PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Mongrelfolk, modified (PEACH)



Bulwer
2012-01-03, 03:30 PM
Much of this is going to be identical to the RoD Mongrelfolk, but the racial abilities have changed somewhat to make them a little more usable in actual play. The big one is the Diverse Heritage trait, which will obviously require some level of DM supervision to prevent the abuses that I'm sure are possible.

Thoughts?

Changes:
Removed immunity to sleep.
Removed Diffuse Blood.
Removed the many +1 bonuses to skills.
Removed bonuses against enchantment and illusion.
Reduced Hide and Sleight of Hand bonuses to +2.
Added Eclectic Upbringing.
Added Diverse Heritage.
Changed Sound Imitation from a Will save to a Listen check.

MONGRELFOLK RACIAL TRAITS

• +4 Constitution, –2 Intelligence, –4 Charisma: Mongrelfolk are hardy, but they lack proper education and others find their appearance repulsive or at least vaguely unsettling.
• Humanoid (human): Mongrelfolk are humanoid creatures with the human subtype.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, mongrelfolk have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
• Mongrelfolk base land speed is 30 feet.
• Low-Light Vision: Mongrelfolk can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Diverse Heritage (Ex): Because of their racially mixed heritage, mongrelfolk can count as members of other humanoid races in many situations. They automatically succeed at any Use Magic Device check to emulate another humanoid race. Additionally, mongrelfolk can count as any other humanoid for the purposes of taking classes and feats. They must still meet all of the other requirements for the class or feat normally.
• Sound Imitation (Ex): A mongrelfolk can mimic any voice or sound she has heard. Listeners must succeed on a DC 20 Listen check to detect the ruse.
• Eclectic Upbringing (Ex): A mongrelfolk may designate any two skills as racial skills. These skills are treated as class skills in all respects for all classes that character has levels in, both current and future.
• +1 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
• +2 racial bonus on Hide and Sleight of Hand checks.
• Automatic Language: Common. Bonus Languages: Any.
• Favored Class: Rogue. A multiclass mongrelfolk’s rogue class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
• Level adjustment +0

NeoSeraphi
2012-01-03, 03:32 PM
It seems good, I guess, though I don't know how a Will save would help you detect an extraordinary sound effect. I'd say make it a DC 20 Listen check instead.

Bulwer
2012-01-03, 03:35 PM
It seems good, I guess, though I don't know how a Will save would help you detect an extraordinary sound effect. I'd say make it a DC 20 Listen check instead.

That's straight from Races of Destiny. :smalltongue:

You're right, though-- makes more sense with a Listen check.

NeoSeraphi
2012-01-03, 03:39 PM
That's straight from Races of Destiny. :smalltongue:


Oh, I'm aware. But if you're going to fix a race, you should fix every problem it has. :smalltongue:


You're right, though-- makes more sense with a Listen check.

Good man! Race looks good now. Not nearly as convoluted. The ability to take any feat or prestige class is pretty nice, too, especially deepwarden from Races of Stone, with that +4 Con applying to your AC now.

Bulwer
2012-01-03, 03:40 PM
Oh, I'm aware. But if you're going to fix a race, you should fix every problem it has. :smalltongue:



Good man! Race looks good now. Not nearly as convoluted. The ability to take any feat or prestige class is pretty nice, too, especially deepwarden from Races of Stone, with that +4 Con applying to your AC now.

I kinda wanna dip Paragon classes, too.

Debihuman
2012-01-04, 11:30 AM
It seems good, I guess, though I don't know how a Will save would help you detect an extraordinary sound effect. I'd say make it a DC 20 Listen check instead.

The reason it was a Will save and not a Listen check is this: "[Will] saves reflect your resistance to mental influence as well as many magical effects. Apply your Wisdom modifier to your Will saving throws." Since Sound Imitation is an Extraordinary ability you'd normally make a save for its effect rather than a check.

"Your Listen check is either made against a DC that reflects how quiet the noise is that you might hear, or it is opposed by your target’s Move Silently check. " You can already hear the sound, so making a listen check is gratuitous at best.

If there were a Perform (Ventriloquism) skill, then you'd have a case for making it a skill check. I suppose it could fall under the subset of Perform (Oratory) but it's so much better as a special ability than as a skill.

Debby

NeoSeraphi
2012-01-04, 12:16 PM
The reason it was a Will save and not a Listen check is this: "[Will] saves reflect your resistance to mental influence as well as many magical effects. Apply your Wisdom modifier to your Will saving throws." Since Sound Imitation is an Extraordinary ability you'd normally make a save for its effect rather than a check.


I don't understand. It's not a magical effect, nor is it mental influence. It's a guy imitating someone else. I mean, with a trained ear, a normal human in the real world can tell the difference.

Debihuman
2012-01-04, 09:11 PM
I don't understand. It's not a magical effect, nor is it mental influence. It's a guy imitating someone else. I mean, with a trained ear, a normal human in the real world can tell the difference.

If they had a simple racial bonus to Perform (Oratory) skill to mimic a voice, I'd agree. However, Extraordinary abilities, while non-magical, defy the laws of physics. The mongrelfolk can always mimic the voice. The question is whether the listener can tell the detect the ruse and this makes it an aural trick. Listen checks are whether you can hear the voice (if the mongrelfolk is in the next room, the listen check applies). If you are trying to tell if the voice belongs to your buddy or not, that's more complex and hence a Will save.

In the normal world, this is better than the best ventriloquist that ever lived. It is beyond the human ability. If I were the DM, you'd be getting a -8 circumstance penalty to your Listen check because the mongrelfolk is that good.

Debby

absolmorph
2012-01-04, 10:02 PM
If they had a simple racial bonus to Perform (Oratory) skill to mimic a voice, I'd agree. However, Extraordinary abilities, while non-magical, defy the laws of physics. The mongrelfolk can always mimic the voice. The question is whether the listener can tell the detect the ruse and this makes it an aural trick. Listen checks are whether you can hear the voice (if the mongrelfolk is in the next room, the listen check applies). If you are trying to tell if the voice belongs to your buddy or not, that's more complex and hence a Will save.

In the normal world, this is better than the best ventriloquist that ever lived. It is beyond the human ability. If I were the DM, you'd be getting a -8 circumstance penalty to your Listen check because the mongrelfolk is that good.

Debby
It's a DC 10 Listen check to understand a conversation taking place less than 10 feet from you.
Using a Listen check for this makes sense to me.

Also, Extraordinary abilities don't defy the laws of physics, they're completely mundane abilities.
They just have different physics.

AugustNights
2012-01-05, 08:08 AM
"Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, though they may break the laws of physics. They are not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training."


Of course, we are never given "the laws of physics" according to D&D...

Debihuman
2012-01-05, 09:32 AM
It's a DC 10 Listen check to understand a conversation taking place less than 10 feet from you.
Using a Listen check for this makes sense to me.

Normal conversation, yes. I agree


Also, Extraordinary abilities don't defy the laws of physics, they're completely mundane abilities.
They just have different physics.
Actually, on this you are incorrect. Here is the full definition of an Extraordinary Ability (I did quote from it earlier):



Extraordinary Abilities (Ex)

Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, though they may break the laws of physics. They are not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training.

These abilities cannot be disrupted in combat, as spells can, and they generally do not provoke attacks of opportunity. Effects or areas that negate or disrupt magic have no effect on extraordinary abilities. They are not subject to dispelling, and they function normally in an antimagic field.

Using an extraordinary ability is usually not an action because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Those extraordinary abilities that are actions are standard actions unless otherwise noted.

Hence, they may break the laws of physics as I wrote earlier. It is not a DC 10 listen check as per normal conversation, this is an Extraordinary Ability, which should increase the DC greatly. That's why these are saves and not checks. So yes, the -8 circumstance penalty should apply if you make an Listen check to hear a mongrelfolk rather than another humanoid because the mongrelfolk have this Special Ability. A simple Listen check at DC 10 does not cut it.

Here's a nicer way of putting it: At DC 10 you can hear the mongrelfolk. If you make your check by +8 or more, you uncover the ruse.

Debby

Bulwer
2012-01-05, 09:47 AM
Normal conversation, yes. I agree


Actually, on this you are incorrect. Here is the definition of an Extraordinary Ability (I did quote it earlier):



Hence, they may break the laws of physics as I wrote earlier. It is not a DC 10 listen check as per normal conversation, this is an Extraordinary Ability, which should increase the DC greatly. That's why these are saves and not checks. So yes, the -8 circumstance penalty should apply if you are listening to a mongrelfolk rather than another humanoid because the mongrelfolk have this Special Ability. A simple Listen check at DC 10 does not cut it.

Debby

What would your suggestion be for the requirements to detect the imitation? Do you reckon the save or check should scale with the mongrelfolk's HD?

Debihuman
2012-01-05, 11:09 AM
There are so many factors that go into determining an appropriate skill check. See section on Using skills. I've copied the chart for ease of reference here:

{table]Difficulty (DC)|Example (Skill Used)
Very easy (0)| Notice something large in plain sight (Spot)
Easy (5)| Climb a knotted rope (Climb)
Average (10)| Hear an approaching guard (Listen)
Tough (15)| Rig a wagon wheel to fall off (Disable Device)
Challenging (20)| Swim in stormy water (Swim)
Formidable (25)| Open an average lock (Open Lock)
Heroic (30)| Leap across a 30-foot chasm (Jump)
Nearly impossible (40)| Track a squad of orcs across hard ground after 24 hours of rainfall (Survival)[/table]

I'd put the DC at anywhere from Tough (DC 15) to Formidable (DC 25) depending on the level of play and circumstances. Bulwer has it set at DC 20. I think that is fine, but it didn't work for others.

Of course, the ruse can be detected by lots of other means (sneaking around to see if they can see the mongrelfolk, scrying, etc.). Then there are penalties and bonuses that can be factored in. If the party has a clue that the voice isn't from the real source, they could gain a +2 (or more) Insight bonus.

The problem with all this is that every DM should assign a different Listen DC depending on the situation at hand. However, players expect a certain amount of consistency when facing a Special Ability. Not only isn't this fair to the players who are expecting the DC 16 Will save, but it will make the rules lawyers foam at the mouth.

As a DM, I sometimes play at conventions with people I don't know. Is it fair to them to suddenly spin the rules? For homebrewed race just within one group, it isn't a problem. For the record, I have no problem with any house rule. Where the problem comes from is not stating that this is a house rule from the beginning.

Bulwer's homebrew is fine. I have no problems with his post and I think he did a decent job. He was looking for +0 LA and succeeded.

The problem arose when other posters questioned the validity of the Listen DC. Keeping it a DC 16 Will save prevents all this nonsense. As a DM, I'd keep the DC 16 Will save because it causes the fewest headaches.

Debby

Herpestidae
2012-01-05, 01:33 PM
I think a Will Save applies in certain situations, though:

Say Lothar the Sorcerer casts an illusion over himself and goes up to Grok the Orc pretending to be Grok's friend Brunk. Grok sees Brunk's exact apearance. Grok isn't making Spot checks to see what's wrong with the Illusion; he's making Will Saves to disbelieve it.

Now Bugrim the Mongrelfolk Wizard hits Adam the Human with a Blindness spell and then goes up to him pretending to be Adam's friend Mark. Adam is hearing Mark's voice exactly, so he should still be making Will Saves to disbelieve.