View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Race Building Suggestions?

2008-12-01, 09:03 AM
It's been a while since I was able to post, what with the thesis-writing and all. I've solved my issues in the past with problem players (by keeping games more "local", with fellow grad students, instead of driving almost two hours to game with "old friends").

But now, we want to run a whole new campaign world of our own. Since none of us are mathematicians, we're not entirely good at "number crunching" for balance. So, I turn to this board, which has always proven helpful in suggestions and advice, and I'm very thankful for that (though I didn't thank anyone here on Thanksgiving Day as I already get enough strange looks from the family when I talk about my "research").

We've recently come across Paizo's "Pathfinder" system, and like it a lot more than the simple 3.5. It's more cinematic, to be sure, but hell, we're here to escape, right?

So, the first part of our world, which we tentatively call "Farmland", is a high-fantasy, high-magic world loosely based on George Orwell's fairy story Animal Farm. In this world, due to the alchemical experimentation of a mad farmer in an attempt to produce better animals for selling, the typical livestock animals have evolved into two-legged, clothes-wearing, opposable-thumb-having citizens that populate most of the world. Humans are still abundant, but find themselves in a precarious situation. Either they are "herded" in cities (they're given lots of freedom, but just can't go outside the city walls) "for their own safety", or they live in secluded, walled communes far from any city, where they practice a vegetarian, repentant (yet not opposed to using violence) religion following "The First Farmer".

The world has recently emerged from a 3,000 year-old dark age, and it could be said to be going through a stolid renaissance. While Porcines are the cleverest, and often make the best leaders, they often like to play politics to the Bovines and Equines, as the latter two groups believe that the "strongest", or the "hardest working" should be the leaders. And a dumb figurehead to blame when things go wrong make for happy pigs.

Early raids by wolves on the "mutated" livestock have also "evolved" them, as did feeding the shepherd dogs the mutated meat so change them. Wolves are feared and kept outside city walls (even the human cults will often shoot wolves on sight). The "Domestics", or "Cosmopolitans" are allowed within cities, but because they are known to eat meat, they are often looked down upon. However, they do get used as diplomats when dealing with human settlements (especially the cults), because a dumb grin and a wagging tail goes a long way to easing tensions.

Oh, and mosquitoes and fleas feeding on the blood of these animals have changed them into horrid beasts that roam the woods (much like Umber Hulks or what have you; Dire insectoids that could carry a hay cart with little effort).

Each race would have their own version of the creation story, which I can post later, and each follow a "Progenitor" of their evolved race, based on this creation story.

So, with that in mind, I ask for suggestions on the races. Instead of making "subcategories" for everything to detail different breeds or what have you, I figure just using super-categories, with a bundle of traits that everyone of that species shares, and let the players do the describing of what their character looks like, etc.

Any suggestions would be most welcome, and if I forget anything, by all means, chime in. I am looking for "balance", but I know it's a pipe dream. The Pathfinder System uses a two +2 and one -2 Stat system for race building. So, every race would get two good traits, and one bad one, as it were:

Porcines (pigs): +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex, Favored Classes = Rogue, Wizard

Equines (Horses, donkeys): +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Cha, Favored Class = Fighter, Ranger

Bovines (cattle): +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int, Favored Class = Fighter, Barbarian

Ovines (sheep): ? Favored Class = Cleric, ? (I'm thinking -2 Int, or -2 Cha, for their herd mentality, but I've seem some smart feral rams... but we're talking domesticated livestock...)

Caprines (goats): +2 Con, for sure, but the other +2? -2 Cha for stubbornness? -2 Wis? Favored Class? Or should we just lump Caprines in with the Ovines?

Fowl (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, etc): Small size, +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Int or Con (stupid, or hollow bones cracking easily?) Limited flight... Favored Classes: Bard, Ranger?

Domestics: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha (tend to follow, not lead); Favored Class: Fighter, Cleric (some shepherds like to tend flocks...)

Wolves: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Int (don't benefit from "schools" and prefer the wild life). Favored classes: Barbarian, Sorcerer. Divine Casters tend to be Druids, and suffer a penalty when dealing with any other race (except domestics).

I thank those in advance who are familiar with the system, and if you have anything to comment on, I'm open to criticism. Have a wonderful day!

Sinfire Titan
2008-12-01, 11:15 AM
Despite Paizo's claims of it being backwards-compatible, Pathfinder is as compatible with 3.5 as 4E is backwards compatible to AD&D. The changes they've made to the system are so profound that it is now a system of it's own, and trying to play anything that isn't in the Pathfinder system itself will quickly prove tedious.

As for races, having the animals as the enemies would be the better choice. Plus it makes for a great analogue to the way the Soviet Union ended.

2008-12-01, 06:41 PM
I noticed the "backwards compatibility" already, but I figured, if I could just spend some time to figure it out (which I'm a bit strained for, sadly)...

Anyway, in a way, the 'animals' are the bad guys. I should have emphasized the "loosely based" part, when it comes to Animal Farm. It's more like Animal Farm meets the Half-Life Series, with the animals being somewhat akin to the Combine. Only, the world is not so... wasteland-ish. And humans aren't sterilized (though it would be an amusing turn of events to have the occasional human "steer")... but they're definitely discriminated against. It could be told from various points of view. From the humans struggling against an unfair system, where the resistance they meet is passive. Like the animals simply cannot believe that the humans want to have the freedom to leave the cities... Or it could be the animals, faced with rebellion of the humans.

Or maybe a tribal game with violent wolves and humans working together to put down an evil emanating from one of the millennia-old ruins...

This is what happens when folks in various agriculture majors try to design a fantasy world. :p

2008-12-02, 08:39 AM
Why are you making things so overcomplex? Just do what Scott over at OD&D Wilderlands did and rule that all talking animal archetypes use the existing halfling rules.

The Land of Talking Beasts (http://wilderlandsodnd.blogspot.com/2008/11/land-of-beasts.html)

Kender <==> Furry :smallamused:



Or there's always TNMT the RPG. *ducks behind cover*