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 Post subject: [5e] Hoi Lan Fa Races
PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:26 pm 
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So I'm thinking about running a Hoi Lan Fa 5e game but the setting is close to the kitchen sink approach towards D&D races. Specifically, there are a number of races ranging from important to unnecessary that are missing from the PHB for Fifth Edition.

These are:
  • Deva
  • Warforged
  • Goblin
  • Gnoll
  • Minotaur
  • Goliath
  • Shifter

So I think warforged is actually in the DMG coming out soon, as is playing the monster races, so that includes goblins, gnolls, and/or minotaurs? Shifters are easily cut out. Goliaths are also not immediately necessary, but deva are very important.

I was actually thinking about making deva 'reverse' tieflings?
Quote:
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Size. Deva are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your celestial heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Heavenly Resistance. You have resistance to radiant damage.
Astral Legacy. You know the light cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the bless spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the calm emotions spell once per day. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.

I was also thinking about giving the 'minor' races (tiefling, half-orc, half-elf) alternative ability score increases like the 'major' races do.

Anyway, thoughts and stuff.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:56 pm 
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Actually, since I'm putting in the time, maybe do something more different.

Quote:
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Size. Deva are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Astral Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.
Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes At the end of a long rest, you may choose a skill, tool set, musical instrument, or weapon. You gain proficiency with your choice until your next long rest.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.
I have no idea how to balance races in this edition.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:43 pm 
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May make a recommendation? While I appreciate you were going for a 'reverse tiefling' as your starting template have you considered giving the Deva the 'Guidance' cantrip rather then 'Light'? The +1d4 roll is mechanically similar to their old 'Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes' ability (albeit not as a free action) and it would make sense in fluff that they can call upon many lifetimes worth of experience to both aid themselves and help guide others.

If we're talking past-life experiences and long-time servants of the deities perhaps 'Augury' in place of 'Calm Emotions'? Giving them a direct line to get a hint from the gods (for whom they are servitors) would be quite in character I feel.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:50 pm 
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Yeah, so I started out with Guidance, but the problem is that the two spells I found that were level 1 but castable as a level 2 spell were Bless and Cure wounds. I wasn't sure about a healing spell for every deva and Bless hits the same note as Guidance. I didn't want that kind of redundancy?

I forget why I dismissed Augury, which is something I wanted to do too. I think maybe the same reason, because it hit the same note even though it's mechanically very different. I'll go with Augury instead, if I do use that version of deva.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:06 pm 
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Hmm. If you're looking to avoid redundancy with your cantrip have you considered 'Command' as your 1st level spell? A sort of 'draw upon spark of divinity to speak divine commandment' thing? Let's you get Guidance in without it conflicting with Bless while still hitting the 'impossibly ancient divine servant' flavour thing.

I fully agree with you avoiding Cure Light Wounds incidentally.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:23 am 
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Yeah, Command could work.

What do you think of the second version?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Hmm. As far as the second version I'm in much the same boat regarding balancing races are you are. At a glance I feel it could use one other ability to help round it out and make it feel a little more substantial.

For what there is I really like 'Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes' from a mechanical perspective though I'm a little less keen on the fluff side of it. The idea of a deva, knowing they are going into negotiations tomorrow, mediating for a few hours and then knowing how to be a diplomat just seems a little off to me. I always interpreted the devas memories as a sort of pre-training; like they would start work as a blacksmith and suddenly find themselves getting really good at it really quick because a past life was a blacksmith and his memories are leaking in. But that may just be my interpretation of the race though.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Yeah. There is the more direct translation of the 4e ability: "Once per day, you may add your proficiency bonus to an attack or ability roll. You may do this before or after you make the roll [and you may do this even if you already added your proficiency bonus to that roll?]."

It's hard to make it feel spontaneous without creating like a RNG factor.

"At the end of a long rest, roll on the following table. You gain the proficiencies and features associated with the rolled background until the end of your next long rest. [Insert table with the backgrounds in the PHB]."

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:38 pm 
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...you know that just gave me an idea. I completely forgot we actually had Backgrounds as a thing in 5E. You could very well tie the ability into that. Make it a passive that grants them two backgrounds or something (okay that may be a bit much). How about something like this;

Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes: Choose a background. You gain the Skill and Tool proficiencies of the chosen background.

I can't see it being hugely unbalanced (Half-Elves after all get two skill proficiencies of their choice as standard). I did consider tying it to the backgrounds Feature but most of them seem to rely on contacts or positions you would no longer have in your new body.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:23 pm 
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Yeah, you don't think it's too much just to get most of a second background? Thanks for all your input on this, Garren!

Quote:
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1, and your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Alignment. Deva are strongly inclined toward good as living incarnations of the divine.
Size. Deva are about the same size and build as humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Astral Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic and radiant damage.
Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes. Choose a second background. You gain the skill and tool proficiencies of the chosen background.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.


Setting-Specific Version

I kinda threw the subraces together really quickly.

I don't think elves are actually considered fey in this edition. Would it break anything to make them fey and deva celestial?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:59 pm 
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DS wrote:
Yeah, you don't think it's too much just to get most of a second background? Thanks for all your input on this, Garren!

It's no problem really. And no I think the balance will be fine. While true in most cases you will grab 3 proficiencies from the ability the fact that they are set in stone rather then the flexible choices Half-Elves get keeps them fair. In most cases they will have the same Skill proficiencies as a H-Elf for all intents and purposes.

DS wrote:
I don't think elves are actually considered fey in this edition. Would it break anything to make them fey and deva celestial?

All the player races are humanoid this time around though honestly Creature Type means far less then it did in previous editions. Only situation that could arise by having Deva be Celestials and Elves be Fey is if your players get cute and say 'my deva is a celestial, not a humanoid, and is therefore immune to Charm Person' - which is technically correct as far as RAW goes. You could easily just hand-wave that though; Planescape did the same thing for all it's weird celestial/fiend/elemental races so there is precedent for it.

As for your sub-races I'd need a little more info on what exactly the differences are to make any fluff recommendations. Based purely on mechanics though;
Wakulima
Looks good to me. Advantage on Knowledge checks is really useful without hitting the same issue you get from advantage on physical or social skills - sees enough play and use without just flat making you better then your associates. Don't foresee any balance issues here.

Wapigani
I'd avoid v2 just because at that point your average Deva is going to have 6-7 skill proficiencies regardless of class. That isn't terrible it's just getting a little redundant - given that 5 of them will be set in stone your going to have skills overlapping at that point. v1 and v2 honestly don't have enough difference for me; Survival is basically Tracking, Foraging and Hazard-Spotting. Granting advantage to two but not the third seems like it would cause more issues then it would solve - especially when players want to know what they can follow an owlbears tracks but not notice which of two caves it's living in.

Wasafiri
I'm guessing these guys are outriders or cavalry or some such? Anyway v2 has the same issue I mentioned above. Of them all I prefer the 'prof. bonus on Con saves vs forced marches' thing the most. Advantage is troublesome when applied to physical skills and, if the player is going to pick this sub-race with the intention of being mounted, will probably pick a class or background which grants animal handling anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:23 pm 
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The three groups are divided based on what they see as the reason for their presence in the material world and what their role there is.

The wakulima see themselves as cultivators, that they will achieve divinity through building up the base, so they are the city-builders and agriculturalists (orchardists, specifically). They are associated with trees. They are the most social and create institutions and other hallmarks of society.

The wapigani see themselves as purifiers, that they will achieve divinity through purging themselves and the world of evil. They are semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers who will travel between seasonal village-bases. They are associated with bees, honey being one of the foods they gather. They are also the most martial, carrying the equivalent of crusades at times against evil neighbors (goblins and gnolls).

The wasafiri see themselves as transcendentalists, that they will achieve divinity through asceticism and truthseeking. They live as nomadic pastoralists, driving their livestock around as they travel the continent and the seas. Even though they see more of the world than the other groups, they are the most introverted, seeking self-perfection through understanding rather than trying to affect the world like the other groups. Most deva in Hoi Lan Fa are from this group, since the dwarves culled their herds to try to force them to settle down.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:44 pm 
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I started making a gnoll pc race for Zau Gwai but then I realized I should look at what gnolls do in the new Monster Manual.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Was also the first thing I looked up - or more accurately monster races in general. I'll be interested in seeing how the DMG handles them (if it does at all) since the MM doesn't give you much to go on.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:57 pm 
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So, my gnolls obviously diverge a lot from these gnolls, but that has always been true, I guess. I do like how hyenas who eat flesh killed by the fang become gnolls themselves.

I'm thinking, +2 Str, +1 Con, darkvision, the rampage ability in the MM, and can cast Minor illusion at will but only to create illusory sounds but with a bonus to perfectly mimic known sounds or voices. I like gnolls having that ventriloquism ability. Dex is the obvious second ability boost, but I like Con to give gnolls more resistance to **** they eat.

This book is so gorgeous.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:31 am 
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If I can add to this:
1)
Goliath: in the new free player's companion for dnd this appeared:
"Goliath Traits
Goliaths share a number of traits in common
with each other.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score
increases by 2, and your Constitution score
increases by 1.

Age. Goliaths have lifespans comparable to humans.
They enter adulthood in their late teens and usually live
less than a century.

Alignment. Goliath society, with its clear roles
and tasks, has a strong lawful bent. The goliath
sense of fairness, balanced with an emphasis on selfsufficiency
and personal accountability, pushes them
toward neutrality.

Size. Goliaths are between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh
between 280 and 340 pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Natural Athlete. You have proficiency in the
Athletics skill.

Stone’s Endurance. You can focus yourself to
occasionally shrug off injury. When you take damage,
you can use your reaction to roll a d12. Add your
Constitution modifier to the number rolled, and reduce
the damage by that total. After you use this trait, you
can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when
determining your carrying capacity and the weight you
can push, drag, or lift.

Mountain Born. You’re acclimated to high altitude,
including elevations above 20,000 feet. You’re also
naturally adapted to cold climates, as described in
chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write
Common and Giant"


2)
I didn't get to play during 4th edition so I have a radically different look on Deva, could you please describe them a little for me

From what I've seen thus far into 5th edition is that Cha stat is used to show the measure of conviction and the Deva as you describe them as sub species seem characterized by their beliefs

I would suggest the following

Deva: +2 Cha

wakulima: +1 Int

wapigani: +1 (Str or) Con

wasafiri: +1 Wis

As a side note since some backgrounds add more skills than others it would be better to limit the number of skills gained to two maximum. Since there already exists a feat granting three new skills I would suggest something like granting the Deva one tool or language proficiency and any one other skill. Or perhaps one of each, a language a tool and a skill proficiency. On a side note the guidance cantrip can very well interpret the Deva connection to his former life. You don't need to add different spells to all the Deva subraces. For example high elves only gain one cantrip.

3)Gnolls also exist in the dmg
The suggested traits for NPC are +2 Str and -2 Int as well as 60ft darkvision and the Rampage ability which practically adds +2 to damage dealt.

You could turn that to +2 Str and +1 Dex or Con, You could add the poison resistance bonus rather than add a Con bonus if you only want to grant them resistance to what they eat. I would also suggest an ability that grants advantage at Survival checks or the ability to track by scent, or even something like pack tactics gaining advantage in some rolls when done in collaboration or with an ally present

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