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Magicyop
2011-08-05, 06:17 PM
Kailnor

The Kailnor are a proud race of warriors, a humanoid race which is few in number but fearsome in reputation. The Kailnor like to say that a single Kailnor warrior is worth a hundred humans in combat. And combat, such as it is, is absolutely the most important thing to the Kailnor.

That's not to say that they are bloodthirsty, though some invariably may be, the Kailnor are not a people who enjoy killing or causing harm for no reason. Rather, it is the idea and practice of combat which they obsess over. They are mostly content to keep away from the other races, practicing many hours each day fighting each other simply to hone their skills. The legendary form and style of the Kailnor is a secret many other races would give their arm to learn.

Personality: Kailnor are always respectful of a great warrior, even if they are an enemy. To them, mastery of melee combat is tantamount to all else. There have been many recorded cases of Kailnor swearing allegiance to another after watching them fight, simply out of respect and desire to learn. Their wisdom is well-known, especially in matters of combat. Though they relish combat so much, they are often slow to action, for to them any large scale combat is one which must be assessed and then planned intricately, before making a foolish move. They are mostly even tempered, though a Kailnor in a rage is a fearsome sight to behold.

Physical Description: The Kailnor have thick, bronzed skin, typically of a darker hue than most of the humanoid races. Though their skin tone varies, the typical skin tone is the dark color of rough clay. Though mostly humanoid in shape, it is very clear that they are not human. Their heads are sunken into their chests somewhat, with only the upper half of the skull protruding up, many speculate that this is to provide a harder to hit target. On each hand, they possess four fingers and two thumbs, giving them an exceptional control over the weapons they wield. Their legs are very thick, and their entire bodies are generally muscular. They stand slightly taller than a human on average, with the short ones averaging at around six feet tall and the tallest just reaching eight feet. However, only a fool would call a Kailnor a brute, they are masters of tactics and assuming them stupid is likely the last mistake an enemy will ever make.

Kailnorian Lands: Kailnor live underground, but they do not sequester themselves there. They dig expansive caverns, always fairly far from other civilization, though these caverns often have a constructed portion aboveground. Due to their ability to exist in extreme conditions, they often build these settlements in otherwise uninhabitable places, such as frozen arctics or scorching deserts. They usually consist of several beautifully crafted stone buildings aboveground, and massive soaring caverns below-ground. One never fills claustrophobic in a Kailnor cavern, they are always wide and open, and the sound of blades clashing always rings through them.

Language: Kailnor speak Common, but they are also trained from a young age in the lost language known as Kal'ho. Kal'ho is not a typical language, spoken vocally, but rather it is one which is transmitted in the flashing of a blade and the dance of a fight. One may "speak" Kal'ho either in combat or out of combat, and they may do it at the same time as they are speaking in common. Lying in Kal'ho is considered something which is difficult, and reprehensible. A warrior who speaks with his blade speaks from his heart. Any attempts to make a bluff check in Kal'ho take a -10 penalty. Only those who know Kal'ho are aware that any communication is going on at all.

Racial Benefits:

+2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Kailnor are physically fit and wise in the ways of combat, but their obsessiveness with the art of battle leaves little time for social niceties.
Medium Size: As Medium creatures, Kailnor have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Kailnor base land speed is 30 ft.
Sublime Way Mastery: Kailnor treat their initiator level, if they have one, as being one higher than it would otherwise normally be. This does not allow them to learn new maneuvers or higher levels of maneuvers, but simply effects those situations where initiator level is considered.
Personal Technique: Each Kailnor may choose one first level maneuver of any discipline, which they learn as their personal technique, even if they are not an initiator. This is one which has been honed since childhood, and they may recover it as a swift action in any round where they do not initiate it. For this maneuver, they treat their initiator level as if it is their character level (this does not include Sublime Way Mastery, see above.)
First Strike: Once per day, a Kailnor may initiate any maneuver they know as an immediate action. They stare their enemy down and see their next move, and quickly intercept it. This maneuver may interrupt any attack which is currently being resolved or has just been resolved.
Kailnor have a +1 natural armor bonus to AC, for their skin is thick and callused.
Kailnor have an extra thumb on each hand, this gives them a +2 against attempts to disarm them.
Kailnor care little for the conditions around them, and so they gain the ability to exist in nearly any environment. They always act as though they are under the effects of an Endure Elements spell.
Skill Bonuses: Kailnor gain a +3 racial bonus on all Martial Lore checks. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on intimidate, and a +2 racial bonus on the discipline skill of the discipline that their personal technique is.
Automatic Languages: Common and Kal'ho. (See above.)
Favored Classes: Warblade and Swordsage.


Perole

Peroles are a strange, swift race, who many other humanoids might regard as monsters. Their personal prowess in combat is very dangerous, and they are not above sinking to stealth and dirty tricks. To a Perole, the most important thing is winning. No Perole will ever enter any situation unless they are confident that they can win it. Though their tactics may pale beside that of some other races, they possess a certain genius for combat.

It is always good to treat any encounter with a Perole with suspicion. They are untrustworthy at best, and though they could make a powerful ally, each Perole has an individual agenda which it values above all else. In fact, this agenda is formed at a very young age, and a Perole never loses sight of it. Slights against a young Perole may cause them to seek vengeance for their entire lives.

Personality: Peroles are conniving creatures, willing to use any means to achieve their goals. Trusting a Perole is usually foolish, since advancing their own aims overrides most everything else. However, it is this idea that has led the Peroles to never claim a great place in history-- they find it hard to marshal and work together, since they take any opportunity to get ahead. They are usually stealthy, and content to stay that way. Most Peroles would cringe to be known personally, so those who have earned the friendship of a Perole must treasure it.

Physical Description: Peroles are mostly humanoid, but they have some very obvious differences. A Perole possesses four arms, two that sprout from each of their shoulders. The pairs are perfectly shaped so that if they wish, they may interlock the upper and lower pairs, which does not hide the fact that they have four arms, but makes it easier for them to move. Their jaws are pulled back slightly, and their teeth are slightly sharper than normal humanoid's. In their forehead, a Perole has a single sharp spine, which they can fire at their enemies. Their rubbery skin is tinted a very slight bluish hue, and their frame is wiry, but quick.

Perolean Lands: Peroles are native to swampy lands, however, they don't seem to be picky about where they live, and so whenever they manage to go to war, they always try to seize settlements intact, so it is common to find Peroles living in abandoned underground dwarf kingdoms, forested elf villages, and far flung halfling towns. A native Perole settlement is generally relatively hodgepodge, a mix of architectural styles, since individuality is something which is extremely important to Peroles.

Language: Peroles speak common, and their native tongue, Perolean. Perolean is a very guttural language, built of clicking of teeth and hissing. Though they are obviously humanoid, their multiple arms and the sound they make has led some to compare them with large insects, an image which they are very touchy about.

Racial Benefits:

+4 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Peroles are quick and agile, but their desire for individuality and victory leads them to make rash choices.
Medium Size: As Medium creatures, Peroles have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Four Arms: A Perole has four arms, and may wield weapons in each of them. However, the lower pair is weaker than the upper pair, and it takes a -2 penalty to any attack rolls made with the bottom pair.
Spine Cannon: A Perole has a sharp spine in their forehead, which they can fire on their enemies. This counts as a natural ranged weapon with a range increment of 100 ft., and deals damage as a dagger. They grow a new spine every six hours. They gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll with this weapon. They may attack with it as a swift action.
Sublime Way Command: Peroles possess remarkable command over the Sublime Way, and make it near impossible to avoid the effects of their attacks. The DC of any maneuver they possess is raised by one.
Discipline Focus: Peroles are very focused in their studies, and don't tend to study other disciplines much. They pick the one they are most skilled in and work at it profusely, hitting enemies with just one (admittedly powerful) technique. A Perole initiator chooses one discipline that they have access to. They gain a +2 bonus to the roll to use any maneuver of that discipline, and their initiator level counts as one higher.
Spine Strike: At 1st level, a Perole chooses one level 1 strike of the same discipline as their focus. The effects of that strike always apply to their spine attack.
Peroles are extremely quick, and jump out of their foes attacks with ease. They gain a +1 racial bonus on all reflex saves.
Skill Bonuses: Peroles are very stealthy, and gain a +2 racial bonus on both Move Silently and Hide checks.
Perole base land speed is 40 ft.
Automatic Languages: Common and Perolean.
Favored Classes: Swordsage.



Note: So, I was just thinking, many of the systems WotC has introduced have races that have some innate advantage in that system-- psionics, incarnum, etcetera. And yet, ToB, which is in my opinion one of the best systems they ever published, has no races associated with it. So I thought I'd make an attempt to fill the gap. This is to some extent a work in progress, the Kailnor have I think a fair number of cool facets but the flavor for the Peroles needs some developing. I also have some ideas for feats and and a third race, but I thought I'd gauge the community reaction so far. So, please, offer your comments. Thanks!

Wyntonian
2011-08-05, 06:26 PM
...I'm not seeing an LA on either of those. I'm no great balancer, but I'd say at least +1 for each, if not +2.

gkathellar
2011-08-05, 06:28 PM
It's a cool idea. A little wonky since the Sublime Way is learned, not usually inherent, but cool nonetheless. That said, I see two races that need a level adjustment and have no level adjustment.

Magicyop
2011-08-05, 06:30 PM
...I'm not seeing an LA on either of those. I'm no great balancer, but I'd say at least +1 for each, if not +2.

This is what I was worried about, and one of the reasons I wanted to get community feedback. I'd like to balance them as +0, like most player races, since giving them an LA restricts playability for most campaigns. For the Kailnor, I think they're fairly balanced, with the exception that they have a lot of positive of ability bonuses, and powerful build (maybe I should just remove powerful build?). Having four arms is a pretty major benefit for the Peroles by itself, and I noted that the Peroles I think need a lot more tweaking.

So, I guess what I'm asking is not for a suggested LA, but for some ways to balance them down to zero.

Howler Dagger
2011-08-05, 06:44 PM
at the very least i would tone down the ability score increases of the Kalinor to something like +2 Strength +2 Wisdom -2 Charisma.

gkathellar
2011-08-05, 06:46 PM
They have too much stuff. Both of them. What are you willing to give up?

Magicyop
2011-08-05, 06:57 PM
They have too much stuff. Both of them. What are you willing to give up?

I don't know, have you seen some of the PHB races? About half of them have a smorgasbord of assorted bonuses. I don't think these necessarily have more features, but perhaps the features they have are too powerful.

I'm thinking of removing Powerful Build from the Kailnor. It's not really necessary, their strength is demonstrated by the actual ability score increase. But really I'm willing to remove or tone down anything that is too powerful and that won't reduce the flavor of the races.

Speaking of ability score increases, as SheepInDisguise suggested, I'll likely remove the constitution bonus for the Kailnor.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-08-05, 07:55 PM
I don't know, have you seen some of the PHB races? About half of them have a smorgasbord of assorted bonuses. I don't think these necessarily have more features, but perhaps the features they have are too powerful.

You mean elves, dwarves, halflings, and gnomes? They get small bonuses against lots of things, and dwarves are the best PHB race for warriors, though humans might be tied with them.

Always knowing Wolf Fang Strike/Steel Wind/whatever is not small. Neither is powerful build, really good ability bonuses, or, at 16th level, being able to use Time Stands Still/Feral Death Blow/Strike of Perfect Clarity as an immediate action once per day. And they get even more stuff.

Peroles get four arms, a +2 bonus on all rolls with maneuvers of a certain discipline, 40 ft land speed, net ability gain of +2, and more.

Morph Bark
2011-08-05, 08:12 PM
Once I have slept I shall leave more in-depth commentary, but for now I will just say this is a great attempt and looks well-thought-out. I myself made a humanoid race a few years ago that had some ToB-ness, but deemed its execution a failure. This looks good.

Howler Dagger
2011-08-05, 09:08 PM
compare half-giants (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicRaces.htm#halfGiants) and Kalinor. HGs are inferior to Kalinor, and are a +1 LA race. Kalinors are som much better, so i would consider toning them down or slapping some LA on them. Maybe remove the NA bonus the the endure elements thing, and maybe give them a + to saving throws against environments.

Hiro Protagonest
2011-08-05, 09:17 PM
compare half-giants (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicRaces.htm#halfGiants) and Kalinor. HGs are inferior to Kalinor, and are a +1 LA race. Kalinors are som much better, so i would consider toning them down or slapping some LA on them. Maybe remove the NA bonus the the endure elements thing, and maybe give them a + to saving throws against environments.

I think the best way to measure their power is to compare a half-giant psychic warrior to a kailnor warblade or swordsage. And not a straight out fight between the two, but rather send both of them down the same dungeon, on parallel adventures.

Drachasor
2011-08-05, 10:08 PM
Kailnor
Racial Benefits:
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Kailnor are physically fit and wise in the ways of combat, but their obsessiveness with the art of battle leaves little time for social niceties.

Right here this is too much for an LA 0. Use the PHB races as a guideline here. Remove two of the +2 stats. Look at Half-Orcs, Strength is really, really good, especially for someone geared to be a warrior. Let's get rid of that.

I kept Constitution since that seems appropriate given their heartiness.


Powerful Build: Kailnor are strong and bulky, giving them many of the advantages that a larger creature would have. They gain the powerful build ability.

This pretty much has to go if you want to have any sort of Sublime Way stuff. It's too good for an LA 0 if it is going to have anything else (and arguably just too good in general, it gives a lot of bonuses).


Sublime Way Mastery: Kailnor treat their initiator level, if they have one, as being one higher than it would otherwise normally be. This does not allow them to learn new maneuvers or higher levels of maneuvers, but simply effects those situations where initiator level is considered.

This is nice, but fine.


Personal Technique: Each Kailnor may choose one first level maneuver of any discipline, which they learn as their personal technique, even if they are not an initiator. This is one which has been honed since childhood, and they may recover it as a swift action in any round where they do not initiate it. For this maneuver, they treat their initiator level as if it is their character level (this does not include Sublime Way Mastery, see above.)

This is really problematic. It's really good at first level. And not very good at 10th (though picking the right ability here can change that). It also doesn't mesh very well with how Martial Adepts work (e.g. Martial Study). It's arguably better than a feat though (e.g. better than Martial Study).

Perhaps:

Personal Technique: At first level, Kailnor may choose one first level maneuver to learn. If they have any levels in an initiator class, then they add this ability to their maneuvers known and use the recovery method of that class. If not, they may recover this ability as per a Warblade (a swift action followed by a standard action spent to do nothing or to make a melee attack). Their initiator level when using this ability is equal to their character level +1 (this includes the benefits Sublime Way Mastery).

At their 7th Character level and every odd level thereafter they may replace this ability with a new maneuver they meet the prerequisites for. Treat their initiator level as their Character Level - 4 for purposes of determining what maneuver they can learn (e.g. 2nd level maneuver or lower at 7th, 3rd at 9th, etc).*

This could possibly changed to Character Level - 2 or something.


First Strike: Once per day, a Kailnor may initiate any maneuver they know as an immediate action. They stare their enemy down and see their next move, and quickly intercept it. This maneuver may interrupt any attack which is currently being resolved or has just been resolved.

Too good. Way, way, way too good. This is LA +1 by itself (at least!). It has to go. Free better-than-quickened ability is insanely powerful.


Proud: A Kailnor does not back down from any conflict. A Kailnor will challenge any threat to their honor or companions, with words or blades, until the threat is removed or the Kailnor has died in the effort. A Kailnor attempting to retreat or flee from any conflict, not necessarily a combat, must make a DC 12 will save or be unable to.

And this is a messy, awkward ability. Enforcing a social custom like this is not good. Also, it is trivial at high levels. I think you should just remove it. This is purely a cultural note that an individual Kailnor may or may not follow. (Also, for a race of warriors not recognizing the importance of a tactical withdrawal is profoundly stupid. It would be more understandable for them to dislike retreating, but that's just me).


Kailnor have a +1 natural armor bonus to AC, for their skin is thick and callused.

This is another bonus that's really good. Off the top of my head I can't think of a race that's LA 0 and has +1 AC. There's probably one out there...one. It's another pretty huge bonus. Gotta go.


Kailnor have an extra thumb on each hand, this gives them a +2 against attempts to disarm them.

This is fine.


Kailnor care little for the conditions around them, and so they gain the ability to exist in nearly any environment. They always act as though they are under the effects of an Endure Elements spell.

This is fine, but I'd get rid of the spell reference. Just have:

Kailnor are hearty and suffer no harm from being in a hot or cold environment. They can exist comfortably in conditions between -50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to make Fortitude saves). Their equipment is likewise protected.*

Kailnor don't have any protection from fire or cold damage, nor are they protected against other environmental hazards such as smoke, lack of air, and so forth.

*99/100 this doesn't matter, and since they are just physically tough, it would be odd to include it.


Skill Bonuses: Kailnor gain a +3[+2] racial bonus on all Martial Lore checks. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on intimidate, and their discipline skill if they are an initiator. If they are not an initiator, they gain a +2 bonus on the skill of the discipline that their personal technique is.

I think that makes more sense (it's their personal focus after all). Seems ok to me like this.


Favored Classes: Warblade and Swordsage.

I think you should probably just pick one.

That took longer than I thought, I'll look at the other race later.

Edit: Putting it all together:

Kailnor
Racial Benefits:
+2 Constitution, -2 Charisma: Kailnor are physically fit and wise in the ways of combat, but their obsessiveness with the art of battle leaves little time for social niceties. [Note: This is actually really good, given how Charisma isn't that great]

Sublime Way Mastery: Kailnor treat their initiator level, if they have one, as being one higher than it would otherwise normally be. This does not allow them to learn new maneuvers or higher levels of maneuvers, but simply effects those situations where initiator level is considered.

Personal Technique: At first level, Kailnor may choose one first level maneuver to learn. If they have any levels in an initiator class, then they add this ability to their maneuvers known and use the recovery method of that class. If not, they may recover this ability as per a Warblade (a swift action followed by a standard action spent to do nothing or to make a melee attack). Their initiator level when using this ability is equal to their character level +1 (this includes the benefits Sublime Way Mastery).

At their 7th Character level and every odd level thereafter they may replace this ability with a new maneuver they meet the prerequisites for. Treat their initiator level as their Character Level - 4 for purposes of determining what maneuver they can learn (e.g. 2nd level maneuver or lower at 7th, 3rd at 9th, etc).

Extra Thumb: Kailnor have an extra thumb on each hand, this gives them a +2 against attempts to disarm them.

Endure Elements: Kailnor are hearty and suffer no harm from being in a hot or cold environment. They can exist comfortably in conditions between -50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to make Fortitude saves). Their equipment is likewise protected.*

Kailnor don't have any protection from fire or cold damage, nor are they protected against other environmental hazards such as smoke, lack of air, and so forth.

Skill Bonuses: Kailnor gain a +2 racial bonus on all Martial Lore checks. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on intimidate, they gain a +2 bonus on the skill of the discipline that their personal technique is.

Edit: Added Beta version. This might still be too powerful (though only slightly now).

Hiro Protagonest
2011-08-05, 10:10 PM
Right here this is too much for an LA 0. Use the PHB races as a guideline here. Remove at least one of the +2 stats. Look at Half-Orcs, Strength is really, really good, especially for someone geared to be a warrior. Let's get rid of that.

No. It's strong, definitely, but half-orcs are a subpar race.

Drachasor
2011-08-05, 10:21 PM
No. It's strong, definitely, but half-orcs are a subpar race.

Granted, but I don't think that's because of their ability mods...or well, it is perhaps because of their ability mods and then lack of much else.

Hmm, that reminds me, 3rd doesn't do +2 to two stats with a -2 to another. It's one of each typically.

Magicyop
2011-08-05, 11:34 PM
Okay, I decided to make some preliminary changes to the Kailnor.

Firstly, I removed Powerful Build. They don't really need it, it is fairly clear that they are strong even without it.

Secondly, I decided to remove one of the physical ability score bonuses. I debated for a while about which one, since I liked showing that the Kailnor were balanced physically, both hardy and strong, but I decided to change it to +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Cha. I may change that Str to Con in the future. The Wisdom bonus can't go, because without it, people might take a quick look and see the Kailnor like orcs- brutish and stupid. As I noted in the fluff, they are far from that. Yes, I know they still have more plusses than they have minuses, but who says that that can't work in a LA +0 race. I'm sure it's possible to balance it. Just because something hasn't been done doesn't mean that it can't be done.

Talya
2011-08-05, 11:41 PM
Hmm, that reminds me, 3rd doesn't do +2 to two stats with a -2 to another. It's one of each typically.

Faerun's Lesser Planetouched are generally considered to be balanced well against Humans and Strongheart Halflings (tells you how valuable that bonus feat is). Lesser Aasimar, as an example, get +2 wis, +2 cha (no penalty), while lesser Tieflings get +2 dex, +2 int, -2 cha. Both are LA +0.

Drachasor
2011-08-05, 11:54 PM
Faerun's Lesser Planetouched are generally considered to be balanced well against Humans and Strongheart Halflings (tells you how valuable that bonus feat is). Lesser Aasimar, as an example, get +2 wis, +2 cha (no penalty), while lesser Tieflings get +2 dex, +2 int, -2 cha. Both are LA +0.

Alright, I meant as a general rule though. Even with the modifications I made, they are still really good. Do you think they need another +2 bonus? (Err, in my version, that is, since even in the OP's they certainly don't...not if he wants LA 0).

Magicyop, you just can't keep First Strike. It is way, way, way too good. You could potentially completely change it into a flat initiative bonus though.

Also, with the changes I made, they look more like Dwarves than Orcs, so I think they'd be the race to compare them to. I think with the changes I made to Personal Technique, they give Dwarves a run for their money.

Magicyop
2011-08-06, 08:57 AM
Alright, I meant as a general rule though. Even with the modifications I made, they are still really good. Do you think they need another +2 bonus? (Err, in my version, that is, since even in the OP's they certainly don't...not if he wants LA 0).

Magicyop, you just can't keep First Strike. It is way, way, way too good. You could potentially completely change it into a flat initiative bonus though.

Also, with the changes I made, they look more like Dwarves than Orcs, so I think they'd be the race to compare them to. I think with the changes I made to Personal Technique, they give Dwarves a run for their money.

Perhaps you're overestimating how good immediate actions are. Yes, they're good, because they can interrupt a foe at the most crucial of times. But as a 1/day power, it's not exactly game breaking. Someone who can use immediate actions for basically everyone of their actions is overpowered. Using an immediate action every once in a while to stop an ally from dying, or something like that, is cool and cinematic. Yes, First Strike allows the initiator to play a crucial role once a day. To be frank, Counters are already pretty much immediate actions. Giving the ability to use a Strike instead, but once a day, is a slightly powerful trait, but not as game breaking as you seem to believe. And initiating a different stance as an immediate action, once a day? That's useful, but hardly powerful at all.

I guess my point is, immediate actions aren't an "I-Win" button. They're more like a once a day, "You-Don't-Win" button, to stop an enemy from doing something drastic. If the party is in bad shape, the enemy will likely beat them next turn anyway.

Let me be clear-- I'm not closed to making changes. I know that both of these races are on the powerful side. But I don't really want to strip it as barren as you have suggested. +1 AC, for example, isn't that major an advantage. Just because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean it shouldn't ever be done. That's what homebrewing is all about. Yes, at the early levels, it's a nice advantage to have. At the later levels, it should usually be inconsequential.

I am by no means done editing these, and they will be edited until they are more in the ballpark of LA +0.

Meanwhile, I am a bit concerned that no one has commented on the fluff thus far. What do you all think? Is Kal'ho a good idea or a stupid one? Should I expand it? Do I need to add in the other fluff passaged from the PHB, or are the major facets covered by what I have? All feedback is good feedback.

And thanks to everyone for giving back your opinions. Even if I don't agree with you, every piece of feedback helps me to adjust the races.

Runestar
2011-08-06, 09:19 AM
I feel the Kalinor has way too many bonuses going for him, all of which are versatile enough to remain useful under a variety of conditions, unlike the dwarf or elf, which tend to be more situational.

I would personally revise his abilities to the following:
+2str, -2wis (to reflect their stubbornness)
+2 to martial lore, intimidate and one skill tied to a discipline of their choice (to be made at time of character creation).
Limit personal technique to 1/encounter with no recharge, though it can count towards qualifying for other maneuvers. Perhaps more uses could be granted at higher lvs?
First strike should simply grant a flat initiative bonus.
Proud trait needs to be further clarified. What exactly does backing down mean? For example, if I were to move away from a foe's reach to quaff a potion of healing, does that count as retreating? I would suggest doing away with it as it seems too vague and confusing.

LA+0

Drachasor
2011-08-06, 11:01 AM
Perhaps you're overestimating how good immediate actions are. Yes, they're good, because they can interrupt a foe at the most crucial of times. But as a 1/day power, it's not exactly game breaking. Someone who can use immediate actions for basically everyone of their actions is overpowered. Using an immediate action every once in a while to stop an ally from dying, or something like that, is cool and cinematic. Yes, First Strike allows the initiator to play a crucial role once a day. To be frank, Counters are already pretty much immediate actions. Giving the ability to use a Strike instead, but once a day, is a slightly powerful trait, but not as game breaking as you seem to believe. And initiating a different stance as an immediate action, once a day? That's useful, but hardly powerful at all.

It's like a race getting Sudden Quicken for free (and in fact a bit better). Also counters are balanced with being immediate actions, Strikes are not. This is a very powerful racial trait. Maaaybe if that was basically all they had, you could get away with them being LA 0, but it isn't.


I guess my point is, immediate actions aren't an "I-Win" button. They're more like a once a day, "You-Don't-Win" button, to stop an enemy from doing something drastic. If the party is in bad shape, the enemy will likely beat them next turn anyway.

Didn't say it was (I don't think), but it is overpowered.


Let me be clear-- I'm not closed to making changes. I know that both of these races are on the powerful side. But I don't really want to strip it as barren as you have suggested. +1 AC, for example, isn't that major an advantage. Just because you haven't seen it before doesn't mean it shouldn't ever be done. That's what homebrewing is all about. Yes, at the early levels, it's a nice advantage to have. At the later levels, it should usually be inconsequential.

With this and First Strike both, you need to consider the following question: Can you ever imagine someone NOT picking one of these races if they are playing a Tome of Battle class? I can't. Even my trimmed down version is really good for ToB, but I think it just barely avoids being so good that no other race would be considered. Your races are hands-down the best and there's no good game mechanic reason to even consider another race for those classes. That's one way to tell it is OP.

When no other LA 0 race has something that many LA +1 races have, you also need to consider why that is. +1 Natural AC is essential +1 AC all the time. That's about half the benefit of +1 Dex right there (not helping touch is balanced by it helping flat-footed AC). It's a really good ability.


Meanwhile, I am a bit concerned that no one has commented on the fluff thus far. What do you all think? Is Kal'ho a good idea or a stupid one? Should I expand it? Do I need to add in the other fluff passaged from the PHB, or are the major facets covered by what I have? All feedback is good feedback.

I don't see why it would be hard to lie with it. That's just acting like anything else. Body language and such plays a role with verbal languages too. Now, maybe they CONSIDER it nearly impossible to lie, but I wouldn't give any penalty to it.

Morph Bark
2011-08-06, 11:11 AM
On the Kailnor, I'd remove the "and their discipline skill if they are an initiator". It makes more sense for it to be to their personal technique's discipline skill (and this is the way I read this first anyway, which is why the second sentence boggled me). Plus, WHICH discipline? Every initiator class has several, after all.

Also, Perole have -2 Wis and their favoured class is Swordsage? I don't get it. Making them Crusaders might be better, especially since Kailnor got Swordsage and Warblade covered. I'd rate their Sublime Way Command at roughly the strength of a feat and their Discipline Focus to be too powerful for an LA+0 race. Their Spine Strike is likewise too strong but would make for an ideal racial feat. Also, since they have +4 Dex, I'd give them some small extra non-ability-score penalty somewhere to balance it out more. Giving them a racial feat to allow them to move better in armour might be an idea too.

EDIT: Just saw they have four arms. That's worth LA and some racial HD, unless you would disable them from wielding weapons. Calling them weak and not giving them a damage penalty (or disallowing them from wielding weapons heavier than light weapons) is also kind of weird. If you keep the four arms and allow them to wield light weapons only, even with an attack/damage penalty of -2, they probably still warrant LA+1.

gkathellar
2011-08-06, 06:06 PM
Perhaps you're overestimating how good immediate actions are. Yes, they're good, because they can interrupt a foe at the most crucial of times. But as a 1/day power, it's not exactly game breaking. Someone who can use immediate actions for basically everyone of their actions is overpowered. Using an immediate action every once in a while to stop an ally from dying, or something like that, is cool and cinematic. Yes, First Strike allows the initiator to play a crucial role once a day. To be frank, Counters are already pretty much immediate actions. Giving the ability to use a Strike instead, but once a day, is a slightly powerful trait, but not as game breaking as you seem to believe. And initiating a different stance as an immediate action, once a day? That's useful, but hardly powerful at all.

I guess my point is, immediate actions aren't an "I-Win" button. They're more like a once a day, "You-Don't-Win" button, to stop an enemy from doing something drastic. If the party is in bad shape, the enemy will likely beat them next turn anyway.

It's not "game-breaking," just really good far too good for a racial feature on an LA +0 race. The fact is that strikes are more powerful than counters, which is why they can typically only be used once per turn, on your turn.

Admiral Squish
2011-08-06, 06:13 PM
I made orcs with ties to ToB in my new campaign setting. Here's how I worded their ToB-related ability:

Martial Aptitude: Select one of the following martial disciplines: Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, or Tiger Claw. You may always learn maneuvers from that discipline, you are proficient with the weapons associated with that discipline, you gain a +2 bonus to the key skill of your chosen discipline, and you know one 1st level maneuver from that discipline as for which you meet the prerequisites. If you do not have martial adept levels, you can use this maneuver once per encounter with an initiator level equal to half your character level. If you have, or later gain, levels in a martial adept class, this maneuver becomes one of your maneuvers known.

ForzaFiori
2011-08-06, 06:47 PM
Meanwhile, I am a bit concerned that no one has commented on the fluff thus far. What do you all think? Is Kal'ho a good idea or a stupid one? Should I expand it? Do I need to add in the other fluff passaged from the PHB, or are the major facets covered by what I have? All feedback is good feedback.

And thanks to everyone for giving back your opinions. Even if I don't agree with you, every piece of feedback helps me to adjust the races.

I would suggest adding two things to the Kal'ho. First, make it like Drow Sign Language, where (I think) you can only send simple messages. Also, you should probably not be able to attack during the turn, or at least lose your move action, since making your sword flash in specific patterns kind of messes with your ability to attack, or at least move (since you'd need to compensate for the movement, which would be difficult)

Hiro Protagonest
2011-08-06, 08:38 PM
I would suggest adding two things to the Kal'ho. First, make it like Drow Sign Language, where (I think) you can only send simple messages. Also, you should probably not be able to attack during the turn, or at least lose your move action, since making your sword flash in specific patterns kind of messes with your ability to attack, or at least move (since you'd need to compensate for the movement, which would be difficult)

IIRC, Drow Sign Language allows you to hold long or complex conversations. It's mentioned in the first Drizz't Do'urden book (Homeland, not The Crystal Shard).

Igneel
2011-08-07, 01:27 AM
Hey Magicyop, as you might remember I'm not all that familiar with ToB but i'll try to help with your homebrew races all the same.


Kailnor
Racial Benefits:

+2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Kailnor are physically fit and wise in the ways of combat, but their obsessiveness with the art of battle leaves little time for social niceties.
Medium Size: As Medium creatures, Kailnor have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Kailnor base land speed is 30 ft.
Sublime Way Mastery: Kailnor treat their initiator level, if they have one, as being one higher than it would otherwise normally be. This does not allow them to learn new maneuvers or higher levels of maneuvers, but simply effects those situations where initiator level is considered.
Personal Technique: Each Kailnor may choose one first level maneuver of any discipline, which they learn as their personal technique, even if they are not an initiator. This is one which has been honed since childhood, and they may recover it as a swift action in any round where they do not initiate it. For this maneuver, they treat their initiator level as if it is their character level (this does not include Sublime Way Mastery, see above.)
First Strike: Once per day, a Kailnor may initiate any maneuver they know as an immediate action. They stare their enemy down and see their next move, and quickly intercept it. This maneuver may interrupt any attack which is currently being resolved or has just been resolved.
Kailnor have a +1 natural armor bonus to AC, for their skin is thick and callused.
Kailnor have an extra thumb on each hand, this gives them a +2 against attempts to disarm them.
Kailnor care little for the conditions around them, and so they gain the ability to exist in nearly any environment. They always act as though they are under the effects of an Endure Elements spell.
Skill Bonuses: Kailnor gain a +3 racial bonus on all Martial Lore checks. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on intimidate, and a +2 racial bonus on the discipline skill of the discipline that their personal technique is.
Automatic Languages: Common and Kal'ho. (See above.)
Favored Classes: Warblade and Swordsage.

Can't say much more for this one then what people have already commented on.


Perole
Racial Benefits:

+4 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Peroles are quick and agile, but their desire for individuality and victory leads them to make rash choices.
Medium Size: As Medium creatures, Peroles have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Four Arms: A Perole has four arms, and may wield weapons in each of them. However, the lower pair is weaker than the upper pair, and it takes a -2 penalty to any attack rolls made with the bottom pair.
Spine Cannon: A Perole has a sharp spine in their forehead, which they can fire on their enemies. This counts as a natural ranged weapon with a range increment of 100 ft., and deals damage as a dagger. They grow a new spine every six hours. They gain a +2 bonus to the attack roll with this weapon. They may attack with it as a swift action.
Sublime Way Command: Peroles possess remarkable command over the Sublime Way, and make it near impossible to avoid the effects of their attacks. The DC of any maneuver they possess is raised by one.
Discipline Focus: Peroles are very focused in their studies, and don't tend to study other disciplines much. They pick the one they are most skilled in and work at it profusely, hitting enemies with just one (admittedly powerful) technique. A Perole initiator chooses one discipline that they have access to. They gain a +2 bonus to the roll to use any maneuver of that discipline, and their initiator level counts as one higher.
Spine Strike: At 1st level, a Perole chooses one level 1 strike of the same discipline as their focus. The effects of that strike always apply to their spine attack.
Peroles are extremely quick, and jump out of their foes attacks with ease. They gain a +1 racial bonus on all reflex saves.
Skill Bonuses: Peroles are very stealthy, and gain a +2 racial bonus on both Move Silently and Hide checks.
Perole base land speed is 40 ft.
Automatic Languages: Common and Perolean.
Favored Classes: Swordsage.



Alright, this one I might have somethings to suggest. Might being the key word...

For the racial ability adjustments I think you might need to add an additional negative adjustment. Charisma would be my guess to fit in with the "but their desire for individuality and victory leads them to make rash choices." fluff.

As pointed out already being a race with 4 arms practically guarantees a LA+HD, with the only exception that I know of being the Diopsid [Dragon Magazine Compendium/#297] which is a LA +1 race. Along with its four arms it gets a +4 NA, and Wings [albeit only can Glide]. The diopsid's extra arms entry went something like this...


*Extra Arms: Diopsids have four arms: their two primary limbs and a secondary, weaker set of arms. Their weaker limbs are poorly suited to carrying weapons or shields, but they do an excellent job of providing stability and support to the upper limbs.
The diopsid's extra limbs allow it to use weapons one size category larger than normal without penalty. The diopsid's secondary arms must be free for it to gain this benefit. This benefit does not extend to larger weapons. For example, a diopsid can wield a Large longsword with a single primary arm without penalty by steadying the blade's pommel with its lower limb.
A diopsid can wield a pair of two-handed weapons by using all four of its limbs. The diopsid gains the full benefits of wielding a two-handed weapon, such as 1-1/2 times its Strength bonus on damage rolls. The diopsid suffers the standard penalty for fighting with two weapons and carrying a non-light weapon in its off hand.
A diopsid wielding a pair of two-handed weapons is a fearsome sight. It shifts and twirls the two weapons between its four hands, hammering its opponent with tremendous strikes while defying its normally clumsy, fumbling nature.
If a diopsid carries a weapon or shield in its secondary arms while one or more of its primary arms also carry an item, it suffers a number of penalties. When using a shield, the diopsid takes the shield's armor check penalty on its attack rolls and skill checks even if it has proficiency with the shield. When using a weapon, the diopsid gains only half its Strength bonus on damage rolls. It takes a -4 penalty on all attacks for each light weapon used in this manner. This penalty increases to -8 for one-handed weapons. The diopsid cannot carry a two-handed weapon with just its secondary arms.
A diopsid with at least one empty hand can cast spells with a somatic component.

*Limb Symmetry: A diopsid's four arms allow it to carry and use multiple items with relative ease. A diopsid can use its third and fourth limbs to steady a weapon held in its primary arms, shift its weight, and maneuver it to attack or defend. A diopsid ignores the Dexterity prerequisite, if any, for any feat that has the words "two-weapon" in its name, such as Two-Weapon Fighting. The diopsid must fulfill the rest of the feat's requirements as normal.
Maybe that will help give you an idea of something to try, minus the Limb Symmetry perhaps? Or maybe just the "ignores the Dexterity prerequisite" part...

Also, the spike on the head just begs me to want to play this character just to headbutt people for some reason... Not entirely sure why?

Doubtful that helped as much as the others did, but here are my 2 cp. Hope it gives you some ideas.