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D&D 3E
Hey guys. I've decided lately to combine two of my great loves - D&D… 
19th-Sep-2006 03:00 am
wang
Hey guys. I've decided lately to combine two of my great loves - D&D and The Legend of Zelda - by turning Hyrule into a campaign setting. This isn't the easiest task, so I'd appreciate it if you guys would help me by taking a look at some of what I've got so far and giving some advice. Anything to help game balance, anything I've overlooked, anything that would just be cool, whatever.

I'm starting with races. I've got Hyruleans (humans), Gorons, Zora, Rito and Kokiri so far. Hylian Heritage and Gerudo Heritage are first level feats, since they're basically humans with small modifications. Here's my game information for Gorons, the race that's been giving me the most trouble:

Goron

* +4 str, +2 con, -4 dex, -2 cha: Gorons are exceptionally strong, but they are unwieldy and lack a strong force of personality.

* Medium: As Medium creatures...

* Goron base land speed is 20 feet. However, Gorons can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying medium or heavy loads.

* Gorons have the Earth subtype.

* Gorons have a burrow speed of 5 feet.

* Tremorsense 15 ft: Gorons are sensitive to vibrations in the ground and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in contact with the ground.

* Bad eyesight: Gorons suffer a -6 penalty to Spot checks.

* -2 racial penalty to initiative. Gorons are slow to react.

* Due to their stony carapaces, Gorons have a +2 natural armor.

* Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds Gorons for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.

* Mineral Diet: Gorons eat rocks, which they metabolize to form their carapaces, instead of normal food. They need water as a normal creature.

* Gorons sleep by tucking their body under their carapace. They also tend to do this when frightened, and will drop to this position instead of running when compelled by fear effects.

* A Goron tucked under his carapace gains a +8 to Hide checks when in a rocky area.

* As part of a charge attack, the Goron may perform a rolling attack against their target instead of the melee attack they normally receive at the end of a charge. The Goron tucks under its carapace and rolls towards its target at great speed, making an attack roll as normal, and inflicts damage equal to 2d6 + the Goron's Strength modifier to the target on a successful hit.

The Goron suffers all bonuses and penalties normally associated with making a charge attack.

* Gorons have no Armor slot.

* Automatic Languages: Goron, Hyrulean


I really, really want this to end up as a race with no level adjustment. The stats balance each other just fine; the biggest issue is the natural armor, which hits +10 at level 19. Of course, by level 19 it's not that amazing a bonus, but significant nonetheless. I'm not sure if the negatives they suffer (primarily the exhorbitant cost of armor) balances this or not. Any comment on any of this is appreciated, and if critiquing these is something that you guys are interested in, I'll post the Zora next.
Comments 
19th-Sep-2006 08:42 am (UTC)
Despite the varied sizes of the Gorons, I don't really think they need to be a large race. I doubt you're going to have any sort of easy time making them LA 0 with that size and natural armor, much less a scaling natural armor. I would back it up and use Goliaths as a base for inspiration.
20th-Sep-2006 05:18 pm (UTC)
I was definitely wondering how to deal with scaling natural armor. On the one hand, I don't want them to be overpowered and I want to keep the LA as low as possible, but on the other hand I wanted to keep true to how they fit in the canon. Gorons actually increase their armor as they age, but dealing with separate age categories (like dragons) would complicate a PC race past the point of no return, so I went with a level-based system.

How would you suggest balancing this? What if I were to make a racial base class that gave the armor instead of making it a racial trait? Do the significant racial negatives they get help to balance this? What if I were to rule that they do not have an armor slot, and therefore rely solely on the natural armor bonuses?

As for the large size, I based this mainly on the Goron PC you play as in Majora's Mask. I know the generic Goron in Ocarina is Medium, but I doubt most players would want to play a Goron so wimpy looking when they could play something more like this. Don't the benefits and penalties of the Large size mostly balance each other out? If not, I'm not opposed to making them Medium.
19th-Sep-2006 10:36 am (UTC)
i'm not sure it's possible to have a balanced race with the potential to start with a str of 24.
20th-Sep-2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
Why not? Strictly speaking, the stats balance each other out; and consider the orc, which has no level adjustment but the potential to start with a strength of 22, only 1 modifier lower. I'm not trying to shoot you down or anything, just looking for your reasoning.

Would they be more balanced with a +4 to strength instead of +6?
19th-Sep-2006 11:48 am (UTC)
The natural armor doesn't concern me so much as the large swing in stats and the tremorsense. Granted this is offest by the bad eyesight and light blindness so it may not be a big deal. With the attributes, I've found that large bonuses, even when offset by large penalties, can lead to an unbalanced character. If you get someone who likes to min/max characters, with some good rolls and some fancy equipment in a few levels they can have some absurdly high attributes. I played a troll once. I felt so bad at the damage he was doing with a Huge Great Club that I had one of his hands magically burned off. (I was DM so I could pull it off.)

Can the Gorons even wear armor? I would think their carapace would get in the way unless it was highly modified. Even then I wouldn't think it would work quite right. Bracers, boots, etc. should be fine.

Overall, neat idea. I'm curious to see how it all plays out.
20th-Sep-2006 05:25 pm (UTC)
You have a good point with the large bonuses being exploitable even when properly offset. I'm thinking about changing the stats to something along the lines of str +4, con +2, dex -4, cha -2. Would that be more manageable?

As for the tremorsense, I had no idea what range would be appropriate, and I'm taking Highbulp's advice to drop it to 30 feet. Otherwise, I think it's balanced by their terrible vision. After all, they live in dark caves and don't even get low-light vision or darkvision.

I'm also strongly considering denying them an armor slot at all. Do you think that would balance the race?
19th-Sep-2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
I'm going to agree on the size. IIRC, Gorons aren't quite large enough to justify Large (twice human size) -- they aren't that much bigger than Adult Link. There's a special ability called Powerful Build you might want to look into -- it gives you some of the benefits of being Large. On the other hand, IIRC, Powerful Build's usually considered better than Large, because it negates a lot of the penalties for being Large. These guys are already pretty powerful in the martial classes (a strength bonus and con bonus plus natural armor, which will eventually offset the dex penalty), and giving them something else would toss them over the edge.
20th-Sep-2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
My justification for Large size to nviiibrown was this:

"As for the large size, I based this mainly on the Goron PC you play as in Majora's Mask. I know the generic Goron in Ocarina is Medium, but I doubt most players would want to play a Goron so wimpy looking when they could play something more like this. Don't the benefits and penalties of the Large size mostly balance each other out? If not, I'm not opposed to making them Medium."

I don't really want to give them Powerful Build, for exactly the reasons you said. Do you still think they should be Medium?

I told a couple other posters I'm strongly considering denying them an armor slot outright. Do you think this would balance them better?
19th-Sep-2006 12:38 pm (UTC)
I think you have a great idea. I would very much like to play a Legend of Zelda based Rpg. Good luck.
20th-Sep-2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The Gorons are definitely giving me the most trouble. I'll post Zora and Rito next, but the stats I've given them are more mainstream.
19th-Sep-2006 01:31 pm (UTC)
Definately seems like a LA +1 or +2 as written.

* Lower the spread of the stats. While the numbers may seem to balance out, getting a +6 in exchange for three -2s doesn't balance. After a certain point, low stats just become dumps. Maybe +4str, -4dex, +2con, -2cha.

* I certainly don't recall them being Large sized (other than the Giant Goron, who is kind of an oddity). Ditch it. I wouldn't even give them Powerful Build. I just don't remember them being that big.

* Scaling natural armor is instantly worth some kind of level adjustment in my eye. And yes, +10natural armor is huge at 19th level (remember, natural armor stacks with normal armor and every other kind of AC bonus. Notice that a +5 Amulet of Natural Armor costs 50,000gp. Which is a whole heck of a lot more expensive than double cost of armor, which isn't much of a drawback (especially since these guys would make keen barbarians, who are only wearing medium armor anyway). I'd take a page out of the Warforged book--have them start with a natural armor bonus (a decent one, or one that scales) but have them not actually HAVE an armor slot. So they get scaling natural armor, but can't wear normal armor. That strikes me as pretty balanced.

* Light blindness makes them difficult to play as PCs. Just FYI. Maybe drop it down to a penalty against light spells, or have it only last for a short while (maybe 1d4 rounds).

* Tremorsense 60' is pretty heavy! Drop it to 30' at least and it becomes a more reasonable ability for a LA +0. Plus as I recall you had to get pretty close to these things for them to notice you.

* I like the roll ability a lot, though you may need to reword it a bit. Sounds a little awkward.

* Also not where some of the penalties stack. Like getting a -2 to Init on top of the -4 to dex seems awkward to me. Just let the -4dex hold.

* What's the favored class? Fighter?
20th-Sep-2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
* Lower the spread of the stats. While the numbers may seem to balance out, getting a +6 in exchange for three -2s doesn't balance. After a certain point, low stats just become dumps. Maybe +4str, -4dex, +2con, -2cha.

I think this is a good idea and I expect it's what I will do.


* I certainly don't recall them being Large sized (other than the Giant Goron, who is kind of an oddity). Ditch it. I wouldn't even give them Powerful Build. I just don't remember them being that big.

Here's the explanation I've given to the others:

"As for the large size, I based this mainly on the Goron PC you play as in Majora's Mask. I know the generic Goron in Ocarina is Medium, but I doubt most players would want to play a Goron so wimpy looking when they could play something more like this. Don't the benefits and penalties of the Large size mostly balance each other out? If not, I'm not opposed to making them Medium."

Does this make any difference to you, or do you still think they should be Medium?

* Scaling natural armor is instantly worth some kind of level adjustment in my eye. And yes, +10natural armor is huge at 19th level (remember, natural armor stacks with normal armor and every other kind of AC bonus. Notice that a +5 Amulet of Natural Armor costs 50,000gp. Which is a whole heck of a lot more expensive than double cost of armor, which isn't much of a drawback (especially since these guys would make keen barbarians, who are only wearing medium armor anyway). I'd take a page out of the Warforged book--have them start with a natural armor bonus (a decent one, or one that scales) but have them not actually HAVE an armor slot. So they get scaling natural armor, but can't wear normal armor. That strikes me as pretty balanced

I also think I'm going to do this.


* Light blindness makes them difficult to play as PCs. Just FYI. Maybe drop it down to a penalty against light spells, or have it only last for a short while (maybe 1d4 rounds)

Light blindness really isn't that bad. The first round of exposure they are blind, and after that it's just a -1 to attack rolls, Spot checks, and Search checks. Frankly, I don't think it's as bad as what humans have to deal with at night. Everything from a heavy cloak to an overcast sky could offset the penalties, too.


* Tremorsense 60' is pretty heavy! Drop it to 30' at least and it becomes a more reasonable ability for a LA +0. Plus as I recall you had to get pretty close to these things for them to notice you.

I had no idea what range to give that ability and took a blind guess. Thank you, I'll drop it to 30'.


* I like the roll ability a lot, though you may need to reword it a bit. Sounds a little awkward.

I agree, but I'm not really sure how to reword it yet. It's sort of an awkward concept, at first. Do you think the damage I listed is appropriate? I don't want it to be terribly powerful, especially since I plan to offer racial feats to improve it, but I don't want it to outright suck, either.


* Also not where some of the penalties stack. Like getting a -2 to Init on top of the -4 to dex seems awkward to me. Just let the -4dex hold.

I sort of wanted to cripple their initiative, since that's how they struck me in the game. I was thinking a -4, and the extra -2 from dex brings it to that.


* What's the favored class? Fighter?

I didn't list a favored class since I don't tend to use them in my games. Off the top of my head, I would think barbarian, or maybe a divine spellcaster, but I haven't really put any thought into it.

Thanks for the insights.
19th-Sep-2006 04:11 pm (UTC)
Way too much stuff going on for a base race.

And they'd probably try to chew their way out of chains.
20th-Sep-2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
I like the overall direction you took, but I think you took a fork in the road that I wouldn't have, had I been the one making the race.



-Like others have said, they need not be large sized. In fact, it's a rare Goron that is large sized. Rarer still is the Goron that grows beyond that.

-Personally, I think Goron's should have Racial Hit Dice, along with a +1 LA. That would justify it, in my opinion. I know it's not what you want, but that's my spin on it.
20th-Sep-2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
Here's the justification for large size I gave to the others:

"As for the large size, I based this mainly on the Goron PC you play as in Majora's Mask. I know the generic Goron in Ocarina is Medium, but I doubt most players would want to play a Goron so wimpy looking when they could play something more like this. Don't the benefits and penalties of the Large size mostly balance each other out? If not, I'm not opposed to making them Medium."

You see mostly medium Gorons, a handful of large ones, and one who is either colossal or gargantuan. I figured the real heros, the PCs with PC class levels, would be the large ones. That's at least the impression I got from the games. Your thoughts?

As for racial hit dice and level adjustment, as I said, I'd like to keep that out of it if I can. Some of the adjustments I'm planning on making based on what others have said are changing the ability modifiers so that they're less extreme, lowering the tremorsense to 30', and denying them an armor slot. How do you think they balance with these changes?
20th-Sep-2006 07:26 pm (UTC)
I know you're a pretty big supporter of large size, and it's your call, but I have to agree that they really should be medium size. Perhaps offer a feat that would allow them to be larger size but can only be taken at first level, or make a variant "sub-species" that is Large with a higher level adjustment and some racial hit dice.

As for this:

"* When a Goron charges as a full-round action, after moving at least 10 feet at double their speed they may tuck under their carapace for a rolling attack that deals 2d6 damage plus the Goron's strength modifier. The rolling attack ends either when a creature or solid object is struck, or when the Goron has moved his maximum distance for the round. Gorons cannot use this rolling attack while wearing armor because of the irregularities armor causes to the Goron's shape."

The first sentence seems a little clunky, as you're basically saying that can execute the roll on a charge attack, after moving 10' (which is the minimum required to perform a charge anyway) at double speed (which isn't really necessary).

The part about having it end when they hit a creature or solid object is also seemingly unnecessary to me -- in order to execute a charge they need to have clear line of sight to their target anyway, so if there was an object in the way they'd have to charge that, essentially. This might only be necessary if someone readies an action to put something -- or someone -- in the way, but I think that's one of those things that's a DM's call to adjucate normally anyway. ;)

Might I suggest the following wording instead:

"As part of a charge attack, the Goron may perform a rolling attack against their target instead of the melee attack they normally receive at the end of a charge. The Goron tucks under its carapace and rolls towards its target at great speed, making an attack roll as normal, and inflicts damage equal to 2d6 + the Goron's Strength modifier to the target on a successful hit.

The Goron suffers all bonuses and penalties normally associated with making a charge attack. This rolling attack may only be used if the Goron is wearing no armour."


This simply indicates that it's a special attack that replaces the normal melee attack on a charge, retaining the normal +2/-2 from a charge (or whatever your normal bonuses and penalties would be for your classes and/or feats), and that it can only be performed by an unarmoured Goron.

Of course, the last sentence can be dropped if you change how their natural armour works. :)
20th-Sep-2006 07:36 pm (UTC)
I like the first-level feat idea; it hadn't occurred to me but it's a good way to account for the size differences.

Also, thanks for the wording for the rolling attack. I couldn't get it very smooth-sounding, but you got it just right.

What do you think about it's balance, taking into account the lowering the tremorsense to 30', denying them an armor slot, and smoothing out the stat mods?
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