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Ripptor
2013-10-26, 01:22 AM
This is an attempt to make a Nymph race that's more playable and desirable (by PC and DM alike) by removing some of the over powered abilities and lowering the LA. This is the Half-Nymph, the offspring of a Human and a Nymph mating ritual.

For usability purposes, I will depict this race both whole and in racial levels for the purposes of maximal useability, for gestalt and other scenarios that may require a full level by level depiction of racial abilities.

{table=head]The Half-Nymph|
Size/Type:| Medium Fey
Speed:| 30ft, Swim 15ft
Abilities:| +6 Dex, +2 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +8 Cha
Hit Dice:|6D6
Saves:| Good Reflex, Good Will, Poor Fortitude
Attack:| Poor BAB
Skills:| 6+Int
Skill List:| Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Use Rope
Special Attacks:| Spells
Special Qualities:| Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron, Low-light vision, Unearthly Grace, Wild Empathy
Alignment:| Usually Chaotic Good
Level Adjustment:| +2[/table]

{table=head]Lv. | HD | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special
1 | D6 | 0 | 0 | 2 | 2 | Ability Increases, Special Qualities, +1 Druid Casting
2 | D6 | 1 | 0 | 3 | 3 | +1 Druid Casting
3 | D6 | 1 | 1 | 3 | 3 | +1 Druid Casting
4 | D6 | 2 | 1 | 4 | 4 | +1 Druid Casting
5 | D6 | 2 | 1 | 4 | 4 | +1 Druid Casting
6 | D6 | 3 | 2 | 5 | 5 | +1 Druid Casting
7 | - | - | - | - | - | +1 LA
8 | - | - | - | - | - | +1 LA
|6D6|+3|+2|+5|+5

When taken this way, a character must take all racial hit die levels and level adjustment at once, as usual when selecting a race with racial hit die and level adjustment.[/table]{table=head]Lv. | HD | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special
1 | D6 | .5 | .3 | 2.5 | 2.5 | Ability Increases, Special Qualities, +1 Druid Casting
2 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | +1 Druid Casting
3 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | +1 Druid Casting
4 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | +1 Druid Casting
5 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | +1 Druid Casting
6 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | +1 Druid Casting
7 | - | - | - | - | - | +1 LA
8 | - | - | - | - | - | +1 LA
|6D6|+3|+2|+5|+5|[/table]

When taken this way, a character must take all racial hit die levels and level adjustment at once, as usual when selecting a race with racial hit die and level adjustment.
Racial Features: All of the following are racial features of a Half-Nymph.

Skills: A Half-Nymph has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. She can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line.

Spells: A Half-Nymph casts divine spells as a 6th level Druid.

Unearthly Grace(Su): A Half-Nymph adds her Charisma modifier as a racial bonus on all her saving throws, and as a deflection bonus to her Armor Class.

Wild Empathy(Ex): This power works like the Druidís wild empathy class feature, except that a Half-Nymph has a +6 racial bonus on the check.


Reductions:

Lost 5ft of swim speed, from 20ft to 15ft
Lost Blinding Beauty
Lost Spell-Like Abilities (Dimension Door 1/day)
Lost Stunning Glance
Lost 1 level of Spellcasting, from 7th to 6th
Lost 5 LA, from +7 LA to +2 LA
For balancing purposes, I compared this new race with a very close match, the fey Gloura, an ECL 9 race with most of the same features. Here is the comparison:
Losses: Low-light vision instead of Darkvision(60)
Racial Speed, Swim 15ft instead of Fly 60ft (Good)
2 Languages instead of 3, losing Undercommon
Gains: Racial Swim speed, 15 ft
Druid spellcasting, instead of Bard spellcasting
Wild Empathy (As Druid, +6 Bonus)
Swaps: -1 ECL of HD (HP, BAB, Saves, Skill, and Spellcasting progression)
-4 Dex, -2 Con, +6 Int, +4 Wis, +2 Cha
These differences make the Half-Nymph less of a combatant, taking away Con and Dex (Meaning HP and AC/AB, respectively) as well as weakening 2/3 saves. Losing the ability to Fly hurts, meaning that it is harder to stay out of combat as well. The Half-Nymph instead gains in all casting stats, giving more skill points and a higher Will save. This would make the Half-Nymph appealing to certain types of casters, while not overshadowing the Gloura's better fit for other builds.

The two races end with different flavor, and different possibilities, but nearly the same pluses and minuses as each other. Both are Fey with Caster Level equal to HD, +2 LA, Damage Reduction, Unearthly Grace, and hefty Ability Score increases. I believe they are thus equally balanced races, with neither outshining or clearly replacing the other.For balancing purposes, I compared this new race with 8 levels of straight Druid. Here is the comparison:
Losses: Two levels of spellcasting, 6th instead of 8th
-2 HD, therefore losing two levels of HP, AB, Saves, and Skills
Lower Hit Die, D6 instead of D8
Lower BAB, Poor instead of Average
Animal Companion, level 8
Wild Shape (Large, 3/day)
Woodland Stride
Trackless Step
Gains: Racial Swim speed, 15 ft
Ability Increases (+6 Dex, +2 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +8 Cha)
Save Bonuses, Unearthly Grace instead of Resist Nature's Lure
Damage Resistance, 10/Cold Iron
Low-light vision
Wild Empathy Bonus, +6
Swaps: Skill Bonuses, +8 Swim instead of Nature Sense
Good Reflex saves instead of Good Fortitude (Probably a loss)
2 Languages, Sylvan instead of Druidic
These differences make the Half-Nymph much less of a combatant, taking away their 8th level Animal Companion, their ability to Wild Shape into Large sized creatures 3/day, lower BAB and Hitdie as well as and 2 less HD of both (plus lost saves). She even loses in her caster abilities, losing two levels of a full spellcasting progression.
The Half-Nymph instead gains hefty raw ability score increases, mostly in caster stats, a better save bonus in Unearthly Grace, and an increased AC from both. This would make the Half-Nymph a stronger caster in terms of spell DCs, but will always be casting spells 2 levels behind a same ECL Druid.

The Druid is undoubtedly stronger, which is where things should stand against a Tier 1 class. Even when mixing with Druid class levels, the Half-Nymph loses 8 levels of leveling class features in Wild Shape and Animal Companion which will be sorely missed in optimized play. This assures me that the race has neither matched nor replaced the power level of the Druid class, and is at the very least, not Tier 1 unbalanced.
1
Racial Level Option, as per Savage Species

{table=head]Lv. | HD | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Skills | Spellcasting | Special
1 | D6 | .5 | .3 | 2.5 | 2.5 | 6+ | - |+2 Int/Wis, Wild Empathy
2 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |+2 Con/Cha, Unearthly Grace(AC), Swim Bonus
3 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | 6+ | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Int/Wis/Cha
4 | - | - | - | - | - | - | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Dex, DR 2/Cold Iron, Swim Run
5 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | 6+ | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Int/Wis/Cha, DR 4/Cold Iron
6 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | 6+ | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Dex, DR 6/Cold Iron, Unearthly Grace(Reflex)
7 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | 6+ | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Dex, DR 8/Cold Iron, Swim Speed, Wild Empathy Bonus
8 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | 6+ | +1 Druid Casting | +2 Cha, DR 10/Cold Iron, Unearthly Grace
|6D6|+3|+2|+5|+5[/table]

When taken this way, a character may take as many levels as they want, broken up as they see fit, in order to realize their racial powers over time.

Racial Traits: Creature Type: Fey
Lowlight Vision
Speed: 30ft Land Speed
Automatic Languages: Common, Sylvan
Proficient with all simple weapons
Class Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Use Rope

Wild Empathy(Ex): This power works like the Druidís wild empathy class feature. At level 7, a Half-Nymph receives a +6 racial bonus on the check.

Unearthly Grace(Su): A Half-Nymph adds her Charisma modifier as a deflection bonus to her Armor Class. At level 6, she adds her Charisma modifier as a racial bonus on her Reflex saving throws. At level 8, she instead adds her Charisma modifier as a racial bonus on all saving throws.

Swim Bonus: Starting at level 2, a Half-Nymph has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. At level 4, she can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line, and she can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. At level 7, she gains a Swim Speed of 15ft.

Spells: Starting at level 3, a Half-Nymph casts divine spells as a Druid equal to her level-2.

Damage Resistance: Starting at level 4, a Half-Nymph gains Damage Resistance 2/Cold Iron. At each following level, this Damage Resistance increases by 2 (to a maximum of 10).

1
10/26: Posted
10/27:
Lowered LA by 1
Lowered Spellcasting Level by 1
Added comparison to straight Druid class
Added Racial Levels option, as per Savage Species
Removed explicit statement about CL stacking, as it is stated in SRD

Looking for feedback, let me know if there are any templating errors or other oversights, especially in wording. I made up some of the wording myself, and it may be improperly done. Also balance issues, anything in place that I may have overlooked that could become a problem under certain circumstances.

Feel free to give it a whirl, and let me know how she does!

Rizban
2013-10-26, 01:06 PM
The first thing that jumps out at me is the level progression. If you're going to do a racial class, you need to intersperse the LA evenly throughout the levels, or people will just drop those last three levels and not worry about it. You also need to determine what abilities are gained at what levels. As is, if you take the racial class as written, you get all abilities with a single HD and don't have to bother with any of the other things.

You should change the names of abilities that are different from a standard nymph. Unearthly Grace should become Earthly Grace or something.

The forcing of feat selections outside of gestalt is a bit of a strange mechanic and going to just about guarantee that no one plays this race, especially with such sub par feats. Why would I want to play this when I'm forced to spend three of my very precious and limited feats on things I'll never use?

1
My personal suggestion on how to create a half-nymph is to drop the druid spellcasting and dimension door SLA, lower the ability scores a tad, drop blinding beauty (as you did), make the (Un)Earthly Grace change as you did, drop wild empathy, and drop some LA and HD off of it.

As currently written it simply costs way too much and forces the player to waste limited resources (levels and feats) on things that do nothing for the character. I just can't see this being anything but a druid, and not a particularly great one at that due to taking a 9 level hit on all druid abilities except spellcasting.

Angelalex242
2013-10-26, 01:37 PM
Perhaps it might be prudent to take a look on how they did a full nymph in savage species, as this seems to be a 'Savage Species' type class.

Also...consider there is no way a Half Nymph should be more powerful then half-Celestial, which ECL+4. As such, if you're gauging the abilities as somehow more powerful then the Half-C, you're doing it wrong.

Considering what a half C can do, hell, you can keep dimension door and blinding beauty and so on, and have them gained at later levels, much like a Half-C eventually gets Summon Monster IX free, but only at high levels.

Ripptor
2013-10-26, 02:21 PM
The first thing that jumps out at me is the level progression. If you're going to do a racial class, you need to intersperse the LA evenly throughout the levels, or people will just drop those last three levels and not worry about it. You also need to determine what abilities are gained at what levels. As is, if you take the racial class as written, you get all abilities with a single HD and don't have to bother with any of the other things.

You should change the names of abilities that are different from a standard nymph. Unearthly Grace should become Earthly Grace or something.

The forcing of feat selections outside of gestalt is a bit of a strange mechanic and going to just about guarantee that no one plays this race, especially with such sub par feats. Why would I want to play this when I'm forced to spend three of my very precious and limited feats on things I'll never use?

1
My personal suggestion on how to create a half-nymph is to drop the druid spellcasting and dimension door SLA, lower the ability scores a tad, drop blinding beauty (as you did), make the (Un)Earthly Grace change as you did, drop wild empathy, and drop some LA and HD off of it.

As currently written it simply costs way too much and forces the player to waste limited resources (levels and feats) on things that do nothing for the character. I just can't see this being anything but a druid, and not a particularly great one at that due to taking a 9 level hit on all druid abilities except spellcasting.

My intention wasn't to actually do a Savage Species style racial levels setup, in which you can take some levels and not others, but maybe I can do it that way instead. I merely spread it out to help those who are taking the HD as a Gestalt character.

Also, I was unaware that I changed Unearthly Grace into another ability? The only change I can see is that I specified it was an untyped bonus to saves, which is implied by the lack of typing in the bonus already. What am I missing?

The forced feat selection is how the Nymph already works. By taking the 6 HD, you give up your feet selections for those levels, instead gaining the feats that the monster race has listed in it's description. By allowing a gestalt character to ignore this, it opens up those feat selection otherwise. Maybe if it's done as a Savage Species progression instead, this can be shipped entirely, but I'm not as familiar with that of the top of my head.

Perhaps it might be prudent to take a look on how they did a full nymph in savage species, as this seems to be a 'Savage Species' type class.

Also...consider there is no way a Half Nymph should be more powerful then half-Celestial, which ECL+4. As such, if you're gauging the abilities as somehow more powerful then the Half-C, you're doing it wrong.

Considering what a half C can do, hell, you can keep dimension door and blinding beauty and so on, and have them gained at later levels, much like a Half-C eventually gets Summon Monster IX free, but only at high levels.

I'm going to have to look into Savage Species apparently to see just how to do this by those rules, and how they did the Nymph example. As to the power level, I'm not trying to make it on-par with the most powerful races, but to get the feel and flavor of a Nymph without all of their additional abilities and massive ECL. If the LA is too high, it would probably be better to lower the LA accordingly instead of adding more abilities. What LA would be more appropriate, in your opinion?

Angelalex242
2013-10-26, 02:23 PM
There's still the point where this race isn't nearly as powerful as a Half-C. Gotta balance it to be stronger.

Rizban
2013-10-26, 03:34 PM
My intention wasn't to actually do a Savage Species style racial levels setup, in which you can take some levels and not others, but maybe I can do it that way instead. I merely spread it out to help those who are taking the HD as a Gestalt character.

Also, I was unaware that I changed Unearthly Grace into another ability? The only change I can see is that I specified it was an untyped bonus to saves, which is implied by the lack of typing in the bonus already. What am I missing?

The forced feat selection is how the Nymph already works. By taking the 6 HD, you give up your feet selections for those levels, instead gaining the feats that the monster race has listed in it's description. By allowing a gestalt character to ignore this, it opens up those feat selection otherwise. Maybe if it's done as a Savage Species progression instead, this can be shipped entirely, but I'm not as familiar with that of the top of my head.


I'm going to have to look into Savage Species apparently to see just how to do this by those rules, and how they did the Nymph example. As to the power level, I'm not trying to make it on-par with the most powerful races, but to get the feel and flavor of a Nymph without all of their additional abilities and massive ECL. If the LA is too high, it would probably be better to lower the LA accordingly instead of adding more abilities. What LA would be more appropriate, in your opinion?

Unearthly Grace on the nymph also gives her a deflection bonus to AC. I did not see that on your version, but I see now that I just missed it. *shrug*

Actually, standard rules for using a monster as a PC allows you to select your feats gained from HD. The only ones you don't select are the bonus feats.

As you have it written, it needs the HD and LA you've given it. 7 levels of stacking druid casting, huge stat boosts, and some strong abilities make this a powerful creature. If you weren't forcing feat selections, then it would need an LA at least 1 point higher.

Rizban
2013-10-26, 03:37 PM
There's still the point where this race isn't nearly as powerful as a Half-C. Gotta balance it to be stronger.

Half-Celestial isn't stronger than this apart from certain abilities gained over levels. Also, that is NOT a good balance point for making things. It's similar to saying, "Highly optimized wizard is better than this, so make it stronger." That is not a good design goal or way of approaching things. If what you're writing makes everything else obsolete, then you're doing it wrong.

Angelalex242
2013-10-26, 04:11 PM
I was more suggesting using benchmarks for LA.

Say, Aasimar, Drow, Half-Dragon, Half-Celestial.

Then ask, at any given level, 'would I rather play benchmark, or what I've made?' Eventually, you should say Benchmark. Then you know which two ECL levels it's between.

Also, it's worth noting Racial HD isn't comment for Half Human half X races.

Averis Vol
2013-10-26, 06:00 PM
This is an attempt to make a Nymph race that's more playable and desirable (by PC and DM alike) by removing some of the over powered abilities and lowering the LA. This is the Half-Nymph, the offspring of a Human and a Nymph mating ritual.

For usability purposes, I will depict this race in racial levels for the purposes of maximal useability, for gestalt and other scenarios that may require a full level by level depiction of racial abilities.

{table=head]The Half-Nymph|
Size/Type:| Medium Fey
Speed:| 30ft, Swim 15ft
Abilities:| +6 Dex, +2 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +8 Cha
Hit Dice:|6D6
Saves:| Good Reflex, Good Will, Poor Fortitude
Attack:| Poor BAB
Skills:| 6+Int
Skill List:| Concentration, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Use Rope
Special Attacks:| Spells
Special Qualities:| Damage Reduction 10/Cold Iron, Low-light vision, Unearthly Grace, Wild Empathy
Alignment:| Usually Chaotic Good
Level Adjustment:| +3[/table]

{table=head]Lv. | HD | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special
1 | D6 | 0 | 0 | 2 | 2 | Ability Increases, Special Qualities, (Dodge)
2 | D6 | 1 | 0 | 3 | 3 |
3 | D6 | 1 | 1 | 3 | 3 | (Weapon Finesse)
4 | D6 | 2 | 1 | 4 | 4 |
5 | D6 | 2 | 1 | 4 | 4 |
6 | D6 | 3 | 2 | 5 | 5 | (Combat Casting)
7 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
8 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
9 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
|6D6|+3|+2|+5|+5[/table]{table=head]Lv. | HD | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special
1 | D6 | .5 | .3 | 2.5 | 2.5 | Ability Increases, Special Qualities, (Dodge)
2 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 |
3 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | (Weapon Finesse)
4 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 |
5 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 |
6 | D6 | .5 | .3 | .5 | .5 | (Combat Casting)
7 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
8 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
9 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 | +1 LA
|6D6|+3|+2|+5|+5[/table]

Racial Features: All of the following are racial features of a Half-Nymph.

Skills: A Half-Nymph has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. She can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a straight line.

Spells: A Half-Nymph casts divine spells as a 7th level Druid. If a Prestige Class would progress these divine spellcasting levels, these racial spells progress as a Druid's of that caster level. If a Half-Nymph has any class levels of Druid, treat this ability instead as adding +7 caster levels of Druid, and gaining new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable), as if she had gained 7 levels in Druid.

Unearthly Grace(Su): A Half-Nymph adds her Charisma modifier as an untyped bonus on all her saving throws, and as a deflection bonus to her Armor Class.

Wild Empathy(Ex): This power works like the Druidís wild empathy class feature, except that a nymph has a +6 racial bonus on the check.

Dodge(Ex): Unless taken alongside another class level, a Half-Nymph must choose Dodge as their 1st level feat even if she does not qualify for the feat.

Weapon Finesse(Ex): Unless taken alongside another class level, a Half-Nymph must choose Weapon Finesse as their 3rd level feat even if she does not qualify for the feat.

Combat Casting(Ex): Unless taken alongside another class level, a Half-Nymph must choose Combat Casting as their 6th level feat even if she does not qualify for the feat.


Reductions:

Lost 5ft of swim speed, from 20ft to 15ft
Lost 4 Skill Points total, from 85 points to 81 points (Not sure where the extra 4 came from originally...)
Lost Blinding Beauty
Lost Spell-Like Abilities (Dimension Door 1/day)
Lost Stunning Glance
Lost 4 LA, from +7 LA to +3 LA

Additions:
Made spell level explicitly stackable with Druid class levels, or able to progress on their own via prestige class advancement.
Allowed racial feats to change if another class is taken simultaneously (Otherwise lost due to monster levels forcing the picks listed above).
For balancing purposes, I compared this new race with a very close match, the fey Gloura, another ECL 9 race with most of the same features. Here is the comparison:
Losses: -1 HD, therefore losing a level of HP, AB, Saves, and Skills
+1 LA (Same ECL 9 after HD loss)
Low-light vision instead of Darkvision(60)
2 Languages instead of 3, losing Undercommon
Gains: Racial Swim speed, 15 ft
Wild Empathy (As Druid, +6 Bonus)
Swaps: -4 Dex, -2 Con, +6 Int, +4 Wis, +2 Cha
Druid spells instead of Bard spells, both level 7
These differences make the Half-Nymph less of a combatant, taking away HD, Con, and Dex (Meaning HP, HP, and AC/AB, respectively) as well as weakening 2/3 saves, and losing one level of save and attack bonus progression (and skill points). The Half-Nymph instead gains in all casting stats, giving more skill points and a higher Will save. This would make the Half-Nymph more appealing to certain types of casters, while not overshadowing the Gloura's better fit for certain other builds.

The two races end with different flavor, and different possibilities, but nearly the same pluses and minuses as each other. Both are ECL 9 Fey with Caster Level 7, with Damage Reduction, Unearthly Grace, and hefty Ability Score increases. I believe they are thus equally balanced races, with neither outshining or clearly replacing the other.
10/26: Posted

Looking for feedback, let me know if there are any templating errors or other oversights, especially in wording. I made up some of the wording myself, and it may be improperly done. Also balance issues, anything in place that I may have overlooked that could become a problem under certain circumstances.

Feel free to give it a whirl, and let me know how she does!

Alright. Is this meant to be played from level four or from level nine?

The character starting point is really important, because if this is actually a racial progression class, it is incredibly strong. If it isn't, and you have to eat the 6 RHD all at once, it is a bit more balanced compared to a level 7 druid. If this is the expected start, you will probably already have two LA bought off, so effectively your on a level behind. you have worse HD and worse BaB than a druid, no animal companion and no wildshape; you're essentially a cloistered druid. What you get above most druids though, is those nice juicy Fey type immunities, so thats a strong point for this (The only other cheap way I know to get those is the Killoren race).

All in all, if my party was starting at level 9 (and LA buyoff was allowed)and I had the hankering to play a druid, I might pick this up; it is by no means over powered, but it is a fairly strong and flavorful racial set up. If LA buyoff is on the table, then I'd be one level behind on spell casting and 7 levels behind on class abilities.

Like I said, nothing overpowered, but a solid choice in a high low op to low mid op game.

Ripptor
2013-10-26, 11:57 PM
10/26: Posted
10/27:
Lowered LA by 1
Lowered Druid Casting by 1 (Considered, but too weak)
Added comparison to straight Druid class
Added Racial Levels option, as per Savage Species

After feedback and personal testing, the race was seen as being to far behind its other options to be viable. Removed one level of LA to make the race less obstructive.

Tried removing a caster level, but the race remained too weak still, so it was kept on pending review.

Made an initial attempt at Savage Species leveling. That will probably need reviewed for potential abuse/testing errors.

Lyndworm
2013-10-27, 12:07 AM
Diplomacy, Ride, and Use Rope should not be class skills, I think. The nymph has no ranks in these skills, they're given in the stat block due to synergy bonuses.

Rizban
2013-10-27, 02:58 AM
After feedback and personal testing, the race was seen as being to far behind its other options to be viable. Removed one level of LA to make the race less obstructive.

Tried removing a caster level, but the race remained too weak still, so it was kept on pending review.

Made an initial attempt at Savage Species leveling. That will probably need reviewed for potential abuse/testing errors.

Too weak as compared to what? What are you balancing this against?

Ripptor
2013-10-27, 08:08 AM
Diplomacy, Ride, and Use Rope should not be class skills, I think. The nymph has no ranks in these skills, they're given in the stat block due to synergy bonuses.

I missed that, thank you!


Too weak as compared to what? What are you balancing this against?

The Gloura race and the Druid class, by ACID testing. The spoilers above show the breakdown of differences and how they compare.

The Gloura has a +2 LA with the same DR and Unearthly Grace qualities, slightly lesser Ability score increases, and (as I forgot to mention earlier) a Fly speed instead of a Swim speed. I can't see why the Half-Nymph should have a higher LA in comparison?

And compared to the Druid class, the Half-Nymph just loses at everything but save DCs(Not much of a win for a buffer build), and as I mentioned, taking the Druid class later never fixes the loss of caster levels and scaling class features of the Animal Companion and Wild Shape. Losing another caster level on top means that the Druid will not only always have better spells as well, but more per day, even after the Ability score increases.

Network
2013-10-27, 11:48 AM
Diplomacy, Ride, and Use Rope should not be class skills, I think. The nymph has no ranks in these skills, they're given in the stat block due to synergy bonuses.
The rule is that, if the skill is given in the stat block, it is a class skill for the creature, even if it has no rank in it. I'm not sure whether this rule comes from the SRD or Savage Species, though.

If a Half-Nymph has any class levels of Druid, treat this ability instead as adding +7 caster levels of Druid, and gaining new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable), as if she had gained 7 levels in Druid.
This is redundant with what the SRD states about it:
A spellcasting class is an associated class for a creature that already has the ability to cast spells as a character of the class in question, since the monsterís levels in the spellcasting class stack with its innate spellcasting ability.

Ripptor
2013-10-27, 01:23 PM
The rule is that, if the skill is given in the stat block, it is a class skill for the creature, even if it has no rank in it. I'm not sure whether this rule comes from the SRD or Savage Species, though.

You are right, and it is in the SRD:

Monsters As Races

Monster characters treat skills mentioned in their monster entry as class skills.

As for the stacking caster levels, I've never found that specific quote before! I've seen many people argue how that is supposed to work, but it's nice to see that actually written somewhere. I guess I can take out the explicit explanation and just link people in the future.

So now, as far as balance goes, how does the race look when taken in whole? As racial levels? Are there any ways to abuse these that can cause trouble? (I imagine not, as I'm doing nothing new that the Nymph race itself isn't already doing..)

Rizban
2013-10-27, 03:13 PM
The Gloura race and the Druid class, by ACID testing. The spoilers above show the breakdown of differences and how they compare.

The Gloura has a +2 LA with the same DR and Unearthly Grace qualities, slightly lesser Ability score increases, and (as I forgot to mention earlier) a Fly speed instead of a Swim speed. I can't see why the Half-Nymph should have a higher LA in comparison?Gloura also has BARD casting rather than druid casting.


And compared to the Druid class, the Half-Nymph just loses at everything but save DCs(Not much of a win for a buffer build), and as I mentioned, taking the Druid class later never fixes the loss of caster levels and scaling class features of the Animal Companion and Wild Shape. Losing another caster level on top means that the Druid will not only always have better spells as well, but more per day, even after the Ability score increases.As lampshaded here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0346.html), druid is the most powerful base class printed. The best build for a druid? Druid 20. There are no PrCs which improve on druid, with the exception of planar shepherd, which I've never actually seen allowed in any game.

Balancing it against the druid is, as I said above in regards to wizard and half-celestial, not "balancing" it. If making a race that's effectively a druid replacement, then say that's your goal and make it a druid with some bonus stuff. Then you're at least being honest about its power level.

Ripptor
2013-10-27, 04:19 PM
Gloura also has BARD casting rather than druid casting.

True. I should move that to the Gain column instead of the Swap column.


As lampshaded here (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0346.html), druid is the most powerful base class printed. The best build for a druid? Druid 20. There are no PrCs which improve on druid, with the exception of planar shepherd, which I've never actually seen allowed in any game.

Balancing it against the druid is, as I said above in regards to wizard and half-celestial, not "balancing" it. If making a race that's effectively a druid replacement, then say that's your goal and make it a druid with some bonus stuff. Then you're at least being honest about its power level.

I did account for that in my comparison above. Like I said, the Half-Nymph loses in everything except saves and spell DCs, and doesn't come close to Druid, even if taken with straight Druid class levels.

However, it seems that I should probably lower the spellcasting level down to racial HD afterall. It hurts, and may make the race too weak instead, but we'll see how it looks.


10/26: Posted
10/27:
Lowered LA by 1
Lowered Spellcasting Level by 1
Added comparison to straight Druid class
Added Racial Levels option, as per Savage Species
Removed explicit statement about CL stacking, as it is stated in SRD

New comparisons to Gloura race and Druid 8, quoted here for quick reference. Druid 8 is clearly much better in almost every way. Compared to Gloura, you trade Fly Speed, Darkvision and -2 Bard Casting for Swim Speed, Lowlight Vision, and -2 Druid Casting, while Ability increases move from combat to casting stats, evened out instead of stacked (30 point buy instead of 28). There's good cause to take one over the other either way.



For balancing purposes, I compared this new race with a very close match, the fey Gloura, an ECL 9 race with most of the same features. Here is the comparison:
Losses: Low-light vision instead of Darkvision(60)
Racial Speed, Swim 15ft instead of Fly 60ft (Good)
2 Languages instead of 3, losing Undercommon
Gains: Racial Swim speed, 15 ft
Druid spellcasting, instead of Bard spellcasting
Wild Empathy (As Druid, +6 Bonus)
Swaps: -1 ECL of HD (HP, BAB, Saves, Skill, and Spellcasting progression)
-4 Dex, -2 Con, +6 Int, +4 Wis, +2 Cha
These differences make the Half-Nymph less of a combatant, taking away Con and Dex (Meaning HP and AC/AB, respectively) as well as weakening 2/3 saves. Losing the ability to Fly hurts, meaning that it is harder to stay out of combat as well. The Half-Nymph instead gains in all casting stats, giving more skill points and a higher Will save. This would make the Half-Nymph appealing to certain types of casters, while not overshadowing the Gloura's better fit for other builds.

The two races end with different flavor, and different possibilities, but nearly the same pluses and minuses as each other. Both are Fey with Caster Level equal to HD, +2 LA, Damage Reduction, Unearthly Grace, and hefty Ability Score increases. I believe they are thus equally balanced races, with neither outshining or clearly replacing the other.For balancing purposes, I compared this new race with 8 levels of straight Druid. Here is the comparison:
Losses: Two levels of spellcasting, 6th instead of 8th
-2 HD, therefore losing two levels of HP, AB, Saves, and Skills
Lower Hit Die, D6 instead of D8
Lower BAB, Poor instead of Average
Animal Companion, level 8
Wild Shape (Large, 3/day)
Woodland Stride
Trackless Step
Gains: Racial Swim speed, 15 ft
Ability Increases (+6 Dex, +2 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +8 Cha)
Save Bonuses, Unearthly Grace instead of Resist Nature's Lure
Damage Resistance, 10/Cold Iron
Low-light vision
Wild Empathy Bonus, +6
Swaps: Skill Bonuses, +8 Swim instead of Nature Sense
Good Reflex saves instead of Good Fortitude (Probably a loss)
2 Languages, Sylvan instead of Druidic
These differences make the Half-Nymph much less of a combatant, taking away their 8th level Animal Companion, their ability to Wild Shape into Large sized creatures 3/day, lower BAB and Hitdie as well as and 2 less HD of both (plus lost saves). She even loses in her caster abilities, losing two levels of a full spellcasting progression.
The Half-Nymph instead gains hefty raw ability score increases, mostly in caster stats, a better save bonus in Unearthly Grace, and an increased AC from both. This would make the Half-Nymph a stronger caster in terms of spell DCs, but will always be casting spells 2 levels behind a same ECL Druid.

The Druid is undoubtedly stronger, which is where things should stand against a Tier 1 class. Even when mixing with Druid class levels, the Half-Nymph loses 8 levels of leveling class features in Wild Shape and Animal Companion which will be sorely missed in optimized play. This assures me that the race has neither matched nor replaced the power level of the Druid class, and is at the very least, not Tier 1 unbalanced.

How does this look now?

If you see something that you think is off, please offer suggestions on how to fix it, so that we can work at fixing up the idea to a final, useable and desirable, setup!

Zaydos
2013-10-27, 04:28 PM
With LA buy-off this is completely broken at Lv 17+ where you have bought off your LA so you have better than druid casting. So it should have a warning that the race is balanced around lack of LA buy-off especially when you are bringing up optimized play where LA buy-off tends to be assumed.

Moving on the loss of Wild Shape hurts it from ECL 8 to 17, at Lv 18+ it is strictly better now that Shapechange is on the table.

You emphasize how it loses a hit die and therefore BAB/saves compared to Gloura, but fey HD 7 grants no benefits to BAB or saves making that a rather bad comparison, you also in your comparison section fail to note that it is 1 ECL lower which is a big difference. With Unearthly Grace the +2 to Charisma makes up for the reduced Con as far as saves are concerned and half the reduced Dex while providing other benefits and the comparison of stats isn't quite an honest method to do it by as the casting stat is also extremely important (and they both have equal there). Overall it has -1 Ref compared to Gloura, -1 AC (+1 Flat-Footed), -5 hp (the level in druid to equal out the ECL makes up for 1 hp from the con loss), +3 Will save, significantly stronger casting (2 to 3 4th level spells compared to 1 or 2 3rd level spell). Flight would be a major loss, coupled with lack of Wild Shape, except for the presence of several spells that grant flight (Air Walk in core, Fire Wings with a 1 minute/level duration as a 3rd level spell and Master of Air is 2nd level with 1 round/level duration in Spell Compendium). The Half-Nymph is significantly better due to superior casting and the ability to easily replicate Gloura's racial advantages by tapping into a portion of it something much harder for Gloura to do coupled with a lower ECL.

In the druid comparison... +6 Wisdom means +3 to save DCs. Without LA buy-off it is probably not worth the loss of animal companion, wild shape, and 1 level of casting (one of the above, possibly 2, easily yes) but works in certain specialized builds. The whopping +4 or more to saves, coupled with the +2 to Con makes up for the reduction to Fort save and then some (they end up with a +1 to Fort compared to level 8 druid, a +5 to Will saves, and a whopping +10 to Reflex at ECL 8, these numbers all improve at Lv 9 when they take a level in druid). The +7 AC and DR make up for the defensive loss of wild shape and then some. It is somewhat weaker than druid but able to be optimized for other things and still stronger than a shapeshifter variant druid.

Even with the 1 level reduction in casting it still is superior to Gloura at equal ECL. I'd actually say reduce Charisma by 2 (and thus saves and AC by 1). The loss of 2 levels of casting hurt, but make it still comparable to shapeshifter druid (+6 to Casting Stat and 10 DR which monsters don't overcome are big things [almost 60% damage reduction versus a pit fiend or CR 20 black dragon's full attack], plus a big bonus to all saves) even if not compared to wild shape and animal companion.

Ripptor
2013-10-27, 06:05 PM
With LA buy-off this is completely broken at Lv 17+ where you have bought off your LA so you have better than druid casting. So it should have a warning that the race is balanced around lack of LA buy-off especially when you are bringing up optimized play where LA buy-off tends to be assumed.

Moving on the loss of Wild Shape hurts it from ECL 8 to 17, at Lv 18+ it is strictly better now that Shapechange is on the table.

You emphasize how it loses a hit die and therefore BAB/saves compared to Gloura, but fey HD 7 grants no benefits to BAB or saves making that a rather bad comparison, you also in your comparison section fail to note that it is 1 ECL lower which is a big difference. With Unearthly Grace the +2 to Charisma makes up for the reduced Con as far as saves are concerned and half the reduced Dex while providing other benefits and the comparison of stats isn't quite an honest method to do it by as the casting stat is also extremely important (and they both have equal there). Overall it has -1 Ref compared to Gloura, -1 AC (+1 Flat-Footed), -5 hp (the level in druid to equal out the ECL makes up for 1 hp from the con loss), +3 Will save, significantly stronger casting (2 to 3 4th level spells compared to 1 or 2 3rd level spell). Flight would be a major loss, coupled with lack of Wild Shape, except for the presence of several spells that grant flight (Air Walk in core, Fire Wings with a 1 minute/level duration as a 3rd level spell and Master of Air is 2nd level with 1 round/level duration in Spell Compendium). The Half-Nymph is significantly better due to superior casting and the ability to easily replicate Gloura's racial advantages by tapping into a portion of it something much harder for Gloura to do coupled with a lower ECL.

In the druid comparison... +6 Wisdom means +3 to save DCs. Without LA buy-off it is probably not worth the loss of animal companion, wild shape, and 1 level of casting (one of the above, possibly 2, easily yes) but works in certain specialized builds. The whopping +4 or more to saves, coupled with the +2 to Con makes up for the reduction to Fort save and then some (they end up with a +1 to Fort compared to level 8 druid, a +5 to Will saves, and a whopping +10 to Reflex at ECL 8, these numbers all improve at Lv 9 when they take a level in druid). The +7 AC and DR make up for the defensive loss of wild shape and then some. It is somewhat weaker than druid but able to be optimized for other things and still stronger than a shapeshifter variant druid.

It seems most of this is addressed with the caster level reduction from 7 to 6, which I changed just 10 min before your post. (Ninja!) Now it's impossible for a Druid to gain a higher CL than ECL, after LA buyoff, and I caught some of the things I had previously overlooked, some of which you pointed out.


Even with the 1 level reduction in casting it still is superior to Gloura at equal ECL. I'd actually say reduce Charisma by 2 (and thus saves and AC by 1). The loss of 2 levels of casting hurt, but make it still comparable to shapeshifter druid (+6 to Casting Stat and 10 DR which monsters don't overcome are big things [almost 60% damage reduction versus a pit fiend or CR 20 black dragon's full attack], plus a big bonus to all saves) even if not compared to wild shape and animal companion.

The Half-Nymph is significantly more MAD race than the Gloura, so the ability score increases being spread thinner are a bigger deal. The Gloura relies on Dex(+10) for it's AB and AC, and on Cha(+6) for Saves, Casting, and additional AC. The Half-Nymph relies on Dex(+6) for AB and AC, Wis(+6) for Casting, and Cha(+8) for Saves and additional AC.
While the Gloura can sit back and pump it's Cha all day to raise AC, DCs, and Saves (+10 Dex is high enough for AB to leave alone), the Half-Nymph needs to choose whether to pump Dex for AB and AC, Wis for spells, or Cha for Saves and AC.

The Gloura's Fly speed is not diminished in comparison by a Half-Nymph's access to flight spells. In order for a Half-Nymph to gain flight, she must sacrifice a spell and some portion of the action economy, while afterwards being susceptible to dispels and time-outs. Even with class abilities which may be gained later, the action economy is always a concern, as well as uses per day.

Comparing a Half-Nymph Druid 14 to a Druid 20 using LA buyoff in optimized play means that the Druid 20 is more than likely using an LA race or template as well, which needs kept in mind. There are some decent choices out there: A Half-Celestial Druid 19 has DR, SR, AC, Immunities, Resistances, Wings, a bunch of SLAs and other abilities, all on top of whatever base race is chosen. In short, don't forget that a Half-Nymph takes up the race choice, 6 levels of HD, and 2 levels of LA (buyoff or no).

If an optimized LA-bought Half-Nymph Druid may(?) come close (while under certain spells/conditions) to an unoptimized non bought (Race unknown) full Druid near level 20, that doesn't really play the case that the Half-Nymph reaches the power level of Druid. That mostly just shows how hard a Half-Nymph would have to try in order to bridge that power gap.. And that doesn't even take into account the 6 level difference of the Animal Companions in the mix.

Lyndworm
2013-10-27, 08:04 PM
The rule is that, if the skill is given in the stat block, it is a class skill for the creature, even if it has no rank in it. I'm not sure whether this rule comes from the SRD or Savage Species, though.
You are right, and it is in the SRD:

Monsters As Races

Monster characters treat skills mentioned in their monster entry as class skills.
My mistake! I was, for some reason, under the impression that only skills in which the monster had ranks or racial bonuses were considered class skills. Sorry to misinform you.

Yitzi
2013-10-27, 10:03 PM
Make it phrenic and give it some non-casting CHA-based classes (particularly those that give +CHA to *stat*), and it might even be fairly powerful...consider a phrenic half-nymph bard into arcane duelist (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20030224a). After 2 levels of arcane duelist, she might also pick up a couple levels of paladin (because a ridiculously high save bonus is always handy), or even level 2 barbarian (to keep that ridiculous AC bonus when flatfooted). Melee offense would suffer unless the DM allows Dashing Swordsman, but between phrenic abilities (which automatically scale with level), and well-chosen druid spells and bard spells (and maybe UMD...), she should have enough to do.

Ripptor
2013-10-29, 12:10 PM
My mistake! I was, for some reason, under the impression that only skills in which the monster had ranks or racial bonuses were considered class skills. Sorry to misinform you.
Don't worry about it, we all make mistakes. Thanks for taking a look! Any feedback on the build/balance/concept?


Make it phrenic and give it some non-casting CHA-based classes (particularly those that give +CHA to *stat*), and it might even be fairly powerful...consider a phrenic half-nymph bard into arcane duelist (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20030224a). After 2 levels of arcane duelist, she might also pick up a couple levels of paladin (because a ridiculously high save bonus is always handy), or even level 2 barbarian (to keep that ridiculous AC bonus when flatfooted). Melee offense would suffer unless the DM allows Dashing Swordsman, but between phrenic abilities (which automatically scale with level), and well-chosen druid spells and bard spells (and maybe UMD...), she should have enough to do.

Interesting.. I'm unfamiliar on the whole with Psionics, but that does look like it would mesh rather well, albeit for a combined ECL of 10 before taking any class levels. I wonder if anyone has ever done that with the Gloura, and how that turned out?

Yitzi
2013-10-29, 03:07 PM
Don't worry about it, we all make mistakes. Thanks for taking a look! Any feedback on the build/balance/concept?



Interesting.. I'm unfamiliar on the whole with Psionics, but that does look like it would mesh rather well, albeit for a combined ECL of 10 before taking any class levels. I wonder if anyone has ever done that with the Gloura, and how that turned out?

Hmm...and gloura have bard casting, which is CHA-based and gives a decent selection of save-or-dies...

Lyndworm
2013-10-30, 12:14 AM
Thanks for taking a look! Any feedback on the build/balance/concept?
Not much, I'm afraid. My thoughts are mostly in line with those of Rizban, and I don't really have anything to add that you haven't heard.