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Racial restri... I mean bonuses/traits!

racial bonuses character creation races stats traits

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36 replies to this topic

#21
Heresiarch

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I really hate the kind of race bonuses that make for minmaxer heaven like "race A gets a bonus for being class X". This effectively makes all other races taking this class subpar. It might sound like rambling at first, since no one actually restricts the player from choosing, say, an orc spellcaster, even though orcs come with with -4 modifier to the primary spellcaster stat. But there is really no point to such fantasy racism other than making minmaxers happier. And it does so at the expense of making those people who want to play extraordinarily smart orc unhappy, because they simply can't do that. Same goes for all class-specific bonuses.

If elves come with a bonus to destruction spells and mana regen, what's the point in making them warriors? Or rogues? Or anything else other than spellcasters? If orcs come with a strength bonus, increased axe damage, low intelligence and high strength (that's devs practically screaming in your face, "make him a fighter/barbarian, goddammit!") would you choose him to be a chanter even if you really want to? Chances are you're going to regret it at some point, especially if your low intelligence locks you out of some highest-level abilities or makes you unable to effect enemies to the same extent a "class-specific" race would have.

So yeah, I'm all for versatile bonuses to all races. Maybe even add a special affect to a class for every race. For instance, human spellcasters get a chance to place a nasty dot with every attacking spell, elf casters have a chance to restore a bit of their mana, and so on.
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#22
Sacred_Path

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I really hate the kind of race bonuses that make for minmaxer heaven like "race A gets a bonus for being class X". This effectively makes all other races taking this class subpar. It might sound like rambling at first, since no one actually restricts the player from choosing, say, an orc spellcaster, even though orcs come with with -4 modifier to the primary spellcaster stat. But there is really no point to such fantasy racism other than making minmaxers happier. And it does so at the expense of making those people who want to play extraordinarily smart orc unhappy, because they simply can't do that. Same goes for all class-specific bonuses.


That's mostly a question of how class-specific stats are. Would I want a D&D sorceror with low Cha and high Str? Hell no. In a different system that may still be very playable though.

#23
Umberlin

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Racial bonuses can cause issues like that, but, having 'background' traits can often fix such issues. Background traits allow one to realize, when making a character, statistically, that what may be 'general' for a race isn't not all encompassing. Many people do many things for many reasons and have vastly differing talents regardless of racial qualities - this is due to their background, be it their upbringing or training or just plain ol' anomalies on the mental, physical or overall genetic level.
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#24
Alexjh

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I really hate the kind of race bonuses that make for minmaxer heaven like "race A gets a bonus for being class X". This effectively makes all other races taking this class subpar. It might sound like rambling at first, since no one actually restricts the player from choosing, say, an orc spellcaster, even though orcs come with with -4 modifier to the primary spellcaster stat. But there is really no point to such fantasy racism other than making minmaxers happier. And it does so at the expense of making those people who want to play extraordinarily smart orc unhappy, because they simply can't do that. Same goes for all class-specific bonuses.

If elves come with a bonus to destruction spells and mana regen, what's the point in making them warriors? Or rogues? Or anything else other than spellcasters? If orcs come with a strength bonus, increased axe damage, low intelligence and high strength (that's devs practically screaming in your face, "make him a fighter/barbarian, goddammit!") would you choose him to be a chanter even if you really want to? Chances are you're going to regret it at some point, especially if your low intelligence locks you out of some highest-level abilities or makes you unable to effect enemies to the same extent a "class-specific" race would have.

So yeah, I'm all for versatile bonuses to all races. Maybe even add a special affect to a class for every race. For instance, human spellcasters get a chance to place a nasty dot with every attacking spell, elf casters have a chance to restore a bit of their mana, and so on.


Well the answer to that is twofold:

1) Culturally you don't want all species to have the same balance of what classes they are suited to. To take your orc example, this is basically going to imply that Orc wizards are rarer than, say, human wizards, but that doesn't mean an Orc wizard is inherantly a bad wizard, just one that has to strive more to the higher spellcasting levels.

2) A system should be built so that different classes have multiple stats that benefit them. To take the Elf example of why would you build a wizard who wasn't an elf? In 3e you might want to build a gnome or dwarf wizard as you wanted a tough one, you might build a human one as you wanted that extra feat, you mgiht build a halfling one as you wanted that extra DEX and AC. The half-orc one is certainly the most challenging of the lot, but not impossible. Roleplaying shouldn't necessarily be about always takign the easiest choice, its abotu taking the choice you want to take.

#25
UpgrayeDD

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, no one's gonna make a Barbarian who runs around dual-wielding wands...

its been done

#26
TSBasilisk

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I like the idea of the bonus being race/class dependent. A human warrior gets better stamina, an elf warrior gets better dexterity, and a dwarf warrior gets better strength. All three have an advantage, but leaning towards a specific type of gameplay: The damage sponge, the fencer, and the breaker. Nothing prevents those stats from being useful in other builds, but it does reflect their race's mentality.

#27
Gavinfoxx

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I think racial bonuses should have some sort of ability, or access to different types of abilities, rather than (say) statistic bonuses. It should change how races play, rather than just being a minor bump in primary stats...

#28
TRX850

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In previous 3.5ed games like IWD2 and NWN1&2, the stat system pretty much coerced you into having even numbers because an odd number (one higher) gave the same bonus. IIRC they're now taking fractions into consideration in P:E, which is better.

And to add to the half-orc wizard example, if you could choose a background feat like Librarian or Scribe which gave bonuses to INT and Lore, it could counteract any racial penalty.

And for the Elf Fighter/Barbarian, if you chose Soldier or Prize Fighter as your background for example, then a bonus to STR and/or CON, or bonuses to Intimidate, Discipline or Parry would also counter things.

Let's be creative here and provide the player with options, rather than take options away.

#29
Lephys

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That's mostly a question of how class-specific stats are. Would I want a D&D sorceror with low Cha and high Str? Hell no. In a different system that may still be very playable though.


You make an excellent point, and a different handling of the stats and their affects on classes is something I'd love to see in P:E. It's come up in a lot of threads. However, he did say "-4 to the primary spellcaster stat," so he had that base covered. And most of our examples have been within the context of already-defined stat systems from previous games, rather than trying to assume whatever specific stat system P:E will use.


, no one's gonna make a Barbarian who runs around dual-wielding wands...

its been done


... I SAID NO ONE! 8)... I kid, haha. I'm actually bad about doing things like that sometimes, just for funsies. I typically don't do entire playthroughs like that or anything, though. Heh.

Edited by Lephys, 14 January 2013 - 04:31 PM.


#30
AGX-17

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I said this before in a more-or-less the same subject thread, but I think character creation should be more about background than race (with backgrounds to choose from like Arcanum, but with a better game to be in, with maybe the option to customize a background,) and various attributes and skills should be modified by the chosen background (which would also, ideally, be reflected in the narrative to some degree, i.e. imagine if in New Vegas you could choose to be a former Enclave soldier/descendent or banished BoS member and you would get totally different relationships with Arcade and the Remnants or Veronica and BoS, respectively.)

It admittedly makes some sense for different races to have different physical attributes, it's undeniable that say, an average Masai man living on the East African Savannah tends to be taller and lankier than, say, an average Taiwanese woman, but these shouldn't be as extreme/racist as they are in games like The Elder Scrolls ("black people, err... REDGUARDS are physically strong, and are well suited for manual labor due to their dull minds and great stamina,") so long as we're dealing with different "races" rather than different species.

If a Godlike or Aumaua is a different species from a Human or a Dwarf then it's fine for them to go nuts with different base stats. Nobody can reasonably argue that it's speciesist to say that an Elephant is orders of magnitude stronger than a human, or that a human is orders of magnitude more intelligent than a squirrel.

Edited by AGX-17, 14 January 2013 - 04:40 PM.


#31
Lephys

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The background over race approach for most of the bonuses does make a lot more sense, but it might be good to still have some of the options based on race. Maybe each race has 3-4 different backgrounds, with some overlap between them. For example, all races might be able to choose "Soldier" as their background, but they might still get slightly different bonuses because of the specifics of soldier life within the given culture and the physiological factors that affect that race's development of specific skills.

Just, if any race is going to get a bonus to a class aspect at all, such as magic, I'd like to see each race get a bonus to a different facet of magic. Then, the background thing makes sense, because if you grew up a soldier, and you're a Warrior now, why on earth would you have a greater number of spells per day? That would just be moot, within the realm of the game's mechanics, as it affects nothing either positively OR negatively. So, I would think it would be better for some racial difference to apply to an Aumaua who physically worked in the fields and joined an army and studied the sword/axe/flail since childhood than one who studied magic since childhood.

That's partially a logistical dilemma, though. Even though more spells per level might be a potential bonus for a character of that race, it just happens to not apply because of class/background and, therefore, doesn't really need to be shown to players who select a different class/background. *shrug*

#32
TRX850

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There is of course the subject of multi-classing though. It may be that you actually want all of the bonuses that don't seem to provide a benefit at first, yet it allows you to very craftily create a character build where eventually everything falls into place. If you want to be an Elven Bladesinger with both longsword and spellcasting abilities, then that's when it would make sense.

Same with an Aumauan Barbarian/Wizard combo. Or a Dwarven Sorcerer/Monk. <-- gah!

Edit:

I just realized Sorcerers aren't in P:E (yet?), so just substitute a non-archetypal class build in the above example.

Edited by TRX850, 14 January 2013 - 06:45 PM.


#33
Lephys

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True, but the principle remains the same whether or not mutli-classing is in. If it is, then clearly the parameters for the bonuses would be different, but still based on the same principle of non-exclusion.

#34
Sacred_Path

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You make an excellent point, and a different handling of the stats and their affects on classes is something I'd love to see in P:E. It's come up in a lot of threads. However, he did say "-4 to the primary spellcaster stat," so he had that base covered. And most of our examples have been within the context of already-defined stat systems from previous games, rather than trying to assume whatever specific stat system P:E will use.


Str could be the "primary fighter stat" too though (let's assume there's no 'finesse'), and still a high Dex, medium Str build might make sense for example (like getting better dodge values, or AoO's, etc.). So while Int or Cha could make a mage's spells more powerful, they might not be required to be able to cast any spells at all as in D&D. It's very early to speculate about P:E's stat system though, true.

#35
Helm

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@OP

Choose the standard class (which will probably be Humans), which will be good at everything but excel at nothing (and at the same still be the race of choice for certain classes).
Make a party full of Humans if you don't like making strategical choices. It will work.

Edited by Helm, 15 January 2013 - 03:18 AM.


#36
JFSOCC

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@OP

Choose the standard class (which will probably be Humans), which will be good at everything but excel at nothing (and at the same still be the race of choice for certain classes).
Make a party full of Humans if you don't like making strategical choices. It will work.

that's completely besides the point.
If you want to make an elf barbarian, but elves get -2 strength, you are basically crippling yourself. since barbarians rely on strength. Sure you can make a good barbarian with another race. But that means some classes will never be picked for some classes. that's the issue.
Sure you can make a better barbarian if you're an orc. But maybe I don't want to play orc, and I might want to be a barbarian.

So either balance racial traits so every class remains a viable option for every race, or restrict classes from the outset.
I prefer the first option

#37
Lephys

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@OP

Choose the standard class (which will probably be Humans), which will be good at everything but excel at nothing (and at the same still be the race of choice for certain classes).
Make a party full of Humans if you don't like making strategical choices. It will work.


So your suggestion, in the matter of how to best determine (in the design of the game) the specifics of the racial bonuses for all available races in the game is to make sure the Humans don't get any bonuses (or penalties, for that matter) and not worry about the rest of the races? I wasn't aware that the desire to discuss design potential design possibilities in a "cRPG (Gameplay & Mechanics)" discussion forum somehow inferred that I "don't like making strategical choices." By the way... Humans aren't a class.

Thank you, though, for that extremely useful contribution to the discussion, Helm. I really appreciate all the effort you put into making sure you don't ever hop into completely optional discussions only to suggest that discussing is stupid. You need a trophy or medal or something.

Edited by Lephys, 15 January 2013 - 05:36 PM.






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