View Full Version : Lions, Tigers, and Bears

10-08-2009, 11:22 AM
How's the $E crowd handling the new core races so far? Integrating all of them? Leaving most in the book?

It's a little too Narnia for me. For those tough-skinned, conservative DMs running it, how's it going over when you tell your new player, "we don't allow your kind here?"

For the cosmopolitans, are the races thoroughly xenophobic? Egalitarian? And how do the monsters feel with all the new privileged-races running around?



10-08-2009, 02:11 PM
It's a little too Narnia for me.

Yeah. The first time I took a good look, I imagined a whole world like the Star Wars bar scene.

10-09-2009, 12:40 AM
The races are fine by and large. The balance between them is good enough that I don't see any instant "Must have over all other choices" points.

I think that their use is more about the individual DM and what he makes welcome at the table. For people who love the idea of Narnia type settings; there is definitely a lot to work with. For people who want something more conservative, the advantage is that there is a lot to choose from and it's all easy pickings so you can quickly isolate the races that fit your campaign best and move along.

Grandore The Giant Killer
10-09-2009, 03:40 PM
I'm sorry but what book are you talking about and what races exactly?

10-09-2009, 06:40 PM
The core races, i.e. the ones in the PHB1. But if you're feeling froggy, and if they exist, the races in PHB2 and PHB3 as well.

Grandore The Giant Killer
10-09-2009, 07:32 PM
PHB 1: Nothing really new introduced here. Other than them fleshing out the Tiefling and Dragonborn races more.

PHB 2: I love the new variety they added. Goliaths are awesome and my personal favorite race. The Shifters are a cool fun race. Devas are a great rival to the Tiefling and is by far the best for any divine class.

Eberron PHB: I love the Warforged. They make an interesting race because other characters look at you and are like "What in the hell are you?!". Changelings are extremely fun too because there feats can be utilized so good. I'm holding off on Kalashtars until PHB 3 is released with the Psionic classes.

PHB 3: I can't say much yet. the only races confirmed are the Minotaurs which seems to be a long time coming, Githzerai which sounds like a perfect race for Psionics, and the Wilden I am not really too sure about. Plant people? Really? Sounds a bit out there but I am keeping an open mind.

10-12-2009, 11:08 AM
None of my players have expressed an interest in the new races (beyond the new ones in PHB1) at all. Let's see, of all the people that have played (or almost played) in my 4e game, I have had:

3 dragonborn
2 tieflings
1 elf
1 half-elf
1 dwarf
3 humans

Nothing of any other race.

On the subject of race menageries, one of my (very few) house rules is getting rid of the Heal skill- it's just too hard to fit into skill challenges, so people who take it usually regret it. The functionality of that skill is now covered in the knowledge skill that you would normally use for the target creature type (stretched to mean the creature type that race is based on, that is, so Dragons for Dragonborn and Undead for Shadar-Kai), so to heal a given creature, you need:

Nature (most PC races)
Religion (Deva, Shadar-Kai)
Arcana (Dragonborn, Elf, Eladrin, Drow, Genasi)

and so on... No call for Dungeoneering so far, since nothing is really Aberrant yet, but I'm giving it time...

10-14-2009, 07:26 PM
Minotaurs? Plant people? Starting to remind me of WoW now. But then, I guess we've seen that complaint before.

Next question: earlier editions didn't restrict abnormal races. Nor did they solicit them, as 4.0 does. Is it a boon that 4.0 adds multiracial flavor to the generic setting, or a bust?

What does freeing up racial selection do to the way the game is played?

10-14-2009, 10:11 PM
We have been down this very road (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Book_of_Humanoids) in second edition. No, the Complete Book of Humanoids isn't quite the same as 4th edition in terms of the races it made viable as player characters; but the impact and diversity it created posed the same questions.

Choices are always good. They allow a DM to pick and choose the most appropriate items for their own settings, and then everything else can be set to the side. I ruled out most of the races in the Complete Book of Humanoids, because they were not right in my setting at the time (and in some cases not even present). The same can be done just as easy with all the races for 4th ed.

The game I run currently, it's set for the races from the PHB and PHBII. Races in PHBII are going to fall into the exception zone, which means they aren't really welcome unless you convince me to make an exception that works with the setting. I don't feel bad about that; and if I come up with a new setting in the future, I may pick from the PHBIII and skip on some from a prior edition, who knows?

It's the choice that matters. Having many things to choose from is a win.

Grandore The Giant Killer
10-15-2009, 12:15 PM
I don't see what is so complicated about encorporating other races.

Deva: Holy people. Usually are found in churches or holy lands.

Goliath: These brutes usually are up in the mountains. They also would be good characters to be found in ana arena or fighters guild.

Shifter: Half Man Half animal... The wild is natural for them. So these guys tend to stick to the forested areas. They would be in good terms with druids.

Changeling: This race is a real pain in the royal ass. A Changeling thief is borderline unstoppable.

Warforged: This is the jack of all trades race in a way. It can be a barbarian, druid, or some magic user. It's capable of many things but yet it's not even a humanoid. You can make these guys servants of some alchemist or some other type of character.

See? I think people are putting more thought into this than what is really necesary.

10-15-2009, 11:57 PM
The key is that some of us really derive a lot of pleasure from thinking too much about our world and how all the little pieces work together. ;)

10-16-2009, 06:48 PM
The key is that some of us really derive a lot of pleasure from thinking too much about our world and how all the little pieces work together. ;)

I'm with ya, Grimwell. Although I think Tesral has me beat on thinking too much.

Incorporating races is tricky for a DM who uses ecology, economics and sociology. What's the effect of creating a sentient race that lives in the wild? What's their effect on unintelligent wild-dwellers? What sort of conflict erupts when non-wild dwellers start to encroach on the resources of the wild dwellers?

If your DM isn't minding the details, then sure, you can have a fun game. But some things just won't add up, and that could leave players wondering what they can deduce, and what they just have to take at face value.

10-17-2009, 02:38 PM
Incorporating races is tricky for a DM who uses ecology, economics and sociology. What's the effect of creating a sentient race that lives in the wild? What's their effect on unintelligent wild-dwellers? What sort of conflict erupts when non-wild dwellers start to encroach on the resources of the wild dwellers?

Assuming you even get that far. You'd have to tackle, "How can 20+ intelligent races share a planet?" first.

10-19-2009, 09:07 AM
Through conflict and war! Kill the elves, the pointy ears tell you they are eeeeeviiiiiiiilllllllll!


10-19-2009, 04:05 PM
That would seem to imply that they *wouldn't* share the planet.

10-21-2009, 09:06 AM
How do 20+ inteligent raced share the world?

The same way several hundread different countries share ours. Through guile, political manuvering, the occasional war, spys, complex alliances and treties, and of course the concept of MAD. Mutually Assured Destruction is not just for science based realities.

As for my two cents on incorporating races, I like having them all. I over think my worlds, but I preffer instead of deciding how it works then adding in where races and classes fit to look at the races and asking, how do all these fit together? Just how rare are Devas? How insular are Dragonborn? Is the new race that this book intoduced already a part of this kingdom somewhere, or are they new to this part of the world and how will people respond to them? Will people treat the Warforged as a inteligent being, or assume its just a Golem the party owns? And one of my favorites, will the city guard make the party register the Kobold, Shifter, or Minotaur as a slave and consider them responsable for all thier acts cause they are considered dumb beasts in that area?

10-22-2009, 02:05 AM
If you've got dozens of races hostile to one another, something fun to play with is extinct races. I once read a (rather bad) fantasy setting in which Halflings were wiped out. In 4th ed, the Illumians are gone- I'll be playing with that one myself soon.

There should be a lot more to extinct races than just undead versions of same, but those could make for some good cannon fodder in the meantime. Undead Illumians makes me think a super-intelligent undead- so, you'd wind up with undead Wizards, Swordmages, Bards, and... (hey, there's no Int-based striker yet, is there?), that the party has to deal with while exploring their ruins, looking for magical secrets that are otherwise lost...

10-23-2009, 05:35 PM
How do 20+ inteligent raced share the world?

Back in 2E, they shared the world through a meta-game level limit. Elves can live 350 years? Fine, they're only allowed to reach 12th level in that time. Humans die right quick? They can go to 20.

A world with too many unique intelligent races has a big problem: some are more fit to survive than others. Whether it's the warforged for, well, not being fragile, or the dragon-born for having a breath weapon (?), one race will squeeze out the others, like modern humans did to the Neandertals.

One way to follow this rule and still have lots of races is to say that the genocide is still under way. Likely that one race will be dominant over the others here.

Another way, the one I use, is to use very few, very similar races. They all have roughly the same abilities and are the same species - so a weaker group can be assimilated instead of annihilated. I don't have an age problem, because my elves live about as long as my humans. I also limit NPCs to 4th level, and it's a sort of divinity or luck that allows a character to progress beyond 4th level, not how long they live.

Another option is just to ignore the fact that races compete, and hope the players don't notice that the unfittest are surviving, or that obviously more capable races are unexplicably witholding their virtues so that other races can share the world with them.

10-25-2009, 07:23 PM
Probably the best answer I've heard.