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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Griffon Men PEACH

    I've been working on a new campaign world which takes place on a series of islands and includes among other things a PC race of aberrations, half-undead elves, seal-men, and a race of griffon men called gryphen. I've been working on them for a while (originally making them when Savage Species was brand new and out of my price range) and would like some feedback on how the race works in its current incarnation. I would especially like some advice about a prestige class I made for them called "Gryphen Warchief" which focuses on their natural weapons.
    Gryphen Fluff:
    Gryphen travel freely the island of Grian Talamh, lords of their domain. A nomadic species, they travel swift across the plains hunting migrating beasts and fiercely defending their lands from the fell beshadowed. A proud and noble race with a long history lost in the mists of time.
    Personality: Two words come to mind when describing a gryphen: brash, and proud. Of course the gryphen would choose other words. Honorable, gryphen are loyal to kith and kin willing to put their lives on the line to save a comrade. They are quick to anger, though, striking out at injustice with a free hand and unwilling to allow others to restrain them (although few realize just how restraining their traditions are). They repay insults to their honor harshly and quickly, and duels over honor are not uncommon; few gryphen, though, are willing to dishonor themselves.
    Gryphen love open spaces, detesting walled in areas and other means of containment. They desire the ability to see the horizon and feel the breeze and are uncomfortable when they cannot do so. They refuse to admit fear, but are not above the use of guerilla tactics. Despite their love for freedom they respect their place in their traditional hierarchy, and will gladly follow a leader that they can respect but woe is the leader who loses his followers respect.
    Physical Description: Gryphen stand about 2 inches taller than humans and have a smaller range of weight as their quick metabolism keep their fatty reserves down. In actual appearance: they have a noble bearing, proud aquiline heads with arching wings spreading from their backs. Their chests and lower body are covered with leonine fur, with quick running legs and arms ending in either claws or talons. Lion tails stretch from their back. Males do not grow beards but do grow long manes; when a gryphen is injured sufficiently its mane will fall off leaving only short under fur.
    Their feathers tend towards various shades of brown with the yellow-gold eyes of an eagle but both black and white feathers and blue and red eyes are sometimes found. Their fur tends between a golden tan to darker more brown shades (lion fur colors) but white and rarely black can be found. White gryphen are considered to be heaven sent and specially selected by Anu.
    Relations: Other races can find the gryphen haughty at times (i.e. always), but despite that the gryphen tend to have good relations with other races. Idren respect the gryphen as amongst the most powerful of the free races politically, the only race with a large kingdom other than themselves or the beshadowed, and their “holy” smiths are said to be the best amongst the free races. The cetalions respect the gryphen and the tribes dwelling on Grian Talamh’s coasts know they only do so at the whim of the gryphen. The telda-nosse look down even upon the gryphen but they maintain good relations with them even though rarely do they gather in Grian Talamh (fearing to destroy one of the few safe havens on the world). Slithers rarely encounter the gryphen but can respect them. Orcs have often clashed with the gryphen and will often kill each other on sight, but they have a strong respect for each other. The tisr’yl distrust the gryphen and rarely deal with them if they can avoid it. Gnomes avoid gryphen and are not likely to be found in gryphen lands as gryphens have a tendency to kill them (Never trust a gnome; a universal saying). The beshadowed and the gryphen are locked in a state of continual border wars both respecting and hating the other; the gryphen will have no peace with the beshadowed (A beshadowed’s peace is the iron chains of slavery; a gryphen saying). Kreols get along surprisingly well with the gryphen, living in the mountains of Grian Talamh and with severe taboos against eating gryphen (it curses you or in some versions your clutch), they will actually trade and socialize with the gryphen.
    Alignment: Gryphens’ love for personal freedom and travel, as well as their hatred/phobia of confinement, marks them as chaotic. Their sense of personal honor and loyalty to allies marks them as good aligned. Even so neutral and evil exist, although lawful gryphen are a rarity. Alignment chance order: 1st: CG; 2nd: CN; 3rd: NG; 4th: TN; 5th: CE; 6th: LG; 7th: NE; 8th: LN; 9th: LE.
    Gryphen Lands: Gryphens are only found natively to the isle of Grian Talamh. They stick mainly to the plains and the mountains, of the scarcely wooded isle. They are the masters of their domain and quite willing to accept others as long as that is respected. They consider their home the blessed land of the sun god Anu, and believe it their divine grant from him as his favored race. Those who live in the mountains do so to commune more directly with the sacred griffons and encounter their mountain dwelling neighbors. They are ruled by a system of chiefs with an annual meeting of full-fledged adults in which overarching laws can be decided (although they rarely are).
    Gryphen in often travel to other lands driven by a need to explore. They find ships fascinating but confining and can deal well with many races. Those found in other lands tend to be warriors fighting against the beshadowed do to some sense of justice; or else outcasts for some crime against their own kind.
    Religion: Gryphen worship, primarily, Anu the god of the sun and creator of their race. Along with him they worship his wife and queen, Venistra goddess of wind and the sky (shared domain with her husband). Other common gods include Tine, Erathea, Gajarl, and Arquen Rianna (fire, hunt, war, and stars/moon respectively). Gryphen as a whole have a strong tendency towards animistic spirit worship and do not reserve their prayers simply towards the Great Gods but also offer such to lesser spiritual entities. Gryphen hold medicine women (clerics and druids) and smiths (various spellcasters) in high regard second only to the chief (warriors and/or priests). As noted above white gryphen are associated with being chosen by the gods and often become priests of some sort.

    Gryphen Racial Traits:
    Gryphen Racial Traits:
    • Str +2, Dex +2, Wis +2, Cha +2
    • Medium-sized
    • Spd 30-ft
    • Monstrous Humanoid
    • Vestigial Wings: Gryphen have a +6 racial bonus on Jump checks and the ability to slow any fall as long as they are not immobilized, held, stunned, paralyzed, asleep, dazed, or otherwise rendered unable to use their stunted wings.
    • +2 on Spot checks.
    • +2 on Survival checks.
    • +2 on Handle Animal, Ride and Wild Empathy checks dealing with lions, and birds of prey. -4 on Handle Animal, Ride and Wild Empathy checks dealing with horses.
    • Natural weapons: 2 claws (1d4 damage each).
    • Fast Metabolism: Gryphen retain a portion of the quick metabolism of their ancestors requiring twice as much food every day as a human.
    • LA +1.
    • Favored Class: Ranger.

    Gryphen Warchief:
    Race: Gryphen, or Gold Gryphen
    BAB: +5
    Feats: Gryphen Flight (unless Gold Gryphen), Weapon Focus (claws)
    Skills: Diplomacy 4 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks, Survival 2 ranks.
    Special: Male.

    Lv BAB Fort Ref Will Special Auras Known
    1 +1 +2 +0 +2 Martial Aura +1, Greater Natural Weapons (Claws) 1
    2 +2 +3 +0 +3 Anu’s Favor 1
    3 +3 +3 +1 +3 Primal Strike (Magic) 2
    4 +4 +4 +1 +4 Martial Aura +2, Natural Weapon (Beak) 2
    5 +5 +4 +1 +4 Superior Natural Weapons (Claws) 3
    6 +6 +5 +2 +5 Rapid Strike, Powerful Strike (Adamantine) 3
    7 +7 +5 +2 +5 Martial Aura +3, Pounce 4
    8 +8 +6 +2 +6 Fatal Claws 4
    9 +9 +6 +3 +6 Primal Strike (Aligned), Greater Natural Weapon (Beak) 5
    10 +10 +7 +3 +7 Martial Aura +4, Deadly Natural Weapons (Claws) 5

    Class Features:
    HD: d10.
    Skill points/level: 4 + Int.
    Class Skills: Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: No new weapon proficiencies, light armor proficiency but no shields.
    Special Abilities:
    Martial Aura: Add the listed bonus as a circumstance bonus to all of a certain type of roll based upon the active aura. It extends 60-ft and you can change auras as a swift action, you may only have one aura active at a time.
    Greater Natural Weapon (Claws): Claw damage increases a die size to 1d6 as you learn how to best harness your inborn strength. (Golden Gryphen 1d8)
    Rapid Strike: You gain a rapid strike (claws) as a bonus feat.
    Primal Strike: Starting at 3rd level your natural weapons overcome DR as a magic weapon; at 6th level they also overcome DR as adamantine; at 9th level they also overcome DR as whatever your alignment.
    Natural Weapon (Beak): You gain a secondary natural weapon in the form of a beak dealing 1d8 damage per attack.
    Superior Natural Weapon (Claws): Claw damage increases another die size to 1d8 as you learn better to strike your foes with your natural weapons. (Golden Gryphen 2d6)
    Anu’s Favor: You add your Charisma bonus to all saving throws. If you roll a natural 20 on any saving throw you ignore all affects of that effect and a +2 bonus to saves of that type for 1 minute.
    Pounce: With natural weapons only.
    Fatal Claw: Your claw attacks have a threat range of 18-20/x2.
    Deadly Natural Weapon (Claws): Claw damage increases to its pinnacle rising to 2d6. (Golden Gryphen 3d6) Note: With Improved Natural Weapon (Claws) these are 1d8, 2d6, and 3d6 respectively (Gold Gryphens get 2d6, 3d6, 4d6 respectively).
    Greater Natural Weapon (Beak): Your beak damage increases to 2d6.

    Martial Auras:
    Arouse Accuracy: Bonus on ranged attack rolls.
    Arouse Ardor: Bonus on melee damage rolls.
    Arouse Attack: Bonus on melee attack rolls.
    Arouse Awareness: Bonus on spot and listen checks and on initiative checks.
    Arouse Care: Bonus to Armor Class.
    Arouse Resistance: Bonus on all saves.
    Arouse Speed: Bonus to speed equal to your aura times 5-ft.

    So any comments are appreciated including game mechanic criticism (constructive preferred), comments on the fluff, or even things saying this is a bad idea.
    Edit: I forgot to include this feat
    Gryphen Flight (Racial, Gryphen):
    You have learned to spread your wings and soar the skies.
    Prerequisites: Gryphen, Character level +6
    Effect: You gain a fly speed of 60-ft with average maneuverability.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2009-09-06 at 05:13 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Melayl's Avatar

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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    Definitely too powerful for LA+1. The stat bonuses alone put them outside +1. If I have the chance, I'll figure up their LA with YabbatheWhat's Feature Point system. (you can try to find it here. if you want to try it yourself)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    While it is quite powerful, what are the other standard races you're using? It'll help give an idea of how it compares to them. If you're using mostly SRD races, its over the top. If you're using all homebrewed races, maybe its not bad. Definitely OP at LA +1 though compared to SRD.

    You might want to look up Raptorans or Dragonborn, for their method of dealing with natural flight. Sure, it'll make the class slightly stronger because the flight wouldn't cost a feat anymore, but it'll feel more 'appropriate' to a race that's supposed to fly.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Godskook
    While it is quite powerful, what are the other standard races you're using? It'll help give an idea of how it compares to them. If you're using mostly SRD races, its over the top. If you're using all homebrewed races, maybe its not bad. Definitely OP at LA +1 though compared to SRD.
    For the most part the other races in the campaign are slightly stronger than normal but I haven't completely finished them. I'm thinking about giving them a -2 to Int but that doesn't work with their fluff for this world (in the original version from several years ago they were uneducated barbarians, but that version was on a now dead computer). Also is there any class that actually uses Str, Dex, Wis, and Cha except some type of variant paladin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godskook
    You might want to look up Raptorans or Dragonborn, for their method of dealing with natural flight. Sure, it'll make the class slightly stronger because the flight wouldn't cost a feat anymore, but it'll feel more 'appropriate' to a race that's supposed to fly.
    I thought about that and actually other races in the world use them, but I went with the feat because the gryphen as a whole aren't supposed to be able to fly and it is supposed to be the exception that has the ability. I probably should have stated that previously and made a note on why I came to my decisions.
    P.S.: I realized griffons only have a 30-ft land speed and reduced gryphen's to match.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Gryphen Fluff:
    Right now, this looks like a big, daunting block o' text. Easy way to fix it: You already have it organized into sections. Just bold the headings for each section/paragraph, such as "Personality: Blah blah", "Lands: Blah blah."

    Str +2, Dex +2, Wis +2, Cha +2
    As other people have pointed out, this simply can't be justified as a LA +1 race without some serious penalties. An unorthodox but possible option might be to give them an unusual racial penalty, such as one of the following (just examples to give you an idea- I know these may not fit your fluff):
    • Gryphens have extremely fast metabolisms and need a lot of energy to function, a remenant of their flying ancestors. As such, gryphens need to eat five times the quantity of food of normal medium-sized creatures.
    • Paranoid: Gryphens are constant worriers and as such, are particularly suspectible to attacks which prey upon their fears. They have a -2 racial penalty to all fear spells and effects.
    • Mistrusted Species: Non-gryphen NPCs generally strongly dislike what they view as an odd, monstrous group. Their attitude towards gryphens starts one step closer to hostile than it would towards a humanoid of another species in a similar introductory situation.
    • Elemental Weakness: Gryphens are very attuned to the air, and hence are particularly vulnerable to [Earth] spells and effects. They suffer a -4 penalty against all saving throws against such spells and effects. Alternatively, they take double damage from electricity spells, attacks, and effects.

    Penalties aren't something that everyone (probably included some other homebrewers here) will be cool with, and are harder to balance, so it might be a lot easier to just toss out two of the ability bonuses.

    +4 on Spot checks
    +2 on Survival checks.
    +2 on Handle Animal, Ride and Wild Empathy checks dealing with lions, and birds of prey. -4 on Handle Animal, Ride and Wild Empathy checks dealing with horses.
    Lots of skill bonuses here. I might trim the Spot down to +2 or remove the Survival bonus.

    I'll try to add more later, after reading the fluff and PrC. Hope this helps a bit.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    Cool race. I think that it's reasonablr for LA +1. It has some stat bonuses, but it's hard to find a build that uses most of them (except MAYBE monk). It also has some skill bonuses. At LA +1, we also have goliaths (with Powerful Build and a high Str bonus), forestkith goblins (who can turn into trees and get other bonuses I can't remember), and dugar (who can enlarge themselves and get aid from all the dwarven abilities, and then some). At LA +2, there are drow (spell-like abilities, serious darkvision, elven abilities), celestial creatures (need I explain?), and acquired lycans (who, although they have to pay for racial HD, can reduce these by being werecats or wereagles, both of whom have benifets). belive me, these guys are not LA +2 material.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
    Zaydos's Avatar

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    Default Re: Griffon Men PEACH

    Okay Neoclassic I took your advice and put sections headers for the fluff in bold and reduced their spot bonus to +2 (it's mostly fluff anyway). Also I gave them the increased metabolism trait because it fit (they were noted as being very lean due to a quicker metabolism already) but I only made it x2 instead of x5.
    As for the 4 +2s they can't really be used by any single build that I know of still (even monks don't use Charisma in my experience) and compared to the +4 Dex and +2 Cha of catfolk with +1 natural armor or the goliaths mentioned by GreatWyrmGold (the main race I use as a yardstick for +1) they don't really seem that powerful.
    So far, though, this has really helped and I want to thank you all for the comments and I hope they keep coming.
    Last edited by Zaydos; 2009-09-06 at 05:20 PM.

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