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Old March 16, 2011, 14:47   #1
NotMorgoth
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Sangband Idea - replace Gnomes with Petty-Dwarves

It has been pointed out in other posts on here that gnomes currently have a lot of overlap with dark-elves in their stats and aptitudes, so maybe it would be a good idea to make changes to differentiate them. Gnomes are also the least popular race going by the ladder (aside from the new races,) so maybe they also need to be made more interesting.

At the same time, they could be made to have more of a Tolkien flavour by changing the name to Petty-Dwarves. Although not much is known about this race from the source material, we do know that they were related to the dwarves, but smaller and probably weaker, and that they had something of a reputation for trickery and mischief - ie not altogether dissimilar to the way we might think of gnomes.

My suggestion is that they should be a bit tougher and more warlike than gnomes currently are, have no particular aptitude for magic (but not be terrible either,) while retaining gnomes' affinity for magic devices, extended to devices of all kinds including traps and crossbows.

Suggested Stat Adjustments:

Str 0
Int +1
Wis -1
Dex +2
Con 0
Chr -2
Hit Dice 11
Infravision 3

(Compared to current gnomes, this is +1 Str, -1 Int & Wis, and slightly better hit dice.)

Suggested Racial Abilities:

Disarm 8
Device 10
Save 5
Stealth 6
Percep 6
Melee 4
Missile 6
Throw 5

(Compared to current gnomes, this is a small increase in melee and missile aptitude, everything else is the same.)

Suggested Skill Difficulties:

Sword 11
Hafted 10
Polearm 9
Crossbow 9
Bow 10
Sling 10
Throw 10
Wrestle 12
Karate 10

Spell Level 10
Mana 10
Wizardry 10
Piety 11
Nature 12
Dominion 10

Device 8
Burglary 9

Perception 9
Stealth 10
Disarming 9
Dodging 10
Saving Throw 10

Forge Weapon 10
Forge Armor 10
Alchemy 8
Infusion 9
Shapechange 10


(Compared to current gnomes, this is an improvement (lower difficulty) in melee and forging skills, and a few other things, and a reduction (increased difficulty) in magical skills.

Special Abilities:

They would retain the Free Action of gnomes (no real reason, but it seems as likely as dwarves resisting blindness.)

All of the above is largely guesswork as I don't have any experience in balancing races: maybe someone else could comment on whether they would be overpowered, underpowered, not interesting enough, or still too similar to other races.
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Old March 16, 2011, 15:16   #2
Magnate
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I haven't looked at the details closely but overall this seems like an excellent idea - I think gnomes are long overdue for removal. Nicely done.
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Old March 16, 2011, 15:17   #3
Bostock
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Even-better disarming, 8 at worst, would be more thematic ("all things mechanical"), counterbalanced with perhaps reduced saving throw ("don't really get magic, offensively or defensively").

Free Action makes sense in terms of the idea of an unstoppable trickster. Also, it's an interesting, because powerful, special ability to provide -- I don't know how many of my divers have stalled or died in the 20's or 30's for lack of free action.



Speaking of races, Woses are still pretty bland for the moment - no real differentiation except for skill aptitudes. If this were Stone Soup era Crawl, they'd've already seen the axe by now.
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Old March 16, 2011, 15:45   #4
NotMorgoth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bostock View Post
Even-better disarming, 8 at worst, would be more thematic
Yes possibly, but I deliberately didn't make them that much better in the disarming/stealth/burglary area for fear of pushing them too close to hobbits.

Quote:
Speaking of races, Woses are still pretty bland for the moment - no real differentiation except for skill aptitudes. If this were Stone Soup era Crawl, they'd've already seen the axe by now.
I guess Woses are really just a different flavour of human, they seem less bland than regular humans to me, but maybe that's the point about humans.

Maybe they could be made into the masters of shapechanging, while Beornings would get their innate bear-form but not be that good at other shapechanges. Beornings seem plenty powerful enough even without being the best all-round shapeshifters.
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Old March 16, 2011, 16:01   #5
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Hobbits are more aligned with magic and less with weapons than this new design would be, though. Also, stealth and burglary could remain mediocre - especially stealth.

Regarding woses, it would be nice to have some differentiation that does not involve skill aptitudes. This does not have to be a resist or sustain; humans for example apparently get nice shop prices. It does not even have to be a positive: Ents get fire susceptibility as a a special "ability." (Though they are also the only race I know of to get free AC, which is a bigger deal than it seems since AC does matter in the opening.)

I can't think of any interesting and thematic negatives though. Looking into the relevant wiki it seems that they are forest people; what if -- in return for debuffing elsewhere -- they treated trees as open terrain for LOS determination?
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Last edited by Bostock; March 16, 2011 at 16:08.
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Old March 17, 2011, 04:41   #6
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Bam. Woses and Ents can walk quickly through forests.

I'll think about petty-dwarves.
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Old May 16, 2012, 19:37   #7
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I think improved throwing rather then missile lines up better with the alchemy skill. I'm also in favour of a slight increase in burglary. I play gnomes quite a bit & always want to set up acid traps but by the time you take infusion, alchemy & burglary on a character that's a little weak to begin with it becomes unviable.

I doubt a small increase in rogue skills would push them too close to hobbits. A hobbit is currently a lot more stealthy & far better with the sling. Currently a half-orc is almost on par stealthwise with the gnome and much better able to deal with what they wake.
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