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  1. #1
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    Glancing through the document, I found a few things I wanted to comment on.

    Human "Subraces" - I think an approach similar to WoT should be taken with the human subraces. They should have the same human traits as the PHB (1 extra feet, 4 extra skills +1 per level, any favored class), then refine them further for each subrace by having Background Feats and favored skills. Thus, a Vos would choose different Background feats and get a different favored skill choice than a Brecht.

    For example:

    Brecht - Background Feats (Disciplined, Mercantile Background, Sea Legs, Silver Palm, Smooth Talk), Background Skills (Intuit Direction, Profession (sailor), Swim, Use Rope), Automatic Languages (Low Brecht), Bonus Languages (High Brecht, etc.).

    Thus a Brecht human would have select one of those feats as his bonus feat, and use his bonus skill points towards one of those four skills (which all become class skills for the character, no matter what class he is).

    This helps preserve the flavor of different cultures, while staying as close to the core rules as possible.

    Dwarves - The half damage from bludgeoning should be changed to "DR 5/piercing or slashing," especially if this will be updated for 3.5.

    Elves - Too powerful without being an ECL +1, in my opinion. Their ability scores balance out, since a -2 Str/-2 Con definitely balances out a +2 Dex/+2 Cha. They have all the elven abilities and more, and nothing to really balance it (can't be lawful, but that's not a huge loss). Woodland Stride? Timeless? ANY arcane class? That's a bit overpowered. Also the low-light vision should be changed... low-light vision should effectively double (or triple) how far you can see in low light... it shouldn't have a set distance (if a human can see 70 feet in low-light, then an elf's low-light vision of 60 feet is worthless).

    Halflings - The spell-like abilities should be eyed similar to the PHB gnome's. Once per day, a halfling with a Wisdom of 11 or higher can cast detect evil, detect magic, and detect undead as a sorcerer of the halfling's character level.

    Monk - Maybe the monk should be modified. A fighter going unarmed sucks. There is no way any kind of pugilist can do well without levels of monk (since you still do subdual damage without monk). Take out some of the supernatural abilities and replace them with bonus feats and such, allowing monks (scrappers, pugilists, whatever) to exist, but without having to have the "asian" flavor.

    Magician/Sorcerer - Just a thought, but I did this in a BR game I ran. I used the sorcerer to represent the magician class and simply changed the spell list to more accurately reflect the magician (mainly illusion and enchantment spells), and it worked pretty well.

    Bloodlines - The bloodline system still strikes me as clunky, and scions and non-scions aren't particularly balanced in the system. Why be a commoner when you can get some bloodline abilities for free? The requirement for a character to select Feats and such to get a bloodline, and improve it, is balanced.

    That's all my feedback for now.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

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    A different 2p:

    Human Subraces: I was fine with it, the other races seem a bit more buff than the PHB ones and the sub-races give the humans a little bit of balance back.

    Dwarves: I like the 1/2 damage thing simply for its shock value.

    Elves: The Low-light vision thing does seem wrong, nowhere else do you get a range on low light vision. Also the favoured class is too open, bite the bullet and pick one ;) ! Other than that I think they're fine.

    Halfling: A subtle change, but yes.

    Monk: Tough. A pugilist should beat an unarmed numpty but should be beaten by an armed knight. Otherwise why bother inventing swords? (Retorical, you're not going to change my mind.)

    Sorcerer/Magician: I wouldn't be too sad to see the Sorcerer dropped from BR despite preferring it in "vanilla" D&D to the wizard.

    Bloodlines: The system is very hard to understand, and does seem clunky, but it does cost you the points from your attributes at char gen, it's not free.

    CM.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by CMonkey
    Human Subraces: I was fine with it, the other races seem a bit more buff than the PHB ones and the sub-races give the humans a little bit of balance back.
    But it doesn't balance out. If you merely buff up each of the races, then the races don't balance against encounters, monsters, and other unmodified creatures.


    Dwarves: I like the 1/2 damage thing simply for its shock value.
    Shock value? That's a pretty lame reason, I must say. The mechanics should be balanced and consistent. A giant with a greatclub dealing 26 points of damage would only deal 13, whereas a halfling with a club dealing 4 points of damage would deal 2. There is no balance there. It neuters stronger creatures, while making only minimal changes to a weak creature's damage. That is not balanced.


    Elves: The Low-light vision thing does seem wrong, nowhere else do you get a range on low light vision. Also the favoured class is too open, bite the bullet and pick one ;) ! Other than that I think they're fine.
    Fine? Immortal? Woodland Stride? NOTHING to balance these? They are not fine. Two POWERFUL abilities (I gain a point of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma for free, and lose nothing) adding on to the normal elf stats (with the new ability modifiers) make this race too powerful. I should be an ECL+1.


    Halfling: A subtle change, but yes.
    It might require an ECL adjustment, however. Giving a race access to three 1st-level spell-like abilities does tip the scales.


    Monk: Tough. A pugilist should beat an unarmed numpty but should be beaten by an armed knight. Otherwise why bother inventing swords? (Retorical, you're not going to change my mind.)
    Ever seen a knight in full armor fighting an unarmored opponent trained in martial arts? You knock the knight on his back and the fight is over... in reality, he wouldn't be able to get up.


    Bloodlines: The system is very hard to understand, and does seem clunky, but it does cost you the points from your attributes at char gen, it's not free.
    Let's take a look at this. All abilities start at 8, which means you don't have to spend a single point increasing your Bloodline if you want to be a scion. You merely choose to be a scion, and you have a Bloodline of 8. Then you can use your points on the other six ability scores, and the Bloodline has cost you NOTHING. However, with a little bloodtheft, you can increase that low score and gain some blood abilities.

    Thus, you can get something for free, while there is nothing to balance it against a non-blooded character. As the blooded character gains more Bloodline strength, his ECL goes up, and he gains new abilities, while the commoner doesn't. Thus, this system for bloodline will unbalance a party consisting of commoners and scions.

    [Edit: As for my using 10 + 1/2 scion's HD + Bld modifier, it's just following the standard rule for DCs set on page 94 of the DMG. Monster Abilities: 10 + 1/2 hit dice + Ability Modifier. This balances out as levels increase, as well.]
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

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    Ooo, I wasn't going to start arguing but you've hit a pet peeve:
    Ever seen a knight in full armor fighting an unarmored opponent trained in martial arts? You knock the knight on his back and the fight is over... in reality, he wouldn't be able to get up.
    In reality you knock a knight on his back, he rolls to his feet. In poorly researched cinema, he can't get up.

    Plus no, I haven't ever seen a "knight in full armor fighting an unarmored opponent trained in martial arts", can you guess why? Hmm?

    CM.

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    Have to disagree with the turtle-knight thing.

    Those armours are heavy, but you do learn to move in them. Or die.
    Only the heaviest armours really hamper your movement in the short term
    and those were designed for mounted combat.

    Just try to sweep the legs from a charging warhorse with gear & knight attached.

    Chainmail & Half Plate which are the more common Lordly armours of High to late
    middle age tech (see Normans & the Anglo/French culture that followed from them,
    crusaders & such).

    Don't forget warrior lords, the only guys who are going to be walking around in plate,
    train from childhood to wear these things.

    My only quibble with the way armour works in D&D (this includes BR) is the cost. No way could a common merchant or craftsperson afford the assets to actually use a suit of full plate. It'd be like you or me investing in a house then carrying it around to have it damaged (please allow the allegory(?) it isn't precise but conveys a sense of scale)

    Basically, using normal treasure rules, adventurers are stinking rich :P

    To get to the actual point. BR Races.
    I quite like what's been done.

    It's a question of taste whether you give human sub-types a small plethora of modifiers or flavour their existing advantage of a bonus feat & 4 skill points. Either works & it's mainly up to you + players to pick what you like.

    Elves/ +1 ecl is tempting but remember those stat bonuses cancel out, immortality is only so useful in a BR game (how many of us have characters with more than 20 years of game time & how many aging attacks are their?), woodland stride is neat as is low-light, and the hightened senses(good call on the range limit) but again how does it way up to a bonus feat & four skill points.
    Definately more boosts than a standard D&D elf. Enough to penalize them a level?

    Dwarves/ A DR is probably better than halving the damage. Why make them so strong against big opponents & hardly any better against weak ones.

    Halflings/ Hardly looked at them but I'd just compare to Gnomes & see how big the difference really is. From most of what I noticed the really cool Halfling abilities from BR cost feats...

    And then the gods.
    Or in this case, their remains.
    I do tend to just give anyone who wants to play a non-blooded an extra level. The means of gaining a bloodline are few and hard to achieve. this would just suggest adding an ECL of +1 to all bloodline templates but I don't handle it that way. Just give the commoners an xp head start, and as the levels progress those who increase their bloodlines will get an ECL anyway.
    After all a large part of the game is to play people touched by the power of the gods in a really neat setting.
    The extra stat does cost you. I always use a points buy system, so you can keep it low & hope to blood thieve (but don't count on surviving long if you become known for your little feeding habit) or you can buy it up at character gen and be weaker across the board.

    End of blurb. Thanks for reading.
    ([_]
    me

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    Mourn wrote:

    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at: http://www.birthright.net/read.php?TID=1392
    >
    > Mourn wrote:
    >

    >Elves: The Low-light vision thing does seem wrong, nowhere else do you get a range on low light vision. Also the favoured class is too open, bite the bullet and pick one ;) ! Other than that I think they`re fine.
    >
    >
    >Fine? Immortal? Woodland Stride? NOTHING to balance these? They are not fine. Two POWERFUL abilities (I gain a point of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma for free, and lose nothing) adding on to the normal elf stats (with the new ability modifiers) make this race too powerful. I should be an ECL+1.
    >
    Mmmh. If I read the text on p.16 of the draft 0.0 I understand they do
    not suffer the ravages - but also do not gain the benefits:
    "An adult elf´s age has NO effect on her physical OR MENTAL ability scores."

    That means to me that they do not suffer the penalty to STR, DEX and
    CON, but do not gain the bonus to INT and WIS for old age, venerable and
    so on...
    bye
    Michael Romes

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "CMonkey" <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    Sent: Friday, March 07, 2003 6:23 AM


    > In reality you knock a knight on his back, he rolls to his feet.
    > In poorly researched cinema, he can`t get up.

    Sure, and according to numerous historical accounts left to us, that took a
    small mob of a two to three dozen opponants. Fewer if they were
    professional soldiers armed with pikes, or other anti-cavalry weapons.
    Accounts of armored men comming into combat with unarmered men, also suggest
    that armor is easily a force multiplier of two to five. Armored men get up
    just fine, and they can tumble as well. Seen both. Knightly training
    included an obstacle course of climbs, rolls, leaps, and other such things.
    Much easier in plate, than in chain. Exhausted knights might find it
    difficult to get up, but they were beatened before they were knocked down.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Caine
    Have to disagree with the turtle-knight thing.
    Point conceded to all concerned.


    It's a question of taste whether you give human sub-types a small plethora of modifiers or flavour their existing advantage of a bonus feat & 4 skill points. Either works & it's mainly up to you + players to pick what you like.
    That's true, but why deviate from the core rules so much? The core rules grant humans a bonus feat, bonus skills and any favored class. Why not just use those rules, and refine them (like WoT does) but still use those same rules.


    Elves/ +1 ecl is tempting but remember those stat bonuses cancel out, immortality is only so useful in a BR game (how many of us have characters with more than 20 years of game time & how many aging attacks are their?), woodland stride is neat as is low-light, and the hightened senses(good call on the range limit) but again how does it way up to a bonus feat & four skill points.
    Definately more boosts than a standard D&D elf. Enough to penalize them a level?
    I did note that the stat bonuses cancelled each other out. Immortality is only so useful, I realize that as well, and I didn't notice that they do not gain the benefits of age. Forever young, forever unchanging. That fits very well.

    However, I made a slight mistake when I said they have Woodland Stride.

    Woodland Stride: Starting at 2nd level, a druid may move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain at her normal speed and without suffering damage or other impairment.

    That's the druid ability. A 2nd-level ability, and it only functions in the woods. Here's the elf ability.

    Nature Stride: Elves may move through natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, heavy snow, soft sand, a treacherous mountain or similar natural terrain at their normal movement rate and without suffering damage or penalty.

    So, an elf can walk through the desert, snow, swamp, hills, mountains, and all manner of terrain without penalty, while a 2nd-level druid can only do this in the forest. They gain something stronger than a 2nd-level class ability, and you don't think that's unbalanced?

    As for low-light vision, it should not have a set range like that. If light allows for a human to see 70 feet, then the elf's low-light vision, which has a range of 60 feet, is worthless.


    Dwarves/ A DR is probably better than halving the damage. Why make them so strong against big opponents & hardly any better against weak ones.
    Exactly.


    Halflings/ Hardly looked at them but I'd just compare to Gnomes & see how big the difference really is. From most of what I noticed the really cool Halfling abilities from BR cost feats...
    BR halflings have the same traits has PHB halflings and then some. I have no problem having feat chains to gain racial abilities (which I think is cool, some people develop it, some don't), but granting them the ability to detect evil, undead and magic all at the same time with a Search check is unbalanced. They gain three 1st-level spell-like abilities, at will. This requires an ECL adjustment.


    I do tend to just give anyone who wants to play a non-blooded an extra level. The means of gaining a bloodline are few and hard to achieve. this would just suggest adding an ECL of +1 to all bloodline templates but I don't handle it that way. Just give the commoners an xp head start, and as the levels progress those who increase their bloodlines will get an ECL anyway.
    Yes, but this is supposed to be for official rules. There has to be a balance to the system, or it loses its professional credibility. The rules should provide for all of this without a DM having to make up his own way to handle it. The reason this document even exists is because DMs don't want to do all the work themselves... but they shouldn't have to work with broken mechanics, especially ones that contradict core rules and have serious balance issues.


    After all a large part of the game is to play people touched by the power of the gods in a really neat setting.
    The extra stat does cost you. I always use a points buy system, so you can keep it low & hope to blood thieve (but don't count on surviving long if you become known for your little feeding habit) or you can buy it up at character gen and be weaker across the board.
    How does it cost you? Say I say "I wanna be a scion, but I'll leave my score at 8 for now and not increase it." So, I have the same stats as everyone else, plus some. And as for bloodtheft... what kind of scion would not hide the fact that they commit bloodtheft? The Gorgon, perhaps, but I don't see very many PC scions running around, committing bloodtheft on other scions in front of many witnesses... plus, anyone who is the kind of person to commit bloodtheft on a regular basis would have little trouble getting rid of any witnesses.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    As currently written in Chapt 2 in order to gain a minor blood ability a scion would require a blood ability score of 12 not 8, so the player would not gain it for free in a point buy system.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by irdeggman
    As currently written in Chapt 2 in order to gain a minor blood ability a scion would require a blood ability score of 12 not 8, so the player would not gain it for free in a point buy system.
    Read my post. I never said a scion gained an ability at a score of 8. What I said is that by choosing to become a scion, you can gain something (a tainted bloodline) for free, whereas commoners have nothing to balance that in the system.

    So, by choosing to be a scion (and gaining a score of 8), I can become a wizard or sorcerer, since I have a bloodline. I gain access to a class that a commoner doesn't have access to, by meeting a requirement that I can gain for FREE. So, I gain the ability to cast "true" magic without having to pay for it.

    Then I can butcher some more scions and raise my score, gaining blood abilities with nothing to balance it against the commoner characters I interact with.
    I walk this fine thread...

    Mourn

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