Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

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Solomoriah
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:27 am

On a purely mechanical level, I don't like "-1 per hit die." No comments on the rest.
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SmootRK
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:27 pm

Solomoriah wrote:On a purely mechanical level, I don't like "-1 per hit die." No comments on the rest.
That was just an extrapolation based upon the Goblin's 1-1 HD... being one of the very few creatures with such a quality (if not the only such humanoid). Perhaps I can give this particular point more thought?

EDIT: But then again, the -1/HD does play through with the seargents, leaders, King types in the monster entry (perfectly without exception). I think this was one of the aspects that helped me to go this route originally in the race entry.

Personally, I never really liked the d6 maximum HD method for Elves, Halflings, and others. This particular method only penalizes Fighters, which I find counter-intuitive (Fighters ought be tougher than the clerics, even if the race overall is designed as relatively weaker than standard).

In my own House-Rules, I adjust this quality of Elves, Halfling (among others) to 1 die type smaller, with d3 being the die for MU and I also utilize a d5 (d10, 1-2=1, 3-4=2, etc.)...basically the converse of the Half-Ogre method of 1 die higher.
... but then again, I utilize AD&D style HD for class base before such adjustments (d10 fighter, d8 cleric, etc).

Again, I will try to brainstorm on an alternate method to address this.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:37 am

There are three ways to look at the minus 1.

1) This monster would use d6s, but they are not going to break the general rule that all monsters use d8s for hit die.
2) The monster has a weak constitution score causing a penalty for the average member. Similarly, if a race has a plus 1, it likely indicates a high con score.
3) What you are looking at is a fighter/thief, but the thief abilities are not included, they are meant to be assumed. If a goblin is sneaking up on the party, you don't roll its chance to sneak, you roll the party's chance to find it.

Anyway, if players who want to play a nonstandard race lose out on practically a couple levels worth of saving throw bonuses and powers, how would you classify that differently from a punishment?

I would like to understand how basic and poorly balanced are synonyms. Because in 20 years of playing effectively this same game I havv never understood this.
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Dimirag
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:40 am

I disagree with making a race bland just to make it less appealing. The inclussion of an optional class is 100% the gm's job.
Once it is open for a player to choose why to penalize him?
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:00 pm

Dimirag wrote:I disagree with making a race bland just to make it less appealing. The inclussion of an optional class is 100% the gm's job.
Once it is open for a player to choose why to penalize him?
Perhaps I conveyed this particular point poorly...
It is not so much distinctly making it Poor or Unbalanced. It is more of not throwing in a bunch of arbitrary kudos into the race to make it measure up to the traditional offerings. The intention was to make the monster races playable... not to change them drastically to give them equality.

For instance with Goblins, there is nothing in the Monster Entry that says ANYTHING about them being inherently Thief oriented, nor anything about d6 being the preferred HD, nor Survival-ish skills, nor toxic environments, etc.
I am not saying these are not unjust possibilities, but simply that the monster entry does not address these qualities. By all means, these can be included by House Rule or personal modification. This is what we all do around here to suit our particular campaign styles.

Again, when someone chooses a race, they have not suddenly been singled out as penalized... it was their choice. They read the material just like anyone else. For some players, the choice is about role-playing considerations, not the sum of bonuses and penalties attributed (admitting though that some design consideration was applied to roughly equate with other races, albeit imperfectly as comments show).

I am thinking that perhaps an alternate vision of these races could be produced by someone industrious enough.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:23 pm

I think you have failed to realize something.
When these stats were given to these particular monsters...
Well, there had been a lack of development.

You see, at the time the original designers worked primarily off Lord of the Rings. The opponets were not given any real development. The protagonist races, however, there was hard examples of what they could do.

The idea that someonidea of a "goblin" or validan "orc" utterly escaped Gygax, but youknow what? If it hadn't and he had e media of the last thirty years to work with, .disrespectful

he likely would have put more effort into the protagonist versions.

You lack the excuse. There are fine examples of heroic versions of these races. Orcs are the savage, hobgoblins are the exotic warriors, goblins are the fast-talking, small anti-elves. The choice players make when choosing these races is not to play a subpar halfing or dwarf, more damning, one that cannot even fight during the day.

That you cannot respect this, cannot see these preferences as valid is a bit sad. And you don't understand why people who don't prefer to play chararacters smaller and/or better looking than themselves feel frustrated and angry that they contributions are not being valued really is unnecessarily disrespectful.

However, perhaps the main issue is that dwarfs and halflings are unnecepsarily powarful. After all humans get nothing and seem fine and elves are almost laughably weak next to Halflings now that class and level restrictions are gone.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:51 pm

You state that there are "fine examples of heroic versions" of these races. Where have you seen these examples? Is there a literary or mythic source for them? Because I might find reading such works entertaining.

But the fact is, within the limitations of the existing game, Smoot has attempted to provide a way for races normally considered monstrous to be played as PCs. I can attest that this is successful, as there is a goblin character in a group I'm playing in now. Though he is finding the discrimination against him by various townspeople rather harsh, I think the player is enjoying the opportunity.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:22 am

I do think limiting Goblins to d6 HD is a reasonable mechanic, logically attested to by other PC races, and probably a bit more elegant than a -1 HP penalty.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:15 am

LibraryLass wrote:I do think limiting Goblins to d6 HD is a reasonable mechanic, logically attested to by other PC races, and probably a bit more elegant than a -1 HP penalty.
It is a reasonable way to incorporate their less powerful nature...
However, like I mentioned above, the 1-1 HD is consistent across their Sergeants (3-3 HD), Chiefs (5-5 HD), and their Kings (7-7 HD). It seems to me that the -1 hp per die is more in line with a distinct quality found in the monster entry. Yes, it defies the methodology used by Elves and Halflings, but I think it is still a fair way to deal with their particular nature.

All that said, perhaps it would be reasonable to split the difference a little?
Perhaps wording that says "A Goblin with class HD less than d6 (meaning MU and Thief having d4)does not apply the -1 deduction to HP rolls (Constitution bonus/penalty still applies).
EDIT: In my own house rules that utilize AD&D style HD, I would make this "less than d8"

This would relax the penalty for classes that the Goblin Adventurers are most likely to take on. This would also make them more robust than the Kobolds (which use the small HD method like I mentioned above), yet also show that their warrior types fit the HD progress as detailed within the actual monster entry.

EDIT: So here is the wording that I edited my draft to include (but no idea when I might get this uploaded to be "official"):
Goblins do not have great fortitude, and they are limited to maximum scores of 16 in Strength and Constitution. In addition to the Constitution limitation, Goblins must subtract one point from every hit die roll, down to a minimum of 1 hit point per die. However, a Goblin with a class hit die less than d6 does not apply the -1 deduction to hit point rolls (Constitution bonus/penalty still applies).
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:22 am

I dont mind the -1 to hp. A fighter would get 1-7hp per level. Better that an elven fighter. The only real difference is on the other classes.

How about a mixed rule: they are limited to 1d8-1hd. So only fighters get the reduce potencial but not as much as an elf
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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