Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

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Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:05 pm

Yo folks, some of you might have heard about this by now - but I've enjoyed playing in Pony Tales so much that I'm building a slightly modified version of the rules to run my college D&D Campaigns as well. However, those adventures are set in such worlds as Dragonreach and Evertide (my custom campaign settings) rather than Equestria - and thus one of the changes is that I need to remake the races to work for Humans, Dwarves, Elves and so on. I'm trying to keep things as close as possible to Pony Tales' races, but there are some key changes that make that impossible.

1) Everyone has a Cutie Mark. It's just called an Expert Skill in Living Legends (the non-pony system's playtest name).

2) There are no race-specific utility talents. Everyone can take any talent they like.

3) The flavor of Humans, Dwarves and Elves is just plain different than unicorns, pegasai, griffons etc. It doesn't always fit or make sense.

Spoiler:

Human
Naturally Skilled
Humans are quick-learners and quick to pick up new trades. Humans gain an additional utility talent at character creation.

Champion of Humanity
Whenever a human rolls a natural 19 using its Expert Skill, it treats the result as if it had rolled a natural 20.


Dwarf
Dwarves are tough as stone and twice as stubborn. Once they set their minds onto something, they won't rest until it's done, even if it takes a lifetime.

Heavy Labor
Dwarven culture emphasizes hard work and unrelenting pursuit of mastery of its members’ chosen disciplines. Dwarves gain an additional 2 attribute points at creation.

Fire the Forge
It is said that dwarves were forged from the very bones of the earth. If true, this might explain the phenomenal dwarven capacity to perform incredible feats without showing the exhaustion of members of the other races. During character creation, a dwarf can choose one of its Magic talents. Once per day, the dwarf can use that talent without spending a Magic point.


Elf
Graceful, long-lived and ever-youthful, the fair folk are rarely spoken of without either a tone of respect or else, especially amongst dwarves, an exaggerated eye-roll.

Voice of Experience
Elves can speak with authority on a vast number of subjects, and their lectures on the same can be almost painfully informative. At the beginning of the day, choose one of your trained skills. Until the end of the day, your allies are considered trained in that skill.

Ancient Knowledge
Elves can live up to three hundred years if a sword, spell or disease does not claim their lives first. With this lifespan come a wealth of time to master many crafts. Elves gain the Freaky Knowledge utility talent as a racial trait.


Hawkling
Hawklings resemble humans with bird wings, windblown hair, yellow eyes and almost hawkish features. Free-spirited and lightning-quick, Hawklings can often be spotted pinwheeling through the skies near tall cities, cliffs and any other place with open sky and tall objects to rest on.

Flight
Hawklings can walk on clouds and fly with poor maneuverability (you take -10 penalty to precision and brawn skills while flying). It takes practice to fly with grace and options for that appear in the utility talents.

Fast As Lightning
- Magic
Legends say that Hawklings can fly at the speed of lightning and it’s true that Hawklings can reach blisteringly fast speeds for very short amounts of time. By spending a Magic Point, a Hawkling can fly at a rate of a 50 miles-per-second for the next minute. However, few Hawklings can endure a full minute at this pace. Flying at this blistering speed is incredibly dangerous; a Hawkling takes 1d20 damage for each second spent flying at this speed.


Minotaur
Half bull and half man, Minotaurs are large and in charge. Often boisterous and imposing, Minotaurs are often excellent at motivating others and getting their way in tough situations. Try taking this bull by the horns sometime, you’ll probably make his day.

Raw Ferocity
A minotaur doesn’t accept defeat because of little things like, ‘reality’. No, a minotaur grits its teeth and roars, powering through such petty obstacles with sheer force of will. If a minotaur would get a natural 1 on a skill check, the minotaur may take 1d20 damage to reroll the check.

Taking The Bull By The Horns – 1/Day
Trigger – The DM makes a D20 roll and you dislike the result
You can tell the DM to treat the result of the d20 roll as a natural 1. No rerolls are possible.


Baby Dragon [Created by XandZero2 and Philadelphus]
Baby Dragons are rare and Baby Dragons living outside their dragon families are even rarer. While their full-grown forms might be firebreathing monstrosities with scales that make iron look like putty - Baby Dragons are downright adorable as well an inspiring presence to any group they spend time with.

Fireborn
Baby dragons are immune to any heat below the level of an adult dragon's breath, including natural fire and lava. Baby dragons can also create puffs of flame at will. These puffs of flame are identical to a torch in many respects and are capable of burning objects and lighting fires outside of combat just as a torch might. Puffs of flame are ordinary fire, they extinguish quickly without tinder.

Spyrotechnics
- At Will
Preparation Time - 6 Seconds
A baby dragon can turn a puff of its flame into either a burst of blinding fireworks (blinding all creatures that see it within 120-ft of the fire source) or a thick cloud of smoke (extending 20 feet in all directions from the fire source and lasting 18 seconds).

Dragon’s Grandeur
Baby dragons provide a +1 morale bonus to the skill checks of all allies that can see it.


Wolven
A type of wolf humanoid.
Pack Mentality
Wolven are versatile and their ability to learn quickly makes them excellent at supporting their allies. Whenever a wolf successfully aids a creature on a skill check, the wolf provides a +4 bonus instead of a +2 bonus.

Howl of the Beast - 1/Day
A wolven can let out a mighty howl, terrifying target creature for one minute. Creatures gain +5 to persuasion checks when attempting to intimidate a terrified creature.


Gnome
Personal Project
Gnomish culture is obsessed with crafting bizarre new inventions. You’ve crafted a ‘personal project’ for your own uses. If your personal project is destroyed, you may spend your time during an extended rest rebuilding it. Your personal project is an item with the following criteria.

Personal Project - Item
At creation, choose two utility talents. This item allows its wielder to use those utility talents as long as they meet the prerequisites. However, each time the item is used - the wielder must roll a d100. On an 80 or higher, the Personal Project explodes in an almost ludicrously destructive fashion - dealing 2d20+10 damage to the wielder and 2d20 damage to any other creature within 50 feet.

Gnomish Trick - Magic
Your illusionary magic may change the appearance of all objects and terrain features within 50 feet of you - making them look, smell, sound, and sometimes even feel like something else. For example, you could make a flask of acid look like a bottle of wine, or make a priceless artifact look and feel like a clumsy wood carving.

Roll a d20+15. This number becomes the DC for a creature to see through your deceoption (using a Perception check). A creature automatically sees through the illusion if it takes damage from a disguised object or disguised terrain (such as walking on an illusory carpet that is actually lava).

The effect of your Gnomish Trick ends after 5 minutes.

My current questions/concerns regarding the races are as follows.

1) The elf race currently sucks. Need to fix that.

2) Should the minotaur's, "Taking the Bull by the Horns" trait be a Magic or still just a Daily?

3) Can the minotaur's, "Raw Ferocity" trait be improved somehow? Seems weird/breakable right now. I like the basic idea of it though. Perhaps change it to a bonus when attempting tasks with DCs of 30 or higher?

4) Is the wolven race cool yet?

5) Is the gnomish race design even sane?

6) Seriously, how do we fix elves? We could move the Dwarven, "Fire the Forge" ability to them - makes sense they'd have kinship for Magic - but then the dwarves would need something new anyway. Doesn't solve the problem.

If you'd like to help out developing these races/adding more, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  SilentBelle on Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:22 pm

Just a small thought that occurs to me while quickly skimming that list over. One thing in particular struck me, (and I'm pretty sure you've probably already considered this) you said that there are no race-specific utility talents, which is good. But it does create some complications. Now, here's an idea that came to me in regard to all the unicorn talents, how about if you have a utility talent that allows the equivalent of ponykinesis and basic magic cantrips which you would use as a precursor to any of the unicorn's talents. Those talent would be a shame to be rid of. (Though I'm not quite certain if you could salvage as many of the pegasus talents so readily)

I'll keep an eye on this project of yours and add contributions every now and then, colour me intrigued. Maybe in half a year my group might decide to give it a shot once our current campaign finishes up.

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:27 pm

SilentBelle wrote:Just a small thought that occurs to me while quickly skimming that list over. One thing in particular struck me, (and I'm pretty sure you've probably already considered this) you said that there are no race-specific utility talents, which is good. But it does create some complications. Now, here's an idea that came to me in regard to all the unicorn talents, how about if you have a utility talent that allows the equivalent of ponykinesis and basic magic cantrips which you would use as a precursor to any of the unicorn's talents. Those talent would be a shame to be rid of. (Though I'm not quite certain if you could salvage as many of the pegasus talents so readily)

I'll keep an eye on this project of yours and add contributions every now and then, colour me intrigued. Maybe in half a year my group might decide to give it a shot once our current campaign finishes up.

Yep, we have utility talents for telekinesis, flight, weather-crafting - the whole shebang. =)

Here's a link to the current Living Legends Player's Handbook, for those that would like to see for themselves. It's not fully developed yet, as my current struggles with the races make obvious, but it's already being playtested. We're having a ton of fun with it too. Also, we're currently developing a board-based version of the combat system for those that want more traditional tabletop play.


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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Zarhon on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:44 am

Hmm. Perhaps you could have players assign themselves as "fighters", "rogues", "magicians" or "psions" at character creation, which would affect what types of utility talents they can take / have to take?

"Fighters" can take any talent that isn't for unicorns, in other words, 5 everypony/pegasus talents.

"Rogues" are forced to take one pegasus talent OR one unicorn talent that doesn't require magic points + 4 other everypony/pegasus ones.

"Magicians" are forced to take at least two unicorn talents + 3 other everypony/pegasus ones.

"Psions" are forced to take at least three unicorn talents, one of which costs a magic point to use + 2 other unicorn/everypony talents.

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:38 pm

Zarhon wrote:Hmm. Perhaps you could have players assign themselves as "fighters", "rogues", "magicians" or "psions" at character creation, which would affect what types of utility talents they can take / have to take?

Definitely possible. But why would that be a good thing?

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Jason Shadow on Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:22 pm

I'd certainly love to help with this, and apparently you really, really want help with the elf race, so I'll throw my two cents in, regarding that.

...Hmm, it does seem tough thinking up something for them. Really, all we know about them (according to this) is that they're long-lived, long-winded, and perhaps a little inherently magical. That's not much to go on.

Now that I think about it, if we ignore the Drow, then the codified "fantasy elf" falls into one of three archtypes. Can these elves be considered "Sylvan Elves"; dwelling in huge forest-cities and seamlessly melding with the natural world? Are they "Lofty Elves"; arrogant schemers at the center of every metropolis and royal court, expertly pulling and plucking at the "strings" of those around them? Or are they "Sidhe Elves"; capricious, enigmatic, and enchanting members of the Fae? I realize that you want to leave it as ambiguous as possible in order to maximize the potential for PC and DM "flavor", but a simple word or two of direction can go a long way.

Well, here's a couple of somewhat-generic (though flavorful) ideas for elf racials anyway. Feel free to add or switch them with the current ones as you see fit.

Enchanting Glamour - 3/Day
Your elven blood gives you an innate, albeit modest, control over mind-altering magic. Pick one of the effects from the list below. When you use this ability on a creature, that effect occurs. The selected effect is chosen at character creation and cannot be changed.
Charm - Target creature regards you as a very dear friend for five minutes. While it retains its original alleigiances, it will obey most suggestions and instructions from you, so long as they are not something that they wouldn't normally do for a friend.
Memory Lapse - Target creature forgets everything that has experienced in the last five minutes, and acts accordingly.
Slumber - Target creature falls asleep for five minutes, and cannot be roused by anything short of supernatural means.
This ability cannot be used during combat. [OPTIONAL ADDENDUM: The duration of every effect increases to fifteen minutes at Level 5, and further to fourty-five minutes at Level 10.]

Little Helpers - 1/Day
Whether they are woodland animals, a troop of pixies, or a band of imps, you may summon a small group of creatures to do your bidding. While they will not fight for you, they can fetch objects; deliver written messages; open doors; clean; mend; and perform other forms of menial labor. Due to their small size, all of them must focus on a single task at the same time. They will assist you for one hour; at the end of this time, they return to whence they came.

Huh, maybe these would work better as utilities. Oh, well. I'll keep thinking about it, and if I come up with something more, then I'll be sure to mention it.


Last edited by Jason Shadow on Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Xel Unknown on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:15 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:
Zarhon wrote:Hmm. Perhaps you could have players assign themselves as "fighters", "rogues", "magicians" or "psions" at character creation, which would affect what types of utility talents they can take / have to take?

Definitely possible. But why would that be a good thing?
For one thing, I for one think it'd help add more flavor to the "Fantasy Races" and help limit their choices So they have special choices to pick out Utility Talents? Cause if they can just pick any old talent they want from any race they run the risk of feeling just being like a non-shapeshifting changling I'd bet. Also add a feel that they're different then the normal Equestria Races for the setting adding to the Otherworldlyness that I'd guess they could use cause ideally they're just D&D characters that have somehow ended up in Equestria and their bodies and magic are now following new rules or something like that I gather?

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Zarhon on Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:58 pm

Is there a specific reason why the flight talents have been added another "tier" of flying? As they stand, there's virtually no reason to take the advanced flying utilities as a non-hawkling, due to the sheer amount of talents you use up in the process (You need all 5 talents to get a meager +5 bonus to flying checks, or 4 talents to avoid having a penalty. And since this is flying, a failed check due to a penalty can kill you).

At best, someone would take the lowest tier flying to just gain the wimpy flight ability (because it's still better than zero flight ability, utility-wise) and simply avoid making any checks with it whenever possible.

Non-hawkling races that want to fly either have huge penalties (making it dangerous and not worth using for skill checks), or are one-skill wonders that are good for flying and nothing else (which usually leads to boring characters and/or bored players).

Regarding the elves, I got a few ideas:

Big giant ears - Passive/Daily
Sure, elves may be mocked regularly due to their rather large ears (especially by dwarves), but the benefits granted by them more than make up for it. You automatically detect when a non-miniscule* object or creature generates a noise (through movement or other noise-creating action), within 30 feet of you. Identifying the cause, source, direction or other qualities of the noise requires a DC20 perception check. Once a day, you can listen carefully, doing one of the following:
- Extending the range of the ability to 100 feet, for one minute.
- Allowing you to fully identify noises within 30 feet (as though you rolled a critical success), for the next 30 seconds.

Tranquil- 3/day
When making a skill check, you can choose to negate penalties caused by interference, interruptions, personal afflictions/ailments or similar factors that might hamper your skill attempt** and make critical failures have no extra negative effects for that check. This does not negate penalties caused by the nature of the attempted skill, or your method to perform it***, nor does it grant immunity to the effects of ailments, afflictions or similar effects.****

* Anything larger than a common insect.
** For instance, ignoring the discomfort caused by tear gas, whilst trying to unlock a door, or .
*** Such as lack of skill, lack of knowledge, faulty/improper tool use, or attempting to do a sight-mandatory task whilst blind)
**** Using this while being lit on fire does not prevent damage/hp loss/losing consciousness/death from the fire, it only removes penalties caused by the fire burning you.

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Re: Stairc's Personal Project - Core Fantasy Races

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 pm

Great thoughtful responses guys. I'll respond to them when I get some more time. For now, Just going to shoot off a quick reply to Xel.

Xel Unknown wrote:Definitely possible. But why would that be a good thing?
For one thing, I for one think it'd help add more flavor to the "Fantasy Races" and help limit their choices.[/quote]

I'm not sure how it would do that, since it sounds like the suggestion involves picking a class - which would be independent of race. But let's assume you're talking about race-specific utility talents again, so I can respond meaningfully - since it sounds like that's what you're talking about.

Xel Unknown wrote:So they have special choices to pick out Utility Talents?

We definitely might make some race-specific talents, but as a genuine principle I like to avoid that whenever possible. Every race-specific talent cuts down the cool character building options. If a talent can be taken by everyone, it can go in 6x as many builds (as there are six races). If it's race-specific, only 1/6th as many players can take it. So if I'm going to cut options away from 5/6ths (more later, as we're going to add more races) of the players - it seriously limits the possibilities of the system and requires many, many more talents being designed than otherwise to make the options feel expansive. Also, it doesn't make much sense - as the system is all about malleable flavor for talents. If you're supposed to rename and reflavor your talents at will, how can we say something is race-specific? Just last night, Karilyn tried out a minotaur called, "Bovine Fett" with flight - flavoring her ability to fly as a jetpack. I don't think her experience would have been improved by telling her she couldn't take flight.

Xel Unknown wrote:Cause if they can just pick any old talent they want from any race they run the risk of feeling just being like a non-shapeshifting changling I'd bet.

Well, the changelings are actually one of my ways to cheat the limits of the race-specific talent system to give players more options. Changelings in most settings don't have such abilities anyway, it was just a convenient excuse to let players take extra talents in Pony Tales. In the core fantasy version of the game, there wouldn't be any need for changelings to have that special ability. They'd get something else instead.

Ultimately, it sounds like you want the races to feel flavorful (as do I!) and are trying to make sure they do by giving them special utility talents. However, I think we can make them feel flavorful by just giving them special racial traits... Which are kind of like special-utility-talents-you-get-for-free anyways. jocolor

Is there a specific reason why the flight talents have been added another "tier" of flying?

Just because I feel that it makes sense for Hawklings to be much better fliers than the competition. If others fly, I expect it to take a lot more investment than a hawkling. I'd like to open the option for players to take a flight skill or two, but I'd still like Hawklings to have a superb natural advantage. Hence the extra tier of flying. I'm not sure this is the right decision, it might be overkill, but it seems solid in principle. It definitely limits other races ability to fly, but not quite so much as making it utterly impossible for them to fly in the first place. I think it makes sense for flight to be somewhat special.

JasonShadow wrote:Well, here's a couple of somewhat-generic (though flavorful) ideas for elf racials anyway. Feel free to add or switch them with the current ones as you see fit.

I really like them as utilities, with perhaps some polishing of course.

Zarhon wrote:Big ears and similar ideas

These are interesting too. Thanks everyone, I'll play around with em more.

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