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Thread: Racial Levels.

  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    In Monte Cook`s _Arcana Unearthed_ he presents what could pretty easily be

    viewed as an extension to the thinking of _Savage Species_. To wit: racial

    levels. In a web enhancement he (and several of his friends) present

    racial levels for humans, elves, dwarves, and all the rest of the standard,

    D&D PC races. Each racial class has 3 levels. 1st level members of each

    race are pretty much "standard" versions of those races, and as they gain

    benefits based upon the themes of the themes and abilities of each

    race. Half-orcs, for instance, can gain the ability to rage at 2nd level,

    and a strength score increase at 3rd. It`s a very interesting idea and the

    treatment is well done. In some ways it`s a throwback to the old basic D&D

    rules in which one levelled up as a fighter, wizard, etc. if human, but

    demi-humans levelled up according to their race. The document is available

    at: http://www.montecook.com/arch_stuff48.html



    It occurs to me that in BR we can take this same thinking and even extend

    it a bit further by not only have racial levels for dwarves, elves,

    goblins, halflings, etc. but also for each of the human races. 1st level

    humans could have pretty much "standard" human characteristics, but several

    of the special abilities of each race might be assigned to 2nd or 3rd

    levels, allowing human characters to take levels as Anuirean, Brecht,

    Khinasi, Rjurik or Vos rather than simply assuming all members of those

    races/cultures have the exact same racial and cultural traits.



    In fact, there`s no real reason to limit the racial classes to three

    levels. While taking 20 levels in race might be a bit difficult to

    justify, the concept could be used to go as high as one wants, and such a

    system might be an interesting way of handling the differences between the

    human races in addition to the differences between the other races. Anyone

    have thoughts on this?



    Gary

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Question: Do these levels count against multiclassing? That would make having more than one character class very difficult. I ran into the same issue regarding scion levels as actual character levels.

    My personal preference is to count these sorts of levels (both racial and scion) as "free" character levels in regard to multiclassing.

    -Osprey

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:27 PM 9/28/2003 +0200, Osprey wrote:



    >Question: Do these levels count against multiclassing? That would make

    >having more than one character class very difficult. I ran into the same

    >issue regarding scion levels as actual character levels.

    >

    >My personal preference is to count these sorts of levels (both racial and

    >scion) as "free" character levels in regard to multiclassing.



    That would be my take on it. When I experimented with the scion class I

    had it "free" as far as multi-classing went. One of the things I`ve liked

    about the Ghostwalker D20 text is that the character classes of the PCs who

    become ghost (called eidolon and eidoloncer) have "free multiclassing"

    written up as a special ability for the 1st levels of those respective

    classes. While it`s not a terribly big deal to do that, it`s a nice way of

    noting the issue of multi-class penalties for things like an awn-/ershegh

    class, a scion class if one goes with that method of portraying bloodline,

    or for BR clerics who might be able to take levels in a class (rogue for

    Sera`s priesthood, magician for Rournil, maybe ranger for Erik`s, etc.) in

    a way that fits in with the typical method of writing up character classes

    that I think it just fits very smoothly. A similar class ability noted at

    the 1st level of BR classes would seem like a nice way of going about

    noting the features of those classes.



    Gary

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    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Yep...the only reason I have an issue here is that Savage Species says racial classes count as a character's Favored Class when multiclassing. Meaning non-standard "monster" races can only freely take one character class without XP penalties, otherwise 2 or more classes have to stay within one level of each other. Someone pointed out that in 3.5, prestige classes also counted as seperate classes. Silliness...

    For comparison, Traveller T20 said "free multiclassing" as a flat rule...makes for interesting blends of character classes at high levels, and more general diversity instead of high specialization (which is obviously the favored path in 3.x D&D). Since all T20 classes get bonus feats instead of class abilities, many classes = more feats but lower BAB's, and more diverse skill sets.

    -Osprey

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 05:17 PM 9/29/2003 +0200, Osprey wrote:



    >Yep...the only reason I have an issue here is that Savage Species says

    >racial classes count as a character`s Favored Class when

    >multiclassing. Meaning non-standard "monster" races can only

    >freely take one character class without XP penalties, otherwise 2 or more

    >classes have to stay within one level of each other. Someone pointed out

    >that in 3.5, prestige classes also counted as seperate classes. Silliness...



    Yeah, I`ve come to dislike the whole aspect of XP penalties for

    multi-classing. Aside from the way the penalty only kicks in under weird

    conditions, I don`t think it very accurately reflects the limitations of

    race regarding flexibility and versatility. Free multi-classing makes more

    sense with actual class restrictions regarding what race has access and

    how, not unlike BR`s restrictions on who can become a wizard, priest,

    etc. All that should be determined by the campaign, of course, but it just

    makes for a simpler way of handling things.



    Gary

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    >Yep...the only reason I have an issue here is that Savage Species says

    >racial classes count as a character`s Favored Class when

    >multiclassing. Meaning non-standard "monster" races can only

    >freely take one character class without XP penalties, otherwise 2 or more

    >classes have to stay within one level of each other. Someone pointed out

    >that in 3.5, prestige classes also counted as seperate classes. Silliness...



    << Yeah, I`ve come to dislike the whole aspect of XP penalties for

    multi-classing. Aside from the way the penalty only kicks in under weird

    conditions, I don`t think it very accurately reflects the limitations of

    race regarding flexibility and versatility. Free multi-classing makes more

    sense with actual class restrictions regarding what race has access and

    how, not unlike BR`s restrictions on who can become a wizard, priest,

    etc. All that should be determined by the campaign, of course, but it just

    makes for a simpler way of handling things.

    >>



    I think that actually in D&D 3.5 monster levels never count for

    multiclassing, ie. never cause you to incur an XP penalty. I clearly recall

    reading that in the 3.5 DMG. As opposed to the 3.0 DMG, which clearly states

    they do count.



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