Player Races

Here's the place to talk about the features you would like to see in a sequel to KotC.

Re: Player Races

Postby screeg » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:12 pm

Regarding our four-armed friends, I think what you have to consider is the party of four Thri-Kreen, each with four off-hand weapons. Are they going to start with four attacks per round? Because that would be ridiculous and allow for all kinds of exploits. A TK fighter who Foucses and Specializes in shortswords and has one in each hand is going to be unstoppable.
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Re: Player Races

Postby BlueSalamander » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:26 pm

Weapon Specialisation is only available to the Fighter.

Four half-giants could also focus and specialise in large greatswords with as much devastating effect, it seems to me. The balancing factor here, is that half-giants and thri-kreens will have a poor Armor Class and be poor arcane/psionic spellcasters.

Dark Sun also started the Thri Kreen with 5 attacks, including one bite and 4 claw.
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Re: Player Races

Postby Narsham » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:44 am

BlueSalamander wrote:I quite like the idea of 4 arms for a single two-handed weapon and 2 arms for a one-handed one. You would still be able to wield 2 shortspears (shortspear is a one-handed weapon) but the usefulness would come from allowing 4 light weapons, for example 4 kukris, or 3 light weapons and a shield. 13 attacks can be okay if they are all with low-damage weapons, and the character can't wear armor so must rely on dexterity + dodge feat + two weapon defence feats + natural armor.
The 2-handed spear could be an exception (obtained with a feat) allowing the thri-kreen to wield two. The ranged weapon slot will remain separate so no benefit to the thri-kreen there.


The basic concept seems sound, but at mid-to-high levels all your weapon damage comes from bonuses (weapon, strength, specialization) and enchantments (holy, et. al.).

If you stick with your present damage reduction implementation, the only disadvantage to having more attacks with a lower damage weapon is if you score a critical hit. With something like a kukri, the higher critical rate would tend to balance out the smaller damage add, especially factoring in all the extra attacks. If each hit is doing [weapon] + 3 [Str 16, no belt allowed] + 5 [magic bonus] + 3d6 [one or more bonus damage types, which will apply at least some of the time], then so long as you hit, you score 3d6 + 8 damage plus the weapon damage. 3d6 + 8 is lot more than the difference between a 1d4 and a 1d12 weapon.

The typical fighter-kreen would take Weapon Finesse to maximize chances to hit, too. If 13 of 13 attacks hit, that scores 39d6 + 80 + 13 X weapon (d6 weapon = 52d6 + 80). A Half-Giant with two Greataxes and Str 26 can get 7 hits doing 42d6 + 91 damage. On average, the Thri-Kreen does 24 points more damage each round. Make each of the six weapons a Speed weapon and things get even worse for the Half-Giant. Specialization is another bonus to the Thri-kreen, since the extra damage (+2 or +4) will apply to every hit. The Half-Giant *might* pull ahead if the target is hard to hit, but if it is very hard to hit the Thri-Kreen's extra swings mean more chances to roll a high number. The enchant cost will be higher on the Thri-Kreen's weapons, although it doesn't need secondary items or armor enchanted. Also, the Thri-Kreen keeps up with the Half-Giant in damage with 10 points less Str.

The DS games didn't let you create your own weapons. And as earlier edition games, they didn't have very many weapons which did bonus damage on a hit. So a Thri-kreen was never going to match a Half-Giant gladiator with twin El's Drinkers.

Why not simply limit hands 3 & 4 to one attack per round, or two with speed weapons? That makes using two one-handed weapons more attractive but offers some small benefit to the smaller weaponed approach. With 4 speed weapons, the Kreen could still be getting 5+4+2+2 = 13 attacks, but the speed enchant will crowd out extra damage enchants or weapon bonus (making the chance to hit smaller). (The Half-Giant could take two speed weapons and crank out 9 hits per round.)
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Re: Player Races

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:14 am

Narsham, it's an interesting analysis. Still, you should consider:

* Full attack is less frequent than Standard Attack. This means if you put a thri kreen fighter against a half giant fighter in an arena, you're almost guaranteed to have a dead thri kreen. The TK will have the first attack (single attack), then the half giant will his own, much more powerful, attack, possibly killing the TK.

* the thri-kreen's full attack would be useful only versus a creature with a whole lot of HP - meaning that a lot of times some of your attacks will be wasted simply because there's no target.

* as a TK you would most likely wield a shield to make up for some of the lost Armor Class and fire, cold, shock protection, leaving just 3 kukris.

* At level 20 a half giant with max strength would have STR 18 + 4 (racial) + 4 (level ups) + 6 (belt of strength) = 32, giving an STR modifier of 11.
A thri kreen at level 20 (max dex) would have dexterity 18 + 2 (racial) + 4 (level ups) = 24, giving a DEX modifier of 7.
Difference: 4 points. I take out 1 because the giant has a penalty of 1 from size, there's still a difference of 3 points, equal to a 15% chance. The half giant is 15% more likely to hit on any melee attack than the thri kreen.
With a strength of 32, the half giant with 2 greataxes can dish out 42d6 + 112 over 7 attacks. The half giant can also wear a +5 full plate armor for a whopping extra 8+5 points of Armor Class, lost forever to the Thri Kreen.
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Re: Player Races

Postby Narsham » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:07 pm

I don't agree that full attack actions are uncommon, nor that you run out of targets often. That certainly hasn't been my experience playing KotC, anyway.

Your point about what happens if a Half-Giant has maximized everything is well-taken, but does it suggest that a Half-Giant fighter is too effective in comparison with fighters of other races? If you don't mind offering a range of choices where one or two choices are obviously superior to others (beyond just the +2 to a stat advantages), that's fine. But you then have to balance encounters so that the game is challenging if I'm running a Half-Giant or Kreen front-line, but doesn't steamroller me if I opt to go with an all-human party.

IIRC, Dark Sun got around some of the problem because of how the Gladiator class was defined (well, and because of the items available in the setting, too).

So the only Half-Giant disadvantages to compensate for their huge melee advantage will be that they won't hit quite as often with ranged attacks and their Will saves will be lousy? Important, I think, to modify some of the Hold and Control spells so that they work on Half-Giants despite their being size Large... and I can already predict I'll have a Half-Giant with +5 Full Plate granting SR.
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Re: Player Races

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:38 pm

I don't agree that full attack actions are uncommon, nor that you run out of targets often.
Correct, but it's useful to have a powerful standard attack, because there are a lot of situations where you can do only that.

Narsham wrote:does it suggest that a Half-Giant fighter is too effective in comparison with fighters of other races?
No I just wanted to show that on sheer damage the half-giant probably can't be beaten.
Penalties on the half giant:
I probably won't allow DEX higher than 11 - so the half giant can't have a dex bonus to AC (at least without magic enhancement) and he can have a big penalty.
From large size he always has an AC penalty of 1 and attack roll penalty of 1 (meaning the attack bonus will be no higher than that of a half-orc).
No good with ranged weapons as they require good dexterity
No good with dual wielding as dual wielding feats require a good dexterity
low willpower, so easier to paralyze (hold monster), blind (with glitterdust), confuse or dominate
low reflex, so vulnerable to breath weapons, fireball, tripping, grease, etc.
Low intelligence means no whirlwind attack
No good as cleric, psionicist/psychic warrior, wizard, paladin, assassin. Good as fighter or barbarian.
Speed 20, or 15 with heavy armor, often needs to wait for enemies to come.

The thri-kreen has the paralyzing bite and would make a good assassin (sneak attack damage on each weapon), fighter, cleric, paladin, and psychic warrior (wis bonus) if that class is added.

Halfling good choice for cleric and paladin especially if it has a Wisdom bonus.

Grey elf good choice for wizard/psionicist for the Intelligence bonus, but will have low HP and poor melee touch attacks.

Half-Orc is a good barbarian, assassin and fighter choice, less lopsided and vulnerable than the half giant, more versatile.

Dwarf makes a good paladin and fighter.

High Elf good choice for an archery- or dexterity- focused fighter or assassin.

The Kobold will have a great Armor Class, good for assassin, wizard, psionicist.

Human would be okay with any class.

Regarding the toughness feat, how about having it give +4 or +5 HP instead of just +3?
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Re: Player Races

Postby Narsham » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:47 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:Regarding the toughness feat, how about having it give +4 or +5 HP instead of just +3?


Not unreasonable. Toughness is not a decent value for a feat in 3.5 unless you simply have no other options.

In my campaign, I allowed PCs to take toughness up to 3 times. In addition to the HP bonus, each toughness raised the minimum hp/level by 1. So 1 X toughness means hp rolls of "1" go to "2," and 3 X toughness means rolls of "1" "2" and "3" go to "4."

Not sure how desirable that is given your options to always gain 1/2 or full hp at each level. I wanted to give wizards and rogues a reason to take the feat.

You could have toughness taken once only, granting +3 hp and guaranteeing at level-up that this character gains at least 1/2 hp. That would make it useful for players like me, who didn't use the hp settings (except for levels 4-5, where I only wanted to max my wizard's hp after minimum rolls at level-up).

I stand convinced on the Kreen/Half-Giant stuff, although I think balancing encounters will be tougher for you. You'd almost need two sets of encounters in some places based on what races and classes are in the party. (Actually, that might not be a bad idea for other reasons, too... maybe have some class-specific quests?)
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Re: Player Races

Postby BlueSalamander » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:58 pm

I think the dice number 42d6 for the half-giant is wrong - should be 35 isn't it? 2d6 for a greataxe + 3d6 for enchantments = 5d6, times 7 attacks = 35d6.
Hard to say who would do the most damage. Thri Kreen assassin with sneak attacks, or Half Giant barbarian with extra strength from rage. Mixed with the difference in to-hit chance.
For balancing... yes. In Dark Sun, if you wanted an easier game you took several half giants, so it was a kind of difficulty setting.

[Edit] re/toughness, I'd probably just make it give 5 HP. Sounds worthwhile at low levels, and still helpful at high levels. Can't play on the dice per level as I want it to remain a player gameplay option.

[Edit 2] Regarding the half-giant's dexterity, I'm thinking to give him the 'Sluggish' label: 'a half giant can't benefit from any dexterity bonus to Armor Class'. That way I can just give -6 to dexterity and not worry about a dex 12 half giant in full plate having as much AC as a human with dex 18 in full plate.
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Re: Player Races

Postby screeg » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:07 pm

How about restricting the HG's speed to an absolute max of 20? It's all good to say it can't naturally be higher, but slap some Boots of Striding on him and he'll keep up with all the midgets no problem. Or you could go with a Half-Ogre instead.

Tangentially, I hope if you include spellcasting Ogres you go with the good ole Ogre Mage instead of the Ogre Shaman, which is chronically lame.
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Re: Player Races

Postby Archangel » Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:27 pm

Humans need something more then just one feat. I suggest giving them one fixed feat (useful for all classes, something in the line of Dodge) and one bonus feat.
Although you give for instance half-orcs +2 str and -2 dex this penalty means nothing for full plate knights (or with endless rerolls means nothing for most classes). Even for clerics starting with 20 str it is great, and they do not need more then 12 dex anyways.
Dwarves with their bonus can be really high HP knights or wizard or with a good roll battle clerics that only buff and heal and do no cast disables.
Humans have a bonus to skill and free favored class for a reason in PnP, and got even more nice things in Pathfinder to better balance them.
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