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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Help with D&D 3.5 PC race revision

    Hi guys!
    I'm reworking the core races to better fit with my setting, and also adding some monster races as options to the players. While this is nothing really new, I'd like some help to determine if they're balanced or not. Also, new ideas would be nice :D
    Some important notes:
    1) I'm using the Unearthed Arcana weapon group alternate rules.
    2) There's no such thing as favored class or multiclass XP penalties.
    3) Languages can be freely taken by any race, as long as the player can properly explain why he knows that specific language.
    4) No sub-races. To make up for that, most races have a choice between two or more stats to get their bonus or penalties.
    5) All races should have an average of +0 on their stats. Really, +2 Strenght shouldn't cost -2 Intelligence and Charisma both. Also, I'd like to give each race something unique, that no other race has and which can't be easily replicated with feats or skills.

    With that said, here they are.

    Spoiler: Human
    Show
    • Humanoid (human).
    • Size: Medium.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Skilled: Humans get 4 extra skill points at 1st level, and 1 extra skill point at every level.
    • Talented: Humans get one extra feat at 1st level.

    Basic stuff, no changes. Their unique feature is the extra feat.

    Spoiler: Dwarf
    Show
    • Humanoid (dwarf).
    • +2 Constitution or Wisdom; -2 Charisma.
    • Size: Medium.
    • Base Land Speed: 20 feet. Dwarves are not slowed by medium or heavy armor or load.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Stonecunning.
    • Weapon Familiarity: dwarves do not consider the dwarven battle-axe and the dwarven urgrosh exotic weapons.
    • Stability: +4 when defending agains bull rush and trip atempts.
    • Hardy: +2 racial bonus against poison, spells and spell-like abilities.
    • Racial Hatred: +1 to attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids.
    • The Harder they Fall: +4 dodge bonus to AC against giants.
    • Greedy: +2 racial bonus to Appraise checks related to stone and metal.
    • Craftsman: +2 racial bonus to Craft checks related to stone and metal.

    While the dwarves do have many racial abilities, they are all very situational or common to other races as well. The option to trade the Constitution bonus for Wisdom is unique and potentially powerful - bonus to casting stats can be dangerous. However, they would be sacrificing that extra Constitution, which is one of the main attractives of the race.

    Spoiler: Elf
    Show
    • Humanoid (elf).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +2 Dexterity or Intelligence; -2 Constitution.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision.
    • Evolved Mind: Immunity to sleep and +2 racial bonus against Enchantment effects.
    • Intuitive Senses: +2 racial bonus to Listen, Spot and Search checks. They automatically Search for secret doors.
    • Elven Weapons: Elves are proficient with the Elven Weapons weapon group (longbow, shortbow, longsword and rapier). They can take any weapon group feats (Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization) for this group. Non-elves cannot learn this weapon group.
    • Ancestral Knowledge: +2 racial bonus to one Knowledge skill.

    Elven racial features always seemed underwhelming to me. Their hit to Constitution is troublesome, and they really don't get anything in core to compensate. The changes here are the Ancestral Knowledge feature, mostly for flavor, and the possibility to exchange their Dexterity bonus for an Intelligence bonus. That's the unique feature for the race - no other race gets bonus to Intelligence, and it's a way to encourage elf wizards, now that there are no favored classes. It is potentially strong, but the elves needed some love.

    Spoiler: Gnome
    Show
    • Humanoid (gnome).
    • Size: Small.
    • +2 Constitution or Charisma; -2 Strenght.
    • Base Land Speed: 20 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Keen Senses: +2 racial bonus to Listen, Spot and Search checks.
    • Gnome Illusion: +2 racial bonus against Illusion effects, and +1 bonus to DC against Illusion effects cast by the gnome.
    • Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes do not consider the gnome hooked hammer an exotic weapon.
    • Racial Hatred: +1 to attack rolls against reptilian humanoids and goblinoids.
    • The Harder they Fall: +4 dodge bonus to AC against giants.
    • Obsession: +2 racial bonus to one Craft or Profession skill.

    Some important changes here. First, the gnome gets Darkvision instead of Low-Light vision. I imagine the gnomes to be much closer, in evolution, to dwarves than to elves, so they get the same ability as the former. The extra bonus to Spot and Search are there mostly because I like to keep perception skills closely related. Obsession is a flavor feature, taken straight from Pathfinder to replace the bonus to Craft (alchemy). The bonus to Charisma is similar to the dwarf's bonus to Wisdom. Finally, I removed the spell-like abilities. I like to keep basic races mundane. However, doing that, the gnomes have nothing unique to them. I could use some help here.

    Spoiler: Halfling
    Show
    • Humanoid (halfling).
    • Size: Small.
    • +2 Dexterity or Charisma; -2 Strenght.
    • Base Land Speed: 20 feet.
    • Lucky: +1 racial bonus to all saving throws.
    • Acrobatic: +2 racial bonus to Climb, Jump and Move Silently checks.
    • Keen Senses: +2 racial bonus to Listen, Spot and Search checks.
    • Brave: +2 morale bonus to saving throws against Fear effects.
    • Throwing: +1 racial bonus to attack rolls with slings and throwing weapons.

    Halflings always seemed to me clearly superior to elves in pretty much everything. Not much was changed here. Bonus to Spot and Search, as for gnomes. The bonus to Charisma is there mostly to give them a choice, like the other races have - Charisma seemed the only fit here. The Brave feature, present in core, is unique enough for me.

    Spoiler: Half-Elf
    Show
    • Humanoid (elf, human)
    • Size: Medium.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision.
    • Evolved Mind: Immunity to sleep and +2 racial bonus against Enchantment effects.
    • Skilled: Half-elves get 4 extra skill points at 1st level, and 1 extra skill point at every level.

    They're often seem as the weakest core race. While this is not meant to make them powerful, I tried to give them a reason to be picked other than flavor. Out go the bonus to Diplomacy and Gather Information, they never made sense to me. Also the bonus to the perception skills are gone, +1 is not really that great, and +2 is already given to most other races. Instead, they keep two out of five elven traits and, most importantly, they get one human trait: the extra skills. Nice, but still nothing unique to them (maybe being both elf and human? Not really enough).[/LIST]

    Spoiler: Half-Orc
    Show
    • Humanoid (human, orc).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +2 Strenght; -2 Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Intimidating: +2 racial bonus to Intimidate checks.
    • Skilled: Half-orcs get 4 extra skill points at 1st level, and 1 extra skill point at every level.

    Like I said above, +2 Stenght shouldn't come with two different penalties. Instead, the half-orc now gets to pick one, and can also choose Wisdom, as the full-blooded orc takes a hit there as well. Intimidating is taken from Pathfinder, and Skilled is a human trait, something that the half-orcs never really had. Still nothing unique.


    Monster races coming next.
    Last edited by rfreixo; 2015-08-23 at 08:53 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Help with D&D 3.5 PC race revision

    Spoiler: Goblin
    Show
    • Humanoid (goblinoid).
    • Size: Small.
    • +4 Dexterity; -2 Strenght; -2 Wisdom or Charisma.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Sneaky: +4 racial bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks.
    • Wolf-Friend: +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy, Handle Animal and Ride checks related to wolves and worgs.

    Okay, this is a bit different than core. Instead of giving +4 to Ride in general, I made it a +2 specific to wolves and worgs, and added Handle Animal and Diplomacy. Normally, Handle Animal can't be used on worgs, and Diplomacy can't be used on wolves, that's why both are included. However, a goblin druid or ranger could benefit from the Diplomacy bonus for wolves as well. I still think they need something unique to them, though.

    Spoiler: Hobgoblin
    Show
    • Humanoid (goblinoid).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +2 Dexterity; -2 Wisdom or Charisma.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Sneaky: +4 racial bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks.
    • Brave: +2 morale bonus against Fear effects.
    • Firm Grip: +4 bonus to resist disarm and sunder attempts.

    Here I am trying to make the hobgoblin a nice, LA+0 race. Don't know if I'm successful. Removing a bonus and adding a penalty seemed like a good idea. Their stat modifiers are similar to the goblin's, but with less Dexterity and more Strenght, as they are "big goblins". Unfortunately, other than the unbalanced stat modifiers, the core hobgoblin doensn't have much going for it. As they are warriors, I gave them the Brave trait from the halflings. Firm Grip is a modified version of the Steady trait of the dwarves. Flavorful, but nothing unique, and I really don't see a reason to take hobgoblin over other races. I could use help here.

    Spoiler: Orc
    Show
    • Humanoid (orc).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +4 Strenght; -2 Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma (pick two).
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feet.
    • Scent.
    • Weapon Familiarity: Orcs do not consider the orc double-axe an exotic weapon.
    • Racial Hatred: +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against elves and dwarves.

    So. Scent is really the greatest change here. Completely unique to the orc (at least among the base races). Their stat modifiers are standard, except they now get to pick only 2 out of 3 penalties. They get the Weapon Familiarity they should always have had, and a Racial Hatred. Dwarves and gnomes get it, why not orcs? Also, no Light Sensitivity. While I don't exactly think it's uncalled for, that's just not what I want for my orcs.


    The next are the most problematic, I think, as two of them actually had racial hit dice before

    Spoiler: Gnoll
    Show
    • Humanoid (gnoll).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +2 Constitution; -2 Intelligence or Charisma.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Low-Light Vision.
    • Natural Armor +1.
    • Hunter: +2 racial bonus to Survival checks.
    • Iron Guts: +4 racial bonus to resist poison and disease.

    Yes, Low-Light Vision, not Darkvision. Why do core gnolls have Darkvision? And still no Scent. The only explanation I have for that is: Scent is the designated unique ability for the orcs. Yeah, that's a weak explanation. If only I could get something unique for the orc... (and for the gnoll too, actually)

    Spoiler: Kobold
    Show
    • Humanoid (reptilian).
    • Size: Small.
    • +4 Dexterity; -4 Strenght.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Darkvision 60 feat.
    • Light Sensitivity.
    • Natural Armor +1.
    • Underground Trapmaker: +2 racial bonus to Craft (traps) and Profession (miner). They always treat these skills as class skills.

    Important disclaimer: these kobolds are not draconic, even if they like to think they are. Nothing much to say, they have nothing unique and no options of stats - that's on me, actually, I couldn't find anything to fit. Thoughts?

    Spoiler: Lizardman
    Show
    • Humanoid (reptilian).
    • Size: Medium.
    • +2 Dexterity or Constitution; -2 Intelligence.
    • Base Land Speed: 30 feet.
    • Base Swim Peed: 30 feet.
    • Hold Breath.
    • Natural Armor +1.
    • Natural Weapons: 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d4).

    This guy is my main concern, mostly for the natural weapons. Their natural armor was greatly reduced, to a point which I don't think is troublesome. Swim speed is situational. But the natural weapons worry me a bit. Is it too much? I want them to be LA+0, like all the others. Their unique features, obviously, are the swim speed and the natural weapons.


    Okay, that's it. I'd like to make a bugbear too, but I think it would be even more trouble than the lizardman. I'd like to read your opinions about these modifications (and suggestions, of course).
    Last edited by rfreixo; 2015-08-23 at 09:30 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Andion Isurand's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tintageer Terrace
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Help with D&D 3.5 PC race revision

    I made some revisions to a few of these races a few years ago, and you're welcome to adopt any new ideas they might give you. I kept some unpopular conventions like favored class in place, just for reference.

    The following link leads to my blog. Please let me know if you stumble across anything that looks wrong with the appearance or formatting of its material.

    Race Revisions and Additions

    For kobolds, you may like this article, even if you don't adopt the draconic parts.

    Kobold Web Enhancement

    And if you're giving Light Sensitivity to any race with Darkvision out to 60 feet.... I would give them Darkvision out to 90 feet instead.
    Last edited by Andion Isurand; 2015-08-23 at 10:19 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Help with D&D 3.5 PC race revision

    I see you made some similar changes.
    Thanks for the link! I like that Slight Build feature for the kobold, it is nice and unique, but I probably won't give them natural weapons. I'll leave that to the lizardman.
    Any comments on the other races?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Help with D&D 3.5 PC race revision

    I'd really like to know what you guys think about these revisions, specially the ones that had LA before. Any help is appreciated!

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