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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Xallace's Avatar

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    Default v3.5 Race Remix! (Latest Race: Shifters)

    I'm a little dissatisfied with how races are in Dungeons and Dragons v3.5. Half of their racial features are cultural benefits (and are stated as such), some abilities just don't make much sense (lookin' at you, Detect Secret Doors), and ability score penalties feel more like "Creativity Penalties."

    So, I had a new idea. Each of these "remixed" races provide a couple of stat boosts, have some more "genetic" abilities, and each come with at least one flaw that should affect them, no matter the class. The first Spoiler will be the racial features, the second will be my thoughts and design notes on the matter.

    Sit back, relax, and please evaluate and honestly critique my D&D races!
    Base Races
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    Humans
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    • Humanoid (Human)
    • Medium Size
    • 30-Foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • Humans gain a +2 bonus to any one skill, chosen at 1st level
    • +2 Bonus to any single ability score, chosen at 1st level.
    • +4 Skill Points at 1st Level, +1 per level afterwards
    • Humans gain a bonus feat at 1st level. You must meet all requirements for the feat to take it.
    • Only Human: Humans must choose one flaw from the General Flaw List. Humans do not gain a bonus feat for this flaw, but it does not count against the limit of two flaws at 1st level.

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    It took me a while to figure out the flaw for humans. Seems obvious in retrospect: choose your own! As usual, humans are the "whatever-you-want" race, good at pretty much everything.


    Dwarves
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    • Humanoid (Dwarf)
    • Medium Size
    • 25-foot (5 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom at 1st level
    • Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus to Appraise and Sense Motive checks.
    • Darkvision: Dwarves can see up to 60 feet in conditions of absolute darkness.
    • Enduring: Any effect that would render a dwarf fatigued has no effect, and any effect that would render a dwarf exhausted instead renders him fatigued. If the dwarf is already fatigued when affected by an effect that would cause exhaustion, the dwarf becomes exhausted as normal.
    • Stable: Dwarves gain a +4 bonus against Trip and Bull Rush attempts.
    • Unwinded: Dwarves can move at their full speed while wearing medium or heavy armor, or while carrying a medium or heavy load.
    • Light Sensitivity: Dwarves are naturally subterrainian creatures, and as such have difficulty handling abrupt changes in light. If a dwarf is suddenly exposed to bright light (such as the sun or that produced by the Daylight prayer), the character is blinded for one round, and takes a -2 penalty to Attack Rolls for 1 minute. Slow exposure to bright light does not cause this discomfort.

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    Dwarves were a pretty big offender on the "cultural features" list. Dodge bonus against giants, attack bonuses against goblins and orcs, weapon familiarities, stone cunning. It really wasn't long to figure out what I wanted instead; my idea was that dwarves should represent "Constitution Paragons," in the same way Elves focus on Dex and Halflings on Charisma. I think these abilities are much dwarfier, and the cultural abilities would make for great feats.


    Elves
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    • Humanoid (Elf)
    • Medium Size
    • 35-Foot (7 square) Base Land Speed
    • Elves gain a +2 racial bonus to Spot and Listen checks.
    • +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence at 1st level.
    • Trance: Elves do not sleep, but instead enter a trance. Four hours of trancing is equivalent to eight hours of sleep for the purposes of healing and rest. In addition, elves are immune to Sleep effects.
    • Athletic Finesse: Elves may choose to use their Dexterity modifier in place of their Strength modifier on Climb, Jump, and Swim checks.
    • Combat Finesse: Elves are considered to have the Weapon Finesse and Dodge feats for the purpose of meeting prerequisites, though they do not gain the benefits of those feats. An elf who takes the Weapon Finesse feat also considers any weapon with "Elven" in the title to be a martial weapon. An elf who acquires the Dodge feat gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC at all times, instead of against a single target.
    • Enhanced Senses: Elves roll twice on Spot and Listen checks and take the higher result.
    • Delicate: Elven musculature is designed for motion, not for outwards force. Elves are considered to be one size category smaller in any situation where it would be disadvantageous to them, except in terms of weapon use and reach.

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    Ah, the elves. How do you cram everything about these guys into a single race without turning into Mary-Sues? 4E couldn't do it, 3.5 definitely didn't do it (how many subraces were there?). Well, I decided instead to strip away a lot and focus on one or two elements of the elves.

    Elves are the paragons of grace in this version. They're faster than any of the other races, get a nice Dex boost, and can use Dex in place of Strength in some key situations. I imagine feats and Racial Substitution Levels would focus a lot on keeping elves mobile, or granting them benefits for moving.

    The Spot/Listen bonus and the Enhanced Senses features are based on 3.5's idea of elves being pretty perceptive, while the Intelligence boost is a nod to their favored class of "wizard."

    The flaw was a tough one to figure out exactly how to implement. I figured that if elves were very fast, they wouldn't need to be able to handle as much pain as other adventurers. Making them fragile little twigs seemed the right way to go. The "Fragile" flaw was deemed far too crippling by the board, and was thus removed. Now Elves just aren't very good at exerting force on things.


    Gnomes
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    • Humanoid (Gnome)
    • Small Size
    • 20-foot (4 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Constitution +2 Intelligence
    • Gnomes gain a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (arcana) and Spellcraft checks
    • Quick Learner: If a gnome fails a save against an effect, the gnome gains his Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus on saves against that attack for the remainder of the encounter (or 5 minutes). Similarly, if a gnome is hit by an attack targeting his AC, the gnome gains an insight bonus to his Armor Class equal to his Intelligence modifier against similar attacks (melee weapon attacks, melee touch attacks, ranged weapon attacks, ranged touch attacks) until the end of the encounter.
      A gnome who is flat-footed or otherwise loses his Dex bonus to AC does not gain these bonuses.
    • Patterned Scanning: Gnomes may choose to use their Intelligence modifier instead of their Wisdom modifier on Spot and Listen checks. Gnomes may may make Spot and Listen checks once per round as free actions.
    • See Through Deceit: Gnomes gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against illusion effects.
    • Racial Inattentiveness: Gnome attention spans are short, a side effect of their continual scanning for minute changes in the surroundings. When using the Concentration skill, Gnomes must roll twice and take the worse result. In addition, gnomes must beat a DC20 Concentration check to Take 20 on an action. They must roll twice on this skill check as well.


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    Gnomes were an interesting one. I always thought of them as a race of miniature Da Vincis, so I knew I had to base them on Intelligence. What we have here are gnomes who were prey to much scarier beasts (like kobolds) for millenia, and their huge brains developed to outsmart the predators. They learn quickly, and they're constantly on the lookout for danger, unconsciously at least. Other races just consider them to have ADD.


    Halflings
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    • Humanoid (Halfling)
    • Small Size
    • 25-foot (5 sqaure) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Dexterity +2 Charisma
    • Halflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Tumble checks
    • Lucky: Halflings may re-roll any single d20 roll, once per day.
    • Personal Force: Halflings may choose to use their Charisma modifier on Will saves in place of their Wisdom modifier.
    • Diplomatic Finesse: Halflings can make Diplomacy checks in half of the time noted in the Skills chapter.
    • Group Tactics: When a halfling uses the Aid Another action, she grants a +3 bonus instead of a +2. Halflings gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and Will Saves when adjacent to at least one ally.
    • Social Creature: Halflings are definitely group creatures, and when left alone they suffer psychological effects much quicker than the average human. A halfling who cannot hear and does not have line of sight to any ally for at least 3 rounds must make a Will Save (DC10) or take a -4 penalty to all ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws while combat. This save is repeated each round that the halfling cannot see or hear allies with a cumulative +1 bonus to the DC. Outside of combat, a halfling must be away from allies for at least 3 hours before accruing penalties, and the save is made every hour.

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    While searching for a niche for halflings to fill, "social paragon" stuck out as one I had not yet used. Groups creatures, I imagine them sorta like nomadic meerkats, actually.

    To be honest, I'm not the happiest with how their abilities turned out. Feels a little underwhelming to me. I think they need at least one nice, robust ability to really fill them out.


    Orcs
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    • Humanoid (Orc)
    • Medium Size
    • 30-foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Strength +2 Wisdom
    • Orcs gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate and Survival checks
    • Powerful Grip: Orcs can wield weapons designed for a creature one size larger than themselves, at no penalty.
    • Brawny: Orcs are considered to have an additional 4 points of Strength for the purpose of carrying capacity. An orc overloaded (lifting double his maximum load off of the ground) may move at fifteen feet per round, rather than 5. Orcs still take all other penalties of being overloaded.
      Orcs also gain a +4 bonus to break, burst, or Sunder an object.
    • Fight Instinct: An orcs fight-or-flight instinct is very different from any other creature's. While an orc is Frightened or Panicked, the orc does not drop what it is holding and does not flee from the source of the effect unless he chooses to do so. The Orc takes a -4 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks and skill checks while Frightened or Panicked.
    • Adrenaline: An orc who drops below 0 HP (but remains above -10 HP) gains Temporary HP equal to twice his character level. The character remains conscious as long as the Temporary HP bring him back above 0 HP. These HP last for five minutes or until the orc loses them through damage. If the character receives magical healing enough to bring him back above 0 HP, the Temporary HP disappear, and the orc is exhausted.

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    I never liked that orcs got the short straw in v3.5. Thought they could use some filling out. In particular, I wanted to make sure that whatever I came up with could work both for the "raiding barbarian" orcs as well as the "noble savage" orcs.

    I took a different approach to the orc than the other races. Instead of giving them a single pervasive flaw, the more powerful orc abilities come with their own drawbacks.

    It would be kind of hard to build without just giving orcs barbarian rage, but the idea is that orc bodies pump adrenaline a lot more freely than the human body. Large boosts followed by sudden crashes is something that I would probably integrate into Racial Sub levels and feats.

    Monstrous Races
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    Drow
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    • Humanoid (Elf)
    • Medium Size
    • 30-foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Dexterity +2 Intelligence
    • Drow gain a +2 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks
    • Trance: Drow do not sleep, but instead enter a trance. Four hours of trancing is equivalent to eight hours of sleep for the purposes of healing and rest. In addition, drow are immune to Sleep effects.
    • Darkvision: Drow can see up to 60 feet in perfect darkness.
    • Spider's Hunt: As a swift action, Drow can turn invisible once per encounter (or five minutes), for one round. This is a supernatural ability.
    • Reactive Stealth: If a drow has cover or concealment at the beginning of combat, she can make a Hide check as a free action.
    • Hide To Survive: Drow gain Spell Resistance 20 + their character level against Divination effects. If the effect would not normally allow Spell Resistance, the caster must make a Caster Level check against a DC of 10 + the Drow's character level to be able to detect the drow.
    • Web Walk: Drow ignore difficult terrain.
    • Light Sensitivity: Drow are naturally subterrainian creatures, and as such have difficulty handling abrupt changes in light. If a drow is suddenly exposed to bright light (such as the sun or that produced by the Daylight prayer), the character is blinded for one round, and takes a -2 penalty to Attack Rolls for 1 minute. Slow exposure to bright light does not cause this discomfort.

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    Stealthy, stealthy dark elves. Stealth would really be their niche in my game world, so abilities that make them better for sneaky tactics seemed right. Like the halflings, I feel these guys are a little underwhelming right now, and could use at least one nice, robust power.


    Lizardfolk
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    • Humanoid (Reptilian)
    • Medium Size
    • 30-foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Strength, +2 Constitution at 1st level
    • Lizardfolk gain a +2 racial bonus on Climb and Swim checks
    • Low-Light Vision: Lizardfolk can see by limited lighting as well as they can see in bright light. Lizardfolk can see by the light of the moon, stars, a torch, or candles with no penalty.
    • Bodily Regeneration: Lizardfolk heal faster than other humanoids. Rest proides double the benefit in terms of HP and Ability Damage healing. Lizardfolk can also regenerate lost limbs, even without the aid of bedrest; a lost limb typically regrows in 3d4 days.
    • Assume Reptilian Trait: As a lizardfolk, you are a paragon of reptilian kind. At 1st level, choose any two of the following traits. These traits cannot be changed a later time.
      • Gecko Feet: You gain a Base Climb Speed equal to 1/2 your Base Land Speed. You can scale sheer vertical surfaces.
      • Alligator Lungs: You can hold your breath for 8 x your Constitution modifier before needing to make checks to stave off suffocation.
      • Crocodile Tale: You gain a Base Swim Speed equal to 1/2 your Base Land Speed.
      • Chameleon Skin: You gain a bonus to Hide checks equal to 5 + 1/2 your character level. When not using this ability to hide, you change color based on your emotional state.
      • Komodo Bite: You gain a Bite attack that deals 1d6 points of damage, plus your Strength modifier. Once per day, a creature struck by your bite attack must make a Fortitude Save (DC10 + 1/2 Your Character Level + Your Con modifier) or become paralyzed for one minute.
      • Horned Lizard Defense: You can shoot blood from your eyes with pin-point accuracy, once per encounter. Make a ranged touch attack against a single creature as a standard action; on a successful hit, the target becomes blinded. The target can take a full-round action to remove this effect.
    • Cold-Blooded: Lizardfolk are ectothermic creatures, and find it harder to function in cold climes. A lizardfolk takes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, physical ability checks, physical ability checks, and reflex saves for each temperature band below Temperate of the immediate area, until the lizardfolk finds a warmer area. Likewise, a lizardfolk affected by Cold damage takes -4 penalty on the same checks for one round. These penalties stack.


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    I didn't know what kind of reptiles lizardfolk were supposed to be. I mean, they've got some alligator traits, but they look kinda like iguanas. So, I did what I always do when I can't decide: I let them be both!


    Kobolds
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    • Humanoid (Reptilian)
    • Small Size
    • 35-foot (7 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence at 1st level
    • Kobolds gain a +2 racial bonus to Listen and Move Silently checks.
    • Darkvision: Kobolds can see out to 60 feet in absolute darkness.
    • Natural Tunnelers: Kobolds have a Base Burrow Speed of 20 feet (4 sqaures).
    • Digging Claws: Kobolds have (relatively) large claws suited for digging and usable in combat. They have two claw attacks that deal 1d3 points of damage, plus the kobold's strength modifier. You gain a +2 bonus to Sunder checks using your claws, and ignore the first 2 points of hardness when attacking an object.
    • Tunnel Sense: While underground, Kobolds can always tell how far they are below the surface. A kobold has an instinctive sense of the distance and location of immediate walls, ceiling and floor, even if they cannot see. Obstacles of medium size or larger - such as stalagmites or large rocks - also register with this sense, allowing kobolds to navigate even while blind. Kobolds cannot sense creatures with this ability.
    • Tunnel Runners: Kobolds count as one size smaller for the purpose of squeezing. Kobolds do not take any penalties to speed for trying to squeeze.
    • Sleight Build: Kobolds count as a creature of one size smaller when it would be detrimental to them, execpt in cases of weapon use and reach.

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    I tried, I really did. Tried to fit the draconic-ness of them in there somewhere. But alas, I could not come up with an appropriate ability. So I focused instead on kobolds as burrow-lizards, and I think it turned out pretty well.

    What this really makes me think, though, is that I'm going to need to get cracking on extra racial stuff (sub-levels, feats, etc) to really make them come alive.

    Goblins
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    • Humanoid (Goblin)
    • Small Size
    • 25-foot (5 squares) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence at 1st level.
    • Goblins gain a +2 racial bonus on Disable Device and Search checks.
    • Tool Apptitude: When using a tool kit to help with a skill check (such as a disguise kit or climber's kit), you add your Intelligence modifier to your check result.
    • Scavenger: You can spend three hours searching up to a mile-wide area. At the end of this time, you acquire 15GP/level worth of raw materials that can be used in any Craft skill of your choice. These materials are of no value outside of their use in Craft skills. The availability of materials is subject to DM approval, and some areas may yield more or less scavengables.
    • Brains Over Brawn: You can substitute an Intelligence check for any Strength- or Dexterity-based check, excluding skill checks.
    • Mechanical Favor: You always count Craft, Disable Device, and Search as class skills. In addition, you can use the higher of your Dexterity and your Intelligence on your Reflex Saves and Armor Class against traps.
    • Invention's Love: A goblin relies on tools to survive, and most become insecure without their equipment. A goblin who has an item stolen, disarmed or sundered must make a Will Save (DC20) or become shaken for 1 hour or until the object is returned or repaired.

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    Having no real advantages outside of their brains, the goblin race has come to rely almost entirely on their tools and equipment. They can think their way out of most situations, excel at creating and using equipment, and make excellent trap-finders.

    I'm a little iffy about the flaw, though. Maybe it works, maybe not. I'd like to see if I can come up with something better.

    Hobgoblins
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    • Humanoid (Goblin)
    • Medium Size
    • 30-foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma at 1st level.
    • Hobgoblins gain a +2 bonus on Intimidate and Spot checks.
    • Fear-Inured: Hobgoblins add their Charisma bonus (minimum +1) to their Will Saves against fear effects.
    • Hardy: Hobgoblins are considered to have the Toughness and Endurance feats for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. A hobgoblin who acquires the Toughness feat gains 1 extra Hit Point per character level, and 1 extra Hit Point at every level after that. A hobgoblin who acquires the Endurance feat gains Damage Reduction 2/-, which stacks with similar DR.
    • Group Confidence: Hobgoblins gain a +1 morale bonus to Will Saves for each ally within 30 feet.
    • Bloody Instincts: Hobgoblins in combat cannot take any mundane action that requires concentration or Intelligence- or Charisma-based checks except for Intimidate. Hobgoblins can still cast spells and use class features that require concentration.

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    Hobgoblins I believe to be a very aggressive, very territorial race. They're very much about being the middle of violence and combat, and they need the mental and physical fortitude to keep it up. Similarly, they rely on large groups to survive and keep the species going.

    As with the goblin, I'm a little iffy on the flaw. A "bloodlust" type flaw might fit, but just giving them the rage drawbacks might be a better fit for shifters or something. I dunno, I want to see if there's a more suiting option out there.


    Other Races
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    Aventi/Merfolk
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    • Humanoid (Aquatic)
    • Medium Size
    • 20-foot (4 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma at 1st level
    • Aventi gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive and Swim checks
    • Dolphin Leap: Aventi take no penalty on Jump checks for leaping out of the water. Aventi may roll twice on any Jump check made with a running start, taking the preferred result.
    • Spirit of the Sea: Aventi always consider Jump and Swim to be class skills.
    • Echolocation: Aventi gain Blindsense out to 20 feet while submerged in water. On land, Aventi may take a move action to gain Blindsense out to 10 feet until the end of their next turn.
    • Of Land and Sea: Aventi can change their lower bodies from humanoid legs to dolphin-like tails as a move action. An Aventi who takes on the aquatic form reduces her Base Land Speed to 5 feet, but gains a Base Swim Speed of 35 feet. Changing back is also a move action.
    • Limited Amphibiousness: Aventi can breathe water indefinitely, but can only breathe air for a limited amount of time. An aventi can breathe on dry land for a number of hours equal to her Constitution score before beginning to suffer the effects of Suffocation. The time resets when an Aventi is able to keep her head submerged in water for at least 1 minute, though the suffocation effects are stalled during that minute.

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    I think D&D sometimes forgets that merpeople are big part of fantasy and folklore. Well, I hadn't.

    Taking their name from the undersea humans in Stormwrack, the aventi are a race with human upper torsos attached to dolphin tails (because they're mammals). Like in some stories, the aventi can rid themselves of the aquatic-ness to spout a pair of legs and walk on land, but only for a limited time. Either way, they're excellent swimmers and athletes.

    These guys will definitely have some Bard substitution levels.

    Shifters
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    • Humanoid
    • Medium Size
    • 35-foot (7 square) Base Land Speed
    • +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity at 1st level
    • Shifters gain a +2 racial bonus on Control Shape and Survival checks
    • Scent: You gain the scent ability.
    • Wild Empathy: A shifter can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The shifter rolls 1d20 and adds her character level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. To use wild empathy, the shifter and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. A shifter can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but she takes a -4 penalty on the check. A shifter who gains the Wild Empathy ability from another source does not take the penalty for using this ability on a magical beast.
    • The Shifting: A shifter has a particular animal form that it is capable of taking on. Further, the shifter can take on aspects of that creature without fully becoming the beast. At 1st level, choose a shifter trait from the list below. You can activate this trait once per encounter as a swift action, and it lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1 round). The chosen trait also determines your full animal form.
      • Longtooth: You gain a bite attack as a primary natural weapon. This bite deals 1d6 points of damage, plus your Strength modifier. At 4th level, your bite is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every four character levels that you possess, the bite attack gains a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. Your animal form is that of a wolf.
      • Razorclaw: You gain a pair of claw attacks as primary natural weapons. These attacks deal 1d4 points of damage, plus your Strength modifier. At 4th level, your claws are considered to be magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every four character levels that you possess, your claws gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. Your animal form is that of a large cat, such as a mountain lion.
      • Beasthide: You gain a +3 Natural Armor bonus to your Armor Class. For every 5 character levels that you possess, you gain an additional +1 bonus to your natural armor. Your animal for is that of a bear.
      • Swiftwing: You gain a +4 bonus on Jump checks. When falling, you can glide slowly to the ground, each round moving 30 feet horizontally for every 10 feet vertically. You take no damage upon touching down. However, if you are knocked unconscious while gliding, you drop. You animal form is that of a giant eagle or giant owl.
    • The Beast Within: You can choose to enter your animal form as a move action. However, you also involuntarily change while under great stress or in heated combat. For every 1/3 of your HP that gets depleted, you must make a Control Shape check (DC 15 + the amount of damage you take from the most recent attack against you) or transform into your beast form. You can choose to willingly fail this check.
      While in Beast form, your equipment merges into your body and becomes useless. You cannot use manufactured weapons or tools. Your type changes to magical beast, and you gain the benefits of your shifter trait. You cannot speak. While in beast form, a shifter cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity- or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, and Intimidate), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion.

      You can enter Beast form as a move action once per day. You can then return to your normal form as a free action. If you enter because of the forced change, the Beast form ends at the end of the encounter. There is no limit on the number of times per day you can be forced to enter beast form.

    Animal Forms
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    In addition to the effects described above (see The Beast Within), you gain the following changes:
    • Wolf (Long Tooth): Your Base Land Speed changes to 50 feet, you gain a +2 bonus to Strength and a +4 bonus to Dexterity, and you can make a free trip attempt against any creature that you hit with your bite attack.
    • Mountain Lion (Razorclaw): Your size increases to large (long). Your Base Land Speed changes to 40 feet (8 squares), you gain a +4 bonus to Strength and a +2 bonus to Dexterity, and you gain the Pounce ability.
    • Bear (Beasthide): Your size increases to large (tall). You gain a +2 bonus to Strength and a +4 bonus to Constitution, which increases your HP count. You gain two claw attacks that you can use as primary natural weapons. These attacks deal 1d6 points of damage, plus your Strength modifier. At 4th level, your claws are considered to be magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every four character levels that you possess, your claws gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. You gain the Improved Grab ability.
    • Raptor (Swiftwing): You gain a Base Fly Speed equal to 50 feet (10 squares). You gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a +4 bonus to Wisdom. You gain two claw attacks that you can use as primary natural weapons. These attacks deal 1d4 points of damage, plus your Strength modifier. At 4th level, your claws are considered to be magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every four character levels that you possess, your claws gain a +1 enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls.


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    Argh walls of text. I expected as much, though. Making shapeshifting balanced is hard; I'm not even sure they are balanced, but that's what they're up for. I wanted to make them closer to therionthropes than their 3.5 cousins, as with the racial power boost here I felt it would be possible.

    Last edited by Xallace; 2009-12-10 at 01:17 PM.
    Extended Homebrew Signature

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    Coplantor's Official Second-In-Command 2.0. It's alot like being Will Riker, but still with less alien women and also pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avatars
    "Epic Abjurer" avatar by the astounding Fayt!
    "The-Fantastic-Protectimaton-MK-VIII" avatar by the wondrous KingGolem!
    "You-Know-You-Want-It" Paladin MD avatar by the mighty thelizard!
    "Eat-Steel-Vile-Flu" Paladin MD avatar by the sexier-than-I Dr. Bath!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    I haven't read them all yet, but an elf is ridiculously easy to cripple. Just get a hit in and the elf won't be able to flee enough that you couldn't be on his tail in a second and hit again. Rinse, Repeat.
    They couldn't function as warriors at all.
    Last edited by Frog Dragon; 2009-11-07 at 01:13 PM.
    Frog in the playground.

    My homebrewer's extended signature.

    I have Str 5!

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    Wall of text attacks! CRITS!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    lesser_minion's Avatar

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Frog's right - the elf drawback is utterly crippling.

    They also don't really get much in exchange for it - in the very least give them a snowball's chance of pulling off "not actually being hit".

    I'd suggest giving all elves Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat and offering a racial feat allowing them to use attacks of opportunity to dodge or block attacks. That way, they would at least be on the same terms as everyone else, despite spending half a round crying every time they suffer anything more than a papercut.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-11-07 at 01:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frog Dragon View Post
    I haven't read them all yet, but an elf is ridiculously easy to cripple. Just get a hit in and the elf won't be able to flee enough that you couldn't be on his tail in a second and hit again. Rinse, Repeat.
    They couldn't function as warriors at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion
    Frog's right - the elf drawback is utterly crippling.

    They also don't really get much in exchange for it - in the very least give them a snowball's chance of pulling off "not actually being hit".

    I'd suggest giving all elves Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat and offering a racial feat allowing them to use attacks of opportunity to dodge or block attacks. That way, they would at least be on the same terms as everyone else, despite spending half a round crying every time they suffer anything more than a papercut.
    Hmm... well, I also could up the damage threshold (Con + Y, Con x Y?), or grant them some nice Ref/AC boosts (in addition to the Dex boost. +X Dodge Bonus for moving Y feet?). Though Combat Reflexes doesn't seem to be too far-fetched, given the elven focus on speed.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Also. About the halfling. I'd have the Social creatures ability trigger only after being seperate for a while so you don't take immediate penalties.
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    Like what you've done so far, although I agree with what has been said regarding the elven and halfling penalties.
    Can't wait to see what you come up with for goblins...
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Elven Fragile flaw increased to 2xCon damage, added Combat Reflexes to Combat Finesse. Halflings gained Group Tactics ability and flaw requires at least a 3-round gap (wasn't sure how long y'all were thinking).

    EDIT: Stability added to dwarves, Hide to Survive added to Drow.
    Last edited by Xallace; 2009-11-07 at 03:04 PM.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quick review:

    Humans look fine, although, you should mention if the mandatory human flaw counts towards the number of flaws a character can take for bonus feats.

    Remove light sensitivity from dwarves. Auto-daze for something as cheap and easy as daylight is painful. The jumbo list of miscellaneous racial abilities weren't too good to begin with, just kind of there. Enduring is nice, though.

    The free feats and enhanced senses are nice for elves, but Fragile is crippling. If you're going high point buy or someone happens to get really lucky rolls, an elf might have a 16 Con. By 4th level, a full attack from a [urlhttp://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/bearPolar.htm]bear[/url] could ruin their day. At higher levels, this only gets worse, because HP and damage scale faster than your constitution bonus.

    For the Gnomes, quick learner is rather underwhelming. "So, I fail a save versus domination, that's going to come in handy later..." Admittedly, this is slightly better for things like breath weapons, but not enough to really warrant a racial ability. Patterned scanning is basically Quick Reconnoiter for free, replacing the initiative bonuses for the ability to use Int on perception based skills. Forcing Gnomes to never take 20, although limited, can hurt. Straight up removing options is generally a bad thing. Applying a penalty, less so.

    Halflings are okay, save for their racial flaw. Being away from someone for three rounds and they already start to break down and cry due to psychological damage? Either there need to be separate durations for combat and out of combat, or the ability needs to be changed so Halflings don't get jittery when the party asks them to scout ahead.

    Orcs seem fine. They've got a non-ability with brawny, but everything else is fine till we hit adrenaline. Being immune to HP damage is very nice, especially when there are several tricks out there thanks to Incarnum, Soulbinding, and other random magical oddities that can help mitigate at least one point of constitution damage around, which means orcs can effectively have NI HPs foreverty. Either throw a round timer on it or change how their HP works under a state of adrenaline.

    The Drow abilities are honestly lack-luster. Attacking from stealth is good for maybe one attack barring tricks (read: magic) to get it back during combat. Also, Light Sensitivity hurts. Bad.



    I must say, I like the idea of giving various races some sort of innate penalty, but most of these slam down too hard, especially when removing many of the conditional racial bonuses.


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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    *Cough* Dazed should be "blinded" in the dwarf and drow descriptions. My bad.

    There's got to be a way to implement a sense of fragility in elves without crippling every elf forever.

    I was considering Quick Learner applying to the gnome's attack rolls, too. As in, if the gnome misses, +1 on attack rolls against the enemy up to Int bonus.

    I originally typed "6 hours" on the halfling flaw, then thought "Nah, that won't come into play at all." Seperate durations seems the way to go.

    Should I buff Brawny?
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Maybe an hour on the halfling flaw?
    Also maybe just give the elves minuses to actions due to their body being less able to deal with pain?
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    and ability score penalties feel more like "Creativity Penalties."
    You mean the fact that it would be strongly discouraged to make a half-orc sorcerer or wizard?
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Bear in mind that the "Elves are fragile" thing is actually a fairly recent invention, and basically originated solely through D&D and the belief that it was needed for game balance.

    Going entirely based on Tolkien's "elves don't grow old or tired" thing, a Con bonus would have been justified.

    Elves are quite small in D&D, and generally emphasise finesse over brute force - try giving them a strength-related drawback.

    That would work pretty well, because elves would still be good fighters with the right benefits, but would still have trouble in certain situations.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-11-07 at 04:10 PM.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Clarified if human flaw counts against 2 flaw limit (it doesn't), changed elven flaw, updated halfling flaw (3 hour grace period outside of stressful situations, such as combat), updated and added drow racial abilities.

    Still workin' on them gnomes and orcs.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei
    You mean the fact that it would be strongly discouraged to make a half-orc sorcerer or wizard?
    Or dwarf bard, elf anything. Yeah.

    EDIT DEUX: Changed Brawny and Adrenaline on the orc.
    Last edited by Xallace; 2009-11-07 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Elf feels overpowered to me right now.

    Two bonus feats, effectively, 35' base speed, a nice bonus to spot and listen, a decent bonus to climb / swim / jump, all in exchange for... -4 to sunder and overrun (which no one uses - can you even overrun without a mount?), bull rush (which a dex fighter doesn't do anyways), and grapple (which you'd lose anyways)?


    Really. Apply any other class that isn't a melee fighter (rogue, caster, archer, all sorts of non-core goodies) and elves come out BROKEN. I, unfortunately, am not creative right now and can't suggest how to fix it.


    For halflings, I feel the opposite problem. As you noted, they don't really seem to have anything going for them. They can diplomancer like mad now, but who really plays that? You also basically alienated the archetypal 'halfling rogue' which has been in fantasy settings for forever. I'd suggest you allow them to get over it after a certain period of time (X rounds in combat, or a couple days by themselves and they stop having a breakdown?).

    Either way, some sort of nice 'we're small and we know how to use it' ability might help you round them up, be it defensive or offensive.

    For gnomes, I'd agree that the Quick Learner on attack rolls wouldn't be broken. Every miss = cumulative +1 bonus on that one target would not be terribly broken. Maybe - maybe - make it so that it only applies to the attack form you made. So a touch spell only gains the bonus to touch spells, ranged attacks only to ranged attacks, melee attacks only to melee attacks, rays only to rays, etc. This prevents the gnome wizard from wasting a few rounds with slings to make sure his spells hits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSED View Post
    Elf feels overpowered to me right now.

    Two bonus feats, effectively, 35' base speed, a nice bonus to spot and listen, a decent bonus to climb / swim / jump, all in exchange for... -4 to sunder and overrun (which no one uses - can you even overrun without a mount?), bull rush (which a dex fighter doesn't do anyways), and grapple (which you'd lose anyways)?


    Really. Apply any other class that isn't a melee fighter (rogue, caster, archer, all sorts of non-core goodies) and elves come out BROKEN. I, unfortunately, am not creative right now and can't suggest how to fix it.

    ---

    Either way, some sort of nice 'we're small and we know how to use it' ability might help you round them up, be it defensive or offensive.
    I agree. This way, elven rogues and rangers already have the basic feats they need and can start digging for the gold from level one. Compared to the other races, that's overpowered. I suggest that elves do not get Weapon Finesse as a racial bonus. Instead I'd boost the feat for the elves that may choose to get it:
    Finesse aptitude: Elves do not need to meet the prerequisite to get Weapon Finesse. In addition, an Elf that takes Weapon Finesse can use Elven Switchblades, Elven Courtblades and Elven Thinblades as martial weapons instead of exotic ones.

    The Halfling Rogue is a tough one to save with these characteristics. Perhaps you should rephrase so that the combat penalties apply only in even combat situations (eg, not in an ambush or assassination).

    You could even add an ability to make a halfling feel happy that he is in control of the situation (eg when all opponents are flat-footed or denied of their dex bonus)

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    They're right.

    Change the disadvantage so an elf counts as being one size category smaller whenever it would be disadvantageous, except in the cases of weapon use and reach.

    You should probably remove combat reflexes from them now that their disadvantage is less crippling (the only reason I suggested it was so that you could make a viable elven fighter by adding a racial feat/ACF/substitution level that allowed attacks of opportunity to be used to parry incoming attacks).
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    See, this is why I post things on this board. I don't know what to do? Giantitp's all like, "No prob, dude. We got ya' covered."


    Quote Originally Posted by TSED View Post
    Elf feels overpowered to me right now.
    Did to me too, to be honest. Took lesser_minion's and Iferus' advice on the matter, with an extra bonus if you take the Dodge feat (felt it appropriate, and Dodge seems to be universally panned anyway).

    Quick Learner now applies to attack rolls, with the restrictions of A) same target and B) similar attack type (Melee Weapon, Melee Touch, Ranged Weapon, Ranged Touch, Natural Attacks).

    Halflings now get Will Saves to stave off the effect.

    I'm guessing Dwarves, Humans and (now) Orcs are pretty good? Not many comments on them.

    EDIT: Gnomes now get a Concentration check (which they must also roll twice on and take the lower result) to Take 20 on an action.
    Last edited by Xallace; 2009-11-08 at 08:48 AM.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    You should probably let elves use weapons of their normal size as well. d4 damage rapiers and not being allowed to use longbows when riding horses might be entertaining, but I don't recommend it.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    For drow, maybe a spell like ability that gives a nice bonus if you cannot use stealth, and a larger bonus if you can. maybe give them +1d6 sneak attack as well (or 1d6 sneak attack, not sure about how you phrase it).
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    At first, I was dubious about removing ability penalties, but the special disadvantages offset that, and are arguably more interesting.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    At first, I was dubious about removing ability penalties, but the special disadvantages offset that, and are arguably more interesting.
    yes! now i can play an orc wizzard without being lame!
    ditto.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    You should probably let elves use weapons of their normal size as well. d4 damage rapiers and not being allowed to use longbows when riding horses might be entertaining, but I don't recommend it.
    Reality check: Under RAW, no one can use a longbow while mounted; anyone can use a shortbow while mounted. This is realistic.

    There's nothing wrong with an elf with this "frail" limitation from using a shortbow sized for a Small character while mounted. Although tbh, I'd just let elves use regular weapons sized for a Medium character (ie. the frail limitation doesn't apply to size of weapons used).

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Reality check: Under RAW, no one can use a longbow while mounted; anyone can use a shortbow while mounted. This is realistic.

    There's nothing wrong with an elf with this "frail" limitation from using a shortbow sized for a Small character while mounted. Although tbh, I'd just let elves use regular weapons sized for a Medium character (ie. the frail limitation doesn't apply to size of weapons used).
    I meant Composite Longbow, and evidently I'm also talking about 3.0.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Double checked...

    for 3.5e:

    * longbow (incl. composite): cannot use mounted.
    * shortbow (incl. composite): can use mounted

    for 3.0e...

    * longbow: cannot use mounted
    * composite longbow: Medium creatures can use mounted
    * shortbow: Medium creatures can use mounted
    * composite shortbow: Small creatures can use mounted

    Note that these 3.0e rules are for a weapon specifically designed for a Medium character. The rules still allow for a specially designed version of the bow for a smaller (ie "frailer", for these elves) characters, which would also allow for a smaller limit on who can use the weapon while mounted. 3.5e simply streamlined this rule a bit.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2009-11-08 at 12:01 PM.

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    Change the disadvantage so an elf counts as being one size category smaller whenever it would be disadvantageous, except in the cases of weapon use and reach.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xallace View Post
    Took lesser_minion's and Iferus' advice on the matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xallace
    Delicate: Elven musculature is designed for motion, not for outwards force. Elves are considered to be one size category smaller in any situation where it would be disadvantageous to them, except in terms of space and reach.
    Elves with small longswords? Not very sexy.


    Other than that, I like these races! I was planning to remake all dnd 3.5 races into LA+1 equivalent races just to get rid of the pesky ability penalties, but I guess you're right on track :)

    So what races will be next? I personally use all the races from the races of.. and frostburn/sandstorm/stormwrack series; my favorites would be the Goliath, Darfellan, Raptorian and Mongrelfolk. And of course halfbreeds and Goblins need some love too :)
    Last edited by Iferus; 2009-11-08 at 02:15 PM.

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Quote Originally Posted by Iferus View Post
    Elves with small longswords? Not very sexy.
    Whoops! Didn't even think about that. Of course they get to use medium weapons.

    So what races will be next? I personally use all the races from the races of.. and frostburn/sandstorm/stormwrack series; my favorites would be the Goliath, Darfellan, Raptorian and Mongrelfolk. And of course halfbreeds and Goblins need some love too :)
    I was thinking at least Goblins, Hobgoblins, Doppelgangers, Minotaurs and Trolls.
    I am also a big fan of the ones you mentioned, so they might also be showing up soon!
    Half-Breeds... I'm trying to figure out if I can implement a simple-enough system to allow for making one's own half-races, rather than just providing a few as separate.

    I think sometime in the future I will be making new Racial Sub Levels, Alt Class Features, and Racial Feats based on this version, as well.
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    From Races of Stone:

    Goliaths
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    • Monsterous Humanoid: As monsterous humanoids, goliaths are proficient with all simple weapons.
    • Medium Size
    • 30-Foot (6 square) Base Land Speed
    • Goliaths gain a +2 bonus to Sense Motive
    • +2 Strength and Constitution
    • Powerful Build: A goliath counts as being one size catogory larger whenever it is advantageous.
    • Mountain Movement: Goliaths are very well suited for climbing and jumping. Goliaths can make jumps as if they had a running start, and they can engage in accelerated climbing without taking penalties. Goliaths can always treat Climb and Jump as class skills.
    • Acclimated: Goliaths have an biological mechanism that prevents the altitude penalties described on page 90 of the DMG.
    • Musclebound: Goliaths rely on brute strength a lot. Instead of taking 10, a goliath may take 12 on strength-skills. Any Goliath that takes the Power Attack feat may use Goliath greathammers as a martial weapon.
    • Innate Competition: The competative nature of Goliaths affects their mood quickly. When a goliath rolls three consecutive d20 rolls natural 10 or lower (grammar?), he takes a -1 penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks. Whenever he rolls three consecutive d20 rolls above natural 10 which also result in a success, he gains a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls and skill checks. These penalties and bonuses stack: the sum is either added as a morale bonus or as an untyped penalty. These bonuses and penalties are reset each day. Also, a Goliath in single combat with a foe at least his CR will gain a +2 or -2 to this modifier depending on the outcome.

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    I removed the dex penalty, which I balanced against a lower increase in strength. The Innate Competition will generally build up a penalty, to balance their great combat focus.
    Last edited by Iferus; 2009-11-10 at 05:32 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Xallace's Avatar

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Sweet.

    Powerful, but don't seem too powerful. I do think Musclebound should give them some kind of benefit off the bat, though. Maybe they qualify for prerequisites as though they had the Power Attack feat?

    Now, as for the Innate Competition, you should probably clarify whether that's a natural roll below/above 10, or a total roll.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Fixed that.

    From Stormwrack:

    Aventi
    With a +2 to any ability score and a flaw of their own choice, these are pretty much okay, I guess?

    Darfellan
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    • Humanoid (aquatic)
    • Medium Size
    • 20-Foot (4 square) Base Land Speed, 40 Foot (8 square) swim speed. A darfellan gains a +8 racial bonus to swim and can always take 10 on swim checks. Darfellan can use the run action while swimming.
    • Darfellan gain a +2 bonus to Spot
    • Darfellan gain a +2 competence bonus to Initiative
    • +2 Strength and Wisdom
    • Hold Breath:Darfellan can hold their breath for eight times his constitution score.
    • Natural Attack: Darfellan have a natural bite attack that deals 1d6 points of damage.
    • Spongeous Muscles:Darfellan muscles are not as dense as those of most creatures. They contain a lot of liquid, which can be forced out by weight. Whenever a Darfellan wears heavy armor or a heavy load, they take a -4 penalty to their strength score.
    • Echolocation: Darfellan gain 20ft blindsense while submerged.

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    I'd guess Darfellans are pretty perceptive, with their echolocation and all. Boosting their wisdom does raise a CODzilla synergy problem though...


    Hadozee
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    • Humanoid (aquatic)
    • Medium Size
    • 40 Foot (8 square) Base Land Speed
    • +4 racial bonus to Climb and Balance
    • +2 Dexterity
    • Gliding: Hadozee can use their arm flaps to glide, negating falling damage from any height and allowing them to move 20 feet horizontally for every 5 feet of descent. A hadozee glides at a fly speed of 40 feet (average).
    • Monkey Grip: The flexible grip of a Hadozee allows him to retain his Dex bonus to AC while climbing. Also, Hadozee can climb unimpeded when holding an item in one of his hands.

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    Flying monkeys. What else do you want? Anyway, I decided to buff their speed because it seemed appropriate. These guys are supposed to be all over the place - mobility masters with no innate combat style.
    And now for the drawback. I don't know... Enthousiastic curious sailing apes. What's their problem?
    Last edited by Iferus; 2009-11-10 at 05:33 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: v3.5 Race Remix! (MC Xallace Mix)

    Might also want to clarify which end natural 10s fall on. That is, does a natural 10 count towards penalties or bonuses? Or neither?

    Also, I'm not clear why they would tend to accumulate penalties. As written, both are equally likely if 10 counts towards penalties and bonuses are more likely otherwise.

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