Building New Races

I love the class building mechanics. I think they are a fantastic addition to the game and well worth the price of admission. I’ve already built a class and half-way towards another.
What I’d like to see, and maybe it’s buried in there and I’ve missed it, is guidelines for making new races. Some parts aren’t that hard, but what about the racial abilities? How do you figure the extra XP cost? For example, I think the dwarven racial bonuses are worth far more than the elven ones (the bonus to saves is huge and far outstrips anything the elf gets) yet the elves pay more xp, and they do it twice…both for their abilities tacked on and the lump sum added to their after 8th level cost. Hell, you could build an Elven wizard on 4 points and he’d be paying through the nose for those few ‘elf’ abilities that aren’t worth much by the time you hit high level.
So how do we build our own? Like say we want halflings back (I don’t, but just saying), or half-orcs or whatever. Or our world has talking wolfmen. I really would like to see guidelines for building the racial side of the equation.

I second Tywyll’s request. I’d also like to see a way to separate race from class. I understand that this is not the approach ACKS has chosen to take, but if the Player’s Companion is heading in a similar direction as 3e’s Unearthed Arcana (i.e., a compilation of interesting rules tweaks) it’s something I’d be very interested in seeing.

Hey blizack. That’s not /exactly/ what I was looking for, as I just want to be able to make races beyond dwarves and elves as PCs.
Not to say I wouldn’t mind those rules, mind you! :slight_smile:

Right. I’d like to see it done both ways, though I could understand if Alex didn’t want to provide rules for separating race and class.

I would also love to see this!
From the manuscript, I notice that there is a relationship between the elf and dwarf 0-value powers and experience costs.
Dwarves get: bonus languages (+1), detect traps (+1), hardy people (+2 1/2), sensitivity to rock (+1/2). Equivalent to a total of +5 custom powers.
Elves get: attunement to nature (+1/2), bonus languages (+1), connection with nature (+1/2), keen eyes (+1). This is equivalent to a total of +3 custom powers. (I am discounting animal friendship because I don’t think it’s adding to the cost of advancing to level 2.)
5:3 is 1 2/3, and I notice that 200:125 (the ratio of their respective 0-value experience point costs to hit level 2) is 1.6, which is fairly close to 1 2/3. It suggests that each (+1 worth of) custom power is worth somewhere between 40xp (200/5) and 41 2/3 xp (125/3). I assume the difference is the result of rounding to the nearest multiple of 25. This is assuming it was okay for me to discount animal friendship.
I haven’t figured out the higher demi-human value costs, though!

Never mind missed the bonus language option.

Guys - I’m not sure I’ll be able to add custom race building to the Player’s Companion. If we make it to Bonus Goal #2, I can add a couple more race options. What races would you want to see?

I would LOVE to see goblins as a player race. In my homebrew they’re aliens (along with humans) and thus genetically pure, instead of being a beastman created by the Zahars. So, completely selfishly, I’d like to see an example of goblin kind :slight_smile:
To expand slightly - Goblins are a race that has mastered the secrets of elemental electricity. However, the dwarves stole it and there’s a bit of a cold war as a result. It fits fairly nicely with the Dwarven Machinist idea and I’m hoping to have a Goblin Tinkerer class that can produce something similar to the Kobold Clonker on the machinist thread but using lightning instead of clockwork. Then there’s goblin electrical abominations, a la
It’s a bit more Magic-punk than Classical era D&D, so I’d settle for a goblin race as class that I can riff off and reverse engineer a bit :slight_smile:
Nobody wants to see the halfing, surely :wink:
I suppose there’s gnomes if needs must.

What races would you want to see?<<
Well if you put new races, wouldn’t you also have to put a new class for that race (for the book not looking incomplete). That asite: i would like to see a mysterious gnome (not that dragonlace tinkerer - we have dwarves for that). - perhaps a druid/illusionist…i would’t mind a goblin snack, too

I have a preference (half-orc) but I think it would be better to poll all the backers who’ve contributed to the bonus when/if we get there

The tragic heritage of the half-orc, especially in this setting, offers a lot of roleplaying possibilities. (“Am I human or abomination? Curse the mad wizard that bred me in his sanctum!” or “Throk smash puny mage!”) So, I’m voting for a half-orc race-class.
I’m also a sucker for gnomes.

I am new here and don’t understand the hate-on for halflings, but if that is not on the table, I would also vote for gnome!
My hope was that my dwarves would have a PC-eligible servitor construct race.

I don’t personally like “half-X” races, and wouldn’t want another tinkerer (the dwarves have that covered).
If I was going to go for one of the monstrous races as a PC race, I’d go with Goblin, Hobgoblin, or full-blooded Orc.
A Goblin Wolf-Rider could be cool, and Hobgoblins and Orcs could work as mercenaries.

creases - the source of the halfling hate is me! Halfings were created by JRR Tolkien specifically as an example of a race that was NOT good at adventuring. That’s their whole point in the story; they are the unlikeliest heroes imaginable, the meek, the average, the overlooked. But because the Fellowship of the Ring was the original adventuring party, and it had halflings, every RPG since has riffed on Tolkien and made halflings one of the core adventuring races – missing the entire point. When a game includes halflings, they are aping the trappings of our fictional sources without understanding their context. Thus I refuse to make halflings a core playable race in ACKS for this reason!!*
I equally despise the idea that Klingons should be a core race on Star Trek: The Next Generation Federation starships (again, Worf was the exception, not the rule); the idea that Ewoks should be a core race in Star Wars RPGs; and so on.
*Except if Patron Deity-level backers want me to. I’m not THAT much of an idealist about it. Come on now.

Hey Alex, can you tell us your thoughts on Kender?

Don’t make me destroy you!

With the whole “Beastmen are constructed abominations good only for slaughter” vibe of ACKS, I’m actually against having goblins, orcs, etc as PCs.
I like the idea of half-beastman characters because in ACKS, the whole inner-man/inner-monster conflict would be much more crucial. Good role-playing fodder. The “unfortunate implications” of their conception probably wouldn’t be as sanitized as they are in D&D, either.
All that said, when I eventually get to play (as opposed to GM) ACKS, I’m totally going chaotic, just so I can hire me some wolf-riders.

Alex, thank you for your response!
I’m sorry to hear it though; some of the most fun I’ve had has been playing a halfling. I understand your point as far as it applies to Tolkien, but I have a different view about their role in fantasy rpgs. Oh well, I guess I’m out of luck!

As I take a closer look at the class-building rules, I can see that it’s actually fairly easy to separate race from class: one could simply create race-specific “packages” of abilities that are added onto the existing classes. Picking such a package would require recalculating the class’ XP chart and level limit, but it looks like it wouldn’t be too difficult, meaning that one could make a dwarven shaman or elven priestess if one desired.

I’m really sorry (and a bit confused) to hear race building guidelines couldn’t be included. Do they not follow some internal math that can be shown like classes?
But if we are limited to just prebuilt races…for the love of Zahar, please don’t do beastman or tinker races. Give us the Dragonmen of the mysterious East, the Dhamphir scions of Old Zahar, or the elemental children of the Jinn races. I realize that Acks is a retroclone, but it is unique in so many ways…let the races be different too!