Friday, September 27, 2013

D&D without the D&Disms, part II

Am I biting off more than I can really chew?  Along with my ongoing DARK•HERITAGE setting posts, which are really the core topic for this blog (and which are a bit delinquint as I've been distracted by this 30 DAY CHALLENGE business...) I also just started a new setting adventure I call REALMS TRAVELER which, luckily, I won't need to make too many updates to, since it's mostly cobbled together from pre-existing elements that are merely re-arranged, rather than invented.  So, I've decided to use a post of mine from earlier this week as the springboard into yet another setting development adventure--the D&D without the D&Disms post, which I've not given a new tag to: ODD D&D.  As a setting name it... leaves something to be desired, but as a working title for the setting while I mess around with it, I think it's OK.

Here's the original post in which I laid out the basic first steps.

There's a few things that are immediately apparent, even before I get very far down that list.  First off, I've got too many races.  I mean, I could use them all, but why?  I've got 19 specifically called out, that I'd have to have some explanation of where they fit in.  That's way too many.  No thanks.  Secondly, I also said I wanted my planetouched (and other options) to be LA+0, and today, they are not, they're LA+1.  That means making a few adjustments to make them fit.

Here's the revised list, a bit trimmed down from where it was on the older post.
  • Human (as listed in the SRD or PHB)
  • Half-orc (as listed in the SRD or PHB)
  • Orc - I'm scratching them.  Orcs as a race are extinct.  Rather, they've been hybridized so thoroughly with humans that pure-blooded orcs simply don't exist anymore.  Half-orcs are still out there, of course, but they're half-orcs now.  Full-blooded orcs are no longer a racial choice.
  • Goblins - as in the SRD using goblins as a race.  However, they seem a little under-powered to me.  Go ahead and give an extra feat, as if they were human.
  • Hobgoblins - as in the SRD.  However, although they have a net bonus on ability scores (and therefore the designers gave them an LA+1) the hobgoblins really don't have much else going on, and I don't believe that the LA+1 is warranted.  Treat them as LA+0, but don't worry about changing anything else.
  • Genasi (four varieties) - These guys are not in the SRD, since they appear in slightly more esoteric books which are not open.  I'll need to find some stats to adapt.  Also, since nobody seems to know how to correctly pronounce genasi, I'm going to not use that name, and instead use jann (as per my other DARK•HERITAGE setting; although there, they refer specifically only to a creature that is conceptually a fire genasi.)
  • Tiefling - I love these guys. But I don't love LA+1.  I think that that's not so hard to get rid of, though.  Eliminate the +2 to intelligence (by the way, I don't have much truck with WotC's position that CHA is a "lesser" stat that isn't worth the same as another stat.  If that's the case, there's a problem with the kinds of games you run.)  Get rid of the resistances.  Get rid of the Darkness special ability (one that's more in line with something like a shadar-kai or fetchling than with a tiefling.)  Replace it with one of the abilities from Paizo's Blood of Fiends.  Page 16-17 has d100 of them.
  • Aasimar - similar to the tiefling.  See above, and Paizo's Blood of Angels.
  • Shifter - I love shifters.  I think they have a great fantasy feel to them.  I'm totally OK with them as written.
  • Changelings - I dunno.  I'm a little on the fence with these.  I like the concept, but they're almost more of a monster than a PC type race, unless you're a really sneaky bastard.
  • Warforged - Nevermind.  These guys seem to also be more of an NPC/monster type, unless you're specifically in Eberron.
  • I'd take a few psionic races: xeph, elan and kalashtar.  The other psionic races get axed.  And I wouldn't necessarily cut all of those except maybe kalashtar, and go with a bit of a Secrets of Sarlona like vibe to the setting. 

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