sigil of the Winds: Quicken Spell
Sigil of the Sandstorm: Improved Unarmed Strike

Earth
Sigil of the Mountain: Saving Shield (APG)
Sigil of the Boulder: Warrior Priest (UM)
Sigil of the Cliff: Favored Defense (APG)

Fire
Sigil of the Ember: Abundant Revelations (UM)
Sigil of the Pyre: Spontaneous Metafocus (UM)
Sigil of the Wildfire: Fire Music? (or Spellsong?) (UM/UM)

Ley
Sigil of Power: Maximize Spell
Sigil of Instinct: Natural Spell
Sigil of Duality (Focus?): Versatile Channeler? (Selective Channeling?) (UM/Core)

Water
Sigil of the River: Extra Channel
Sigil of the Falls: Weapon Finesse
Sigil of the Sea: Widen Spell

Thoughts? Glaring balance issues? Idea is just bad and I should go back to the more Illumian-like racial bonuses?

ShiningStarling
2011-08-11, 12:53 PM
destiny sigils (I like that name - thanks ObliviMancer!).
You are quite welcome. :smallcool:


Fire
Sigil of the Ember: Abundant Revelations (UM)
Sigil of the Pyre: Spontaneous Metafocus (UM)
Sigil of the Wildfire: Fire Music? (or Spellsong?) (UM/UM)
I would suggest Empower spell for Wildfire and Explosive spell for Pyre, since it looks like these are faily magic-related sigils. Keep it up, good stuff!