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D&D 3E
6th-May-2003 05:47 pm
SO would any DMs here actually let their players play a half dragon man or a pixie? I was reading the monsterous character book thingie... and yeah. I don't think any DM would let some random fire giant play with a bunch of normal characters.
6th-May-2003 06:05 pm (UTC)
I do it all the time. It's fairly easy for me most of the time. Especially if the game is revolving around roleplaying instead of fighting.
6th-May-2003 06:21 pm (UTC)
In some cases it's best to have them play with a party of all normal characters, makes it more special, more rare. If I'm allowing that sort of thing, I wanna keep good tabs on the level distribution though, make sure everyone's about even.
6th-May-2003 08:32 pm (UTC)
Well yeah, that sort of goes without saying, and hey, 3rd Edition gave us ECLs for that. So it's easy to track now.

I stopped using normal characters most of the time because evil, monster ecology, and such is just so much more interesting and possessing of to me a greater potential.
7th-May-2003 05:05 am (UTC) - I'd allow it.
Savage Species kind of does away with ECLs. A 1st level Fire Giant is equal to a 1st level Fighter or 1st level Rogue (maybe even a little weaker).

The point of Savage Species is that the 'monster race' characters sacrifice multiclassing and only get their abilities gradually. The 'Fire Giant' class as an example only gives you the following:

1st level: size medium, HD: 1d8, BAB: +0, Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +0; skill points: (2+Int Mod)x4, Fire subtype, 1 feat, +2 natural armor, +4 Str

That's not exactly "out of control". It doesn't even get to reach size large until 11th level. Granted- by that time, it's packed on another +8 Strength, +6 natural armor. But by that time- it's on par with an 11th level character.

I worked out some monster classes on my website if your'e curious:
Here's a class for gargoyle characters. Here's a Gargoyle NPC, Tharnok of the Chasm.

I've also done class writeups for Silver Dragon Characters and Red Dragon characters, as well as a quicky page of Dark Denizens for my Oathbound campaign (Drow, Tieflings and Grimlocks). People tend to think twice about playing a drow when they realize it only gets it's first HD for the duration of it's three levels. (it gets 8 hp for it's fitrst level and never gets to roll for hit points again until it reaches 3rd level and multiclasses out of being a drow).

8th-May-2003 09:49 pm (UTC) - Re: I'd allow it.
I purchased the savage species book when it came out, and found it to be rather worthless. I mean, it's interesting, but, I consider it inconsistent with the reality of the game world. Essentially, it's saying that for a race to have its racial traits, it must be classed, or that, it's getting larger as it trains more. Which, from my standpoint smacks of irregularity. Either a race has traits that are inherent, or they don't. Growing in skill (ie leveling) should have no bearing on gaining more strength or more reach. It bothers me.

I'm sticking with normal ECL rules.
9th-May-2003 07:22 am (UTC) - Re: I'd allow it.
Well.. hmm. I don't see it that way.

I guess it's a simulation type argument- I'm putting my priorities on how I can make the race available to the player and then have it work with everything else rather than on whether it's a good simulation. (And with a lot of monsters- daragons and gargoyles- it kinda makes sense that they would start small and then grow larger).
It's also just a practical thing- I'm never going to have to explain the races that aren't being used, just the ones that players want to use.

Did you buy it at Star? I noticed you were in Lubbock. I actually lived there from 1986-1994 or so.
9th-May-2003 10:26 pm (UTC) - Re: I'd allow it.
For the monster growing into larger sizes, that only makes sense by AGE, not by levels. Heck, most of the time I can run a whole lvl 1 party to level 20 within 6 months of in-game time due to the excessively active campaigns I create. So, a dragon, or giant, both of whom have exceptionally long lives to begin with, would grow from nothing, into full adult strength? It's ludicrous.

::shrugs:: Again, a reason for me to just be smart and keep my PCs in mind and stick to ECL.

As for Stars, I've never heard of it. We've got a locally owned store called Mad Hatter's.
10th-May-2003 06:51 am (UTC) - Re: I'd allow it.
Well.. it's not that ludicrous. Again- it depends on whether you prioritize simulation over gameplay (which I don't). A character growing from an adolecent giant to a full grown one in 6 months of campaign (which might represent.. lets say.. a year of 'game time') may not be a very good simulation. But it does work fine as far as the game is concerned, because the added hit dice and abilities coincide with the level increase- and that works. It's mechanicaly sound.

And if I need to, I can just say "he hit puberty that year". Medium sized covers all the way up to 8'. Large covers from 8' and one inch, so you could just have a character grow an inch taller and then be in the new size category. I did something similar with the gargoyle having a 'molting period'. Similar ideas for a dragon. I can see a dragon increasing in size fairly rapidly, though.

Mad Hatter's is still around? That's awesome! I knew the owner (Robert Guimbleot) when he was an undergrad at Texas Tech. He was known for actually wearing a top hat around the dorm and telling everyone to "smile". Star Books and Comics was the other gaming store in town- I can't remember the street names anymore- I want to say 34th and Q.
7th-May-2003 06:18 am (UTC)
The pixie (and to a greater extent, the Grig) are interesting choices for player characters because they have so few hit points. (a 4th level Grig character still only has his first 3 hp, the pixie still only has his first d6 hit die, even at 5th level). These characters are obviously for pure roleplaying- I could definitely see a pixie PC in one of my previous campaigns that had a lot of interaction at a wizards academy and the Elven court. It would have fit right in, though.

In the event of combat, though- these characters pretty much have the option of going invisible and relying on illusions or running for help. With a reach of 0' you can't even enter a hostile opponents square without taking an attack of opportunity. Most of the players I've run across like to be involved when things get violent, but I've also known quite a few who would have fun with a pixie PC.

7th-May-2003 12:14 pm (UTC)
I actually play a half dagon (half halfling) amongst a bunch of normal characters (well, as normal as they ever get in our game) in the campaign I'm in at the moment. If you take into account Effective Character Levels then the balance is pretty fair. In fact I'm weaker than all the other characters (mainly due to multiclassing admittedly, but also because I'm a lower level due to the ECL). I think it all depends on how (a) the characters' existence is argued, (b) whether they power play and (c) if your campaign is more hack 'n' slash than roleplay.
7th-May-2003 02:43 pm (UTC)
it's all supposed to be balanced. so yeah, it shouldn't be a problem existing with the "normal" player characters. though, i guess the problem might revolve around the type of world the DM is running. would you actually see a HalfDragon or a Fire Giant walking around in a small town...or even in a large one?
8th-May-2003 09:55 pm (UTC)
Would you ever actually see 'adventurers' in old europe? No. Maybe a knight, a town guard/watch, and mostly only during war or in major cities.

So, D&D and other games are already breaking rules with the prevalence of adventurers and all the hostile NPCs and neutral NPCs that are major plot elements. Heck, magic exists, so, why wouldn't there be more monster and human exchanges? Perhaps only at certain trade cities. Maybe it's like today's racism? Who knows. Depends on the DM, and you're right about that.

And no Fire Giant or Half-Dragon is probably going to be walking around a city. Either they're hanging out outside, or, illusioned, cloaked up tightly (disguised), or polymorphed. And hey, is that any less realistic than the adventurers dragging back a horde of swords, armor, dungeon goods and trying to pawn it off to peasents? To me, not really. Really, such things only matter in ultra realistic games, and I've not encountered many DMs who do that.
7th-May-2003 04:11 pm (UTC)
that all depends on the setting and what kind of charachters you have. I wouldent let a PC half dragon in a campaign unless it was specifically built for the presence of one.

As npc's..i think its appropraite if you dont make them the star of the show
10th-Jun-2003 02:42 pm (UTC) - I do...
I just started a campaign. Of the 8 players, 3 of them are monstrous characters. A pixie, a centaur and a frost giant.

The first session had them in caves which was very difficult for the centaur because there were places that were very tight.

In fact at the big climatic encounter two of the characters followed the NPC that hired them ahead of the group and encountered a vampire that the NPC had just unstaked. The two characters were a paladin and a cleric that were holding the vampire at bey. The rest of the group got worried when their employer bolted past them and didn't slow down for the rest of the group.

The pixie went in invisibly to check on the other party members. Had it been anybody else, the vampire would have dominated them and things would have gotten ugly. Despite the challenges for me and the players, I think enjoyment was had by all, and after all that's why we play...
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