View Full Version : Redoing the Standard Races

2011-12-25, 12:59 AM
I've never quite been content with the PH races as presented. First and foremost, they are horribly unbalanced; secondly, they are cluttered with heaps of tiny, situational bonuses that make no difference. I'd like each to have one or two powerful, distinctive abilities that will come up often.

Because I'm lazy, I came up with the idea of cribbing off of the 4e PH races, adapting their mechanics when convenient. I've come up with a rough outline of a rework in this vein; I'd love to have feedback.


- +2 Wisdom
- Medium size
- Aasimar base land speed is 30 feet
- Low-Light Vision: An aasimar can see twice as far as a human in conditions of poor illumination.
- +2 racial bonus on Concentration, Heal, Knowledge (The Planes), and Knowledge (Religion) checks
- Languages: Celestial and Common
- Cold Resistance: Aasimar possess resistance to cold damage equal to their HD (maximum 20).
- Favor of the Heavens: Once per day, as an immediate action, an aasimar may grant themselves or an adjacent ally temporary hit points equal to the aasimar's HD x2 (up to a maximum of 40). These last until the beginning of the aasimar's next turn, and stack with other sources of temporary HP.

- +2 Strength
- Medium size
- Dragonborn base land speed is 30 feet
- +2 racial bonus on Appraise, Balance, Intimidate, and Knowledge (History) checks
- Languages: Common and Draconic
- Dragon Aspect: Dragonborn may choose a Draconic Aspect, as the Dragonborn of Bahamut.
[Probably with a buff to the maligned Breath Aspect, to make the choice more equal.]

- +2 Constitution
- Medium size
- Dwarf base land speed is 25 feet
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Craft checks related to stone or metal, Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), and Search checks
- Languages: Common and Dwarven
- Encumbered Speed: Dwarves may move at their full speed while when wearing medium armor or bearing a heavy load. Wearing heavy armor reduces their speed by 5 feet, as does simultaneously wearing medium armor and bearing a heavy load.
- Dwarven Resilience: Dwarves gain a +5 bonus on saving throws made against poison, as well as those made against all mind-affecting spells and effects.
- Stand Ground: Dwarves receive a bonus to resist bull rush, grapple, and disarm attempts made against them. This bonus is equal to their HD, up to a maximum of +20.
- Giant Slayer: Dwarves gain +4 AC versus Large or larger foes.

- +2 Dexterity
- Medium size
- Elf base land speed is 35 feet
- Low-Light Vision: An elf can see twice as far as a human in conditions of poor illumination.
- +2 racial bonus on Jump, Knowledge (Nature), Listen, and Spot checks
- Languages: Common and Elven
- Elven Accuracy: Once per day, an elf may reroll a single attack which they have just made. They must use the second result, even if it's lower than the first.
- Wild Step: Elves ignore the effects of difficult terrain.

- +2 Charisma
- Small size
- Halfling base land speed is 30 feet
- +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy, Gather Information, Move Silently, and Tumble checks; gain Disable Device as a class skill
- Languages: Common and Halfling
- Second Chance: Once per day, a halfling may force an enemy to reroll a single attack which that enemy has just made against them. The enemy uses the second result, even if it's higher than the first.
- Fleet of Foot: Halflings are quick and agile, and as such have a land speed of 30 feet despite their small size.
- Natural Improviser: Halflings gain the benefits of the Social Recovery and Clever Improviser skill tricks. They do not need to meet the normal prerequisites.

- +2 to one ability of choice
- Medium size
- Human base land speed is 30 feet
- Languages: Common
- +4 skill points at 1st level and +1 skill point each level thereafter
- Jack of Trades: Humans gain 1 extra feat at 1st level.
- Perseverance: Humans gain a +1 untyped bonus to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves.

- +2 Intelligence
- Medium size
- Tiefling base land speed is 30 feet
- Darkvision: Tieflings can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Knowledge (Arcana), and Knowledge (The Planes) checks
- Languages: Common and Infernal
- Fire Resistance: Tieflings possess resistance to fire damage equal to their HD (maximum 20).
- Infernal Wrath: Once per day, as an immediate action, a tiefling may deal profane damage to a foe that has just attacked them. The damage is equal to the tiefling's HD x2, up to a maximum of 40.

Viktyr Gehrig
2011-12-25, 01:24 AM
I think this is good stuff, but I'd encourage you to mine the Pathfinder SRD (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/) for ideas. The races also have Alternate Favored Class bonuses for different classes, that you could incorporate into scaling level bonuses for the races.

2011-12-27, 02:36 PM
I'd love to see racial abilities that you gained as you increased in level, maybe every 5 or so.
Part of the reason some of the bonuses are so cruddy is that they need to be balanced for first-level play, but if we only unlock certain racial characteristics higher up things can be made much more interesting.

Pick a defining characteristic or two, or some kind of bonus, and run with it.
It can be something unique like a dwarves skin slowly turning hard as rock, and gaining certain save/skill bonuses, or all elves gaining some innate spellcasting ability, or maybe just give humans an extra bonus feet every couple of levels.

I'll try to think more on this, and get back with a longer list of suggestions later.