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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Before you feel overwhelmed with options, particularly for a new RPG?

    For me, it's 8 tops for both race and class. I can handle 3rd Edition simply due to years of familiarity, but if you handed something like it to me as a new player today I wouldn't know where to begin.



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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I don't think I really have a limit cause as a player or GM I would just limit what I looked at till I gained the familiarity. I've been playing dnd since I was 7 years old. I started playing 3.5 when I was about 12 I think, and instead of looking at everything it had to offer I went with a classic dwarf fighter something I knew and was already comfortable with.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    When they stop being unique or relevant or interesting then it is too many for me.

    EDIT: Unique within the setting, I don't mind if there's been ten other races named "human" in ten other settings.
    Last edited by Lorsa; 2013-09-12 at 09:44 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I prefer to keep things to about 8 races and 8 classes for the game I run.

    Fewer races make for more plausible settings where the races have several different cultures instead of having dozens of unique species that number only in a few tens of thousands.

    And I want the players to look at the game through the eyes of people living in that world without spending much thoughts about mechanics, so I very much prefer to keep the mechanical aspect short and simple, with character classes being the primary source for these things.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    That can vary *very* widely. In a cultural exploraation game, where the players are a part of a larger setting with depth, a kitchen sink with dozens of different species feels wrong, but lots and lots of different cultures are really probable, so you have probably even more races and fewer at the same time. I usually prefer historical games where you have only one "race" in the D&D meaning, but hundreds and hundreds of cultures. All the diversity, none of the nonsensical doubling of ecological or narrative niches.
    I don't like bland kitchen sinks (like Eberron or the Forgotten Realms have unfortunately become). I like depth, and inner logic, so a small number of biological different people with a large number of different cultures just make more sense.

    When it comes to classes, the answer is much simpler: There are either no classes whatsoever or you have exact three: warriors, scouts and spellcasters, preferably each with smaller templates or specializations for more differentiation. But 'one is already too many' is probably more accurate.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    The Rose Dragon's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Two classes is one too many. There are several systems, like True20 or Unsiystem, that are point-buy systems carefully disguised as class-based systems, that I consider to be exceptions, but as a rule, I'm not fond of class-based systems.

    As for "races", depends on a lot of factors. The magic number seven, plus or minus two, is a good benchmark, assuming it's not a setting where everyone plays the same people, or a superhero-like setting where there are literally hundreds of species, and you get to create your own by buying the traits you think the people should have.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Black Jester's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Actually, most 1000s of species settings usually only have a handful, or even one - they are mostly all humans, only with the distinction of being humans who are green, humans who have bumpy forehead, humans who have fur... with this kind of overkill, there is no possible way to include any non-cosmetic, non-ability related distinctions or allow for a more than extremely superficial regard for anything related to customs or culture. At best, you get something silly as the Klingons (and I don't mean the fun Klingon fanboys who populate cons and have obviously fun dressing up. I mean the depressingly stereotypic one note excuses for characters who only occur in bad trek episodes).
    Cry Havoc and let slip the underdog of war

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Whenever they start to feel redundant.
    D&D Core plus a the few prestige classes seems about right.

    As for races, I pretty much feel the same. You don't need aqua, jungle, arctic, etc . . .

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateWench

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Talislanta.

    Look at Talislanta.

    It has dozens and dozens of playable races. In the main core rules.

    *head explodes*

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    No such thing as too many, but the designers do need to make them all complete.

    Wizard - hugely broad, it's fine to split it up.

    Illusionist - acceptable.

    Small Animal Illusionist - far too specific, this should be an Illusionist build option.

    Similar with races.

    Elves and Drow - Fine.

    Elves, High Elves, Dark Elves, Wet Elves, Snow Elves, Deep Elves, Forest Elves, Plains Elves, Wild Elves [...] - Why aren't most of these being represented by different cultures?
    Last edited by Gavran; 2013-09-12 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I've been meaning to start a thread to discuss this topic. I guess I'm 'old school', but I think that fewer base classes and races keep the game streamlined and easier to play, and therefore more fun as a result.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that I feel overwhelmed by the variety of choices out there, but I just don't think they're necessary. I think that the core of eight to a dozen classes and half a dozen races provides us with the material we need to figure out how to do what we want with our characters. Given the proliferation of alternate class features and variants from newer editions, not everyone agrees with me, but I am decidedly of the opinion that the sheer number of options actually discourages creativity.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I generally want something like 3x the expected number of players in classes, so that really there's no excuse for an overlap/two people playing the same thing.

    As far as races, generally I want one, a small number (5ish), or 'too many to count', with nothing in between - basically each of those three options creates a different racial dynamic in the setting. One race basically avoids the issue.

    A small number means you can reasonably write down the relationships between the various races without a combinatoric nightmare, associate each race with a geographic location in the world or nation, and go into detail about each race's origins and distinctions. Basically, with five races most people in the setting can go 'he's an elf' or 'she's a dwarf' and when someone doesn't fall into the five known races, its a big deal. So that can be leveraged for plot/etc.

    With 'too many to count' then everyone's going to be exotic anyhow and no one will know more than a handful of people of any given race. So paradoxically, by having more races, they become less significant (while still allowing players to take advantage of the mechanical variation they introduce).

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I like to have a handful or less per region. Depending on which region you're in, there may be more, but those natively from outside the region are rare.

    For example, in my Rose Lake setting, the kingdom of Ingol is mostly humans, halflings, and goblinoids; gnomes, elves, dwarves, orcs, and so on being rarely encountered. However, if you head northeast, you'll find elves in abundance along with a few wild races like centaurs and various fey. If you head north you'll find more dwarves. If you go to the islands you'll find gnomes. Go south and you'll encounter gnolls and other monstrous humanoids. Go west and you're in more orc territory.

    While most races are made available to players, I always let them know what the common ones are in an area.
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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    For races, I lean to more of the 'more the merrier' sort of attitude as I really enjoy playing weird and exotic things. I do respect limits GMs set up, but I like having viable non-humanish things around to play. But I also do not expect them everywhere, nor do they have to be movers and shakers in the plot however.

    The region system proposed earlier works I think, to allow more races while keeping things simple at first.

    As for classes, it really depends on how flexible the classes are. If they cover a lot of territory, then fewer can work. If not, you'll probably need several. I think I lean to more is better on this because even minor differences in classes can make or break the experience for people.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I'll take every last race and class and can find, mainly because I just love building up all kind of bizzare cultures and countries to act as (for the time being) background fluff. Still, I understand the problems that can arise from a huge number of races running around, and I've managed to sidestep it in my current campaign (the one I was requesting help for in an earlier thread.)

    The country the PCs start in is an a kind of even handed tyranny. They're racially tolerant, but culturally supremacist. So anyone can live there, provided they follow the laws, sing the national songs and celebrate the right holidays. It let my players pick wildly different races during character creation, but still have. shared background.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    General speaking, the existence of a class system is a big black mark on an RPG for me. Even one is too many, if it must be quantified. As for races species, I'd consider one (humans) to be plenty in most cases. Occasionally I'll go all the way to two in a setting, and very occasionally I'll use more of a kitchen-sink which has numerous, though this is usually only in space opera.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Short answer: Depends on the setting and the system.

    In a setting like Planescape I would allow most any race because the setting allows it.
    In Legend of the Five Rings, you play human. In the games I've played/run we have had exactly one non-human PC, amd that was pushing it.

    Classes or equivalent mechanics: I don't really have a hard limit. Really, it's a case by case basis for whether something is fine or not. So often there are new mechanics made not to expand the game in a meaningful way or fill a particular niche but just made for the purpose of making more crunch. Pointless, useless or overpowered. If I like it, ot's ok. If I don't, it's too much.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I'll take as many of both as the DM is capable of juggling. Not that I don't appreciate the sentiment some people have that any class is too many classes. In the freeform or homebrew games I've played and run in the past every player character would tend to be unique to that game. In the setting maybe they were common, maybe they were an unlikely combination of events, sometimes they were snowflakes and genetic anomalies. In the end it never really mattered. Given time we would think of their personal plot arc and balance as needed.

    Sure sometimes you run a world where everyone is X and sometimes that's something I want to play. The vast majority of the time unless there is a good reason to limit creativity I don't see a reason to do so. Even if my latest attempts of being creative is exploring tropes.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    There's three basic combat roles: Frontliner, Backliner, and Team Support. Cookie if you guess which one is which.

    From there, you can make hybrids. Someone who alternates between the frontlines and the backlines should be less sturdy than dedicated frontlinesmen and more sturdy than backlinesmen. This creates a gradiant of Survivability and range. From there you can mix in Low Damage, but excellent chance to hit; High Damage, but low chance to hit. You can throw in Single-Target attacks and AoE attacks.

    There's a lot of different ways to hurt things, and there should be just as many ways to hurt them. And not a single one more.

    Ideally, every single "class" or playstyle you create should be able to handle all three jobs with some proficiency. No, you don't want to give the Fighter high-artillery magic power. But you do want to give them the ability to somehow heal or help their teammates in combat in some way beyond killing something threatening them. This does NOT mean it needs to be as good as what a dedicated support teammate can do, but there should be some capacity.

    Example: TF2. Scout's better off at picking off low Health enemies, but can support the team with enemy status debuffs like "Mad Milk" or marking them for death for Mini-crits. Soldier can buff teammates. Pyro can extinguish teammates on fire or remove sappers. Heavy has lunchbox items and Natasha. Engineer has Teleporters and dispensers. Team Support is the Medic's job. Sniper has Jarate. Of the 9 classes, 7 can debuff enemies, buff allies, or heal allies, or fulfill some combination of these tasks. But the way that they do their jobs and get kills for their team varies rather drastically.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Whatever how many the Pokemon Tabletop RPG had. That really was way too many.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Libertad View Post
    Before you feel overwhelmed with options, particularly for a new RPG?

    For me, it's 8 tops for both race and class. I can handle 3rd Edition simply due to years of familiarity, but if you handed something like it to me as a new player today I wouldn't know where to begin.

    Having a lot of races and classes isn't really an issue for a new system. Pick a character idea and then look for a few things that support that.

    It really depends on the context. I have more of an issue with many races from a narrative standpoint, where you have a dozen different versions of everything. This can make settings feel very kitchen-sinkish. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it isn't. Something about such settings just feels off. So in the current campaign I'm DMing, the main species is humans, there are a few orcs, a few elves, and a smattering of halflings and that's by and large it with a few minor exceptions. But that was more for setting reasons than anything involving the system.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Classes I would like them to just go a Martial, Skill, Magical, Race branch type system and have a point system, traits, whatever you want to call them. Would stop a lot of the class by class comparison fights and debates.

    As far as races go just make it so you can be any race and use the race branch for racial powers and the like, because you always see post about people wanting to be vampires, minotaurs, demons, dragons, animal people, and so on. Just making eight (or less) base races will not stop people from always asking to be these races then the DM trying to find a decent way to balance the race.

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    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    don't really have an upper limit. I prefer infinity and all the endlessness that it implies.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Ashes's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I really, really dislike weird races. In D&D I like the core, and nothing else. My imagination and suspension of disbelief is strained otherwise, and party dynamics especially, are hard to pull off in a believable way.

    Classes, I don't care about. It's not like they're a thing in-game, any way.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Morgarion's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    don't really have an upper limit. I prefer infinity and all the endlessness entropy that it implies.
    Fixed it for you.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    It doesn't matter to me, I usually just use the same five races (human, goblin, kobold, drow, hobgoblin) and whatever class I want to use.

    But in my campaign I'm working on, the races are human, dwarf, drow, kobold, goblin, hobgoblin, bugbear, gnoll, lizardfolk, gnome, hobbit, swinetar(Homebrew), possibly ibixian, kenku, or armand, and orc or elf if you want to be evil. The classes are Assassin (Homebrew), Barbarian, Bard, Bounty Hunter, Cleric, Druid (Homebrew), Fighter (Homebrew), Paladin, Ranger (Homebrew), Rogue, Sorcerer, Wizard, and Wizard Hunter.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    with classes i don't really have a set max limit. im good with anywhere from teh basic 3 ( combat beast/skill monster/special ability guymandude) up to for instance 3rd ed 50+.

    THough with rulebooks that have a lot of classes ( over 20 IMO) if there is not a paragraph describing what X class is about i usually pass on the game.

    Races though.. I don't like more than perhaps a dozen. D&D s kabillion races is a bit too much for me, mostly due to the inevitable power creep that seems to happen to races, whilst classes tend to be more balanced as the game ages.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Lord Raziere's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgarion View Post
    Fixed it for you.
    I hate entropy, how are you fixing it? you just made the world a dimmer place by implicitly assuming how you view things was better than mine, then you arrogantly assumed that you needed to fix it.

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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    I've yet to come across a system where I've thought "wow, there are way too many interesting and unique races/classes I could play as, I wish I was more limited in my character creation abilities".

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Rakaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: How many races/classes is too many for you?

    It really depends on the system. One of the games I play, races basically boil down to "three feats you get for free, plus 3 skills that are favored by your race" which makes even races that arnt in the books easy to put together. "Carears" are the same way.

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