Satyr Feedback

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Alzrius
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Alzrius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:07 am

David wrote:What do they get that puts them above human at this point, the low-light vision? fey type?


Some quick background before I answer this. The point-buy system that I'm using to measure the costs of these races is meant to be universal across the d20 System. That means that - insofar as building characters goes - it's meant to be used with 3.0, 3.5, d20 Modern, Pathfinder, etc. all simultaneously; indeed, using this would let you largely use all such characters side-by-side in a single adventuring party.

Because Pathfinder characters are marginally stronger than their 3.X counterparts, they get a small "package deal" - that is, a mini-template - which, because it's applied to *all* Pathfinder characters, isn't charged to their total cost insofar as pricing their characters goes. Between this package deal (which the co-author of the book kindly posted on his blog) and the quickened feat progression, it's actually fairly easy to quantify how much Pathfinder characters are stronger than their 3.5 counterparts overall (even if that overlooks the details of the actual difference between Pathfinder's versions of the various races and classes - you can quantify those too (and the co-author has, for the most part, in other blog posts), but that's a separate issue).

The reason I'm going on about this is that the "Pathfinder Package Deal" helps to set the cost of the net +2 to an attribute that Pathfinder characters receive. From that site:

+2 to an Attribute, Corrupted/the attribute is fixed by race (8 CP).


"Corrupted" refers to a mechanism whereby a weakness is introduced so as to gain a corresponding one-third price reduction, or a +50% increase in power. In this case, the price for a +2 bonus to an attribute has been reduced from 12 Character Points down to only 8 CP, but at the cost of having the +2 be pre-determined by the race in question.

Which brings us back around to the cost of humans under this system. Humans receive:

  • One bonus feat, which is 6 CP as a standard price.
  • 1 extra skill point per level, which is 3 CP (I can go into why it costs that much, but that's tangential here), and
  • Spending 4 CP to buy off the corruption, and so spend that "free" +2 attribute bonus wherever they want.

So in other words, humans cost 6 + 3 + 4 = 13 Character Points under this system. (In 3.5, a human wouldn't get access to that package deal, and so would only cost 9 CP total, for the bonus feat and the skill points.)

Now, contrast this with your standard pony satyr. They get:

  • One bonus feat (aka the "brand of destiny") just like humans (6 CP).
  • They also receive the Pathfinder Package Deal, and just like humans, spend 4 CP to buy off the corruption so that they can spend it where they want.
  • They get low-light vision. That's an Occult Sense, which costs 6 CP.
  • Being able to re-roll one Bluff or Diplomacy check once per day isn't very expensive, costing only 2 CP ("Luck, specialized for one-half cost/only for skills, and corrupted for two-thirds cost/only for Bluff or Diplomacy, may not take 20").
  • Being treated as per the fey creature type isn't worth much more, being only 3 CP (as a variant of the Privilege ability, since it's basically letting them ignore the very few spells and effects that are specific to Humanoids).

That's 21 CP altogether; among the stuff that they get that humans don't, it's the low-light vision that's the most expensive. That's because any kind of special sensory ability is a not-inconsiderable advantage. In this case, in any condition of less-than-daylight but brighter-than-darkness standards (e.g. most indoor adventuring), they're going to see enemies before their enemies see them (unless they have a special sense as well), which is significant; I've had parties slaughter enemies that had no idea they were there thanks to this.

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David
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby David » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:22 am

... wow, low-light is 6? I can't think of too many times low-light saves the day. Heck, that's worth a bonus feat?

Odd point buys are odd.

That's pretty much all that the fey type even gives! What are the three points for fey paying for?

Alzrius
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Alzrius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:26 am

David wrote:... wow, low-light is 6? I can't think of too many times low-light saves the day. Heck, that's worth a bonus feat?

Odd point buys are odd.


It doesn't have to "save the day" per se - a character in this system will have well over 500 Character Points by the time they hit 20th level - but it's certainly better than being immune to "charm/hold person" spells or being able to re-roll one of two skills once per day.

It's definitely worth a bonus feat though, simply for how much of a drop it gives you versus enemies (who aren't similarly enhanced) in dim-light conditions, which is actually a significant number of times if you have dungeon-crawls or similar adventuring locations be fairly standard. (Of course, not all feats are necessarily worth 6 CP for the effects that they grant - just look at Endurance - but that's the baseline.)

David wrote:That's pretty much all that the fey type even gives! What are the three points for fey paying for?


That's basically paying for the "creature type"-specific immunities, of which there are exceedingly few - the most common being that spells and effects that specify that they only work on humanoids (e.g. charm person, hold person, etc.) won't affect you.

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David
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby David » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:30 am

Fair enough, but I think we've reached a good state of balance now.

Alzrius
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Alzrius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:34 am

David wrote:Fair enough, but I think we've reached a good state of balance now.


I don't disagree. Pony satyrs, post-nerfing, are still better than humans (heck, they have the two most expensive of the humans' three abilities) but not so good that they're "dumb not to take them" powerful.

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David
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby David » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:40 am

There's also the, up to the GM, aspect of social unacceptance that can quickly become a thing when you look like a hybrid abomination. You could try to pass off as a human with baggy enough pants at least, if you wanted? That's RP stuff, not hooked to any mechanical widget.

Alzrius
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Alzrius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:55 am

David wrote:There's also the, up to the GM, aspect of social unacceptance that can quickly become a thing when you look like a hybrid abomination. You could try to pass off as a human with baggy enough pants at least, if you wanted? That's RP stuff, not hooked to any mechanical widget.


Actually, that book does have a mechanical widget for that. You can take disadvantages for a small compensatory cost. In this case, that'd likely be Outcast (-3 CP). I didn't factor that into the calculations above because it wasn't (presuming I'm not misremembering) baked into the pony satyr description that they were widely viewed as freaks.

It might seem counter-intuitive to have a hard-and-fast mechanical cost assigned to a purely role-playing aspect of a character, but it's understood that the player is taking a drawback that they're going to naturally try to work around, while the GM will work to make sure it comes up every so often, to a degree that both feel is fair.

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David
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby David » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:05 pm

Depends largely where you are in Everglow. A town like Kadiston with its high population of both ponies and humans, a hybrid is more likely to be spotted, and thus become less of a surprise, as opposed elsewhere deeper in human or pony territory. This is true of half-elves and half-orcs to varying degrees as well. Half-elves are not nearly elf enough for true elves.

Alzrius
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Alzrius » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:11 pm

That makes sense. It's largely why, as the co-author of Eclipse once put it "a mechanical penalty is the soft option" - because it's unambiguous when such a penalty will come up, and what it's exact effects are. A role-playing penalty, by contrast, will be near-totally under the GM's prerogative regarding when it comes up and how severe its effects are.

That's when it pays to have a GM who's good at what they do (and to have been the one who paid for his pizza that night).

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Scottbert
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Re: Satyr Feedback

Postby Scottbert » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:33 pm

I think that fey type (and its included low-light vision,) the skill reroll, and the option to trade -2 to a stat for Winged/Horned/Aquatic are collectively worth slightly more than the human's skill bonus. Maybe a point or two in the RP system. However, I don't think that's really a problem -- as mentioned before, the Everglow races are probably a bit more powerful than humans, and that's okay -- they are, after all, the focus of the setting. (Humans can still be the masters of skills, and they have alternate racial feature options that satyrs don't.)

I wondered if a non-Winged/Horned/Aquatic Satyr who takes a normal bonus feat is different enough from a human, but thinking about it, I'm not sure such a case is much different from a Half-Elf whose build uses Skill Focus or Exotic Weapon Proficiency -- they could have been human, but they traded their skill point away for some elf stuff. Half-races don't have to be as different from either parent as the difference between two unrelated races.

Satyrs probably fine now, though I am kind of tempted to take the suggestions I thought of before you nerfed them and see if I can come up with an interesting alternate version anyway, just for fun.


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