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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    A Forward
    You may have seen my thread here which involved a system rewrite. It got so off track, because everyone was too busy assuming things that weren't there, so I decided to restart with smaller bits. This thread will only contain races and backgrounds. Refer to Player's Handbook for reference on anything else.

    First up is races. After some discussion, Yakk suggestion I combine races and backgrounds. So here I go. To recap, not only are the original races boring, but they aren't balanced even remotely close to one another.

    The biggest problem, though, is the tendency for everyone to scream foul when a race lends better to specific archetype. And mental ability boosts have become all but taboo. But why? To reduce min-maxing, so that all races support all classes equal, or so all races are 'equal'?

    This mentality is exactly why no LA races are boring. And let's be honest a +4 to charisma is only a +2 boost to spell DCs. The current spellcasting is overpowered, broken in many cases, and the treatment of races needn't be punished because of that bad design.

    So, with that out of the way, I want help re-envisioning races. Please peach away and, remember, pretend spellcasting is balanced.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some Notes and Minor Rules

    Multiclassing: No longer exists. It was a stupid rule anyways.

    Size: The races also don't have ability adjustments based on their size. Even if a class gains a size increase it does not affect their ability scores. Otherwise, size modifiers are applied as normal.

    Starting HP: Every race begins with a small number of hit points. These are in addition to the normal hit points provided at first level and are meant to mitigate death at lower levels.

    Prerequisites: Any race, or background, that grants a feat ignores the prerequisites for that feat. You gain it's benefits regardless of if you would normally qualify or not.

    Changing Form: Taking on the form of another race does not grant your their backgrounds. Instead you retain your own, though some might be useless without the proper racial traits.

    Racial Abilities: Assume that any ability, even if it would normally be to the contrary, is (Ex) unless it is labeled [Sp] or [Su].

    Background Abilities: Abilities gained from background are much like that for classes and, so, will be labeled as such. Any bonuses they grant are never racial bonuses.
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-18 at 10:03 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Core Races
    By far the most commonplace in the material plane, especially Humans, most of the civilized world consists of the core races. Elves and Dwarves earned their place through antiquity, while Humans and Gnomes did through their drive and ability to endure.
    Though the Elves can be xenophobic at times any of them can likely make contact with one another core races' communities with relatively little risk. Humans and Gnomes are the most accepting and many of their communities will even tolerate some of the unusual races.

    Human
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    Medium Humanoid
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: n/a
    +4 racial bonus on saving throws against fear effects
    +1 extra skill point per class level
    +gain Die Hard feat
    Languages: Common and one other language of their choice.
    Available Backgrounds: Hero, Merchant, Noble, Street Rat, Wanderer

    Backgrounds
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    Hero
    Favored Skills: 2 strength and/or dexterity based skills of player's choice
    Weapon Familiarity: Heavy Blades or Light Blades

    Larger than Life (Ex)
    Those weaker than you are struck by awe in your presence. Any creature who's HD is four, or more, lower than yours, as well as anyone with levels in NPC classes (and no HD from other sources) qualifies.
    They must succeed on a will save, DC 10 + 1/2 your class levels + your charisma bonus (if any), to attack you or knowingly include you in the area of an attack.

    Lionhearted (Ex)
    You may act normally while affected by fear. This does not mitigate the penalties caused by fear.


    Merchant
    Favored Skills: Appraise, Craft (any 3, taken individually)
    Weapon Familiarity: Crossbows

    Identify (Ex)
    You may Identify, as if with the spell, at will, with only 3 rounds of studying. Further you ran read magic scripts without Read Magic.

    Haggle (Ex)
    You reduce the costs of anything you buy by 10% and increases the amount you make for anything sold by 10%.


    Noble
    Favored Skills: Diplomacy, Knowledge (any three, taken individually)
    Weapon Familiarity: Polarms, Bows

    Gossip (Ex)
    Occasionally you hear things around. Once per day you may make a level check, with your charisma bonus (if any) as a bonus, in place of any Knowledge or Gather Information check. A check can be made untrained in this way.

    Silver Spoon (Ex)
    You begin with twice the normal starting gold and an allowance for travels: You, and up to 4 allies, can stay the night at any inn for free. A large meal is included with each stay.


    Street Rat
    Favored Skills: Open Lock, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand
    Weapon Familiarity: Claw Weapons, Light Blades

    Always Prepared (Ex)
    Once per day you may draw any non-magical, or alchemical, item from your pack or other storage. It must have a value of 30gp, or less, and be of no larger than small size.
    You may not draw unique items. For example you could not draw the key to a locked door because almost every key is different from another.
    For every 3 class levels you possess the value of item you can find increases by 10gp. At 7 class levels you can also find potions and magic scrolls with this ability (with a caster level no higher than half your total class levels).


    Wanderer
    Favored Skills: Handle Animal, Ride, Survival
    Weapon Familiarity: Basic Weapons

    Know Location (Ex)
    You have extensively studied patterns in the sky. When on the material plane you always know which direction is north.
    Further, you may memorize up to 3 + your intelligence bonus locations by gazing at the sky for 5 minutes. You always know the direction, and relative distance, to each location and the distance between each of those locations.
    Forgetting a previous memorized location is merely as easy as memorizing a new one it's place. If you can't see the stars in the sky you still know the general direction to each location, and between them, but can't determine distance.



    Elf
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    Medium Humanoid
    Starting HP: +6

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 40ft
    Extra Senses: Blindsense 15ft, Low Light Vision
    +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison and disease
    +4 racial bonus on Listen, Search, and Spot checks
    Languages: Common, Elven, and Sylvan.
    Available Backgrounds: Ancient, Feyblooded, Keeper, Scout, Warden


    Dwarf
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    Medium Humanoid
    Starting HP: +10

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 20ft
    Extra Senses: Tremorsense 15ft, Darkvision 60ft
    +10ft Burrow speed (only through soil and stone)
    +take half of all physical damage as non-lethal damage
    +gain Great Fortitude feat
    Languages: Common, Dwarven, and Terran.
    Available Backgrounds: Architect, Dungeoneer, Miner, Outcast, Taskmaster


    Gnome
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    Small Humanoid
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 20ft
    Extra Senses: Low Light Vision
    +2 racial bonus to saving throws against illusions
    +2 dodge bonus to armor class
    +gain Mobility feat
    Languages: Common and Halfling.
    Available Backgrounds: Giantkiller, Outrider, Piper, Puzzlemaster, Spy
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-24 at 02:21 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Unusual Races
    Some species possess more monstrous traits than others, but also possess similar tendencies to their core counterparts. Stuck in an odd place they are often shunned not just by the core races, but even by the other unusual races.
    With the notable exception of the Drow their societies are usually either primitive or they have to find a place within Human society. The Seraph and Lizardfolk are the most likely to be tolerated, while Goblins and Dopplegangers often keep their true selves from sight.


    Orc
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    Medium Humanoid
    Starting HP: +10

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Darkvision 60ft
    +2 racial bonus to strength checks
    +4 competence bonus to bull rush and grapple checks
    +Reduce all ongoing damage, excluding a repeating area of effect, by 50%
    Languages: Common and Orc.
    Available Backgrounds: Berserker, Raider, Shaman, Tribal


    Drow
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    Medium Humanoid (Elf)
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Tremorsense 15ft, Darkvision 60ft
    +2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease
    +4 racial bonus on Hide, Intimidate, and Move Silently checks
    +Immunity to Poison
    Languages: Common, Elven, and Undercommon.
    Available Backgrounds: Bounty Hunter, Drider, Kinslayer, Lasher


    Lizard Folk - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Monstrous Humanoid
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Scent
    +2 natural armor bonus
    +tail sweep (standard action; trip any number of creatures, within threat range (5ft), without AoOs)
    +off-hand natural attacks (claw (1d6 slashing) and bite (1d8 piercing))
    Languages: Common and Draconic.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Doppleganger - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Humanoid (Shapechanger)
    Starting HP: +6

    Special: A Doppleganger is also treated as having the Human subtype, but only for the purpose of meeting prerequisites and targeting themselves with their own abilities.

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: n/a
    +Alternate Form (any humanoid(s), without LA and within one size)
    +Fortification 50%
    Languages: Common and one other language of their choice.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Goblin - backgrounds not complete
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    Small Humanoid
    Starting HP: +6

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Low Light Vision
    +4 racial bonus on Bluff, Craft, and Disable Device checks
    +2 to racial bonus to attack rolls against flanked opponents
    +reduce cold and fire damage taken by 50%
    +Immunity to Acid
    Languages: Common and Goblin.
    Available Backgrounds: Alchemist, Tinkerer


    Daemon - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Outsider (Native)
    Starting HP: +6

    Special: A Daemon is also treated as having the Human subtype, but only for the purpose of meeting prerequisites and targeting themselves with their own abilities.

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Darkvision 60ft
    +glide (as Feather Fall, +50% to horizontal jump)
    +produce flame [Sp] (at will, as a sorcerer level equal to their HD)
    +Immunity to Fire
    Languages: Common, Infernal, and Abyssal.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Seraph - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Outsider (Native)
    Starting HP: +6

    Special: A Seraph is also treated as having the Human subtype, but only for the purpose of meeting prerequisites and targeting themselves with their own abilities.

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Darkvision 60ft
    +Immunity to Disease
    +Immunity to Electricity damage
    +deflection bonus to AC equal to charisma bonus (if any); doesn't stack with other charisma based bonuses to AC.
    Languages: Common and Celestial.
    Available Backgrounds: -
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-19 at 07:05 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Monstrous Races
    While the unusual races can at least sometimes blend into, or be accepted by, the core races this is very unlikely with the monstrous races. The Faerie and the Merfolk, though, are often accepted within Elven, and sometimes Human, societies. Many of them are often confused for monsters or are, in fact, themselves 'monsters.'


    Lupine - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Humanoid (Shapechanger)
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Scent, Low Light Vision
    +4 racial bonus to listen and survival
    +Track feat
    +Alternate Shape (Wolf; retain own physical scores if higher)
    Languages: Common. Can also speak to wolves and other canines, though their intelligence and disposition might limit conversation.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Faerie - no backgrounds yet
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    Tiny Fey
    Starting HP: +4

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 10ft
    Extra Senses: n/a
    +Flight (30ft, average maneuverability)
    +Dancing Lights [Su], at will, at a caster level equal to HD
    +Hover feat
    Languages: Common and Sylvan.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Malkin (Catfolk) - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Humanoid (Shapechanger)
    Starting HP: +6

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 30ft
    Extra Senses: Scent, Low Light Vision
    +4 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks
    +gain Lightning Reflexes feat
    +Alternate Shape (Cheetah minus 1 HD; retain own physical scores if higher)
    +damage taken from falling is minimized
    Languages: Common. Can also speak to cats and other felines, though their intelligence and disposition might limit conversation.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Lamia - no backgrounds yet
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    Medium Monstrous Humanoid
    Starting HP: +8

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 20ft
    Extra Senses: Low Light Vision
    +2 natural armor
    +can grapple creatures one size larger than normal
    +Constrict (1d8 + 1.5 x Str)
    +20ft Swim speed; including the racial bonus to swim checks
    Languages: Common. Can also speak to snakes and other serpents, though their intelligence and disposition might limit conversation.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    Caelum (Birdfolk) - no backgrounds yet
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    Small Monstrous Humanoid
    Starting HP: +4

    Racial Traits
    Base Land Speed: 40ft
    Extra Senses: Low Light Vision
    +Immunity to Electricity damage
    +Flight (20ft, poor maneuverability)
    +4 racial bonus on Balance and Jump checks
    +Hover feat
    Languages: Common. Can also speak to avians, though their intelligence and disposition might limit conversation.
    Available Backgrounds: -


    +Centaur
    +Merfolk
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-19 at 07:00 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    extra post just in case I need more room #1 of 2
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-17 at 12:25 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    extra post just in case I need more room #2 of 2

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Is the starting HP on top of what they'd normally receive for their class at first level?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    That's the idea. It's way too easy to get killed at lower levels and I'm hoping to mitigate that a bit. Actually I forgot to add a note that it doesn't count to maximum HP. I'll clarify that as well.

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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    So, wait. If we have a dwarf wizard with 16 Constitution, for example, would his hit points be 17/7, the first ten hit points of which he can't restore after they're gone, or would they stay when he levels up until he gets enough total hit points to match it? Are they temporary hit points?

    What do you mean they don't add to maximum hit points, I guess is what this post boils down to.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    There is an obscure rule shoved in the books somewhere that says your total hit points can't exceed a certain amount. It's HD based. I don't actually remember what the limit was so I'll throw out a scenario with made up numbers:
    I have 5d6 hit die. Assuming a rule that my total hit points, not including temporary hp, can't exceed 5 x 6 I can only have 30 hit points. Not even class abilities or feats can let me raise above it.
    So they are supposed to be additional normal hit points. They aren't temporary and you don't lose them.
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-17 at 01:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    I'd be interested to know which book that is from. I've read almost every official 3e and 3.5 book from cover to cover and never come across anything like that before. The only limit to real hit points I've ever seen is the max you rolled normally during level up.
    If I've helped you out, please check out some my homebrew and post in the threads. Thank you.
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    The jury is out till I see the goblins...
    Quote Originally Posted by Fredaintdead View Post
    *high fives*
    Someone get this man a medal, because he either reads my posts or my mind.

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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Okay, let's see.

    I also am confused by your intention for the starting HP, so I will leave those values aside.


    Humans
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    Standard extra skill points...

    +4 bonus to saves against fear effects? What about intimidate checks? I get this is a revision, but why are humans portrayed as a brave species?

    Die Hard? Why do humans get Die Hard? That's a strange racial feat to provide. I get Endurance I guess, considering it would portray how humans could adapt to any environment and any extreme weather fairly well, but i do not understand why Die Hard is in there.

    Summary: Slightly misguided. I never liked the idea of humans being these super versatile species of everymen, but I think either I missed something or you missed the mark here.



    Elf
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    OOohhh! I like! 40ft base speed, blindsense 15, and +4 to perception checks? And a minor bonus to poisons and diseases. MUCH better than Humans, pretty much all around.

    Summary: I would say there is literally no contest- this Elf is a much better race than the Humans. Blindsense is incredibly useful, and the extra speed and bonus to three separate skills (two of which are incredibly important) are leagues better than Die Hard, +4 vs Fear, and one extra skill point per level combined.



    Dwarf
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    Slow at 20ft, no ability to ignore armor speed reduction. +2 to Fortitude saves against magic? Wow, limited. +2 saves versus magic or +2 to fortitude I could understand, but fortitude saves just against magic? Too limiting to be useful.
    And a couple HP.

    Summary: A human with Great Fortitude and Improved Toughness is nearly at the same level as the dwarf as Darkvision and slow speed are hardly sneeze worthy. Elf is still vastly superior.



    Gnome
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    YES. Here's a guy that contends with the Elf. Sure, he's slow, and sure, +2 to saves against illusion... but +4 Dodge to AC? Against everything? Awesome! Only loses it when flat footed, so pick up some Uncanny Dodge and you are good to go.

    Summary: A first level gnome with a shield, 14 dex, and studded leather has an AC of 21. And if size benefits remain intact, he'd still get that +1 for a total AC of 22. And a +4 to hide. Choice.


    Orc
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    Hmm... So in total he gets a +6 to bullrush, +4 to grapple, and +2 to other strength checks? Or do those bonuses count as racial bonuses and not stack? And darkvision. Pretty nice, but niche when it comes to capabilities.

    Summary: Better than the human and dwarf if you need those bonuses (dungeoncrasher?), but otherwise pretty bland.



    Drow
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    Okay, +4 to one skill, +2 vs disease, and immunity to poisons. The immunity is helpful but rarely needed. Why does the Drow get +4 to one paltry (and faily unused) skill, while the Elf gets the bonus to 3 more useful ones?

    Summary: Still in a different category than the Elf or Gnome, falling in line with the Orc for Niche abilities.




    Suggestions:

    Improve the power of the Humans and Dwarves by about 100%, and the Orc and Drow by 50%. The Elf is a nice place to target for power, and the Gnome needs to be tweaked- a fixed +4 dodge bonus to AC is pretty sweet, almost too good.

    Humans:
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    Maybe free Skill Focus, Skill Feat (Athletic, Investigator, etc), or Saving Throw feat (Great fortitude, etc) at 1st and every 3 HD thereafter. Then remove the bonus skill points. The weakness of the feats are folded across many levels, and can be pretty nice. It also reflects the adaptibility of humanity without making them as versatile as 'any feat' and 'bonus skill points'.


    Dwarves:
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    Don't feel hardy enough. I always liked the idea of Dwarven Toughness- maybe temporary HP by spending an action, or taking a portion of all damage taken as nonlethal? The latter would make them incredible tanks and very hard to kill. Also, replace their features with feats- that way they can use them for prerequisites.

    Orcs:
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    Are pretty okay where they are. I like the idea of adding a resistance to bleed damage, or maybe against any ongoing damage (acid gets neutralized by their sweat/porous excretions, they are not very flammable, their wounds ooze instead of bleed, etc.)


    Drow:
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    Just bring them up to Elves. Give them a higher base speed, add a bonus to Hide and Move Silently, and then give them 10ft of Tremorsense or something. That would make them like underground Elves.

    Gnomes:
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    Maybe reduce their bonus to AC to +1 or +2, then give them another +2 or +4 to AC when fighting defensively, using total defense, using Combat Expertise, and/or against attacks of opportunity?




    Sorry if I misinterpreted anything. Just my take that I scratched together on my Android.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Sorry Rizban I can't find it. Though I did find text to the manner of what I was thinking in 4e. I think I may have got my versions mixed up... That's kind of embarrassing, especially since I don't even play 4e.

    Thanks cameronpants. This is the sort of critique I was hoping for. I'll rework some stuff and see if I can't get everything more in line with the elf.

    [edit]: Reworked all of the classes, mostly how you suggested, but I'm still debating on how I want to handle the human.
    Traditionally they are jacks of all trades and, the reason I gave them die hard, I feel a common trope (in scifi and fantasy) is that humans often never give up no matter what the cost. I want to capture the 'never give up' aspect.
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-17 at 03:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    For the dwarves, is falling damage considered physical? How about being set on fire (which isn't fire damage, according to RAW...just damage)?

    Or any of the many spells that do bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage? It's still magic, but it's doing something physical with it.

    Clarification on that would be swell.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    I mostly meant bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage, but I also wanted to include falling damage and other 'physical' altercations. So whether or not it was created with magic is supposed to be irrelevant. Truthfully I'm not sure how to reword it and keep it succinct.

    ----------

    Alright, three of the monstrous races are up. Please peach the races without thinking about the backgrounds yet. I want to balance the basics before moving onto the them.
    Also some new rules and errata have been added into the first post. Really nothing major, but I figured I should clarify so there isn't any confusion.

    ----------

    Lamia and Birdfolk are up.
    Last edited by eftexar; 2013-05-21 at 05:05 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    peaches, someone, please...

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    I think that in order to PEACH, we'd need to see what the backgrounds are, as other than those the differences between the races seem to be fairly minor for the most part.
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Alright the, backgrounds for humans are up.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Shouldn't Wanderer get Survival?
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    Wanderer now has survival. Any other thoughts?

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Re: Races Redone, because they should be interesting (3.5, peach)

    In order to really look at balance between the races, we'd need to see the backgrounds for all of them, as availability of stronger backgrounds is itself a strength.
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

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