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Bansheexero
2018-07-08, 11:19 PM
So, I was mulling over the notion of races with racial hit die and the lack of the level adjustment system in Pathfinder and wanted to think of a way of generating playable monsters that are more potent than the standard races, yet come into that power more gradually. Then the thought came to me regarding variant multiclassing and to use that as a foundation for the system. The way it works is at first level, you start with base racial features and then at 3rd and every 4 levels after that you do not gain a feat, but instead improve racial features. Not all elite races will advance as far and this do not give up as many feats, but you have to give up feats required to fully progress as your race. Each stage of advancement is called a rank, and you start at rank 0.

I actually developed this concept while in jail (long story), so I did not have access to a lot of materials and had to work from memory, so no doubt it will need some tweaking, but I developed a sample elite race I call Goliath's (I recognize there is a race called that in 3.5, but I figured Pathfinder is a different world, so goliaths can be different too. After all, a D&D changeling is different from a pf changeling). Anyway, I'd like some notes on how to better balance goliaths, which I broke up into subraces. The race itself is akin to giants the way elves are akin to fey.

Goliath


Rank 0

Medium Humanoid (Giant)
+2 Str, +2 Int, -2 Cha
Speed 40 ft
Darkvision 90 ft
+4 Stealth
Ignores the effects of non-magical difficult terrain while underground
Spell-like ability - Darkness 1/day (as Druid)
Starting Languages - Common and Giant, additional languages for high Int (still determining)

Rank 1

+2 Con, Natural Armor 1, Darkvision 120 ft

Rank 2

+2 Str, Natural Armor 2, Darkness 3/day

Rank 3

Large Size (+2 Str, +10 ft to base land speed, 10 ft reach), See in Darkness



Rank 0

Medium Humanoid (Giant)
+2 Str, +2 Cha, -2 Wis
Speed 30 ft
Low-light Vision
Darkvision 60 ft
Ignores the effects of non-magical difficult terrain in deserts
Natural Armor 2
Resist Fire 5 and Electricity 5
Starting Languages - Common and Giant, additional languages for high Int (still determining)

Rank 1

+2 Con, Natural Armor 3, Tremoesense 10 ft

Rank 2

+2 Str, Natural Armor 4, Resist Fire 10 and Electricity 10

Rank 3

Large Size (+2 Str, +10 ft to base land speed, 10 ft reach), Tremorsense 30 ft



Rank 0

Medium Humanoid (Giant)
+2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Int
Speed 30 ft, Swim 30 ft
Blindsense 30 ft in water only
+4 Swim (on top of Swim speed bonus)
Amphibious
Acclimated to Deep Sea Pressure
Natural Armor 1
Resist Acid 5 and Cold 5
Starting Languages - Common and Giant, additional languages for high Int (still determining)

Rank 1

+2 Con, Natural Armor 2, +8 Swim

Rank 2

+2 Str, Natural Armor 3, Resist Acid 10 and Cold 10

Rank 3

Large Size (+2 Str, +10 ft to base land speed, 10 ft reach), Blindsense 60 ft in water only



Rank 0

Medium Humanoid (Giant)
+2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Cha
Speed 30 ft
Low-light Vision
+4 Climb, +4 Acrobatics
Ignores the effects of non-magical difficult terrain in mountain regions
Acclimated for high altitudes
Natural Armor 1
Spell-like abilities - Featherfall 1/day (self only, as Druid)
Starting Languages - Common and Giant, additional languages for high Int (still determining)

Rank 1

+2 Con, Natural Armor 2, Climb Speed 30 ft

Rank 2

+2 Str, Natural Armor 3, +4 Acrobatics

Rank 3

Large Size (+2 Str, +10 ft to base land speed, 10 ft reach), Featherfall 3/day (self only)



Rank 0

Medium Humanoid (Giant)
+2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Int
Speed 40 ft
Low-light Vision
+2 Survival, +2 Knowledge (Nature)
Ignores the effects of non-magical difficult terrain in forests and jungles
+4 on saves vs poison
Spell-like ability - Entangle 1/day (as Druid)
Starting Languages - Common and Giant, additional languages for high Int (still determining)

Rank 1

+2 Con, Natural Armor 1, Entangle 3/day

Rank 2

+2 Str, Natural Armor 2, Poison Immunity

Rank 3

Large Size (+2 Str, +10 ft to base land speed, 10 ft reach), Treestrider 1/day (self only, as Druid)



Ancient Blood
Prereqs: Goliath, Rank 2+
Benefits: You gain +2 to Str and +1 to you Natural Armor

Adjustable Stature
Prereqs: Goliath, Rank 3, Caster level 8+
Benefits: You may switch between your Large size and Medium size at will as a standard action. This functions as the spell Reduce Person (and does not stack with), but is a supernatural ability with an indefinite duration.

rferries
2018-07-11, 08:14 PM
This is a cool idea - consuming feats as an alternative to level adjustment. I worry that players might feel too "locked in" though... maybe offer the ranks as optional racial feats instead of mandatory lost feats? Though I understand how that breaks the "nature, not nurture" feel of the abilities.

Digitalfruitz
2018-07-12, 12:03 AM
Craggtopper, Treestrider, Wavebreaker, and Sandstalker are all beautifully balanced. However the other one is slightly unbalanced. I would give base Shadowalker a small buff (like something along the lines of a +1 CMD boost or maybe some kind of Hatred effect against Drow and/or Duergar.

Bansheexero
2018-07-14, 09:01 PM
This is a cool idea - consuming feats as an alternative to level adjustment. I worry that players might feel too "locked in" though... maybe offer the ranks as optional racial feats instead of mandatory lost feats? Though I understand how that breaks the "nature, not nurture" feel of the abilities.

I considered that at first, but each upgrade is hard to balance with a single feat, so the locked in thing was for a bit of balance in terms of decision making (all or nothing). I mean, I could have gone with it, similar to bloodlines in 3.5 Unearthed Arcana, but it seemed a little unbalanced.


Craggtopper, Treestrider, Wavebreaker, and Sandstalker are all beautifully balanced. However the other one is slightly unbalanced. I would give base Shadowalker a small buff (like something along the lines of a +1 CMD boost or maybe some kind of Hatred effect against Drow and/or Duergar.

Hmm, I'll take note of that, need to think of something thematic. Racial emnity seems appropriate, but I need to develop a bit more story for them as a race. I also had some other elite races I was working on such as a noble sidhe fey race (divided into 4 seasons), a werewolf variation for players to use, and even tried balancing trolls a bit (they had a high elite rank, and only got to 3/4 full power before adding in their additional racial feats, so still some balancing going on there).