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 Post subject: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:13 pm 
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Before I begin, I skimmed through the archived playtest forums and I like the discussion that occurred here: http://www.goodman-games.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=19159

While I like the concept of the race being a distinct class that the character inhabits, I'm beginning to agree with my players that the racial classes are too limiting and they force a certain kind of personality and playstyle simply because of race. We played through the introductory adventure and I had one player who came through the end with an elven artisan who was gravitating toward clerical activities and a halfling gypsy who managed to acquire both of the spellbooks from the adventure, and now both players want to be a cleric and wizard respectively.

There's this idea that at some point there will be tailored racial classes for the archtypes that aren't present in the book, the halfling wizard and the dwarven cleric and the elven fighter, but my players don't want to wait for something that might come out. Neither do I.

It seems like I have two choices:
A) Make race distinctly separate from class and write them up similarly to how classical AD&D has the races designed.
B) Tailor the racial classes to be more like plug-and-play classes. For example, if a player wants to play a halfling wizard then lose the two-weapon fighting and good luck charm advantages and assign the HP, weapon training, attack bonus, crit die/table, action dice, and language abilities of the wizard class. Retain the saving throws, infravision, small size, and stealth abilities of the halfling, and VOILA! Halfling wizard.

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:26 pm 
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If I had to choose, I would go for your option B. In the thread you referenced Finarvyn mentioned that he allows a "multi-class" of race and class, and that seems like a good compromise and is similar to your option B.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:08 am 
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I would probably also dump saving throws and stealth, otherwise it's way more advantageous to be a nonhuman wizard. Infravision isn't that much of a benefit, and small size/speed is a good detriment to counterbalance.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:13 am 
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If you do come up with a seperate race statblock, make sure to have some level of balance. The present rules are designed to allow randomness to select what kind of character you play so there isn't a pretense of balance, but as soon as you break race and class into two seperate things you may find that everyone wants to pick certain races (cough, elf, cough) because they tend to be better than humans.

My rule is this: if everyone wants to play a certain race, it's too good and needs to be tweaked. (I call this the "Warhammer" rule, where Games Workshop continually seems to be taking races that folks don't like as much and redoing them to make them even better. GW does it for sales, you would do it to keep the campaign fun.)

Just my two coppers. (Oh, and nice to be remembered from the other thread. 8) )

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Apart from pointlessly repeating what everyone else has already said, I'd just add that you really need to ensure you give a seriously good incentive to playing a human. Possibly even to the point of tipping the balance slightly in their favour, because in a lot of players' eyes, the demi-human races have a cool factor humans lack, and even if mechanically balanced, that can still lead to demi-humans being selected more than humans. In many fantasy rpgs I think humans have tended to get the short end of the stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:28 pm 
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This may sound impossible to believe, but my players don't pick the best options for their characters. They really do role-play their characters. The player at my table who rolled up "halfling gypsy" as his starting occupation thought the character would end up being a Thief if she survived the funnel but since she had two spellbooks at the end of the session he said "She'll probably try so hard to read these books that she ends up becoming a wizard instead." This player doesn't even own a copy of the rulebook and has no idea how the magic system works, let alone how "cool" demihumans can be. I've been playing RPGs with this guy for 6 years and he's never owned the rulebook for any of the systems I've run, except for GURPS.
The other player in my group who doesn't own the rulebook rolled up an "elven artisan" and a Personality of 5, but he wants to play a Cleric because he thinks the concept of an inept cleric would be fun to role-play.

In short, the dictates of storytelling are more important than stat blocks for my players, so what is balanced is something I never pay attention to. That being said...

Colin wrote:
...you really need to ensure you give a seriously good incentive to playing a human. Possibly even to the point of tipping the balance slightly in their favour, because in a lot of players' eyes, the demi-human races have a cool factor humans lack, and even if mechanically balanced, that can still lead to demi-humans being selected more than humans.


Well, what I threw together at the beginning of this article was just me eyeballing the classes in the book and trying to make something cohesive and logical.

beermotor wrote:
I would probably also dump saving throws and stealth, otherwise it's way more advantageous to be a nonhuman wizard.


I could see getting rid of the stealth ability, but not the saving throw modifiers. I see rolling up a demihuman race as a trump when it comes to saving throws. The random nature of character creation leave you with only a 30% chance of getting a demihuman race and then what are the chances they will survive the funnel? It's pretty random. I think keeping the racial saving throw modifiers makes them more special, it's like having Infravision. Any player who actively wants to play the stereotypical elven fighter-mage then has only a 1-in-10 chance of even getting to play an elf before they throw that character through the funnel. I don't think you need to make humans stronger to give people an incentive to play them for the same reason you can justify giving the demihumans a slight advanatage, there's a 70% chance you'll be playing a human.

But, again, my experiences at my gaming table are unique as I've already stated.

I'm more curious how other people would break down the demihumans into the traditional four classes.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:07 pm 
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nerdwerds wrote:
I'm more curious how other people would break down the demihumans into the traditional four classes.


I'd probably keep stealth as a racial ability for the halfling. Otherwise, what's the point of the character being a halfling? Infravision? The others have that too. Since you're looking at mechanics here and not only flavor, I'd keep a mechanic that says "halfling" (if stealth can be said to be that...)

You could also keep all racial abilities, and give human PCs say, a total +2 or +3 bonus to their stats, that they can split as they wish among one or more of their initial stats (STR, AGI, ...). In-game, this could be explained as humans being a bit more into developping their attributes, learning, exerting, etc... Perhaps no more than +2 to one specific stat.

It may not be balanced and I've obviously not playtested or otherwise thought this over thoroughly, but I think it would just say: human players, you're not forgotten.

Like you seem to suggest, the random nature of race distribution at the outset means any player might come up with a "better" race anyway, so balance would probably not really be a concern of mine either.

Sky

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:15 pm 
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I always like the idea that humans just advance quicker. It's easier to do this in D&D with either XP bonuses or lower XP requirements per level. It's a bit more difficult in this game but you could still do it if you wanted. A simple +1 XP per session for humans (I prefer giving humans a bonus over penalizing demi-humans) or maybe they require lower points per level. It may take a tweak of the XP charts too.

At this time it's not something I plan to do but it's something to consider. I like that with a simple tweak like this a human is likely to be higher level than his demi-human comrades after a few adventures, it kind of simulates the human drive and makes up for their reduced lifespan. At the same time a high level elf should be more powerful than a high level human for instance and if played (and able to survive) long enough they will be. Since it's rare you ever reach high levels the human becomes much more attractive and you really don't need to worry about "balance".


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:32 pm 
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The concept I was playing with when I first got the game was that all classes are as they are written until level 5. After level 5, the character can continue on as whatever they are, or take another "class." Classes after level 5 you essentially bolt on to your character. The only caveat, however, is as you've described, nerdwerds, there has to be something in the course of play that allows the character to start down another path. So, a warrior might be hired to be a wizard's bodyguard -- they adventure together for 5 levels, and during this time, the warrior picks up some knowledge of magic -- maybe the wizard Patron Bonds him, maybe he toys around with scrolls in his downtime...whatever. Now he can take the Wizard class -- and he stops advancing as a Warrior.

I hadn't decided whether the character can jump around, level to level, to different classes, but probably not. Classes in this (and the older games) were a _path_ not just a job. You're living and breathing wizardry or priestly duties or warrior skills every day, all day just to be as good as you are.

On the demihuman side, the races are what they are up to level 5, then they can specialize in some class -- Warrior, Wizard, Cleric or Thief. Or they can just continue on being what they are.

I had bigger dreams of introducing the "other classes" at level 5 -- Monk, Ranger, Specialized Wizard, etc -- but seems pretty unnecessary now.

Oh -- and I totally disagree on the "balancing of classes/races." The world should balance the races and classes, not necessarily the rules. The DM has many balancing options at his disposal -- since he is the repository of all gaming reality to the characters. With the funnel in place, the races are naturally balanced against a player's preference of race. No need to change anything on that score.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:37 pm 
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I've just been reading the book so far, but I'd already come to the conclusion that my players would definitely want the opportunity to play something other than just a "dwarf," "elf, or "halfling" regardless of how much my personal proclivities go in that direction due to my starting out with that old school style long ago...

So going over stuff, I figure, a 0-level dwarf, elf, or halfling, could simply take ANY class they wanted at 1st level (though the racial classes would be limited to only that race). Of their "racial abilities" they would only keep the one bonus and the one penalty that they have at 0-level (p 21, though I've already modified them to better fit my own campaign ideas):

Dwarf: Infravision and Short (base speed 20')

Elf: Heightened Senses and Iron Sensitivity

Halfling: Stealthy (+2 Sneak Silently and Hide in Shadows) and Short (base speed 20')

For the Languages issue, IMC all demihumans will speak their native tongue for free and, if INT is 9+, speak fluent Common. If their INT is 8-, they speak broken Common with a terrible accent, and must use their bonus language gained at 1st level (if they take their racial class) to take fluent Common...

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:46 pm 
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James Mishler wrote:
So going over stuff, I figure, a 0-level dwarf, elf, or halfling, could simply take ANY class they wanted at 1st level (though the racial classes would be limited to only that race). Of their "racial abilities" they would only keep the one bonus and the one penalty that they have at 0-level (p 21, though I've already modified them to better fit my own campaign ideas):


That's a simple and elegant solution. I like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:45 pm 
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nerdwerds wrote:
James Mishler wrote:
So going over stuff, I figure, a 0-level dwarf, elf, or halfling, could simply take ANY class they wanted at 1st level (though the racial classes would be limited to only that race). Of their "racial abilities" they would only keep the one bonus and the one penalty that they have at 0-level (p 21, though I've already modified them to better fit my own campaign ideas):


That's a simple and elegant solution. I like it!

Indeed. Well done. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:38 am 
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James Mishler wrote:
Halfling: Stealthy (+2 Sneak Silently and Hide in Shadows) and Short (base speed 20')


I recall reading the book this week and noticing that only the dwarfs have base speed of 20'.

Perhaps the halfling's penalty could be having hairy feet.

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Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:49 am 
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James Mishler wrote:
...I figure, a 0-level dwarf, elf, or halfling, could simply take ANY class they wanted at 1st level (though the racial classes would be limited to only that race). Of their "racial abilities" they would only keep the one bonus and the one penalty that they have at 0-level...

I'm 99.9% sure there was a point in the game's development where that was the basic idea -- demi-humans at level 1 could take, say, cleric, and follow that path, and they'd just be less 'elfy' or less 'dwarfy' than a o-level demi-human that took their racial class.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:03 am 
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Skyscraper wrote:
James Mishler wrote:
Halfling: Stealthy (+2 Sneak Silently and Hide in Shadows) and Short (base speed 20')


I recall reading the book this week and noticing that only the dwarfs have base speed of 20'.

Perhaps the halfling's penalty could be having hairy feet.

The halflings' movement penalty is well hidden; they *are* stealthy, you know. :lol: Check out the **footnote to table 3-3 on pg. 72.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:48 pm 
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I prefer :

Dwarf : Infravision, Slow, Underground Skills (i see these skills as an innate capacity but not sure)
Elf : Infravision, Immunities, Vulnerabilities, Heightened Senses,
Halfling : Infravision, Small size, Slow

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:59 pm 
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raskal wrote:
I prefer :

Dwarf : Infravision, Slow, Underground Skills (i see these skills as an innate capacity but not sure)
Elf : Infravision, Immunities, Vulnerabilities, Heightened Senses,
Halfling : Infravision, Small size, Slow


I like this, but I would be tempted to let halflings keep their luck regen ( but can no longer 'gift' it). Just to keep a bit more of their 'halflingness'. Just lie dwarfs retain their underground skills and elves keep immunities, vulnerabilies, and heightened sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:32 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
James Mishler wrote:
...I figure, a 0-level dwarf, elf, or halfling, could simply take ANY class they wanted at 1st level (though the racial classes would be limited to only that race). Of their "racial abilities" they would only keep the one bonus and the one penalty that they have at 0-level...
I'm 99.9% sure there was a point in the game's development where that was the basic idea -- demi-humans at level 1 could take, say, cleric, and follow that path, and they'd just be less 'elfy' or less 'dwarfy' than a o-level demi-human that took their racial class.
There was this discussion, and this was the intent at one point. The objection that many had was that elves, dwarves, or halflings would lose their racial abilities and gain their class abilities. Essentially, they would play as humans but have the appearance of the other race. Naturally, many players objected and wanted to retain both. :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:23 am 
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I've been mulling this over, and the race separate from class issue appears to be really something that rests on very little solid ground. Not that I cannot understand it, mind you.

The game says you have seven classes. They are called 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You can choose any. Here are their abilities and features. Among those, the game says that classes 1-4 include "being human " as a class feature, and classes 5, 6 and 7 respectively include "being a dwarf, being a halfling and being an elf" as a class feature.

I see as much reason to allow elves to also be wizards or fighters, as I see reason to include bard, monk, barbarian and druid as a class or half-orc, goliath or gnome as a race. It's just that the race feature appears in the class definition and that irks players due to the format D&D (and later computer and tabletop RPGs) has spread in the past, namely that race is separate from class.

I admit that I fall straight into it myself. "Why not a halfling wizard?" Why not, indeed. I think it's all about tinkering with the rules to make the game as you want them to be. But it's our conditioning, from prior experience, that's toying with us.

I do not preclude eventually separating race from class. But before I do so, I want to try to rid myself of my conditioning as much as I can, play the game as it stands, and see where it leads, to what flavor. For that, I need to embrace that race = class, which means something culturally with respect to how dwarves and elves and halfling do not fit within the human approach. They need to be different societies, different mindsets. They need to be different. An elf is not just a human with pointy ears and an aversion to metal. He comes from a different place where people think differently.

/musings

Sky

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Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Skyscraper wrote:
...
The game says you have seven classes. They are called 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You can choose any. Here are their abilities and features. Among those, the game says that classes 1-4 include "being human " as a class feature, and classes 5, 6 and 7 respectively include "being a dwarf, being a halfling and being an elf" as a class feature.
...

Sky

I hear you, Sky, and agree for the most part. My group is also playing classes as written. However, it may be more accurate to say that 1-4 are a choice, and 5,6,7 are uniquely determined by your occupation roll.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:05 pm 
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I've gone full circle and really appreciate Race as Class as the standard, and DCC RPG's choice of doing it this way has really solidified it for me. BUT I have contemplated the concept of why not. I think Multi-classing is the best way to allow a Halfling Wizard or a Elven Thief. DCC RPG has a unified XP table, so multi-classing can work easily. I've written some notes on it an idea, but no one in my group has bothered. Probably because, no one in my group is as experience or familiar with the later versions of D&D (starting with AD&D) as I am. But I'd do it this way:

Instead of improving a level in their current class, any character may take a level in either Warrior, Wizard, Cleric or Thief (and others when available.) They get the main class feature. And improve, with the Hit Dice and saving throws of that class at 1st level, etc.

(There might be specific rules for each class, but those are just details.)

When (and if, hehe) the character gains another level, they may take level in either class, or in a new class, using the same rules as above.

So a Dwarf will have a level in Dwarf, then a level in Cleric, and possibly a level in Wizard if they're so inclined.

Level progression is SO SLOW that multi-classing will probably not be worth it. (Being focused in a trade will always be superior than someone that's have diverse skills, in my opinion.)

And, see... the more I think about it, the less I find it will be appealing to players, but it's their choice. No worries about power creep.

I think the best option is to create new demi-human classes to increase the options. I really LOVE ACKS's multiple classes for each "race". They have 2 "classes" for each demi-human, and I think they'd be really cool to port over to DCC RPG. I don't think it'd be very hard to create a Halfling Magic User, or a Dwarven Cleric or a Elven Thief (Assassin.) ... I'm actually planning something like this in an upcoming zine, maybe...

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:24 pm 
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I've considered taking all of the benefits of both the Halfling and Wizard class at 5th level and putting them together at 10th level and then working backward to 1st level to generate a unique level progression.
For example, a 10th level Halfling Wizard would have 8 Known Spells, a maximum Spell Level of 3, Sneak & Hide of +9, and saves of Reflex +3, Fortitude +2, Willpower +3. The class would be weaker overall and develop very slowly, but it almost harkens back to the feeling of level limits for some races in "outside" classes.

reverenddak wrote:
I've gone full circle and really appreciate Race as Class as the standard, and DCC RPG's choice of doing it this way has really solidified it for me. BUT I have contemplated the concept of why not. I think Multi-classing is the best way to allow a Halfling Wizard or a Elven Thief.


I like this idea too. I like a lot of these ideas.
I think the next time we play I'm going to discuss all of the options suggested here and my group will likely decide together how best to handle it.

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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:18 pm 
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I don't see any reason to forbid a demi-human from taking a regular class, and keeping the obvious racial characteristics like speed and infravision. The simple fact of the matter is that the way characters are rolled, sometimes you have stats that make a demi-human a perfect fit for one of the "human" classes, but not so much for the racial class. If I roll up a halfling with Str16, Ag7, Stm13, Per10, Int9, Lck 14, why in the world wouldn't I choose to be a warrior over the halfling class?

It also seems strange to me that people would think that demi-humans wouldn't have clerics, thieves, warriors and even wizards in their societies.


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:27 am 
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Eyeball360 wrote:
If I roll up a halfling with Str16, Ag7, Stm13, Per10, Int9, Lck 14, why in the world wouldn't I choose to be a warrior over the halfling class?

Because that would be drifting toward that old min/max thing, that some folks do not like, and which is counter to the spirit of DCC RPG. YMMV. FNR.

Eyeball360 wrote:
It also seems strange to me that people would think that demi-humans wouldn't have clerics, thieves, warriors and even wizards in their societies.

And yet in '74, they didn't have classes for that either. The demi-humans were of a narrower mind-set/culture/whatever than humans were, and human characters had more clout. People playing human characters has dwindled drastically in the last twenty years or so, in my experience. I've had people ask me why I was playing a human, the implication being they don't have as much stuff they can do... Giving them classes that other races can't quite touch gives them stuff they can do... :mrgreen:

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Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Race separate from Class
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:49 am 
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Eyeball360 wrote:
If I roll up a halfling with Str16, Ag7, Stm13, Per10, Int9, Lck 14, why in the world wouldn't I choose to be a warrior over the halfling class?

being a halfling gets you super-good, better than even a warrior can do two-weapon fighting that your high strength turns into a meat-splattering blender of doom, for one.


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