Open Design – Races

My initial discussion of Races can be found here.

I’m not getting as much feedback as I had hoped, so I think maybe instead I’ll take another tack and start working on the game.  I think I’ll begin with Races.  Races are going to be based more on regions of the world, so part of me wants to start with a world map.  Maybe I’ll spend some time working on that.

I’d love to get some feedback on some ideas for races.  I’d like to have at least six core races, and as many as twelve.  I don’t have a structure for them yet, I’ll be working on that in the near future, so right now I’m just looking for some conceptual ideas of what might make an interesting background for a race.

I’m curious how much impact your race choice should have mechanically.  It could have no impact but your relationship with various factions, or it could change your ability scores, special abilities, class options ,etc.  On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is very little impact, and 10 is character defining impact, how much impact do you think the race should have on your character?

5 thoughts on “Open Design – Races

  1. Brian

    I’d like to see minimal impact on character design. I think that this would help to diversify race/class combos away from what may be “optimal”. If I want to build an Elf fighter in Pathfinder then I am certainly free to do so, but the two don’t mesh nearly as well as some of the other races do. Races should impact character interactions and factions more so than vitals or statistics in my opinion.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing race interaction mechanics though. Perhaps it would be possible to maintain friendships/alliances/hatred between certain races. Put the emphasis on playing a character based on their unique history. Maybe I’m an elf that just happens to be a massive beefcake so why should I take a -2 Con in exchange for some smarts and nimbleness….

    1. JackOfHearts Post author

      Maybe certain races could start with positive or negative affiliations with some set of base factions. I have some more thoughts on this, I’ll post tomorrow.

  2. Brian

    I like this idea more than having stat bonuses and penalties assigned to races. I’ll await your next post and give you my thoughts.

  3. Andy

    I think that the races should be very different from each other (8 out of 10?) but I think I agree with Brian that there shouldn’t be a “mage optimized” race and a “fighter optimized” race. Maybe we could design the races so that they were all interesting enough to actually make a difference without giving them stat bonuses or penalties that clearly affect each class. Or maybe each race/class combination has a few specific abilities. Maybe a Stark druid can see through the eyes of animals while a Ironborn druid can breathe underwater. Something like that?

    1. JackOfHearts Post author

      I agree – that’s the goal. It’s hard to make a “pixie” fighter that’s equally balanced to a Half-Orc fighter in a straight-up melee fight – which is why race/class got so intertwined in early editions of the game.

      The short term answer for us though is exactly what you said – starting races that are approximately human from a stat perspective.


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