View Full Version : [3.5 race] Natural-born intellectual

2011-08-23, 07:45 PM
Rather than dumpster diving through various race books to find the race with the stat bonus/penalty I want and then holding my nose because the race is just downright weird and not enjoyable, I figured it might be fun to homebrew something appropriate. I wanted to keep it really simple, so:

Race: Natural-born intellectual
Appearance: indistinguishable from a human, treated as a human for all purposes except racial bonuses/penalties.
Cost: give up all racial bonuses - no extra skill points or feats a human typically gets.
Benefit: +3 INT (or would +2 be more appropriate)

It's so simple and nice that I'm surprised I haven't seen it before. Anything obviously wrong with it?

2011-08-23, 09:07 PM
Make the Int bonus +4. +3 is just weird and goes against untold design principles (actually the DMG may put it into writing that races never have odd racial bonuses to abilities), and +2 is too weak to give up the feat.

2011-08-23, 10:04 PM
+2 INT should be just fine. If people are willing to play Grey Elves solely for the +2 INT bonus, then getting it on a human will be just as good.

+4 INT seems like it could become too abusable, especially with old age and a template. (There are +0 LA that add to INT, correct?)

2011-08-24, 12:56 PM
Perhaps + 2 INT and some other bonus then? Because less skill points and a lost feat really is not just +2 INT worthy, but there does seem to be a precedent of avoiding going past +2 without a counterbalance or LA.

Realms of Chaos
2011-08-24, 02:15 PM
Just because it hasn't been brought up yet, getting +2 Int means that you don't actually lose any skill points when compared with a human (still +4 at 1st level and +1 at each additional level).

That said, the additional benefits that +2 int can grant (+1 bonus to many skill checks, what amounts to an extra spell slot, and +1 DC to all spells) easily matches what a bonus feat can do (a combination of master of knowledge from heroes of horror, extra spell slot from complete arcane, and a universal Spell Focus effect seems worthwhile) and thensome.

No further benefits are really required from this race and it's actually decently powerful for a +0 LA race, all things considered.

As far as getting over +2 to a stat for +0 LA, as somebody asked, there is the Mongrelfolk (+4 Con) from Races of Destiny, which can turn into a Dragonborn (another +2 Con) from Races of the Dragon for a total of +6 to a stat with no LA. For spellcasting stats, however, I know of no real precidence and this race seems plenty powerful enough for the reasons provided above.

Edit: I don't personally like the idea of this race as they are utterly worthless (moreso than any other race I can think of) for anything that doesn't fit their niche (intelligence-based classes) and thus don't feel like they could act as a race so much as a conveniant means to get a free Int-boost (which this race is). Even so, the idea is serviceable and remains balanced.
Edit Edit: I'm guessing that the +3 bonus to Int in the OP is so that a venerable Natural-born Intellectual gets an even +6 Int at level 1. While I am a fan of nice round numbers in general, even numbers remain the norm for racial bonuses.

2011-08-24, 02:22 PM
Admittedly, I think it does not match up to a feat because the feat can be just about anything. Still, I suppose you are correct on balance.

Realms of Chaos
2011-08-24, 02:25 PM
The thing about this race is that it has to be used for a Wizard or Factotum. If you use one of these two classes, the benefits you get far exceeds those that a normal human would give.

Play anything else with this guy and you just chose the wrong race 9 times out of 10, even when dealing with races that are okay with intelligence (such as Archivists and Rogues).

2011-08-24, 02:41 PM
+2 INT and the human's +1 skill point/level would probably help them keep some distinctiveness, although with giving them a small niche beyond "that one race you play as wizards".