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D&D 3E
I need help....That's just obvious 
13th-Dec-2005 12:00 pm
I need some help in race building. I'm looking to build a race in the world I'm building. The race will have knowledge they gain at birth, a kind of DNA knowledge that gets passed to them. So for example if their father was a fighter they would have the a good knowledge of how to use that weapon.

I'm more or less looking for ideas on how to build this race. I already know it will be at least an ECL 1 or 2.

Any suggestions would be great.
13th-Dec-2005 05:12 pm (UTC)
Why not just give them a free feat or two to represent this?
13th-Dec-2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
I thought about that, but I also want to give an ability bonus
13th-Dec-2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
There's the new race from Races of Destiny. You may want to look at that.

Failing that:

Build several packages of the form:

Pick one from: An ancesterial bonus of +1 to hit with (Melee/Ranged) or +1 to AC or +2 to 1 type of Saving Throws (Fort/Reflex/Will) Make sure this is a significant bonus of the ancestrial line (to hit melee if a fighter, to hit ranged if an appropriate ranger, the best saving throw, etc.)
Pick 3 skills from the 'ancestrial line' (fighter skills, if the line is a fighter, clerical if a cleric, etc.) and give a +2 bonus to each (1 knowledge skill, 1 social skill (bluff, intimidate, diplomacy, sense motive, etc.) , 1 active skill (craft, perform, open locks, slight of hand, disable device, etc.)
Pick 1 of: +2 Dex, +2 Con, (+2 Str -- I don't think its unbalanced, but if you think the 1/2 orc is balanced, as is, don't use the str modifier)
Pick 1 of: -2 (Any Attribute)
Pick 1 of: 1 free Martial Weapon Prof, Shield prof, Light Armor Prof, +1 Caster Level for one school of magic (and a corresponding -1 Caster Level for an opposition school, if the +1 isn't divination), or 4 skill points at first level (but no additional skill points per level)

A 0 ECL race, with some ancestrial influence.
13th-Dec-2005 05:33 pm (UTC)
I knew I should have gotten that book. Thanks for the help.
13th-Dec-2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
Do you mean the Illumians? That's what I thought of when I first read this.
13th-Dec-2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
No, this is a race that my wife put together as an idea for a book she is writing and she wanted to try and play one. Off hand I can't remember the name she gave them. I know they are kinda like elves in appearance
13th-Dec-2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
No, I mean the Races Of Destiny race. There's one called Illumian that gives bonuses to certain things depending on the sigils they recieve in a ritual at "birth".

It's very customizable per class, which you're going to need for the race you're trying to do. As stated above, it sounds almost like you're going to have to create a race template for each class - Inborn Fighter, Inborn Sorceror, Inborn Druid, etc.
13th-Dec-2005 05:56 pm (UTC)
I was thinking a chart to roll on to see what your parents did for a living.
13th-Dec-2005 06:13 pm (UTC)
Not that you have any reason to listen to me :) , but I would suggest you consider allowing the players to choose what bonuses to get ("what their parents did")- let them choose or pick from a list rather than roll. Although having the chart as a fallback is a nice touch.
13th-Dec-2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
I plan to give the option to choose, But since no one really has a choice in what their parents did I figured a chart would be good.
13th-Dec-2005 06:36 pm (UTC)
While that is true, no one has a choice in their physical prowess (within limits -- you can train to be better, but if you're not born with the right build, you'll never be a world-class mixed martial artist fighter, or linebacker, or gymnist), mental capabilities (likewise you can train, but without talent, you're not going to be a world-class mathematician, philosopher, or force-of-personality), race/ethnic background, etc. etc. etc.

Building a character is about letting a player play what they want, not to suffice with happenstance. (unless you're already making your players do character creation as roll, but not arrange, and roll for race based racial and regional distribution, country of origion, etc. but I'd never play that game.)
13th-Dec-2005 08:03 pm (UTC)
Good point
13th-Dec-2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
Some people will definitely prefer that. I confess that I always prefer to roll my stats randomly and then look at my options. But some people aren't like that.
13th-Dec-2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
I too like to build at random.
13th-Dec-2005 09:41 pm (UTC)
If you like the random element, and to be sure I do, you could make a table of 100 traits and then let them roll percentile dice a certain number of times.
14th-Dec-2005 03:51 am (UTC)
It seems like you'd, in effect, be designing a number of different races (one who had a fighter as an ancestor, one who had a rogue as an ancestor, one who had a wizard as an ancestor, and so on). Not to mention that since the PC would in theory be picking the ancestor, you'd basically have a PC adjusting a race to fit with his character. So I'm not sure where there would be any continuity within the race enough to make it need to be defined as a single group.

In any case, how about a mechanic where a PC can tap into their DNA knowledge. Like there is this hidden power, but it takes some effort to get to. So maybe x times per day the PC could use an action (free, move, standard) to gain some kind of set bonus, kind of like a cleric's domain abilities. So the fighter descendant could spend a free action once a day to get a +4 bonus to his attack with an ancestral weapon. You could use the domain powers to balance this, or even compare it to what Action Points get you in that system. And you could make there a number of different abilities they can choose from.

Other mechanic ideas: maybe a bonus to knowledge(history) type checks. Or even a free bardic knowledge type ability they can use (at weaker ability than a bards). Oh, maybe a weak commune-type ability where they can talk to an ancestor. That could be spiffy.

Also maybe look at how exactly the knowledge gets passed down. If it literally is "in the blood," maybe the race can have an ability where they can give someone else their blood (like a self-inflicted wound) to impart some knowledge briefly (say, a bonus to related check for a short period of time). But again, a constant passive bonus based on an "ancestor" doesn't add much to the race to make it distinctive or interesting compared to other races, or at least not as much as an ability to gain a short, active bonus with some effort.

-- Basically, maybe think up more about the races culture, then pick abilities based on that.
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