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 Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:59 am

SmootRK wrote: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.
Fair, perhaps, but I did it that way because I didn't want to use non-d8 hit dice for any monsters (save those with 1d4 hit points) for historical reasons.

That doesn't mean you can't do it your way. Just clearing up the history behind the decision.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:34 pm

Solomoriah wrote:
SmootRK wrote: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.
Fair, perhaps, but I did it that way because I didn't want to use non-d8 hit dice for any monsters (save those with 1d4 hit points) for historical reasons.

That doesn't mean you can't do it your way. Just clearing up the history behind the decision.
Yeah, the thing is that Goblins are pretty consistent across all the editions in this regard (or at least the editions that I am familiar with)... another reason I think I would rather keep that little tidbit in the race detailed here (albeit, with the extra bit about less than d6).

Dimi, as I mentioned above, I am not a big fan of the rule (d6 dice thing) for the reason that it only penalizes fighters. I am bending for the weakest of the game, but I think the rule could stand the way I wrote it in that little revision.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:24 pm

some tweaking was done and a few small details added, so here is a new draft of the document. There is substantial white space between some portions. I am hoping that Solo will allow me to drop in the art corresponding to each monster into this document, but I am not ready to deal with the art for now.

EDIT: a few additional changes to incorporate a slight modification from the Magic-User/Thief (as presented in the Gnome Supplement). Some Language tweaks throughout as well... realizing this is one of those documents (years old) that utilizes a certain style that is irksome to Solomoriah (use of "they" when singular terms might be more proper). While I am in revision mode, I might as well see that the language usage is improved a bit. This may take a little while to fix completely.

EDIT (12/29/13): A round of editing the basic language use, including the latest ideas for Combination Class.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:29 pm

"A magic user/thieve can wear cast spells".
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:52 pm

Solomoriah wrote: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.
Orcs are mostly in video game form.

WarCraft series gives plenty of examples of Orcs and has some inclusion of Goblins. Both Orcs and Goblins are playable races in the game, although their Goblins are a fair bit different from D&D ones.
WarHammer games have Orcs & Goblins as a faction in the game, the Orcs are actually better in battle although Goblins in this game are intentionally weak. Still, they have them displaying some interesting traits.
Of Orcs and Men has a great story, though the game play is a bit limited, staring an Orc and a Goblin.
There is a Jig the Goblin series by Jim C. Hines, a trilogy of books starring Goblins.

There is certainly a lot more beyond that. Hobgoblins are nearly impossible to find since they are sort of a D&D exclusive concept. WarHammer and WarCraft Hobgoblins are massively different from D&D ones, though some of the concepts of the former (being far more "human" than their cousins) kind of ring true.

D&D 3E and 4E developed these races out to a far greater degree than 1E and 2E D&D and began actually delving into what they were uniquely good at. In 4E, both races can be taken as PC races and are pretty much precisely on par with every other race.

Just because an ability doesn't appear directly on them when written as opponents doesn't mean they need to be worse than every other race. There are plenty of things about them that are in fact assumed but affect combat not-at-all.
They manage to live in places PCs other than Ranger or Druids would be able to get on for more than maybe a month. They can hide and require PCs to take spot checks to find them. They can partner with things PCs cannot. And their ability to overcome various non-combat obstacles has a big question mark over it because they were not written to be present in any such situations.

It is a relatively simple process to take the things that everyone just assumed about them and didn't need any distinctly written rules when controlled by DMs, look for inspiration to where they were more fully developed then bring those ideas back in order to give them what is needed to stand in as perfectly serviceable alternatives to PC races rather than making the choice "would you like to excel or would you like to suck" which is not what the choice should be about at all.

If I say "I want to play as a Hobgoblin", I am not saying "I want to utterly stink at absolutely everything next to the Dwarf and be pretty useless to the party in general.", I am saying "I want to be tall, have odd-colored skin, big ears, glowy eyes, sharp teeth and be an angry, mean mercenary from a lawful but evil culture that is totally cool with slavery and war for profit, and have to overcome his own prejudices and others to become a hero."

To make the later equate to the former feels a lot like "how dare you want to be something that wasn't a hero in the Lord of the Rings series!" rather than a natural extension of the concept.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:51 pm

I see. You're using World of Warcraft as a basis for your preferences. I'm afraid you won't find a lot of sympathy here... computer games are almost the antithesis of the sort of game "feel" most of us are going for in developing materials for BFRPG.

As far as the question of whether or not you, playing a hobgoblin, are or should be comparable to a dwarf... that's a matter for your GM to decide. Basic Fantasy RPG is Old School, and one of the things that means is that the GM has the final decision on everything. Even the Core Rules are no barrier to the GM. So if your GM disagrees with Mr. Smoot's version of "Monsters as Player Characters," then he or she may change things as desired; but if your GM agrees with Smoot, you're out of luck. If you are the GM, then feel free to do as you wish in your game.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:28 am

Not that I necessarily agree with him, but the it's true that if you're looking for orc heroes in the first place looking at computer games is logical, they're a bit thin on the ground in fantasy novels...

I guess there's the Urgals in the Inheritance Cycle, but the less our game resembles that crap the better AFAIC. The First Blood trilogy, maybe, or Mr. Nutt in Discworld, those are about all I can come up with litwise.

Orcs were playable in Warcraft long before WoW, just saying.

Elder Scrolls orcs are pretty hefty fellows, and that franchise literally spun off out of one of the devs' D&D campaigns.

And Warhammer has a pretty long tradition of playable tough-guy orcs and it's mainly a tabletop thing.
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:41 am

I have updated the first post of this thread with a new working file for release 3 of this Supplement. As noted a few posts ago, it includes language changes throughout (could use a fresh set of eyes to look over for any weird/wrong language use).

That said, and taking into account the various opinions (yes I value opinions)... I am open to small tweaks that might improve the balance of one or more of these races.
One Major Caveat: Any Suggestions MUST have some rationale found within the BFRPG monster entry even if we have to extrapolate some feature.

For instance: Kobold Poison resistance and trap bonus was an extrapolation from "Whenever they can, Kobolds set up ambushes near trapped areas." (loosely extrapolated, I know) Another in Kobold is the Missile Bonus like Halflings coming from "They tend to prefer ranged combat, closing only when they can see that their foes have been weakened."

I am very much open to discussion on features that might improve the supposed balance of these races, but again... give concrete rationale coming directly from BFRPG or perhaps from basic edition sources (you know what I mean here, preferably BX or BECMI, perhaps 1e/2e but not later). I am not going to entertain concepts taken from elsewhere... just too debatable as a sound source (and not likely to match most of our members' ideals).
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:03 am

hmmm. I had expected a few new ideas to fill in here. The thing is, that I do not currently have copies of all the various b/x, becmi, and such to reference myself, at least at this time. I could likely get a pdf to look over for something that somebody cites (or they could copy/past the relevant text in a forum post) so that we have something to work with... but I am not going to go out of the way to acquire various editions just to pull ideas generated from certain phrases.

So, anyone with the various books on hand to try and find a few tidbits to enhance one or more races?
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Re: Monsters as Player Characters: A Basic Fantasy Supplement

Post Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:50 am

Blogger has added something that might get a mention next time this supplement is updated.
http://boddynock-te.blogspot.com/2015/0 ... oblin.html
Image
Blue Goblin
with edits from the original posting. These creatures are known in the Field Guide as Boglins (ie. Blue Goblins).

You'd think as an ambassador to gnomes here at the Gnomish Embassy, that I'd have a prejudice against goblins. Especially since goblins get a goblin week and we don't even have an official gnome day (gnome day is September 8th in the gnomish calender, by the way). But that could be further from the truth. I do like goblins and though gnomes get bonuses to hit goblins due to "Combat Training" or "Hatred", we here at the Embassy strive to patch up gnome-goblin relations. It's those damn kobolds we hate- I'm kidding!

Anyway this is an appreciation for the rather understated psionic/esoteric counterpart to the goblin: the Blue. Blues are an eldritch offspring in goblin liters and are often killed at childbirth due to their skin color being a blue or dark purple color, rather than than standard brown or green. Not only is their skin off, blues tend to develop strange powers and have a connection to the ley lines that run in the depths of the earth. In a goblin village, blues are at best treated as a pariah that nobody harasses too much for fear of their power, but are never invited to anything the village does, except in the times of greatest emergencies. In these fine times the blue tends to live close, but not too close to the village, preferring a cave or tent just outside the territory. At worst they are just hung at the slightest provocation by a superstitious lot.

There are some chieftains of either a progressive streak or a pragmatic knowledge that do keep blues in their war council as these creatures are often the few that possess the same kind of powers that elves and gnomes seem to wield. These blues are still feared and somewhat distrusted, but they are relied upon and it is a crime to harass or assault such a blue. A danger to the non-goblin population is when these types of blues slowly take control and begin to influence the tribes as their greater intelligence and bitterness at their treatment combines to an effective fighting force that likes to conquer and enslave areas. The worst for outsiders is when a whole group of blues have formed a "Shadow Council" and have put their powers to the test.

Blues can also be found outside of goblin tribes as loners who like to live in their caves or towers, assistants to non-goblin wizards who recognize their potential, or as agents of sinister cult who wants to put those same powers to work for their unnamed gods. Blues that join adventurers tend to be the very former- servants of wizards who have either moved on their own or have been given blessing by their humanoid masters to work with a party.

Basic Fantasy: Blue Goblins are a lot like the Goblin Player race found here, with the following exceptions: Blue goblins typically lack the same access to clerical magic, preferring arcane magic. They learn an extra spell at character creation and have a +2 Save Versus Wands as they understand avoiding the devices of magic.
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