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Thread: Help With Spiderfolk Race

  1. #1
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    Help With Spiderfolk Race

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    I am interested in creating a new race for my homebrew setting. I want them to be based on spiders. However I have never created a race for 3e or 3.5 e, so I could use some help in this. There is only one unchangable rule: I need them to be LA 0, so that I can use them as a base race.
    I've been thinking about racial traits, and here are some ideas I have come up with, but as I said these are only ideas. Nothing is written in stone yet.

    Spider Climb as spell (possibly either constant or limited uses per day)
    Paralytic poison bite
    4 arms (2nd set half strength)
    Possible visual bonuses because of multiple eyes (bonuses spotting secret doors like elves or spotting illusions like gnomes)
    Web as spell (limited uses per day)

    I'd love to hear your thoughts/ideas on this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WizardofOwls View Post
    I am interested in creating a new race for my homebrew setting. I want them to be based on spiders. However I have never created a race for 3e or 3.5 e, so I could use some help in this. There is only one unchangable rule: I need them to be LA 0, so that I can use them as a base race.
    I've been thinking about racial traits, and here are some ideas I have come up with, but as I said these are only ideas. Nothing is written in stone yet.
    This will be a challenge to try and keep LA0.
    The list of abilities you have listed (below) are all a pile of bonuses, and to keep it balanced, it will have to have drawbacks.

    Spider Climb as spell (possibly either constant or limited uses per day)
    Web as spell (limited uses per day)
    A way to tone this down while not leaving it out is to grant them a +8 bonus to climb checks, give them a climb speed equal to their base movement, and make climb always a class skill for the race. Another possibility is to grant the race immunity to web spells, flat out. In any case, it is a powerful ability that will need balancing.

    Paralytic poison bite
    Poison is powerful, especially as it should be based off of the CON ability modifier. Make sure it's clear that the attack provokes an attack of obbortunity unless Improved unarmed strike is taken. Even then it's still potent, when people WILL ask "Can I spit on my arrows?". At BEST, it would be 1d2 Dex primary and secondary.

    4 arms (2nd set half strength)
    Remember, this opens up the Multi-attack line of feats.

    Possible visual bonuses because of multiple eyes (bonuses spotting secret doors like elves or spotting illusions like gnomes)
    This one I disagree with. Composite eyes are not superior vision, just a different type of vision. With all of the above abilities, I'd leave this one out.


    NOW, to balance thr race out with those abilities, and these are all personal opinions:

    Size: Small - Includes all the bonuses and minues of small size.
    Ability score adjustments: STR -4, Dex +2, Con -2 (These are the size adjustment modifiers straight from the MM)
    Natural Armor +2 (chitnin is a hard)
    Cannot use Armor: Their bodies are just too complex to have any armor made for it.
    Partial Vermin Subtype: Despite their high intelligence, they are still considered Vermin for the effects of many spells, such as repel vermin. However, due to their heightened intelligence, they are subject to the whole range of mind control spells.

    A few more are needed, but I would need to know about the culture you have setup for them. Many of the core races abilities are based off of culture, as are their preferred classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InfoStorm View Post
    Cannot use Armor: Their bodies are just too complex to have any armor made for it.
    This is a bit strict, I'd say that you'd be looking at something more along the lines of:

    Exotic Physiology: Due to their unique physiology, spiderfolk tend to have a hard time finding armor and clothing that fit them. Spiderfolk may only wear armor and clothing that has been tailored to them. Such tailored armor and clothing costs double the normal amount. The cost of the masterwork quality is added after this doubling.

    This is kind of cumbersome, but there's a version of this in a WotC rulebook somewhere if I remember correctly.

    Even with the version that InfoStorm wrote, the Poison quality alone makes the race worth a +1 LA. I can really see few ways to balance any poison at all at +0 LA without seriously nerfing the heck out of the race to the point of making it unplayable.
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    I realize the idea here was to create your own spider race, so you may want to use the Chitin from Underdark as a model.
    +2 Dex, +2 Con, +2 Int, -4 Chr
    Size Small
    Base speed 30 ft, climb speed 20 ft. +8 bonus to climb checks and may take ten when climbing even when rushed. The hooks on his palms and feet allow him to climb and walls and ceilings as though under the spider climb spell.
    +4 bonus to grapple due to four arms (note his size gives him -4, this balances it out).
    Difficult to disarm (+4 bonus vs disarm).
    Sensitive to sunlight (dazzled in bright light).
    Chitines begin with two levels of monstrous humanoid (HD:2d8 AT:+2 Fort:+0 Ref:+3 Will:+3).
    Racial skills: 5x 2+int. Skills: Balance, Climb, Craft (trapmaking), Hide, Jump, Move Silently
    Racial Feats: Multiweapon Fighting as a bonus feat and one feat for monstrous humanoid levels.
    Weapon Familiarity: Chitins treat short swords as simple weapons, not martial.
    Favored Class: Rogue
    LA: +2

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. In my homebrew world, the world is shattered into sky islands called shards. The only way to get from shard to shard is via air ships called windriggers. My thought was that spiderfolk would make excellent windsailors with their natural climbing ability, and an extra set of hands would help them in working the rigging. I would love to use an official race, but right now I have limited resources as far as sourcebooks, and limited funds for buying them. So unless it's in one of the books I already have, or can be found on the internet, I have to homebrew it.
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    You could keep all sorts of cool abilities if you give it a savage progression (like they do in savage species). You slowly give out the abilities one per level. You just can't take class levels until you are done with the monsterous levels.

    If you don't like that, it would be very difficult to keep any of those abilities and be LA +0. Infostorm is on the right track, but it still needs a little nerfing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabkala View Post
    You could keep all sorts of cool abilities if you give it a savage progression (like they do in savage species). You slowly give out the abilities one per level. You just can't take class levels until you are done with the monsterous levels.
    Seconded. This is probably the best idea.

    Although, in Complete Psionic, the races from the Expanded Psionics Handbooks were all given racial classes and man, were they well-written. By spreading out the racial bennies over a longer level-span, they allowed a character to pick up not only racial levels, but also class levels. The racial class only works for races that have racial hit die; but what about races that need class levels to gain hit die?

    In these cases, a little bit of logic and math can easily help determine how to build a racial class. All you need to do is ask some simple questions?

    1) What's the race's LA? Although we're trying to overcome the obstacle of LA, we need to use it as a tool and guideline to tell us how many levels it will be before the character is at "full strength."

    2) What racial abilities and qualities are there that can be "kernel-ized?" By this, I mean, what racial benefits are there that have a specific, measurable degree of value, such as ability score adjustments (particularly those which end up being imbalanced), spell-like abilities (uses per day, etc.), bonuses to saves, etc. Each of these can be treated as a separate benefit that can be added as a class feature of the racial class as levels progress.

    The process:

    1) Balance starting ability scores. Decide which of the race's ability score adjustments are the most important, balancing every plus with the appropriate negative. Other plusses and negatives can be added with time and levels.

    2) Determine number of levels. Basically, take the LA of the race; for each point of level adjustment, the character will gain a class level every other point. That is to say, since the racial class needs to give class levels at the same time as racial benefits, it has slowed the progression to make sure it fits all of these things in. At each character level, a new class level might be added (along with the racial class level), or it might not. For example, the githzerai racial class (githzerai have a +2 LA) and its racial class progression looks something like this:

    Character | Class
    Level | Level
    1 | 1
    2 | 1
    3 | 2
    4 | 2
    5 | 3
    6 | 4
    ... | ...

    The githzerai gains racial abilities at each of these levels. When a githzerai not created through this process reaches 2nd class level, he would have a character level of 4; so too would our githzerai racial class, and therefore remained balanced somewhat with the base race.

    3. Seed the levels. Now take those benefits that you parsed into kernels and spread them out over the levels you've got in a way that makes sense. Uses per day of spell-like abilities always increase, as do climb speeds, ability score bonuses and other such things. If your racial class has a poison Ex ability, maybe the damage increases gradually over time. Don't forget that ability score penalties can be seed this way (as well as other racial disadvantages); if a race would be crippled at 1st level by the penalties levied against it (without too many of its racial advantages), feel free to seed these into the class levels as well.

    And you've got a racial class!

    If you'd like any help with this process, just let me know, I'd love to help.

    EDIT: This post might have been a bit clearer if I knew how to put a table into bbscript or html. I hope the crappy table above makes its point well enough.
    Last edited by ajmuszkiewicz; 09-07-2007 at 08:59 AM. Reason: clarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by WizardofOwls View Post
    I am interested in creating a new race for my homebrew setting. I want them to be based on spiders. However I have never created a race for 3e or 3.5 e, so I could use some help in this. There is only one unchangable rule: I need them to be LA 0, so that I can use them as a base race.
    I've been thinking about racial traits, and here are some ideas I have come up with, but as I said these are only ideas. Nothing is written in stone yet.

    Spider Climb as spell (possibly either constant or limited uses per day)
    Paralytic poison bite
    4 arms (2nd set half strength)
    Possible visual bonuses because of multiple eyes (bonuses spotting secret doors like elves or spotting illusions like gnomes)
    Web as spell (limited uses per day)

    I'd love to hear your thoughts/ideas on this.
    I don't think you'd be able to cram all these abilities into a LA+0 race.
    The closest I can find is the Thri-kreen - and they have a LA of +3.

    I would suggest you make it based on spiders in a very subtle way:

    Spiderfolk
    Type humanoid (spiderfolk)
    They are normal humanoid shape, with compound eyes and an extra joint on each limb. Thier arms and legs have fine but strong hairs that allow them to climb with ease. Their elongated canines have a muscle that lets them fold back, and they have a vestigal venom gland that has a poison so mild as to not be effective. They have a silk gland below thier belly button.
    • Size small
    • Low-Light vision
    • +2 dex, -2 str.
    • Speed 20, climb 20. Spiderfolk get a +8 to climb checks and can take 10 even when under stress. They can use thier Dex bonus instead of thier Str bonus on climb checks
    • +4 bonus on craft-poison. They can milk and distill thier poison to make it strong enough to use. They gain the poison-use ability for using poison they've made from thier own gland. They are immune to thier own poison, but not the poison made from other Spiderfolk.
    • +4 bonus on Use Rope, and crafting checks involving ropes and cloth. They cannot make webs because they do not excrete the glue that spiders use to hold it together. Their silk gland is still able to get enough raw material to subsidize half the raw material cost for crafting ropes, cloth, sails, and the like.
    • Make rope: They can generate the equivalent of silk rope at will (at 30 feet of rope per round) This rope lasts one hour, then disentigrates into fibers. They can make knotted rope just as easily (at 20 feet of rope per round)
    This race should be a good replacement for halfling in an airship based world. We'd still need to define the poison, but since it's crafted we can pretty much go with anything without affecting the LA.
    Last edited by DrAwkward; 09-18-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAwkward View Post
    I would suggest you make it based on spiders in a very subtle way:
    ...

    This race should be a good replacement for halfling in an airship based world. We'd still need to define the poison, but since it's crafted we can pretty much go with anything without affecting the LA.
    For an LA +0 write-up, I think this one takes the cake. Good job, Dr. Awkward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajmuszkiewicz View Post
    For an LA +0 write-up, I think this one takes the cake. Good job, Dr. Awkward.
    Glad you liked it. After I'd finished writing it up, I wanted to play one myself

    Just edited the climb entry to make it more aligned with the standard template.
    Contact me via PM -- email from this site isn't working for me.


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