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Vespertine Race

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:19 pm
by turtleman
Hello, first post here! I have been working on a setting called Isles of Maga, and a race I have been trying to develop are a bat-folk called Vespertines. I thought it seemed kind of original and maybe it would be good to go with BFRPG. I have not tested it in play yet, so it might be over/underpowered, I am not sure. Tell me what you think of the concept though, or if any stats should be adjusted.

Vespertine

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Description: Vespertines are a small humanoid beast race descended from bats that lost their ability to fly due to their size. They tend to be between 3 and 4 feet tall, and weigh between 60 and 90 pounds. Their fur is usually brown, grey, or black, though white fur is not unheard of. They always have black beady eyes. Vespertines live in large tribal communities, and usually make their homes in caves in the middle of rainforests. Vespertine communities are sometimes hostile, but always in self-defense and not aggressively.

Vespertines have an omnivorous diet of insects and fruit. Vespertines tend to dress plainly, in cloth or leather. Vespertines reach adulthood at 10 years, and have a lifespan of between 30 and 40 years.

Vespertines speak their own language, Vespertinean, and most know Common. Vespertines do not tend toward any particular class, and generally prefer to use diplomacy before entering combat. They are varied in their skills, having capable fighters, clerics, magic-users, and thieves among them. Vespertines have a reputation for being cheerful and sociable, but also sometimes disloyal and scheming.

Restrictions: Vespertines may become any single class, as well as Fighter/Magic-Users and Magic-User/Thieves. They are required to have a minimum Charisma of 9, and a maximum Strength of 17 due to their small stature. Vespertines never roll larger than a d6 for hit points, regardless of class. Vespertines may not use Large weapons, and must hold Medium weapons with both hands. Vespertines suffer a -1 attack penalty in bright sunlight or within the radius of a spell causing magical light.

Special Abilities: Vespertines can use sonar to "see" in total darkness, which mechanically works like 60' of Darkvision. This implies also that being deafened or silenced removes Darkvision, and also reduces vision to 10'. When attacked in melee by creatures larger than man-sized, Vespertines gain a +2 bonus to their Armor Class.

Saving Throws: Vespertines save at +4 vs. Death Ray or Poison, Magic Wands, Paralysis or Petrify, and Spells, and at +3 vs. Dragon Breath.

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:26 pm
by spidyfan21
I dig it! Needs a little balance, but I'm not sure where to place it. The 1d4 for 100' is a little strong, but the rest of the class is below average (no large weapons, limited to 1d6 HP). Maybe 1d4 for 25' once per combat and some sort of bite/scratch attack?

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:42 am
by turtleman
Thanks for the feedback! I think you are right that the sonic attack is overpowered, do you think decreasing the range to 60 feet or 30 feet is a good enough nerf? I really want to try a game with this race to see how it plays out. I'm playing (DMing actually) for the first time, so hopefully some experience gives me an idea of how to balance better.

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:15 am
by pinewood
Playtesting is a great way to get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Hope you have a blast DM'ing!

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:41 am
by SmootRK
OK, on balance...

+ All classes plus both(all) combos.
- HD max d6.
- weapon restrictions on size, however should get AC bonus vs large opponents like halfling.
++ Darkvision with variant (sound based - and cool)
++ Shriek attack for damage (most other races do not have natural attacks available, and certainly not ranged attacks using sonic/sound instead of physical damage)
+ Save bonuses

So, the way I would count these in my own manner 2 minuses and 6 pluses, for a net of +4... So needs some work in my mind.

My initial suggestions:
remove the shriek attack. Just unnecessary in my mind. removes two of the pluses
add a vision impairment, like what Orcs have (-1 in bright light). extra minus
That would put it at net one plus... and more acceptable in my mind.

Another thing you should incorporate into your race:
are any thief abilities affected or needing modification?

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:05 am
by pinewood
Removing the noise attack is probably a good idea.

What if the noise-vision worked like it actually did, where the object in 'sight' needs to be within a certain range, but doesn't require line-of-sight.

To help balance you could limit the AC bonus to Large to +1. Thief considerations should definitely be made.

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:18 pm
by mTeasdale
A big penalty for being deafened would probably suits the race. Something like deafened = blinded ?

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:24 am
by pinewood
Or deafened limits their vision to 10'/removes 'darkvision'.

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:12 am
by turtleman
Thanks everyone for the feedback! Here are the changes that sound good to me:
  • Remove the shriek attack.
  • -1 vision impairment in bright light.
  • Halfling bonus against large enemies (I meant to include this anyway but missed it).
  • Deafened is not the same as blinded, but it does get rid of Darkvision. Reducing vision to 10' also does not sound like a bad idea. It seems like Silence should have the same effect, if it works the way I think it does.
  • Save bonuses adjusted to be same as Halfling. No particular reason for this, I just feel like it is arbitrary right now.
I will look at thief adjustments too, I am thinking about what would work well.

Re: Vespertine Race

Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:04 am
by pinewood
Silence meaning that the room is quite or silence in the sense that the Vespertine cannot speak? The former shouldn't affect its vision, while the latter would. At least for a normal bat, as they generate the noises they use to see.

It might be a little too crunchy for my tastes, but something about reduced vision while trying to hide might be a good idea. You might also want a bonus to hide (also like Halflings) while in caves.