Removing race from class

I'd like to use some racial classes without the race -- changing eleven nightblade to just nightblade, for example. The nightblade should have a lower xp cost. But rebuilding the classes using Player's Companion is beyond me.

Has anyone already done this? Or is there a quick and dirty calculation for removing racial abilities? Thanks!

-- John Fighter








you won't be able to build the nightblade without using elf unless you want to allow humans to be able to take "elf points"

Here's the tl;dr:

every human class is made with 4 points and gets to go up to level 14.  points get put in things like "fighting", "hit dice", "thief skills", "dive magic" and "arcane magic".

Fighter is fighting 2, hit dice 2.

Cleric is fighting 1, hit dice 1, divine magic 2

Thief is fighting 1, Thief skills 3

Mage is arcane magic 4

Other human classes are variants on this, as well as some extra magic.

Ok, then there's demihumans and all the other non-human classes. right off the bat, their maximum level is 13.  So even though the Dwarven Vaultguard is Fighting 2, Hit Dice 2, Dwarf 0 - essentially the same as a fighter, he caps at 13th level.  

the non-human races can take up to 4 points in their race value, and that does something different for each race.  Every time they do this, their max level goes down by 1 (in addition to XP cost changes).  In the case of elves, points of elf stack with points of arcane magic.  this is how the elven spellsword can be a full mage but also nearly as effective as a fighter in combat.

Ok, so: 

Elven Spellsword is Fighting 2, Hit Dice 1, Arcane Magic 1 (a total of 4) plus Elf 3 (reducing their max level by 3 to 10).

Elven Nightblade is Fighting 1, Hit Dice 1, Thief Skills 2 (a total of 4) plus Elf 2 (reducing their max level by 2 to 11).

There's no way to give a human class, with just 4 points, the same amount of fighting skill, hit dice, thief skills, and arcane magic as a nightblade by default. I would say the simplest thing, if you're dedicated to the idea, is to use Zaharans in your campaign and say they're just a more magical kind of human.  Zaharans have slightly different racial benefits from elves, but like elves, extra points in Zaharan raises their skill in arcane magic.  In this way, you could duplicate any class you wanted that was an elf with a "human" and it would still be balanced. 

An alternate method would be to use the classes unchanged, and just say that all of the abilities are the result of training/initiation rituals/whatever explanation you like.

So instead of an elven nightblade, you would have a human nightblade, who just happens to have identical mechanics to the elven nightblade.

You could also do some minor custom power changes (switch some of the custom powers that elf racial traits give for human-inspired powers), which would not change their XP cost or level cap or such but would make your human nightblade feel different from elven nightblades.

This is exactly what I did to add Basic-style halfings into a game (ssssh, don't tell Alex!)

I took the Vaultguard, and then swapped out explicitly dwarven racial abilities, one-for-one, for halfling-themed abilities (like the ranger's wilderness stealth, which was itself probably stolen from Basic halflings in the first place). Didn't take more than 5 minutes, and probably produced about the same result as a bottom-up build.

Thanks for the responses everyone! Useful summary of the system and suggestions for shortcuts! 

I tried rebuilding the dwarven mechanist as just "mechanist" or maybe "engineer" and made strides in understanding the system. And now I can try the kind of simple swap out you suggested. My goal here is to develop classes that fit a niche like "sneaky mage" without going to the classic races, partly because they seem to signal a sort of vanilla default fantasy and partly because the associated powers are overspecified for a class that could be open to many interpretations. 

I will try out using the racial points, reskinning them as just specialized training and buying down or swapping out the elf/dwarf characteritics. But then, the price paid for the extra power those racial points give is still just slower progress and a level cap, right? I don't remember those factors having more than a tiny effect on player choice of class in AD&D or its near relatives. I'd like the classes to to be closer in power to "human" classes so that players aren't presented with a forced choice when faced with the terrors of first level. 







if, in trying to make your "sneaky mage", you felt the urge, you could go deeper down the rabbit hole. There's an Axioms article (issue 1) about designing your own magic source.  You could create "shadow magic" that's really good at illusions and other things a sneaky spellcaster would want.  It's pretty complicated, but it's the best way i've seen to try and make more specialized spellcasting that humans can reasonably afford with their build points.

I found it tricky to create a playable mix of Thievery and Arcane spellcasting. After a few attempts (and some house rules), I made the Spellfilch custom class based on the Wandering Gamist’s Nightblade. While not true spellcasters, Spellfilches master a number of supernatural tricks to enhance their sneakiness.

It wasn't too popular with the players, however. In my current campaign, one of the players picked a Purloiner - a Thievery/Divine mix that fits the niche fairly well.

The "shadow magic" proposal would be pretty sweet too. Perhaps a Fighting 1 / Thievery 1 / Shadow 2 custom class?

Yeah, ideally you could make shadow magic weak enough that you’d get full spell progression from just 2 points, like divine magic.

Since the demihuman class seems to have a base of -1 level, why not just let humans take that class and increase the max level by 1?

Thanks everyone!