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  1. #1
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    Hey yall, great job overall on the doc and thanks for the effort you put
    in. I read through the doc and I wanted to bring up several points. I`ll
    start with the balance of the races.

    I think the races as written are SERIOUSLY unbalanced. I understand what
    you are trying to do here; you`re trying to give the effects of the stat
    adjustments the human races had in 2e, without actually making them stat
    adjustments. However, in 2e there was a corresponding stat MINUS; here
    there is no penalty. The problem is, the end result is that there is a
    serious inflation of power with the human races.

    Anuireans
    +1 Will = half a feat (iron will gives +2 will save)
    +1 Sense Motive = half or 1/4 a feat (skill foc gives +2, many other feats
    give +2 to 2 skills)
    +1 Bluff = half or 1/4 a feat
    +1 Knowledge (nobility) = half or 1/4 a feat

    Effectively Anuireans get the equivalent of anywhere between 1.25 and 2
    feats for free, depending on how you treat a +1 to skill.

    Brechts

    +1 Reflex (conditional) = half a feat or less (Lightning Reflex gives +2
    ref save)
    +1 init (conditional) = 1/4 a feat or less (imp init gives +4 init)
    Appraise class skill = 1/2 a feat (Cosmopolitan gives 1 skill as a class
    skill and a +2 bonus to that skill, Versatile gives 2 skills as class skills)
    All profession/craft/knowledge skill relating to trade or sea are class
    skills = OMFG, this is at least 1.5 feats

    Effectively Brechts get 2.75 feats for free. WAY overpowered, especially
    compared to Anuireans (on the numbers; although I would argue that
    Anuireans get far more useful skill bonuses.. what Brecht fighter is going
    to waste his 2 precious skill points on craft[woodworking] ?).

    Khinasi

    +1 Diplomacy/Knowledge/Spellcraft = half or 1/4 feat each
    All knowledge skills as class = 1 feat (Education does exactly this)

    Effectively Khinasi get 1.75-2.5 feats for free. I have a serious problem
    with non-mages getting all knowledge skills as class skills without having
    to burn a feat.

    Rjurik
    +1 Fort = half a feat
    +1 wilderness lore (conditional) and get it as a class skill = .75 feat or
    less (Cosmopolitan gives class skill and a +2 bonus, so I`d count this as
    3/4th of a feat)

    Rjuriks get 1.25 feats for free.

    Vos
    +2 str for carrying checks and such = not sure how to interpret this.. i`d
    probably call it half a feat (Endurance feat gives +4 Con to certain checks)
    +1 wilderness lore (conditional) = half or 1/4 feat
    Wilderness lore/Intimidate class skill = 1 feat

    Vos get 1.75-2 feats for free.


    Now, in principle I don`t have a problem with humans getting extra stuff
    because BR elves, dwarves, and especially halflings are significantly
    stronger than the PHB variants (and I am totally cool with Travis Doom`s
    conversion of the demihuman races).

    My issue is that the human races are not even balanced with each other. I
    agree that 1/2 damage from bludgeoning, no need to sleep, and access to
    shadow feats is much stronger than any of the human powers. However, the
    demihumans in 2e BR were just as strong relative to humans. In BR IMO this
    power difference is counteracted by the huge roleplaying advantage you get
    from being a human, which doesn`t exist in other settings.

    Khinasi get 1.75-2.5
    Vos get 1.75-2
    Rjuriks get 1.25
    Brechts get 2.75
    Anuireans get 1.25-2

    On paper Brechts are the strongest, but I`d argue that Anuireans and
    Khinasi get far more useful bonuses. Most classes have so many essential
    skills they can`t afford to spend points on garbage like Craft[shipmaking]
    (that`s what experts are for!) or Appraise (unless you`re a thief, in which
    case you have appraise already). On the other hand, flat out +1s to Will
    saves (resist charms), Bluff, Sense Motive, and Knowledge Nobility, all
    HIGHLY useful skills in a setting where interpersonal powers are king, is
    much more useful than the measly +1 Fort (ok so this is not bad) and +1
    wilderness lore. I also think the Khinasi are very strong. Not only do they
    look good by the numbers (2.5 free feats) but getting Education for free is
    HIGHLY useful for a nonwizard (especially a sorcerer!!)

    I think what needs to be done is the bonuses need to be equalized on paper
    as well as in their utility. I`d propose something like this:

    Anuireans: +1 Will save, +1 to Sense Motive and Knowledge (Nobility)
    checks, Knowledge (Nobility) is considered a class skill.

    Brechts: +1 Reflex save, +1 to Appraise and Balance checks, Appraise is
    considered a class skill.

    Khinasi: +1 Will save, +1 to Diplomacy and any one knowledge check, any one
    Knowledge skill is considered a class skill.

    Rjurik: +1 Fort save, +2 to Wilderness Lore checks, Wilderness Lore is a
    class skill.

    Vos: +2 str for carrying capacity and str checks, +1 to Wilderness Lore and
    Intimidate checks, Intimidate is a class skill.

    This way all the races are equal, but still get enough goodies to up their
    power level relative to demihumans. Don`t forget, in the PHB, humans are
    hands down the strongest race (free feat and 1 extra skill point per level
    is way better than any demihuman ability in most cases).

    If you want, use the OA method and give each character of a particular race
    which skill they want as a class skill. Like, Brechts could pick between
    Appraise, Profession (sailor), Craft (boats), or Knowledge (naval). Also
    you could give the + to skill checks as a scatter, like Khinasi would get
    +2 bonus to skill checks to scatter between Diplomacy, Spellcraft, and any
    knowledge skills. So each character would be customized slightly, one guy
    might take the +2 to diplomacy, someone else a +1 to spellcraft and +1 to
    knowledge(arcana). At least in the end everyone is still equal.

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  2. #2
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    Daniel: Addressing D&D 3.5 issues are just to premature at this point. It's not going to be till July [at the earliest] until 3.5 is released, so until then we will just have ot take a wait and see approach. When it's released, modifications to the BRCS should be minimal.

    I have always thought it bizarre that the demi-humans gain all their special features at once, and humans continue to grow, all be it at a slow rate, as their character class advances. Clearly a feat at 1st level and a skill point at each level doesn't begin to add up to the bonuses the other races get. If your human character had the option of spending a feat for low-light or darkvision would you take it? Just about every character I've played would take that.

    Skill focus having a +2 modifier was deemed pretty weak from the start, which is why nearly every book since then has changed upon that rule. So is adding up 3 points [for Anuireans] really that dramatic? No, not even close. Half-elves get 3 points; plus two saves. Dwarves and elves get saves, skill checks, and lots of other goodies. Are humans more powerful then the PHB. You bet. Are the races equal yet. I'd argue it's still not close, but it is much closer.

    Now are the human classes equal with one another? I'll get to that and more later. Gotta go.

    Mike Spehar

  3. #3
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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, spehar wrote:
    > I have always thought it bizarre that the demi-humans gain all their
    > special features at once, and humans continue to grow, all be it at a
    > slow rate, as their character class advances. Clearly a feat at 1st
    > level and a skill point at each level doesn`t begin to add up to the
    > bonuses the other races get.

    Yes, it does, along with the floating favored class. The feat in
    particular is powerful, because while elves and dwarves get bonuses in
    certain circumstances which only happen when the DM sets them up, the feat
    selection is controlled by the player, and used much more often than a
    racial bonus to skills.

    > Skill focus having a +2 modifier was deemed pretty weak from the
    > start, which is why nearly every book since then has changed upon that
    > rule. So is adding up 3 points [for Anuireans] really that dramatic?

    Yes, it`s a whole feat.

    > No, not even close. Half-elves get 3 points; plus two saves. Dwarves
    > and elves get saves, skill checks, and lots of other goodies. Are
    > humans more powerful then the PHB. You bet. Are the races equal yet.
    > I`d argue it`s still not close, but it is much closer.

    That`s not really your call to make. The designers of the game balanced
    the races, by default. Choosing to use the BR d20 version as your own
    personal soapbox to correct what you thought were inequalities in 3e
    is bad design, and it`s not what was supposed to be done with this book.
    --
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  4. #4
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    On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 03:39:56AM -0600, Lord Shade wrote:
    > Hey yall, great job overall on the doc and thanks for the effort you put
    > in. I read through the doc and I wanted to bring up several points. I`ll
    > start with the balance of the races.
    >
    > I think the races as written are SERIOUSLY unbalanced. I understand what
    > you are trying to do here; you`re trying to give the effects of the stat
    > adjustments the human races had in 2e, without actually making them stat
    > adjustments. However, in 2e there was a corresponding stat MINUS; here
    > there is no penalty. The problem is, the end result is that there is a
    > serious inflation of power with the human races.
    >
    [snip]
    >
    > Now, in principle I don`t have a problem with humans getting extra stuff
    > because BR elves, dwarves, and especially halflings are significantly
    > stronger than the PHB variants (and I am totally cool with Travis Doom`s
    > conversion of the demihuman races).
    >
    > My issue is that the human races are not even balanced with each other. I
    > agree that 1/2 damage from bludgeoning, no need to sleep, and access to
    > shadow feats is much stronger than any of the human powers. However, the
    > demihumans in 2e BR were just as strong relative to humans. In BR IMO this
    > power difference is counteracted by the huge roleplaying advantage you get
    > from being a human, which doesn`t exist in other settings.
    >
    > Khinasi get 1.75-2.5
    > Vos get 1.75-2
    > Rjuriks get 1.25
    > Brechts get 2.75
    > Anuireans get 1.25-2
    >
    [snip]
    >
    > I think what needs to be done is the bonuses need to be equalized on paper
    > as well as in their utility. I`d propose something like this:
    >
    > Anuireans: +1 Will save, +1 to Sense Motive and Knowledge (Nobility)
    > checks, Knowledge (Nobility) is considered a class skill.
    >
    > Brechts: +1 Reflex save, +1 to Appraise and Balance checks, Appraise is
    > considered a class skill.
    >
    > Khinasi: +1 Will save, +1 to Diplomacy and any one knowledge check, any one
    > Knowledge skill is considered a class skill.
    >
    > Rjurik: +1 Fort save, +2 to Wilderness Lore checks, Wilderness Lore is a
    > class skill.
    >
    > Vos: +2 str for carrying capacity and str checks, +1 to Wilderness Lore and
    > Intimidate checks, Intimidate is a class skill.
    [snip]

    In my opinion, this post is an EXCELLENT example of constructive criticism
    and should be used as a model for everyone who wishes to have their
    voice heard and their ideas reflected in a final "official" community
    d20 BRCS. I`m not necessarily saying that I agree with it... (I`m still
    mulling it over) but it is an EXCELLENT critique.

    Note that first a problem is stated in relationship to the document as
    a whole (i.e. all BR races are "slightly" more powerful than norm...
    but shouldn`t all human races be "equally" more powerful). THEN a proof
    of that problem is presented (in this case using a "feat equivalent"
    metric). THEN a suggestion for change is presented that avoids/solves
    the noted problem. Well stated.

    I`d love to hear what other people have to say about Lord Shade`s proposed
    change. Do others agree that the human races seem imbalanced in regards to
    each other. Given that all demi-human races aren`t "exactly" equivalent (using
    the same feat metric) is this a "bad" thing for human races, or should their
    be an effort to make them more "equivalent" on a feat metric basis?

    - Doom

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  5. #5
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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Dr. Travis Doom wrote:
    > I`d love to hear what other people have to say about Lord Shade`s proposed
    > change. Do others agree that the human races seem imbalanced in regards to
    > each other. Given that all demi-human races aren`t "exactly" equivalent (using
    > the same feat metric) is this a "bad" thing for human races, or should their
    > be an effort to make them more "equivalent" on a feat metric basis?

    Humans should be left as they are in core 3e. They are the baseline,
    equivalent in power to the other races, and shouldn`t be fiddled with. If
    the block of powers they get now (Anuireans get +1 to will, Bluff, Sense
    Motive, and Knowledge-nobility) are to be retained, it should be as a feat
    available to the culture that humans can spend their bonus feat on if they
    want.

    That way, human races `imbalanced compared to each other` isn`t a problem,
    so long as the feats are fair.
    --
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    Daniel McSorley- mcsorley@cis.ohio-state.edu

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  6. #6
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    daniel mcsorley wrote:
    >
    > Humans should be left as they are in core 3e. They are the baseline,
    > equivalent in power to the other races, and shouldn`t be fiddled with. If
    > the block of powers they get now (Anuireans get +1 to will, Bluff, Sense
    > Motive, and Knowledge-nobility) are to be retained, it should be as a feat
    > available to the culture that humans can spend their bonus feat on if they
    > want.
    >
    Agreed. You could even do it (gasp!) like the 3e Forgotten Realms book
    and have regional feats that are available only to characters from a
    specific region of Cerilia. That way even more regional characteristics
    could potentially be made selectable by characters in the form of feats.

    --

    Solmyr of the Azure Star
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  7. #7
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    I like the conversion of the human races (espcially the Khinasi). The Khinasi represent absolute "civilisation" and their children must go to school. So the equivalence of the "education" feat is an excellent idea...

    May be the human races are unbalanced with each other. My idea: Highten the Rjurik and lower the Brecht a little and it will be o.k. ...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  8. #8
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    >Clearly a feat at 1st level and a skill point at each level doesn`t begin
    to add up to the bonuses the other races get. If your human character had
    the option of spending a feat for low-light or darkvision would you take it?

    :o

    I have to respectfully, vehemently disagree with you on this one. :)

    One extra feat and +1 skill point/level is WAY stronger than just about
    every demihuman benefit. Granted, lowlight and darkvision are highly
    useful, but extra feats and skill points make it so much easier to qualify
    for prestige classes, which in 3e is where the true power lies. A human can
    much more easily "waste" a feat on something like Toughness or Skill Focus
    to qualify for a prestige class than an elf can, because in most cases
    demihumans are struggling just to get the basic feats they need for their
    class to excel (for a wizard this would be empower, extend, spell focus,
    and craft wand).


    >Skill focus having a +2 modifier was deemed pretty weak from the start,
    which is why nearly every book since then has changed upon that rule.

    I agree with you here. +2 is kind of worthless. I would use 1 feat = 4
    skill points as the benchmark.

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  9. #9
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    On Wed, 5 Feb 2003, Lord Shade wrote:
    > >Skill focus having a +2 modifier was deemed pretty weak from the start,
    > > which is why nearly every book since then has changed upon that rule.
    >
    > I agree with you here. +2 is kind of worthless. I would use 1 feat = 4
    > skill points as the benchmark.

    The revised version is +3, or +2/+2 for two related skills.
    --
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  10. #10
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    If you want to say humans are way more powerful in the PHB, I would have to
    totally disagree with you. An elven Wizard basically gets two martial
    weapon proficiencies for free (two feats) not to mention racial bonuses that
    are only overcome much later in levels. Dwarven resistance to magic is
    essentially a HUGE advantage, not to mention their bonuses to hit racial
    enemies and bonus to AC against giants; feats there if I ever saw them.

    Other than that, I agree with what you say about needing to make a smoother
    balance between the human races in Birthright.

    Tony



    ----Original Message Follows----
    From: Lord Shade <lordshade@SOFTHOME.NET>

    Now, in principle I don`t have a problem with humans getting extra stuff
    because BR elves, dwarves, and especially halflings are significantly
    stronger than the PHB variants (and I am totally cool with Travis Doom`s
    conversion of the demihuman races).

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