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D&D 3E
New Races 
3rd-Jun-2006 10:11 am
chocobo
I'm just about finished stat'ing up the character races I want to use for my new campaign world (it's designed as a naval campaign). Comments are extremely welcome, especially balance analysis and alternate/additional ability suggestions. If there any questions, just ask and I'll try and clarify.


Draku Racial Traits
• +2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: draku are quick of thought, but are often aloof and distant.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, draku have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Draku base land speed is 30 feet.
• Low-Light Vision: A draku can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
• Arcane Awareness: A draku can sense the magical auras of objects in which she comes into contact. At will, a draku can produce an effect similar to a detect magic spell, but with an area of the object touched rather than a cone.
• Humanoid (dragonblood): Draku are humanoids with the dragonblood subtype. For all effects related to race, a draku is considered a dragon.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Draconic. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Hadozee, and Keleran. Draku commonly know the languages of humans and their allies, and continue to use the languages of Heaven and Hell.
• Favored Class: Wizard.

Dwarf Racial Traits
Dwarves are identical to the dwarves described in the Player’s Handbook, except as noted below.
• Strong Swimmers: dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Swim checks. Additionally, a dwarf doubles his Constitution score for the purposes of determining how long he can hold his breath before he must begin making checks against suffocation (see the Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 304 for details on holding one’s breath).
• Dwarves do not gain the +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against giants, as they do not frequently encounter these creatures.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Ogre, Orc, and Terran. Dwarves speak the languages of their allies, as well as the language of Hell and underground creatures.
• Favored Class: Barbarian.

Gnome Racial Traits
Gnomes are identical to the gnomes described in the World of Warcraft RPG, except as noted below.
• +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength. Gnomes are good problem solvers and learners, but small of stature.
• +2 racial bonus to Disable Device checks. This replaces the +2 racial bonus to Listen checks.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Any. Gnomes are quick to pick up languages and learn to speak with many of the races they encounter.

Hadozee Racial Traits
Hadozee are identical to the hadozee described in Stormwrack, except as noted below.
• +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: Hadozee are very agile (and strong for their size), but are easily distracted and influenced.
• Small: As Small creatures, a hadozee gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonuses on Hide checks, but she uses small weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters those of a Medium creature.
• Hadozee base land speed is 20 feet.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Hadozee. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Keleran, and Sylvan. The Hadozee speak the languages of their allies, as well as of the creatures of their homeland.

Human Racial Traits
Humans are identical to the humans described in the Player’s Handbook.

Keleran Racial Traits
• +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence: kelerans are agile, but are often uneducated and simplistic.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, kelerans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Keleran base land speed is 30 feet.
• Keleran base swim speed is 40 feet. A keleran has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A keleran can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. A keleran can use the run action while swimming, provided he swims in a straight line.
• Low-Light Vision: A keleran can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions
• Hold Breath (Ex): A keleran can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to 8 x his Constitution score before he risks drowning. For a typical keleran, this is 96 rounds, or almost 10 minutes.
• Weapon Familiarity: Kelerans may treat keleran chain-spears (see: Equipment) as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
• +2 racial bonus on Spot checks. Kelerans have keen eyesight.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Keleran. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Sahuagin, and Sylvan. Kelerans know the languages of races living underwater.
• Favored Class: Ranger.

Orc Racial Traits
• +2 Strength, -2 Dexterity: orcs are strong, but slow.
• Medium: As Medium creatures, orcs have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Orc base land speed is 30 feet.
• Powerful Build: The physical stature of orcs allows them to function in many ways as if they were one size category larger. Whenever an orc 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 orc is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him. An orc 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. An orc 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.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Orc. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Dwarven, Giant, and Ogre. Orcs speak the languages of their allies, as well as that of Hell.
• Favored Class: Fighter.


Also, I'm pretty sure posting this doesn't violate the OGL--if anything does, just let me know and I'll fix it.
Comments 
3rd-Jun-2006 04:20 pm (UTC)
Just a note -- Abyssal is the language of the abyss, if you're using the standard cosmology, and of demonic creatures. Infernal is the langeage of the nine hells and diabolical creatures.
3rd-Jun-2006 05:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm going to combine Demons and Devils (I never liked the distinction), and decided I'd rather have the language be called Abyssal than Infernal (I like the depth connotation rather than the flame connotation).
3rd-Jun-2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Why would creating custom races violate the OGL?
3rd-Jun-2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
Some stuff is modification of existing races, so I'm not sure. Just being careful.
3rd-Jun-2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
You're probably *technically* in violation because you didn't post a copy of the OGL along with your custom stuff, but I don't think WOTC is going to sue you for it - it's not like you're selling this as a pdf.
3rd-Jun-2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
Well here's the question: Let's say I take some race wizards publishes (like the Hadozee), change it slightly (say, change where the stat bonuses go, and maybe change the creature size) and maybe even change the name--would I be able to post the whole thing to somewhere like this site?
3rd-Jun-2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
As far as my understand of the OGL, yes.
3rd-Jun-2006 06:53 pm (UTC)
Awesome, I'll keep that in mind. Do you have any thoughts on the actual content of the races?
4th-Jun-2006 03:19 am (UTC)
I think they look good. :]

Balanced, campaign specific (which, by itself, makes them great) and a good change from the standard PC races.

I'm not quite sure where the "8 times Con modifier" came from to hold breath, but I can understand it in regards to the overall flavor of the race.
4th-Jun-2006 03:55 am (UTC)
I ripped the 8xCON from the Darfellan race from Stormwrack. I might change it though.
3rd-Jun-2006 06:37 pm (UTC)
Good question. I'd say it's in the same realm as posting house rules. OTOH, IANAL.
3rd-Jun-2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
That's a great acronym: "IANAL"

Do you have any thoughts on the content of the races? I'd like to hear your opinion.
3rd-Jun-2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
It's hard to evaluate with all the dangling references you have there. I don't have the WoW book, so I don't know anything about the gnomes.

Keleran looks really helpful for a naval campaign. Swim speed and extra-strong lungs come in handy for water combats.

The Detect Magic at will for the Draku also seems powerful at low levels.
4th-Jun-2006 03:21 am (UTC)
It seems powerful, but limiting it to touch range somewhat balances it.

While...I have played with people who would then run around touching everything saying "IS THIS MAGICAL?", a savvy DM will start to penalize players for running around touching strange things (or things that belong to other people). ;]
3rd-Jun-2006 06:52 pm (UTC)
Not to mention that the hadozee aren't open content
5th-Jun-2006 04:27 am (UTC)
I believe that what you've posted is fine (barring the absence of the OGL or a link to it). Posting altered hadozee stats would probably be on the border, as they're not OGL themselves, but posting only what altered is always going to be fine.

On a game mechanics standpoint, you'll want to make clear for the hadozee and the gnomes whether the ability score adjustments replace their existing ones, or are in addition to their existing ones. As written, those adjustments are in addition to the existing ones, but it didn't really seem like that was your intent.

Finally, I am always leery about trading off a Dex bonus with a mental stat penalty. Dex is almost as important as Str in combat, if not more so, and a combat machine character using Dex is unlikely to find a mental stat penalty to be an effective limitation, effectively giving them a bonus to a combat-useful stat for free.
5th-Jun-2006 04:45 am (UTC)
I think for my own uses I'm just going to rewrite the abilities in the document I'm making, so that what replaces what will be very clear. Putting the little detail next to the +2 racial bonus seems to make the race more than just a set of statistics.

Good point on the Dex for a mental stat. However,
The Keleran exchange Dexterity for Intelligence, and I might argue that Intelligence is a pretty important stat for everyone. Loosing that extra skill point a level can be really costly, especially for a pure warrior (and even for someone like a Ranger). Do you think the Keleran seem overpowered as is? Or just borderline with the potential for abuse?
The Hadozee originally had a +Dex and -Cha, and since Charisma is more of a dump stat than Wisdom, changing the -Cha to a -Wis seems to if anything weaken the race, not overpower it. Does that sound reasonable?
5th-Jun-2006 04:49 am (UTC)
That's a good idea, replacing all stat mods completely. Do point that out in the header, though.

Keleran: I wouldn't think it was bad, except that everything else seems directed towards them being archers. That's just one more benefit. I'd call them borderline, potential for abuse.

Hadozee: I didn't remember that they were a Dex/Cha swap race. You're right, for a core game, Wis is less of a dump stat than Cha, given Will saves and perception skills. However, does it fit that Hadozee are less perceptive? (In my games, I use Cha for Will saves, so Wis is definitely the preferred dump stat; luckily, none of my players are powergamers.)
5th-Jun-2006 05:01 am (UTC)
Keleran: Well I am getting rid of the elves, so I guess one archer-packed race could be helpful. Plus, they are designed to be the primary underwater PC race, and bows are less helpful in an aquatic setting. I will keep that in mind though.

Hadozee: I think I'm going to try and make it fit. When I was planning this stuff out, I realized that half my races had a Charisma penalty (Draku, Dwarves, Hadozee, and even the original half-orcs). I figured I should move the penalty on one of them. Hadozee seemed to make the most sense. I'm thinking they would have generally short attention spans, not necessarily aware of everything going on around them (like they are easily fascinated, or tend to concentrate on one thing and forget about others). Also I think I like the idea that Hadozee are easily manipulated by others--it goes along with my idea that they're probably second-class citizens (you know, being monkeys and all).

Was the choice to use Cha for will saves intended to make the stat more useful? Or do you not necessarily see wisdom as representing "will power" (an idea that certainly seems to be held up in recent publications). It's funny sometimes how people interpret the meanings of the stats in drastically different ways. It's almost as bad as alignment.
5th-Jun-2006 05:04 am (UTC)
A combination of both, actually. I see very little reason to correlate perception and willpower, while force of personality and willpower seems like a natural fit. At the same time, leaving the perception skills based on Wis, not to mention most divine magic, but moving Will to Cha, balanced those two stats pretty evenly. In my games, no one has a true dump stat, and I like it that way.
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