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Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:27 am
by Solomoriah
Post your topics here for the Gnomes Supplement.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:41 pm
by frzntoz
I'm new to Basic Fantasy, and I'm using it as an introduction to role-playing for my sons. While reading over the Gnome supplement, I noticed two things.

First, the second sentence in the Combination Classes subsection seems to have an extra word. It says: "A Magic-User/Thief may wear cast spells while wearing leather armour, and may use any weapon." I think the word 'wear' should be removed?

The second observation is that a rule for Elves is included in the Combination Classes section. I understand why it might be here, as it relates to the new combination of Magic-User/Thief. But if I wasn't using this supplement (and maybe never saw it), I would have no idea that Elves could take this combination class. I'm not sure where this information should go instead of here, but it just seems out of place in the Gnome Supplement.

Thanks again for the awesome work on Basic Fantasy. I my comments help.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:49 pm
by Solomoriah
I got your email before. Sorry if I didn't reply (though I thought I did). First, that word is extraneous, and I'll remove it whenever I post a new version of the supplement. However, though I appreciate your opinion on the elves doing magic-user/thief bit being in the Gnomes supplement, I don't have anywhere better to put it, so I'm afraid it stays. Sorry.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:44 pm
by frzntoz
Thanks for the response, Solomoriah. There is no need to apologize for not removing the Elves bit. I also couldn't think of any other place to put it, and I fully understand on leaving that where it is. Maybe at some future document will contain these kinds of tidbits and it could be moved there.

I double checked my email, and I don't have anything there. But no worries; I'm new to participating here and I wasn't really sure where to submit comments, edits, etc. When I posted earlier today, I realized that it would probably be best to do it on the forums. :)

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:38 am
by purpleplatypus
I just finished doing up a table for my future players listing the abilities of each race I plan on allowing, and I noticed that a Gnome, per this supplement, is strictly inferior to a Dwarf in terms of racial abilities. Both have darkvision, and (identical) generous save bonuses; and both are restricted from using Large weapons. However, Gnomes have an additional limitation (no hit dice over d6), and Dwarves have their detection abilities in addition to this package.

Some sort of additional ability should be added to Gnomes to compensate. My vote, as a flavourful and quirky ability that is useful (at least in my games) just often enough to compensate for these disadvantages, is the ability to communicate with burrowing mammals that they are given in 3rd edition.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:02 am
by Solomoriah
Actually, purple, the previous release of the Gnome supplement had a note in it about needing something extra; I removed it after years passed with no comments.

Also please note, their save bonuses are not exactly the same as Dwarves. They do not have a Dwarf's racial bonuses against magic. You can't have it both ways: Naturally resistant to magic, and able to use magic. IMO, of course.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:13 am
by SmootRK
Solomoriah wrote:Actually, purple, the previous release of the Gnome supplement had a note in it about needing something extra; I removed it after years passed with no comments.

Also please note, their save bonuses are not exactly the same as Dwarves. They do not have a Dwarf's racial bonuses against magic. You can't have it both ways: Naturally resistant to magic, and able to use magic. IMO, of course.
Overall, I think new/alternate races (meaning other than core races), should be slightly sub-par compared to the core set. This is not to say they cannot have interesting abilities or even just interesting backgrounds to make gaming fun and interesting... but they should not be created in such a way to make playing the core races a dumb choice. Why play a dwarf, if there exists another race with same or better abilities in certain niches? If somebody said, I am going to bring Kryptonians to my game; they are stonger, faster, invulnerable, an array of special powers, etc... then why play a human or dwarf or elf from that point on.... of course, such a race is overpowered. Nobody would do that, but I use such an exaggerated example to prove the point. If you build something (race/class/whatever) that has a substantial edge over traditional offerings, then the traditional offerings will fall to increasing disuse.

Balance is a facade and not truly achievable... but one should endeavor to come close as possible during the creation process.

But, enough of my little soapbox.

I don't use race limitations on classes... meaning dwarves can be MU (but rarely in the cultural role-play thing... they are outcasts and ostracized). Dwarves that still go after MU class, lose their bonus against magic (Spells and Wands save bonuses). Which puts them closer to Gnomes in this sense.

I like the old ability "speak with burrowing mammals" because it has a quirky coolness to it. If you use the Illusionist subclass, then I would suggest that the Illusion save bonus (+2) becomes +3 for gnomes... and perhaps the target of illusionist spells cast by gnome get a penalty of -1 to their saves. These are just suggestions based upon the ad&d roots.

Then again, I don't really use gnomes as player race... so what the heck am I doing here!?! :shock:

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:04 pm
by Solomoriah
I disagree here. A new race can be, and perhaps should be, on par with the existing races. That doesn't mean I won't look carefully at any abilities that might unbalance such a character, of course.

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:33 pm
by SmootRK
Solomoriah wrote:I disagree here. A new race can be, and perhaps should be, on par with the existing races. That doesn't mean I won't look carefully at any abilities that might unbalance such a character, of course.
Perhaps, sub-par is bad wording. I mean really that they should not be better than core races. Close, yes... but not better.

If by the introduction of a race, everyone feels the need to be one (especially the rule-lawyer people)... then likely your race is over board. This was really bad in 1e, when the Unearthed Arcana books came out with Drow, Deep Gnomes, etc. Nobody would be a standard gnome once the choice of the deep ones was available.

Strangely, lately I seem to be the one sounding so very strict. :shock: That is Hyway's job! :lol:

Re: Gnomes Supplement

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:02 pm
by purpleplatypus
No-one is saying new races should be *better* than standard ones. All I said was that the gnome was, and shouldn't be, strictly inferior to an existing race, namely the dwarf.

Maybe the terminology is unclear - X is "strictly inferior" to Y if Y has every good point that X does, and in addition, either Y has some additional advantage or X has some drawback Y doesn't (or, as in this case, both). If you're familiar with Magic: the Gathering, a simple example is comparing Shock to Lightning Bolt. You'd never choose Shock over Bolt; if you were allowed both, Shock would only be used, if at all, in decks that already had the maximum allowable number of Bolts and could still benefit from more cheap direct damage.

In the example above, the dwarf is the Kryptonian (though of course, not to anywhere near the same degree) and the gnome is the other guy. I agree that introducing new races that are obviously better than existing ones is bad, but introducing new ones that are obviously worse isn't any better if for no other reason than that it's likely to represent a waste of effort.

I stand corrected on the saving throws, but that just further underscores my point, being yet another respect in which the gnome is worse off than a dwarf.

As far as dwarf MUs and other unorthodox class/race combos go, those in my (3E and up) games have typically focused on crafting magic items - that seems like the logical thing for a dwarf mage to specialize in from an old-school perspective (indeed, lots of the old game books imply that dwarves are quite good at this, even though there was no way for a PC to implement that back then). As a nod in this direction, I'll be allowing Dwarf Spellcrafters, but not dwarf MUs or Illusionists. (I won't be allowing any other arcane spellcasting classes).