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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Silus's Avatar

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    Oct 2010

    Default Hammering out and fine tuning a homebrew race

    So me and some friends have put together a homebrew setting and crafted up a handful of races. One of these races however, the Kamakiri (mantis people), feel a little...meh compared to some of the other stuff we have, and I was hoping I could get some advice and feedback on how to improve the race as a whole. The initial inspiration for the race was the artwork of WhiteMantis, but as of now I'm wanting to edge away from that, perhaps towards a sort of Hollow Knight direction. Anyway, here's the stats:

    • Ability Score Racial Traits: Kamakiri are naturally quick (a holdover from their mantis roots) and generally well educated, but the language barrier and their inability to easily communicate turn people off. They gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma.
    • Type: Kamakiri are Monstrous Humanoids. They receive Darkvision 60ft.
    • Size: Kamakiri are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    • Base Speed: Kamakiri have a base speed of 30ft.
    • Skill Bonus: Linguistics and Handle Animal are always class skills for Kamakiri and they receive +1 to Linguistics and Handle Animal.
    • Vermin Empathy: Kamakiri treat all creatures with the Vermin type as animals for the purposes of Handle Animal checks to train them.
    • Chitin: Kamakiri receive +2 natural armor due to their exoskeleton.
    • Natural Attacks: Kamakiri possess a pair of claws good for little more than attacking, lacking the dexterity and fine manipulation skills of their hands. These are separate limbs then their hands, but do not have item slots of their own. They have 2 Claw attacks (1d4).
    • Radiation Resistance: Kamakiri treat any form of radiation as one step lower for the purposes of save DCs and damage done.
    • Language Barrier: While Kamakiri may pick up any of the languages listed in this guide, they are restricted to communicating via sign-language and Kamakiri. This does not affect spellcasting, but does impact anything involving vocal communication.
    • Languages: Kamakiri begin play with Kamakiri and sign language. Kamakiri have access to all non-secret languages, but are unable to speak these languages (see below). They may understand languages as normal.


    Alternate Racial Traits
    • Locust: Certain Kamakiri are gifted with wings at the cost of their lower claws, natural chiton and resistances to the natural radiation of Xang-Tsan. These Kamakiri have a fly speed of 30 feet with clumsy maneuverability. They also gain a bite attack at 1d3. This trait replaces Natural Attacks, Chitin and Radiation Resistance.
    • Quick and Quiet: Some Kamakiri are blessed with speed and stealth. Their base speed increases by +10 (to 40ft). In addition, they gain Perception and Stealth as class skills. This trait replaces Chitin and Radiation Resistance.
    • Grasshopper: These Kamakiri have, through various mutations, developed exceptional jumping skills. These Kamakiri can use Jump as a spell-like ability 1+Con/day. The caster level of the spell is equal to the Kamakiriís character level. This trait replaces Chitin and Radiation Resistance.


    ----

    I think one of the things I want to try is to expand the alternate racial trait for more variety of insect (we have spiders covered with another race already), or relegate the Mantis type to an Alternate Racial and make the base more of a generic insect almost in line with Kasatha in build (nix the claws, give them four arms instead) and have the alternate racials work off of that. I'm also very tempted to nix the language barrier. While a unique aspect to the race, it seems rather pointless without a sort of mechanical benefit or penalty.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Hammering out and fine tuning a homebrew race

    Quote Originally Posted by Silus View Post
    <snip>
    ... but the language barrier and their inability to easily communicate turn people off.
    <snip>
    [*]Skill Bonus: Linguistics and Handle Animal are always class skills for Kamakiri and they receive +1 to Linguistics and Handle Animal.
    <snip>
    [*]Language Barrier: While Kamakiri may pick up any of the languages listed in this guide, they are restricted to communicating via sign-language and Kamakiri. This does not affect spellcasting, but does impact anything involving vocal communication.[*]Languages: Kamakiri begin play with Kamakiri and sign language. Kamakiri have access to all non-secret languages, but are unable to speak these languages (see below). They may understand languages as normal.[/list]

    <snip>

    I'm also very tempted to nix the language barrier. While a unique aspect to the race, it seems rather pointless without a sort of mechanical benefit or penalty.
    I would say the language barrier is confused a little bit by the bonus to linguistics. If the flavor is that they have issues with languages, I don't see why they'd get a boost to that particular skill as a race; if anything, I would maybe expect a penalty, or would suggest an alternate racial trait that offers or increases said penalty in exchange for a benefit.

    If you were going to nix the language barrier, you could ignore any of this opinion, but if you still wanted to see it work from a flavor/role play perspective, you might even go harder in on it. Right now they can pick up languages for the purpose of understanding as easily as a human. You could limit them to just Kamakiri and sign language, and give them some kind of uphill battle to learn other languages in play.

    [*]Radiation Resistance: Kamakiri treat any form of radiation as one step lower for the purposes of save DCs and damage done.
    This is probably addressed in more detail in your setting, or you all have just hashed all this out already or have a mutual understanding of how it applies, but you might specify the radiation a bit. Technically, light spells and scorching ray (a "beam" of fire) could be interpreted as forms of radiation.
    Last edited by Crazy Author; 2017-08-12 at 10:57 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Ninjaxenomorph's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hammering out and fine tuning a homebrew race

    (Also works on the setting/race) The Linguistics bonus is there to offset the fact that they're like wookies; they are incapable of speaking any language but their own, and relations often hinge on learning new languages.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Silus's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hammering out and fine tuning a homebrew race

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Author View Post
    If you were going to nix the language barrier, you could ignore any of this opinion, but if you still wanted to see it work from a flavor/role play perspective, you might even go harder in on it. Right now they can pick up languages for the purpose of understanding as easily as a human. You could limit them to just Kamakiri and sign language, and give them some kind of uphill battle to learn other languages in play.



    This is probably addressed in more detail in your setting, or you all have just hashed all this out already or have a mutual understanding of how it applies, but you might specify the radiation a bit. Technically, light spells and scorching ray (a "beam" of fire) could be interpreted as forms of radiation.
    I personally feel that nixing the barrier would be the right option as just having it feels like a large deterrent for players to pick the race over, say, one of the core races. Having a dedicated sign language would not be a bad idea however and could actually prove to be quite useful for parties (stealth operations where sign language is the best form of communication for example).

    As for the Radiation Resistance, I don't personally see a problem with it, though I'm also the kinda guy that will glare at you and fling dice at your head if you tried to pull something like that. It could very well do with some touching up in terms of clarification however, if only to avoid issues like the one you mentioned.
    Awesome avatar by linklele
    "The Barrier World" Google Doc
    A post-post apocalyptic steampunk magitech Pathfinder setting.
    Spoiler
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    Awesome avatar by Akrim.elf and Ceika

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Jul 2017

    Default Re: Hammering out and fine tuning a homebrew race

    Quote Originally Posted by Silus View Post
    As for the Radiation Resistance, I don't personally see a problem with it, though I'm also the kinda guy that will glare at you and fling dice at your head if you tried to pull something like that. It could very well do with some touching up in terms of clarification however, if only to avoid issues like the one you mentioned.
    Then I have the correction that's needed:
    Radiation Resistance: Kamakiri treat any form of radiation as one step lower for the purposes of save DCs and damage done. Players of this race are entitled to helmets in case of sudden dice-chucking caused by severe exploitation of a technicality.

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