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    Default The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    The Björn


    "A Björn bows to no man but his king! And that is the only time you'll find us on our knees, mark my words! Now, did you mention something about raw fish?" -Ursus Maritimus IV, "The Bold"


    The Björn are an chivalrous race of food-loving, bipedal bears. They live by a strict moral code which they closely associate with the culture of their people, viewing it as much a part of their lineage as their blood, referring to it as The Law of My Ancestors, or My Blood. The law reads:

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    Overall Björn Law:
    • Never commit an evil act.
    • Respect legitimate authority.
    • Act with honor (don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t use poison, and so on).
    • Help those who need help (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends).
    • Punish those that harm or threaten innocents.



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    Technical examples of Björn moral code
    Live to serve King and Country.
    Live to defend Crown and Country and all it holds dear.
    Live one's life so that it is worthy of respect and honor.
    Live for freedom, justice and all that is good.
    Never attack an unarmed foe.
    Never use a weapon on an opponent not equal to the attack.
    Never attack from behind.
    Avoid lying to your fellow man.
    Avoid cheating.
    Avoid torture.
    Obey the law of king, country, and honor.
    Administer justice.
    Protect the innocent.
    Exhibit self control.
    Show respect to authority.
    Respect women.
    Exhibit Courage in word and deed.
    Defend the weak and innocent.
    Destroy evil in all of its monstrous forms.
    Crush the monsters that steal our land and rob our people.
    Fight with honor.
    Avenge the wronged.
    Never abandon a friend, ally, or noble cause.
    Fight for the ideals of king, country, and honor.
    Die with valor.
    Always keep one's word of honor.
    Always maintain one's principles.
    Never betray a confidence or comrade.
    Avoid deception.
    Respect life and freedom.
    Die with honor.
    Exhibit manners.
    Be polite and attentive.
    Be respectful of host, women, and honor.
    Loyalty to country, King, honor, freedom, and the law of the ancestors.
    Loyalty to one's friends and those who lay their trust in thee.
    Death before dishonor.


    Though the Björn are a morally strict people, they are far from cold and humorless. In fact, the Björn are found, to their vast confusion, to be quite hilarious to other races in the way they take themselves so seriously, when in reality they are very soft-hearted and docile underneath that rough exterior. The Björn have hearts that match their height and girth, which in itself is quite remarkable.

    The Björn stand between 8-10 ft tall and 3-5 feet wide. Their coat of fur is transparent over their black skin. It appears white, yellowing slightly with age. They like to keep their fur as clean as possible when able. For all intents and purposes, they resemble polar bears. The only difference being that they normally move in a bipedal and have 5 fingers resembling human hands.

    The Björn have an insatiable appetite, consuming anything raw, preferably meat. They detest cooked food to the extent that normal humans detest eating raw food. They keep excellent exercise regiments to put all of that delicious raw food to good use, so as not to become slothful in their way of life.

    The Björn are headed by their King, viewed as the the patriarch and "Father" of the Björn. This Kingship is continued through the royal bloodline of the Björn, extending as far back as written or spoken language is recollected. The King views his subjects as his offspring, his kith and kin. And he holds himself to a high level of responsibility in taking care of his own family. Allegiance to the King is absolute, not by force or law, but by informal admiration and respect for the royal family and their honorable past.

    A Björn's purpose in life is to live honorably, holding up righteousness while cutting down unrighteousness wherever seen. And, if there's some raw fish in between, well, all the better!

    Alignment: LG mostly

    Racial Traits:
    +4 Str, +2 Cha, -4 Int: Björn are strong, strong, strong! Be it muscle or force of personality. But, there faculty of reasoning can often be clouded by their code of conduct.
    Powerful Build: The physical stature of a Björn lets him function in many ways as if he were one size category larger. Whenever a Björn is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the Björn is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. A Björn is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature's special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A Björn can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject's size category.
    An Björn’s base land speed is 30 feet.
    Nom Nom Nom: A Björn has a natural bite attack of 1d6 at 1st level, 1d8 at 5th level, 1d10 at 10th level, and 1d12 at 20th.
    Automatic Languages: Common, Sylvan, and Björn
    Favored Class: Paladin

    Racial Bonus Feats:
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    Weathered Fur [Bjorn]
    You have survived in polar climates your entire life. As a result, your body has adapted to the bitter chill of blizzards.
    Prerequisites: ?
    Benefit: You can survive in cold temperatures up to extreme cold.

    As an alternative, you can give the creature cold resistance 5. It'd be effectively similar and more versatile.

    Colossal Jaws [Bjorn]
    Your voracious hunger has given you the strength to rip even the most durable flesh.
    Prerequisites: ?
    Benefit: Your bite attack is considered one size category larger.

    Alternatively, it can make the bite attack be considered adamantine for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

    Steady Mind [Bjorn]
    Prerequisites: ?
    Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus to all Will saves.

    Zealous Fury [Bjorn]
    Prerequsites: Steady Mind
    Benefit: Whenever you are targeted by a mind-affecting ability, you enter a rage as a barbarian equal to half your hit dice. If you did not succeed on the save against the effect, you may only activate this feat if you are aware that you are being influenced. In this case, then the rage begins when you become aware.


    Any ideas??

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Definitely not an LA +0 race. I initially thought it might not quite be worth a +1, but on reflection, the bite attack (since it can be used in addition to a full attack with a weapon) and 40 foot speed are nice perks too. So yeah, probably +1.

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Rather than make them conditionally Large size, I'd just give them powerful build and be done with it. What player wouldn't choose to be over 9 ft tall with this race?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Rather than make them conditionally Large size, I'd just give them powerful build and be done with it. What player wouldn't choose to be over 9 ft tall with this race?
    What do you mean by "powerful build" in terms of technical jargon?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    Definitely not an LA +0 race. I initially thought it might not quite be worth a +1, but on reflection, the bite attack (since it can be used in addition to a full attack with a weapon) and 40 foot speed are nice perks too. So yeah, probably +1.
    Do you think it's balanced in terms of pathfinder?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer777 View Post
    What do you mean by "powerful build" in terms of technical jargon?
    Here's the text of powerful build from goliaths, found here

    Powerful Build: The physical stature of a goliath lets him function in many ways as if he were one size category larger. Whenever a goliath is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the goliath is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. A goliath is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature's special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A goliath can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject's size category.
    I think even for Pathfinder they're too powerful for La +0.

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer777 View Post
    Do you think it's balanced in terms of pathfinder?
    Not a clue, sorry. Not familiar with Pathfinder races. Large size (particularly the increased reach) tends to be a fairly potent ability, though.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2010-06-15 at 06:50 PM.

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    For racial bonus feats, maybe one with an armor class boost, and one possibly letting them communicate with polar bears, have fur that counts as level 2 protection from cold, or maybe one that lets them shapeshift into polar bears.

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer777 View Post
    The Björn stand between 8-10 ft tall and 3-5 feet wide. Their coat of fur is always white, which they like to keep as clean as possible when able. For all intents and purposes, they resemble polar bears.
    Polar bear fur is actually transparent over black skin. It only appears white though it yellows over time. I don't know if you want this race to reflect that.

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Compared to similar +1 LA races, this seems extremely powerful for only a +1.

    For example, gnolls get similar stat boosts, but they do not grow or get any natural weapons.

    Size is enough to make this thing over the top, not to mention the damage done by that bite attack. 2d8? This would mean that his bite does damage equal to a bastard sword of his size. That's a bit over-the-top for my taste. I don't understand where you're getting this number. Even normal polar bears only have a 2d6 bite as a secondary natural weapon. And even in this case, I don't think any race should have a bite that powerful early in the game.

    I understand that it's a bear, but I don't see how this weapon would be a primary natural attack for a creature that is bipedal and uses weapons. Normal bears use it because their heads are in a convenient spot to place an attack after reaching out with their claws. Even then, though, the bear's bite is a secondary attack.

    According to most people I talk to (as well as WotC themselves), a size category increase alone is worth adding +1 LA. You get an extra 5' reach and a massive carrying capacity.

    Also, you don't specify what type this race is. I'd assume that it's a monstrous humanoid. In that case, it also gets Darkvision 60'.

    My other question is this: How do you justify 40' movement speed for a bipedal creature not built for speed at all? His wild cousin, the polar bear, has a 40' speed because it's quadrupedal; thus, it can propel itself more effectively.



    Another example of a similar +1 LA race is the goliath. It gets a slightly better net stat gain though less crippling on a single dump stat. Then it gets Powerful Build. That's as far as its usefulness goes. Mountain Movement is vaguely useful. It doesn't even get an actual size increase.

    You may also want to check out Feral Gargun, Minotaur, or any other Powerful Build race or large-size race. I don't think there are any large races that are lower than +2 LA simply because of the reasons stated above.
    Last edited by Kaishi; 2010-06-15 at 09:35 PM.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Another thing: What is Bear Sylvan?

    Sylvan is mostly for races living in forests or similar environs. I'd either cut Bear Sylvan or just make it Sylvan. I don't get why he'd have two languages that are bear-dependent. Different races of bears from different regions are unlikely to speak the same language anyway. Just put Sylvan as one of the bonus languages.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    This is actually one concept I really like a lot. Where did you get that picture?
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Auroch View Post
    Here's the text of powerful build from goliaths, found here
    I think even for Pathfinder they're too powerful for La +0.
    Fixed. Thanks so much!

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by NothingButCake View Post
    Polar bear fur is actually transparent over black skin. It only appears white though it yellows over time. I don't know if you want this race to reflect that.
    I am impressed by your vast knowledge of al things polar bear. Changes made. thanks sir!

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by DMofDarkness View Post
    For racial bonus feats, maybe one with an armor class boost, and one possibly letting them communicate with polar bears, have fur that counts as level 2 protection from cold, or maybe one that lets them shapeshift into polar bears.
    They already can communicate with polar bears. Do you have any suggestions for the AC boost or cold protection?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    I really like this, not unlike the panserbjørn from the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

    That said, I'd like to direct you to the Edit button on the bottom right of all your posts. Double-posting is frowned upon.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    I really like this, not unlike the panserbjørn from the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

    That said, I'd like to direct you to the Edit button on the bottom right of all your posts. Double-posting is frowned upon.
    Never heard of Pullman but thanks.

    Do you mean when answering others?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinslayer777 View Post
    Never heard of Pullman but thanks.

    Do you mean when answering others?
    Do you know the movie Golden Compass? That was based off of his books. I statted up the panserbjørn here.

    Yeah, you can quote somebody, copy the text then paste it in the next quote to conserve posts. There's not much reason to post multiple times in a row.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-06-16 at 06:19 PM.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishi View Post
    Compared to similar +1 LA races, this seems extremely powerful for only a +1.

    For example, gnolls get similar stat boosts, but they do not grow or get any natural weapons.

    Size is enough to make this thing over the top, not to mention the damage done by that bite attack. 2d8? This would mean that his bite does damage equal to a bastard sword of his size. That's a bit over-the-top for my taste. I don't understand where you're getting this number. Even normal polar bears only have a 2d6 bite as a secondary natural weapon. And even in this case, I don't think any race should have a bite that powerful early in the game.

    I understand that it's a bear, but I don't see how this weapon would be a primary natural attack for a creature that is bipedal and uses weapons. Normal bears use it because their heads are in a convenient spot to place an attack after reaching out with their claws. Even then, though, the bear's bite is a secondary attack.

    According to most people I talk to (as well as WotC themselves), a size category increase alone is worth adding +1 LA. You get an extra 5' reach and a massive carrying capacity.

    Also, you don't specify what type this race is. I'd assume that it's a monstrous humanoid. In that case, it also gets Darkvision 60'.

    My other question is this: How do you justify 40' movement speed for a bipedal creature not built for speed at all? His wild cousin, the polar bear, has a 40' speed because it's quadrupedal; thus, it can propel itself more effectively.



    Another example of a similar +1 LA race is the goliath. It gets a slightly better net stat gain though less crippling on a single dump stat. Then it gets Powerful Build. That's as far as its usefulness goes. Mountain Movement is vaguely useful. It doesn't even get an actual size increase.

    You may also want to check out Feral Gargun, Minotaur, or any other Powerful Build race or large-size race. I don't think there are any large races that are lower than +2 LA simply because of the reasons stated above.

    I have to agree with Kaishi on most if not all of his points, and wouldn't a code of conduct that shapes how you act also affect your wisdom, since they only ever look at things based on the code of conduct i believe that they might need a -wis as well

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    If it has Powerful Build, then it has space/reach of 5ft/5ft. It's just on the extreme high end of medium creatures.

    Also, as it stands, this race would be a horrifying martial adept grappler. That bite attack does nasty things. I would definitely reduce the damage. Normal polar bears do 2d6 with their bite attack as a secondary attack. However, these humanoids seem to be more sophisticated than that. They could use weapons instead of their bodies. Their bite would still be powerful but less so. I'd change it to a 1d8 bite attack as a secondary natural weapon. It's still formidable, but it's not overbearing.

    It would still seem a little powerful for +1 LA, but it's not powerful enough to be a +2. I think you'd be in a fairly good spot with that.
    Last edited by Kaishi; 2010-06-16 at 09:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjaneer003 View Post
    I have to agree with Kaishi on most if not all of his points, and wouldn't a code of conduct that shapes how you act also affect your wisdom, since they only ever look at things based on the code of conduct i believe that they might need a -wis as well
    Nah, a code of conduct would make a person narrow-minded more than unwise. Morality is judged by wisdom.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Also, a few suggestions for feats:



    Weathered Fur [Bjorn]
    You have survived in polar climates your entire life. As a result, your body has adapted to the bitter chill of blizzards.
    Benefit: You can survive in cold temperatures up to extreme cold.

    As an alternative, you can give the creature cold resistance 5. It'd be effectively similar and more versatile.



    Colossal Jaws [Bjorn]
    Your voracious hunger has given you the strength to rip even the most durable flesh.
    Benefit: Your bite attack is considered one size category larger.

    Alternatively, it can make the bite attack be considered adamantine for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.



    Steady Mind [Bjorn]
    Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus to Will saves against mind-affecting abilities.

    Zealous Fury [Bjorn]
    Prerequsites: Steady Mind
    Benefit: Whenever you are targeted by a mind-affecting ability, you enter a rage as a barbarian equal to half your hit dice. If you did not succeed on the save against the effect, you may only activate this feat if you are aware that you are being influenced. In this case, then the rage begins when you become aware.
    Last edited by Kaishi; 2010-06-16 at 09:36 PM.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Why would someone take a feat that grants a +2 bonus to Will saves against only mind-affecting effects when they can take Iron Will (an already subpar feat) for all Will saves? I'd combine it with the proceeding feat.

    That feat also needs some fixing, however. You should probably only give them rage equal to that of a first level barbarian, and limit it to one per encounter (possibly x/day, most likely ability score based).

    Also, Colossal Jaws is already a feat and anyone with a natural attack can take it. It's called Improved Natural Attack. The adamantine is nice though.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-06-16 at 10:39 PM.
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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaishi View Post
    Compared to similar +1 LA races, this seems extremely powerful for only a +1.

    For example, gnolls get similar stat boosts, but they do not grow or get any natural weapons.

    Size is enough to make this thing over the top, not to mention the damage done by that bite attack. 2d8? This would mean that his bite does damage equal to a bastard sword of his size. That's a bit over-the-top for my taste. I don't understand where you're getting this number. Even normal polar bears only have a 2d6 bite as a secondary natural weapon. And even in this case, I don't think any race should have a bite that powerful early in the game.

    I understand that it's a bear, but I don't see how this weapon would be a primary natural attack for a creature that is bipedal and uses weapons. Normal bears use it because their heads are in a convenient spot to place an attack after reaching out with their claws. Even then, though, the bear's bite is a secondary attack.

    According to most people I talk to (as well as WotC themselves), a size category increase alone is worth adding +1 LA. You get an extra 5' reach and a massive carrying capacity.

    Also, you don't specify what type this race is. I'd assume that it's a monstrous humanoid. In that case, it also gets Darkvision 60'.

    My other question is this: How do you justify 40' movement speed for a bipedal creature not built for speed at all? His wild cousin, the polar bear, has a 40' speed because it's quadrupedal; thus, it can propel itself more effectively.



    Another example of a similar +1 LA race is the goliath. It gets a slightly better net stat gain though less crippling on a single dump stat. Then it gets Powerful Build. That's as far as its usefulness goes. Mountain Movement is vaguely useful. It doesn't even get an actual size increase.

    You may also want to check out Feral Gargun, Minotaur, or any other Powerful Build race or large-size race. I don't think there are any large races that are lower than +2 LA simply because of the reasons stated above.
    Changes have been made what do you think?

    Ok so they would use their jaws along with their fists in a fight, just as some individuals do in real life (Mike Tyson). Only Mike Tyson with bear jaws. Secondary, yes, but still powerful.

    Moved the 40 back to 30ft.

    Do you know the movie Golden Compass? That was based off of his books. I statted up the panserbjørn here.

    Yeah, you can quote somebody, copy the text then paste it in the next quote to conserve posts. There's not much reason to post multiple times in a row.
    Ah yeah! That's actually what got me pumped once I saw this concept art! I checked out your pansernjorn stats. Awesome! Definitely using them in my campaign!

    Also, as it stands, this race would be a horrifying martial adept grappler. That bite attack does nasty things. I would definitely reduce the damage. Normal polar bears do 2d6 with their bite attack as a secondary attack. However, these humanoids seem to be more sophisticated than that. They could use weapons instead of their bodies. Their bite would still be powerful but less so. I'd change it to a 1d8 bite attack as a secondary natural weapon. It's still formidable, but it's not overbearing.

    It would still seem a little powerful for +1 LA, but it's not powerful enough to be a +2. I think you'd be in a fairly good spot with that.
    changed the bite attack to a progressing ending at 1d12 watcha think?
    I added ur suggested feats. Tweaked a bit. Much appreciated. Suggested prereqs?

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Now I'm confused. Are they Medium sized with Powerful Build or are they Large sized with Powerful Build? It strikes me that 8-10 feet puts them in the Large category. 8 feet is the max for a Medium sized creature so the extra feet put it in the Large category. You need to state their size.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    It looks fine to me now.
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    Co-creator of White Clad

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Actually, it seems to be based off the Goliath. However, Size is missing from the traits. Goliaths are Medium sized as stated in their traits. If the björns are Medium sized then the traits make more sense.

    However, Large creatures have the following: -1 size modifier to attack bonus and Armor Class, +4 to Grapple, -4 to Hide, Space 10 feet, Reach 5 ft (Long).

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Temotei's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Actually, it seems to be based off the Goliath. However, Size is missing from the traits. Goliaths are Medium sized as stated in their traits. If the björns are Medium sized then the traits make more sense.

    However, Large creatures have the following: -1 size modifier to attack bonus and Armor Class, +4 to Grapple, -4 to Hide, Space 10 feet, Reach 5 ft (Long).

    Debby
    Large creatures have ten feet of reach. That might be what you're trying to say with the parenthesized "long," but it is ten feet normally.
    Homebrew
    Please feel free to PM me any thoughts on my homebrew (or comment in the thread if it's not too old).

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Banned
     
    Jokasti's Avatar

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    In America!

    Default Re: The Björn (The race of Polar Bears)

    Redwall meets the Golden Compass. Sweet.

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