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Talk:Anthro Beast (3.5e Race)

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Speaking Style Edit

Your speaking style is weird and very out of character (if such a thing could be attributed to race descriptions). It comes off as... weird and disjointed. I want to fix it and make it fluffier. As it reads it reads more like a missive from the author on a subject and less like a description of what could easily be a race of beastmen, who are all categorized under one name in spite of their variant (much like "demons" to describe the dozens of sub-races). There's some mechanical oddities too and I do not have faith in basing something off the Planetwisted template IMO, but I get the idea and the gist of it is sound. IMO, start with a plain anthro and add X many small powers. As they grow as a race, they can branch off and get new goodies related to their initial choice, branching off like a tree on the various paths. Most importantly don't allow them to add negatives, or you WILL get a load of min-maxed to the extreme builds of people who have legless, armless, eyeless anthros who nonetheless can benchpress a mountain, so to speak. This is why I suggest rather than "add your own negatives and pluses" you make it "pick a plus, then pick more pluses later in progression". -- Eiji Hyrule 23:47, August 19, 2010 (UTC)

The comment below is somewhat similar to what Eiji said. It is not meant to be an attack on the article, but it is meant to be honest. Do not be discouraged upon reading it. There is hope for this article.
Reading this article hurt. It was really difficult to get past the instinct of "ugh, just skip to the racial traits". With each paragraph being essentially the same "some of them are this, some of them are that, you get to pick", it was mostly just repetitive. There are a few Pick-yer-own flavor races out there. I recommend reading those to see how they pulled it off.
As for mechanics, wowee, what a mess. Let me talk about Level Adjustment in general for a second. First, LA should not be an excuse to grant non-level appropriate powers early on. Some abilities shouldn't be in the hands of a character at ECL 2 or 3, no matter how much you "paid" for them with LA. Next, a character with Level Adjustment should be as capable with his LA granted boons fairly evenly throughout his career if done properly. Often times, this is a big thing LA fails to accomplish. Flight is awesome and hardy to come by really early, as it should be before 5th level, but afterwords, you can snag it with spells and items with increasing ease, so the payoff for having LA is lame in that regard. I recommend you figure out what abilities are level appropriate and allow the player to pick from those.
Also, nothing is as written out and clear as it needs to be. While the whole "pick LA" thing should outright be removed, what would you do if you picked something worth only .5 LA?
In conclusion, this not only doesn't feel like the intended goal (by inducing headbanging), failing to work mechanically, but really doesn't feel like some sort of beastfolk at all. A lot of discussion and brainstorming is going to need to go into this if it is to be playable and kept. Of course, we're around for discussion. --Ganteka Future 00:10, August 20, 2010 (UTC)
Me again, just got inspired so I figured this might help. With what I said above, adding bits of powers to make a complete whole, you could have something like this. At 1st you start with three powers, and at 3rd and every 3 you get another power. You can level in the same power (making it stronger) or do something different (becoming more versatile). Fluffwise, this is shown in whatever animal type you are. Anthro Falcon? Invest in flight, perhaps natural weapons for a bite attack. The only restriction I would ass is that your 1st level abilities all be non-upgraded forms, so pick three different powers, then upgrade any of them, all of them, one of them, as you see fit. So, like...
  • Natural Weapons: You get a natural weapon (bite, two claws, tentacle, whatever). Increasing rank gives you higher damage, max at x3 your normal size, say, or the high level abilities 3 or 4 degrees in give you 20/x3 crit or 19-20/x20 or something.
  • Movement: Get faster land speed, gain a burrow speed, a swim speed, or a flight speed. Ok, so this is four separate things really. Flight starts out being unable to fly but able to glide and eventually full on good or even perfect maneuverability flight. Land speed just increases up and up. Maybe gives a cheetah's Sprint ability. Burrow speed increases, lets you navigate and stay underground, and/or dig in harder materials. And swim increases your speed, gives you the ability to breath water, or walk on water.
  • Resistances: Elemental resistances, increasing in level, starting out as "tolerant to hot/cold/something else" environments and ending with straight up immunity.
  • Damage Reduction: Starting with DR magic, and then later you get the open to increase that or shift to a more rare DR type. In the end you can get like DR 20/magic but only DR 10/silver, for example.
  • Size: Start with getting Jotunbrud which is Powerful Build Lite, then Powerful Build, then actual Large size, etc... here is where I get to the part of balancing. Size increases are strong, better than everything else on this list, but you can adjudicate that by having the size increases go slowly. You become large... after say 5 upgrades. Before then you're just gaining various Large traits by piecemeal.
  • Armor: Natural armor up. Alternatively hp or saving throw boons. This has a fairly obvious increase progression.
  • Breath Weapon: Again, start small, go large.
The trick with all of this stuff is that since you have to put your points into all this stuff over time, you can get away with a bit more. Generally people will have 2 small tricks, a natural weapon and some minor resistances, but something big like having super flight. Your goal then is to determine how to balance out their final forms at the same level. Say someone sinks all the points you can (currently 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18th levels, so 7 points) into a single thing, for example damage reduction. What you want to do is ask yourself "is the 7 point DR build equal to the 7 point armor build at level 18"? Then you know how to stagger your progression appropriately. It'll also give you an overall scale on the overall power of your race as a whole, be it weak or strong enough to deserve any initial LA or RHD. Alright then, brainstorm over. Returning to coma. -- Eiji Hyrule 02:21, August 20, 2010 (UTC)
Thanks guys, I truly suck at balancing most of the time. In any case, I appreciate the help. My reason that other anthro beasty things caused headaches is because they almost always had sucky mental stats. Other then that, not much was needed for me to feel less of a urge to bang my head.
In any case, Eiji, thanks for helping.--YX33A 15:01, August 20, 2010 (UTC)
Alrighty, my turn again. I'll skip commenting on the flavor and head right to the mechanics this time around. So, the Customization section. You really gotta have an introductory sentence here that explains how it all works, like choosing abilities and when you get to choose abilities later on down the road. It might be better to place the whole Customization section below Racial Traits that way, under Racial Traits you can place an ability and description within the traits explaining how the customization works. Now, on to the abilities.
Natural Weapons: I personally dislike giving out natural weapons to PCs, since they function so differently from regular ol' attacks, not being based the same way with iterative attacks and Base Attack Bonus. A PC with two natural attacks, at first level, with two weapon fighting could theoretically attack with a short sword, another short sword, a gore and a bite. That's pretty nuts. While it does say "or two if they pick claws" in the descriptive text, keep in mind that what I listed was just an example. A monk-like character could easily flurry with two kicks and two natural weapon claws just the same. I suggest replacing natural attacks with the Improved Unarmed Strike feat and allowing them to pick the damage type they deal with their unarmed attacks (either slashing, bludgeoning or piercing). That will keep things pretty simple. If they want to emulate a bite attack (which deal all three damage types) say that the damage die type drops by 1 (sorta like if they were smaller).
Movement Enhancement: The description for glide really needs to be filled out. There are a lot of missing details about how far you descend and maneuverability and all that. Also, be sure to say "land speed" instead of "ground speed". The burrow speed needs its details spelled out too, well all the things need complete details and explanations. Are the burrow and swim benefits part of the same ability? For the granted subtypes under the Swim information, make sure you spell out what that all grants you, such as breathing and skill bonuses, if any. Burst of Speed is probably the lamest of the bunch, but also possibly open to abuse by charger builds. I'm not one to explain all that though. As is, it really is only beneficial for running away, though, your pursuer will be given a fair chance to catch up while you are fatigued.
Energy Burst: This ability still seems out of place in a beastmen race. Also, what qualifies as an "exotic energy type"? Spell out all options to avoid confusion. The rest of the ability is kinda confusing, so I'm skipping over it for now.
Energy Resistance: This one makes a bit more sense, but still seems somewhat out of place. Regardless, I recommend having it scale: 5 → 10 → 20 → Immunity.
Natural Armor: Natural armor is tasty. Since they get +1 automatically, shouldn't that be listed both under Customization and Racial Traits? Also, just provide a link to Improved Natural Armor instead of telling the reader to go look in a book.
That's all I've got for now. --Ganteka Future 23:44, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

Level Adjustment? Edit

This may already be on here somewhere else (and I mean no offense in saying this) but a Level Adjustment of a +1 seems a little low for what these guys can do. I know that it is far from accurate with the Level Adjustments they give in the books for races allowed (such as the Monster Manuel, i.e. giving a minotaurs a +3 [I think it was a +3 anyway, but it was wrong, I went over it about 5 times to make sure I was right] when they should be like a +5 according to Savage Species), but if you can try figuring it out with Savage Species I came up with a base of +3 or +4 base, so subtract about one and you would be in range, but there are some things you have that Savage Species does not have, so it is only a rough guess really. I would bump the level adjustment to a +2 or +3, but it is your race, not mine so do with it what you will. Good luck with this!

"The difference between bravery and stupidity is if the plan works" - Newrok Shadowblade, Saint of Creation in Shadowgate 21:54, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

While the article is in a state of constructive limbo at the moment, I can probably shed some clarity here. Any individual doesn't get all the abilities listed under Customization, he has to choose which he gets, and it looks like after he chooses his base ability, he can choose another one once he gets to 5 HD and another at 10 HD, though the text on this is unclear at the moment. As for minotaurs, they have an ECL of 8, which means that theoretically, they should be as capable as a LA 0 character with 8 class levels. --Ganteka Future 23:44, August 20, 2010 (UTC)
Minotaur racial Hit Die compensate for the lower LA to give them an overall high ECL of, as Ganteka said, 8. That doesn't necessarily make them on par with a class, but it's not as bad as having lots of LA. - TG Cid 14:00, August 21, 2010 (UTC)

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