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Optional Racial Ability Adjustments for Humans in Greyhawk

 
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DarkHerald
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Joined: Feb 06, 2011
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Location: South Africa, Cape Town

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: Optional Racial Ability Adjustments for Humans in Greyhawk Reply with quote

Reference:
Player's Guide to Greyhawk
Chapter Roleplaying in the Flanaess, Page - 42
Heading - Optional Racial Ability Adjustments

Baklunish +1 WIS, -1 CHA*
Flannae +1 CON, -1 INT
Oeridian +1 DEX, -1 WIS
Rhennee +1 STR, -2 CHA*
Suel +1 INT, -1 CHA*

*CHA modifier applies to non-racial observers.

Now my question is has anyone adapted this for pathfinder? If so how and does this replace the normal +2 to any one ability score. I assume it would and that the bonus of +1 would increase to +2.

Was there a reference to this in third edition at all? I am still busy looking through the different books or addressed some where else on the forums

In that matter we might as well discuss the sub-race ability modifiers for demi-human races

Yours Graciously
The Dark Herald
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SirXaris
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Joined: Jul 26, 2010
Posts: 2426
Location: LG Dyvers

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any problem with demi-human racial modifiers because they are, by definition, non-human. However, I have to point out that any game mechanic that promotes eugenics is a very bad idea. In other words, saying that one entire sub-race of humans is less intelligent, on average, than another sub-race of humans is racist and is an attitude that you really don't want to promote within your game. After all, you wouldn't want to be associated with the Scarlet Brotherhood, now would you? Wink

Sorry for the ethics lecture, but I think everyone needs to be aware of this. I'm sure this is why this kind of game mechanic went the way of the Dodo in more recent editions of the game. They even did away with racial modifiers for different sub-races of elves, dwarves, etc.

SirXaris
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DarkHerald
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Joined: Feb 06, 2011
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Location: South Africa, Cape Town

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how to respond to your post SIRXARIS ...

Racism .... was the last thing on my mind when I was writing that post.

I dont want to get into a whole debate about this matter, there is enough of it going on in the real world. To be honest I am tired of it, racism is not something that you are born with, it is something that you are taught by your peers. Go watch a young group of childern playing in the park and you will see what I am refering to ...

If someone has something to say about my post in respect to what I am asking, rather message me.

If a forum admin could please monitor this thread and if need be lock it or delete it.

I will stress this again I dont want to get into a debate about racism in real life or in the game.
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, we monitor these things. Wink Sir Xaris's post covers the sticky bits well enough, and people should leave it at that.

Sir Xaris's somewhat tongue-in-cheek point aside, I think the human ethnic modifiers were included to reflect the cultural/historical backgrounds of the various human groups/regions, and not for any other reason at all. Here is what I mean:

Baklunish +1 WIS, -1 CHA*: Bakluni generally gain much practical knowledge of life due to the hardships the must endure in the lands they live in(i.e. fools seldom prosper in the lands of the West). Likewise, they are untrusting of outsiders to a notable degree, and that comes through in their dealings with such folk.

Flannae +1 CON, -1 INT: Coming from a tradition of living as one with nature in a variety of environments, the Flannae are a hardy people. On the other hand, their culture have never been one that promotes scholarly pursuits, so their level of education with regard to non-practical knowledge is somewhat lacking.

Oeridian +1 DEX, -1 WIS: The average Oeridian is very adaptable. Most Oeridian children play traditional games requiring coordination that go back to the Pre-Migrations era of their culture. Something, something, something else. Happy On the other hand, the Oeridians are for the most part a people of action, and will often act before fully considering the consequences. Okay not really a lot to say here to back anything up, but we might say that the Oeridians have maneuvered their way throughout the Flanaess and into an age of empire, but we might also add that, once they had achieved greatness, they had not the wisdom to maintain it, such that it has now all come crashing down. Use whatever reasoning you prefer, as this one is less defined than the others in the fluff. Happy

Rhennee +1 STR, -2 CHA*: Rhenee live lives of constant toil, but also know how to have a good time as well. Consequently they tend to be very athletic. On the other hand, they are extremely disdainful of outsiders, to the point of rudeness even, and as such are not well thought of by others.

Suel +1 INT, -1 CHA*: The Suel are the remnants of one of the greatest empires to ever exist in the Flanaess. At the height of their power, their knowledge of magic in particular was unparalleled. While the Suel are culturally but a shadow of their former selves, even this shadow has its greatness, and the light of knowledge has never dimmed among the Suel people(excepting the Thilronian clans). Consequently knowledge is highly valued among the Suel. It very common for Suel children to be better educated than their peers, and this practice carries over into their adult lives as well. Being well-educated does however usually mean that the Suel are well aware of the greatness from which they spring, and are often seen as haughty by others.

So there you have it. These modifiers are *optional rules*. Even if used, they might not be applied in all cases, in the same way. For instance, a DM/player may be perfectly fine with using the Flannae modifiers to very purposely define as uncivilized a Rovers of the Barrens character who has survived the near destruction of their people(i.e. only the hardiest have survived, hence the +1 Con). However, while not all that well-educated to begin with, the losses sustained by the Rovers of the Barrens has included many of the older and more knowledgeable members of tribe who, being absent, have not been around to educate the young character as much as they could be(thus the -1 Int). That makes for some good reasoning for character building, in my opinion. The same DM may however decide that that no modifiers should be applied to any Flannae character from a more civilized area where the environment is not so harsh, and the general level of education is higher. In the same vein, a Thilronian Barbarian might not use the Suel modifiers at all(the Flannae/Rhenee modifers might even be seen to be more appropriate), while a Suel from Urnst might.

So, I think it is more conducive to think of the optional rules as situational modifiers to be used(or not) to create an overall effect for a character rather than be defining of any ethnic group en masse. Let's just say that it was an oversight to have not explained this in the optional rules section listing these modifiers, as people may come to the wrong conclusion as to why they are there and what they may be used to represent.
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Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:00 am; edited 3 times in total
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Cebrion. Neutral

DarkHerald:

I'm very sorry to have implied that you were in any way intending racism. I only wanted to explain why I thought those modifiers shouldn't be used. Cebrion, however, has provided an acceptable justification for them.

SirXaris


Last edited by SirXaris on Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never used these modifier though. I much prefer the Regional Greyhawk Feats idea, or just give them a suitable bonus language.
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MToscan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pathfinder Campaign setting introduced ethnicities, you could use some inspiration from that book.
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