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 SkeleTony » Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:51 pm

BlueSalamander wrote:Here's what I've been thinking for races in KotC 2:

Human: one extra feat at the beginning. Advantage: Extra Feat.

Half-Orc: DEX -2, STR +2, Toughness. Advantage: High Strength.

Dwarf: CON +2, WIS -2, Speed 20, +2 Dodge bonus to AC against melee attacks from large creatures or bigger. Advantage: High Hit Points.

High Elf: DEX +2, CON -2, immunity to sleep. Advantage: High Dexterity.

Grey Elf: STR -2, DEX +2, CON -2, INT +2, immunity to sleep. Advantage: High Intelligence.

Halfling: STR -2, DEX +2, Size Small (less damage from weapons, +1 size bonus to all attack rolls and to AC), Speed 20, +2 bonus to all saving throws. Advantage: High Saving Throws.

Kobold: STR -2, DEX +2, CON -2, Size Small, Speed 30, +2 Natural Armor bonus to AC. Advantage: High Armor Class.

Thri-Kreen: STR -2, DEX +2, INT -2, WIS +2, CHA -2, Speed 40, Can’t wear armour, Can wield up to 4 weapons, +3 Natural Armor bonus to AC, Paralyzing bite from level 7. Advantage: Number of Attacks.

Half-Giant: STR +4, DEX -6, CON +2, INT -4, WIS -4, CHA -2. Size Large (more damage from weapons, -1 size bonus to all attack rolls and to AC), Speed 20. Advantage: High Damage.

Some issues that could be discussed:
Are the half-giant and thri-kreen irremediably unbalanced?
Should thri-kreens be prohibited from wearing cloaks, rings, helms, boots, belts and bracers too?
Is kobold a good idea for a character class?
Should halflings have a wisdom bonus?



One of the several things that turned me off of the KoTC demo was that, not only did you only have 3 playable races(one of which are the default boring humans) and three classes, but that one of those races were the Dark Sun specific 'Half Dwarf'/Muls. Don't get me wrong, Dark Sun is a great setting(regardless of what one thinks about the D&D game mechanics) but mixing these races into a non-Dark Sun game setting is a bit wonky. A little like having a character class called the "Field Combat Medic" in a fantasy/sword and sorcery game because you were playing a sci-fi game that included them and thought they were cool. I would rather see the classic "half-Ogre" race than the Dark Sun "half-Giant" and they would be easier to balance out since they do not have quite as high Strength bonuses and there would be less need for extreme penalties to Dexterity(such as the -6 Dex you are proposing for Half-Giants).

Speaking of classes, no...the kobold is not a "good idea for a character class" because this is not a CLASS at all! It is a race or species designation. As for whether this should be one of the playable races, that depends both on what you do with them and what other races you already have. I think having orcs, gnomes, goblins, satyrs, centaurs and so forth should take precedence over less familiar and probably less attractive races like Kobolds, Brownies and what not.

Should halflings have a wisdom bonus? Depends on how the halflings in your world are defined I guess. I personally am not thrilled about this idea because it kind of eliminates the archetypal UNWISE halfling(like Pippin from the LoTR). I would be more in favor of giving them bonuses to "Will" saves but even that can be problematic.
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Re: Player Races

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Re: Player Races

Postby Narsham » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:03 pm

SkeleTony wrote:Should halflings have a wisdom bonus? Depends on how the halflings in your world are defined I guess. I personally am not thrilled about this idea because it kind of eliminates the archetypal UNWISE halfling(like Pippin from the LoTR). I would be more in favor of giving them bonuses to "Will" saves but even that can be problematic.


That's odd. I considered Pippin to be atypical, not archetypal. Frodo, Sam and Merry all have claims towards wisdom in the series. The Took line is also established as atypical for hobbits, not that any of the Fellowship are normal hobbits to begin with...
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Re: Player Races

Postby SkeleTony » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:11 am

Narsham wrote:
SkeleTony wrote:Should halflings have a wisdom bonus? Depends on how the halflings in your world are defined I guess. I personally am not thrilled about this idea because it kind of eliminates the archetypal UNWISE halfling(like Pippin from the LoTR). I would be more in favor of giving them bonuses to "Will" saves but even that can be problematic.


That's odd. I considered Pippin to be atypical, not archetypal. Frodo, Sam and Merry all have claims towards wisdom in the series. The Took line is also established as atypical for hobbits, not that any of the Fellowship are normal hobbits to begin with...




Well you can put forth an argument either way in this case. Mine(which I may be wrong about) was admittedly taking a LOT of halflings from fiction and RPGs and noticing they tended to be more "Pippin" than "Samwise" or "Frodo"(Tasslehoof Burfoot from the Dragonlance books for example, who is basically a halfling with a different label to avoid copyright issues). Don't get me wrong...I am not saying they should have penalties to Wisdom either...just that taking one or two examples and applying that species wide is like saying "Einstein was intelligent. Richard Dawkins is intelligent. The human race should have an intelligence bonus!".
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Re: Player Races

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:51 pm

one of those races were the Dark Sun specific 'Half Dwarf'/Muls. Don't get me wrong, Dark Sun is a great setting(regardless of what one thinks about the D&D game mechanics) but mixing these races into a non-Dark Sun game setting is a bit wonky. A little like having a character class called the "Field Combat Medic"
Point taken, but it's a matter of taste. I'm not really looking to have a race with high strength, just a race with Large size (inflicting damage with large-sized weapons). The Half-giant has just +4 to Strength.

the kobold is not a "good idea for a character class" because this is not a CLASS at all! It is a race or species designation. As for whether this should be one of the playable races, that depends both on what you do with them and what other races you already have. I think having orcs, gnomes, goblins, satyrs, centaurs and so forth should take precedence over less familiar and probably less attractive races like Kobolds, Brownies and what not.
Yes, of course, I mean playable race. That was a mix-up. Orcs are basically the same as half-orc (which will be there in the game), only stronger and more evil so not interesting. Gnomes are basically the same as halflings or dwarves, and satyrs are not interesting IMO. Goblin is basically the same as kobold, except it looks worse and is more universally evil. A medium-sized version of the centaur is interesting. The main advantages would be a high speed and double damage when charging with halberds and spears.

I personally am not thrilled about this idea because it kind of eliminates the archetypal UNWISE halfling(like Pippin from the LoTR
Are you sure they were unwise? I see them more as being of average intelligence, rather than average wisdom. Frodo the hobbit is the ring-bearer in LotR because all the others would just use its power for self-advancement.
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Re: Player Races

Postby SkeleTony » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:19 am

Orcs are basically the same as half-orc (which will be there in the game), only stronger and more evil so not interesting. Gnomes are basically the same as halflings or dwarves, and satyrs are not interesting IMO. Goblin is basically the same as kobold, except it looks worse and is more universally evil. A medium-sized version of the centaur is interesting. The main advantages would be a high speed and double damage when charging with halberds and spears.



All in how you define the races. I guess if you are going by whatever (A)D&D says about them in some specific source then some may not be interesting to you(for whatever reason). I was admittedly assuming one could get creative or outside the D&D box a bit. Proudfoot's CRPG "Natuk" for example, did not have a great game system but the fact that you could ONLY play orcs, half-trolls and ogres(Warriors, Assassins, Scouts, shamans and witch-doctor classes) made the game exceptionally interesting. Instead of the typical "Good guys out to save the world from the big evil foozle" plot that is standard for almost every RPG, Natuk was a game with an original plot/premise that focused on revenge, was full of 'orcy' humor etc. Orcs do not have to be "uninsteresting" and stereotypically "evil" anymore so than elves or humans have to be as boring as they typically are in RPGs. Same goes for ANY race really, from Satyrs to goblins. Kobolds are usually always just smaller versions of goblins(with doggy faces) and just as typically "evil". This has a lot to do with the 'alignment' system D&D uses that pidgeon-holes entire races into cloned behaviors. Better to just treat most races much like humans are treated. It is fine to say that a particular culture(human or nonhuman) TENDS towards certain values(or lack thereof) but a race that is "all chaotic evil" is not a RACE at all. It is a model of robot.

Whether any race is "interesting" or not is all up to the designer. Satyrs are very interesting. They would make the best bards in the game I think and being a 'medium' race with a powerful 'charge' ability, faster running speed etc. while being unable to wear boots or most helmets(because of their hooves and horns) sounds pretty interesting.

Gnomes are a bit redundant in how they are typically portrayed in D&D I will grant you but I would take them over halflings any day if for no other reason that halflings are inextricably tied to Tolkien's specific world-setting and they are basically humans with stunted limbs(re: midgets we used to call them). Gnomes have a bit of the fairie in their blood in most sources(especially outside of D&D) and not really dwarf-like at all.

As far as "looks" go, I don't follow you. I always picture and portray goblins(in my own graphics) in the 'Warhammer' mold so they have always looked a lot cooler than kobolds to me.

As far as 'big' races go I tend to favor what Gygax himself went with way back when and his "Half-Ogre" creation. The original half-ogres did not roll 3D6 for strength for example. They rolled 1d6 and added the result to 13(but adding the result to '12' would make more sense in modern D&D 3.5 systems). Same for Constitution. But for intelligence, Wisdom, and Dex they rolled something like 2d6 or 2d8(less for charisma). They were able to wield bastard swords one handed and get the full damage and got an extra hit die for HP at level one etc. They were much more interesting than the half-giant with the +4 strength thing. Modern D&D tends to try too hard to make nonhumans very 'human-like', keeping the stat bonuses and penalties to a bare minimum and that is a bad thing.


Are you sure they were unwise? I see them more as being of average intelligence, rather than average wisdom. Frodo the hobbit is the ring-bearer in LotR because all the others would just use its power for self-advancement.


I have never understood why D&D confused "Wisdom" and "will power". There really is no relation between these two traits. Like I said if you want to give halflings a Will save bonus then I can see that but even Frodo was not of exceptional wisdom much of the time. He was often naive and easily fooled. The rest of the hobbits/halflings much more so. I am not saying they should be UNWISE just that I do not see much justification for granting them wisdom bonuses.
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Re: Player Races

Postby Narsham » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:43 pm

SkeleTony wrote:I have never understood why D&D confused "Wisdom" and "will power". There really is no relation between these two traits. Like I said if you want to give halflings a Will save bonus then I can see that but even Frodo was not of exceptional wisdom much of the time. He was often naive and easily fooled. The rest of the hobbits/halflings much more so. I am not saying they should be UNWISE just that I do not see much justification for granting them wisdom bonuses.


From Wikipedia's page on Frodo Baggins:
Frodo is the only prominent hobbit whose name is not explained in Tolkien’s Appendices to The Lord of the Rings. In his letters Tolkien states that it is derived from Old English fród meaning 'wise by experience'.


But what does he know? He's only the author... ;)
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Re: Player Races

Postby Gragt » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:33 am

Bleh, why should other fantasy works influence what should be done in this game? Fantasy is supposed to be about excessive imagination but it seems that most people want it to be as comformist and unsurprising as possible. Just add whatever races or classes you feel like adding, along with whatever bonus. And if they do not comform to what has been doen in previous fantasy works, too bad.

The biggest problem with fantasy is that people consider the bloated fantasy epic that is TLoTR as some kind of model to follow, but that's the best way to fall into pedestrian fantasy that won't rise above the mass. Then again, from some discussion I had with different people, it seems that some are so insecure that they can't imagine fantasy giving them something original, that they must have the same old stereotypes to hold onto.
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Re: Player Races

Postby SkeleTony » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:53 am

Gragt wrote:Bleh, why should other fantasy works influence what should be done in this game? Fantasy is supposed to be about excessive imagination but it seems that most people want it to be as comformist and unsurprising as possible. Just add whatever races or classes you feel like adding, along with whatever bonus. And if they do not comform to what has been doen in previous fantasy works, too bad.

The biggest problem with fantasy is that people consider the bloated fantasy epic that is TLoTR as some kind of model to follow, but that's the best way to fall into pedestrian fantasy that won't rise above the mass. Then again, from some discussion I had with different people, it seems that some are so insecure that they can't imagine fantasy giving them something original, that they must have the same old stereotypes to hold onto.



Agreed 100%.
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Re: Player Races

Postby SkeleTony » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:58 am

Narsham wrote:
SkeleTony wrote:I have never understood why D&D confused "Wisdom" and "will power". There really is no relation between these two traits. Like I said if you want to give halflings a Will save bonus then I can see that but even Frodo was not of exceptional wisdom much of the time. He was often naive and easily fooled. The rest of the hobbits/halflings much more so. I am not saying they should be UNWISE just that I do not see much justification for granting them wisdom bonuses.


From Wikipedia's page on Frodo Baggins:
Frodo is the only prominent hobbit whose name is not explained in Tolkien’s Appendices to The Lord of the Rings. In his letters Tolkien states that it is derived from Old English fród meaning 'wise by experience'.


But what does he know? He's only the author... ;)


And that bears about as much relevance to what I said as Green Jello bears relevance to the Monster Manual(after all, there is a "Gelantinous Cube" in there right?). I would not argue that the character Frodo did not become wiser by experience anyway. But my point remains that Wisdom has not much at all to do with will power and even IF you are taking Frodo Baggins as your model for Halfling wisdom, he was nearly as often UNWISE as he was wise.

Regardless of where the overrated Tolkien got the name from.
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Re: Player Races

Postby MonkeyLancer » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:40 pm

Please don't have what would result in an endless conversation trying to qualify the source of willpower. I get it, wisdom and willpower may not be completely "realistic", but considering most of the available basic stats already have a save tied to them, willpower being derived from wisdom doesn't seem unforgivable to me. There is an enormous litany of things that aren't realistic in the mechanics of every RPG system. I believe what Gragt said is applicable to your contention with wisdom and willpower too, they can be rationalized any way you'd like, what one can choose to do is use some form of suspension of disbelief or imagination to look past it.
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