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D&D 3E
This is my first time playing D&D and I chose to be an Aasimar. I… 
18th-Feb-2006 01:44 pm
Steve
This is my first time playing D&D and I chose to be an Aasimar. I wasn't allowed to use anything that had to do with my race because it would make the other players mad (playing favorites because I'm a girl and such). I was killed and now the DM says I can only play as a base character.

I was wondering how many of you don't play as base characters. What do you play as? Has there been any problems between you and other players?

Also, is there a website that has information about dragonkin?

Thanks.
Comments 
18th-Feb-2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
Well that kinda sucks that the GM shut you down. Aasimar (and all the Planetouched) are very cool characters, because you can do some interesting things with the Outsider type. (like using the Alter Self spell to change into something really unexpected).

I like unusual races and choices for characters. I just retired my Tiefling bard, and started a human fighter/sorcerer

In general my group allows just about anything (within reason) as long as it balances out to the right ECL for the group. This may have been the problem if the DM didn't make any adjustments for what your ECL was supposed to be.
18th-Feb-2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
I'm curious - what do you mean by "you weren't allowed to use anything to do with your race"? You weren't allowed to use your racial Aasimar abilities?

It really depends for me. Some of the +1 to +3 level adjustment races add a really cool flavor to characters at early levels when they might otherwise get locked into a stereotypical role. At later levels when magic items and prestige classes/cross-classing can provide that sort of flavor, though, I actually prefer some of the PHB races. The extra feats and skill points you get for being a Human are really amazing.

If you have to play a race and class from the PHB, though, perhaps try developing a really interesting backstory. A wizard that grew up in a cult and went through terrible, terrible things, forcing her to be paranoid about her safety and traumatized in certain situations would certainly be more fun to play than a straight Wizard that only opens her mouth to throw a fireball. If you like a certain race for their history and peculiarities instead of their abilities, there's plenty of ways to make a base race fit that template.
18th-Feb-2006 11:45 pm (UTC)
Honestly as a DM I would never let a first time player play an advanced race until you get the hang of the game mechanics a bit more.

19th-Feb-2006 02:29 am (UTC)
Agreed. First time players need to stick with "base" until they learn the mechanics of the game. Adding all that stuff from advanced races really will make it harder.
19th-Feb-2006 12:42 am (UTC)
Even if you are playing a half-werewolf planetouched semi-dragon, the really interesting backstory is a must. I'm with aurachad, I wouldn't want a first time player playing anything too exotic. If they were experienced with table top gaming and just not D&D, I'd give them a fairly good range of choices, but a first time gamer in all, I'd restrict to human or halfling, and one of the most basic classes. But I would work with them to develop good backstory with lots of hooks for interesting plot.

If you DM was restricting you because he plays favorites and you are a girl, you shouldn't play in his game. It won't get any better. On the other hand, he may have reasons for restricting you. He might be looking at how the party works together, or it may be story issues. But if he's just a jerk, pick a different game group. Unless you live deep in the corn fields (and sometimes even then) there's always groups around looking for players. Especially female players. Sometimes you just have to find a group whose play style matches your own.
19th-Feb-2006 01:31 am (UTC)
Even if you are playing a half-werewolf planetouched semi-dragon, the really interesting backstory is a must

I really want to hammer a rebuttal to this point home.

Backstory means nothing!

Character means everything!


It doesn't matter at all what you say your character did before the game starts. The ONLY thing that really matters is how you play your character in-game. If the backstory doesn't give you a good angle on gaming--such as the guy who's always looking over his shoulder, or the girl who always has money, or the face everyone knows--it's a pointless waste of time.


First-time gamers in my game get a simple, "from this town" character. They have a boring life, are ignorant of the world, but have something about them that lets them be heroic. I've allowed exceptions to this, and those exceptions have almost all stopped gaming because it was never as cool as they imagined their first character would be.

Backstory, of course, goes beyond a PC problem -- GMs with too much backstory are just as bad. I'm at the point where I won't play in a game where the GM has a pre-planned story he or she wants us to follow. And, as a rule, any significant ammount of backstory that's not given to the PCs for character creation is too much.
19th-Feb-2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Perhaps it was more that the race didn't fit into his/her game and they let you play it anyway? I've made some mistakes as to what I've allowed in the past.
19th-Feb-2006 01:09 am (UTC)
Damn you. I Googled for dragonkin and came across, and I quote, "A mailing list dedicated to draconic otherkin sexuality."
19th-Feb-2006 01:44 am (UTC)
This is my first time playing D&D and I chose to be an Aasimar. I wasn't allowed to use anything that had to do with my race because it would make the other players mad (playing favorites because I'm a girl and such). I was killed and now the DM says I can only play as a base character.

Were you a 1st level character and was everyone else also 1st level? In D&D Aasimars are "+1 Level Adjustment", meaning that a 1st level Aasimar should be running around with 2nd level humans for a fair game. It's not necessarily playing favorites -- it may just be gaming the book with a sense of balance.

That said, if your GM doesn't want you to play non-base characters, you shouldn't. It makes his job harder, it makes the game more complicated, and it very often causes any number of hardships for the rest of the players.

I was wondering how many of you don't play as base characters. What do you play as? Has there been any problems between you and other players?

I GM -- I haven't played as a player in years, although I did prefer base characters (even 2nd edition humans) when I did.

IMC ("In My Campaign") I currently have:

* A human bardic mage ("multiclass sorceror/bard" in D&D speak), played by my wife.

* A human pirate ("fighter").

* A human wizard.

* A living-construct fighter.

* A gargoyle who died, became an angel, and is wandering around in the form of an actual stone gargoyle.

Of all these, only the last is playing a race with a non-0 level adjustment. (The living construct is a custom bit, and its benefits are outweighed by some significant disadvantages.) As an angel he has specific prohibitions on what he does, and as a gargoyle his flight and natural weapons have to make up for the fact that he's simply a lower class level than the rest.

Also, is there a website that has information about dragonkin?

Do you mean dragon-like PCs, for D&D? Yes.

Dragonlance.com has an article for playing Bozak draconians as PCs.

Bret Boyd also wrote the Complete Guide to Dragonkin, which as non-core but still very compatible rules for playing dragon influenced PCs.


Again, I suggest that you DO play a base character for awhile. Learn the game, learn the players, and just let your GM know that you'd like to play a dragonkin sometime in the future -- like when your PC gets cursed by a mad wizard ten sessions from now, or when your PC dies heroically defending your allies.
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19th-Feb-2006 02:34 am (UTC)
No, I don't. I really wanted to play because 90% of my friends play and I always hear yapping about eleves and gnomes. I wanted to try something different and when I figured out that I didn't have to play one of those races I decided I really wanted to play.
19th-Feb-2006 01:58 am (UTC)
Why were you not allowed to use your racial ability? Were you an Aasimar when everyone else in the game was 1st level? If that was the case, I could see a problem; a 1st-level aasimar is ECL 2, so should be equivalent to 2nd-level characters.

As for Dragonkin, they're in the Monsters of Faerun book, and were updated in the Web Enhancement to the Player's Guide to Faerun. They start out as 4-HD creatures with a +3 LA, so their ECL 7 makes them equivalent to 7th-level characters even before adding any class levels.

Personally, I have no problem with anyone playing, well, anything, provided they're abiding by the ECL rules, and aren't overpowered compared to the party (i.e. higher ECL). Sometimes, there's a problem in that a creature type has too high or too low an ECL (hobgoblins, for instance, easily the worst +1 LA race ever by the book, and the draconic template, easily the best +1 LA template ever by the book), and that can easily be solved by fixing those problems. For instance, I fixed hobgoblins by giving all hobgoblins one racial bonus feat from the fighter feat list (they still have to qualify for the prerequisites, though), or a single Martial Weapon Proficiency, or Endurance. This represented the martial nature of hobgoblin society, made them a little more interesting, and by no means overpowered them.

Honestly, one of the complaints I hear most often about 3.x by players of other editions is "... But the rules let you play a half-dragon/half-demon sorcerer/fighter/bard/cleric!!!!11!!!1one!" They always get annoyed at me when I say, "... So what? Such a character will have 1 level each of each of those classes, and be virtually unplayable due to weakness... and be ECL 11... with 4 Hit Dice."

Level Adjustments and ECL are self-balancing in much the same way the multiclassing system itself is self-balancing. Those who go for high-LA races will realize relatively quickly that all the cool powers in the world aren't very useful when you've got half as many hit points as everyone else in the party... But when they find the right niche, it's golden for everyone. (My favorite non-standard character was a pixie Clr1/Rog5/Skullclan Hunter 4.)

Obviously, though, some DMs have different opinions about LA, ECL and nonstandard races, and when it comes down to it, it's the DM's prerogative. At the same time, any DM who tends toward knee-jerk refusals will probably find himself or herself without any players after a while. The game belongs to all the players (including the DM).
19th-Feb-2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
I had the Humaoid Handbook back in 2e, let you be a Firoblg at level one but it gianed only a quarter xp.
19th-Feb-2006 02:26 am (UTC)
I was going to play a Drow in a Forgotten Realms game and since they are "powerful" races (along with Tiefling and Aasimar) They level up slower because of the amount of power they have. But as someone else pointed out, it does even out due to the fact that they are weaker. I am in a game right now and we all play base characters. We have a Ranger, Cleric, some Fighters, a Wizard and a Rogue (me.)

The thing is, whatever your class, find a way to be useful. The game I'm playing right now was written without any Rogues in the party in mind. The GM didn't even think they would add to the game. Recently, I got an email telling me that at first, he thought that a Rogue would hold the game back when, he was happy to say, I added quite a bit.

Base characters can be fun. Follow the DMs rules, have fun and be useful. It'll all turn out right.
19th-Feb-2006 05:25 am (UTC)
I tend to play humans, and the occasional Dwarf, but I jsut made a batch of "villians" to go up against my PCs -- Four different kinds of planetouched, a Goliath, a Charduni Dwarf, and a human. Only the Dwarf and the human don't have a +1 LA.
19th-Feb-2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
IMHO killing a such novice player is a bad tone, no matter what the character is. Yes I killed PCs, but they were experienced PCs, and if they did something completely foolish (one of them once decided to confront a mature dragon by himself only, a pile of dust - what was left of PC) they weren't saved.
Not only that DM killed a novice character, it was a character of a girl!!!
20th-Feb-2006 03:57 am (UTC)
Not only that DM killed a novice character, it was a character of a girl!!!

Er...what?
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