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Fairy Race for Fantasy Setting

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I've created stats for a Fairy Race in a custom Fantasy Setting because I want players to be able to play as them (lots of oddly sized races in this setting).  This is my first draft of the stats, so I'm looking for input from the community on how to make these stats more accurate and balanced, especially for the "Tiny" ability that I have homebrewed.  I've kept most things based off Genesys, but changed the Magic - Primal skill to Magic - Connection.  I haven't created Tiny - equipment yet, but I intend to for the setting.  I'll update this post based off of any edits I make due to recommendations I get.  Thanks.

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Edit:  Adjusted the Starting XP, altered the description for the Tiny Ability, and added the Fairy Craftsmanship in after Richardbuxton's recommendations below.  6/24/18

Edit:  Adjusted the Starting XP based on Bellyon's recommendations below.  6/25/18

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Fairies (Neutral): 

Physiology:  Fairies are very small beings standing only 8 to 14 inches tall with slender bodies and limbs and a set of wings that allow them to fly.  They have a wide range of complexions, but always have a very youthful appearance, even in old age.  They mature at the same rate as humans, but can live up to several hundred years old.

Culture: Fairies are one of the four original native races of Edafos.  They can be found anywhere there are plants, but they are most common in the forests and jungles of Edafos.  Fairies are a very friendly race that is quick to make friends with other beings, except for elementals whom they fear.  They are deeply connected to nature and Edafos itself.  They typically make their communities in trees deep within the forests and jungles of Edafos. 

Brawn [1]            Agility [3]             Intellect [2]         Cunning [2]         Willpower [1]     Presence [3]

WT: 5    ST: 10    XP: 85

Starting Skills: Fairies start with one rank in Charm and Connection at character creation.  They obtain these ranks before spending experience points, and these skills may not be increased higher than rank 2 during character creation.

Tiny:  Fairies are silhouette 0.  They count as Encumbrance 1 instead of 5. They treat all objects and races Small or greater as 1 Silhouette higher than listed.  They add 5 Encumbrance to all items that are not of Fairy Craftsmanship.  They treat all normal sized Melee (Light) (one-handed) weapons as Heavy (two-handed) weapons. They cannot use normal sized Heavy (two-handed) Melee Weapons or normal-sized Ranged weapons.  Increase Defense granted by cover and normal-sized items by 1.  Add 2 Boost to all Stealth checks.

Flyer (Hover):  Can fly, see page 100 of the Genesys Core Rulebook.

Fairy Craftsmanship:

Designed for Tiny races, this equipment is meant to be used by Fairies.  Any Small or greater sized race reduces the Encumbrance by 5 and adds 3 Setback when attempting to use equipment of this craftsmanship.  Armor can only be worn by Tiny races. 

Weapon:  Reduce Damage by 2 to a minimum of +0, and increase Critical Rating by 1.

Armor:  No change.

Rarity:  +2

Price:  Cost x 0.5

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Any and all recommendations are welcome.  I had no real baseline to go off of, except for this attempt from another GM on Reddit who created stats for Fairies in DnD 5e here:  

 

Edited by Nevermind

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The xp seems a little low for the abilities they have, their restrictions will be a huge hindrance and the Wound Threshold essentially makes them a one hit to be unconscious.

They probably should have Hover instead of Flying too, since most fairies are depicted as being able to do that, they don’t require motion to remain in the air.

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So as far as the starting XP calculation, I did the following:

Starting XP starts at 100:

Characteristics at 1/3/2/2/1/3:  -10 XP

Wound Threshold -5:  +10 XP

Starting Skills 2 Ranks:  -10 XP

Flyer (Hover):  -10 XP

Which yeilds 100 + 10 XP - 30 XP = 

For the "Tiny" ability I was trying to balance it out as much as possible so that it didn't affect Starting XP.  And for the Flying part, I did put Flyer (Hover) which is explained on pg 100 of the Genesys Core Rulebook.  I would imagine most fairies would be one-hitters, at least initially, until they beef themselves up.

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I think I would calculate the Wounds differently. Here is how I would do it

10 to 8 = +5

8 to 6 = + 5

6 to 5 = +2.5

Low Brawn and Wounds = +2.5

Total: +15

Then with Tiny and all the restrictions to Weapons and Encumbrance I would make this particular Silhouette 0 a +5xp Ability. If being Silhouette zero has no effect on mechanics, such as for Gnomes in Realms of Terrinoth, then it’s a 0xp Ability.

 

Ultimately it would look like this:

Characteristics 1/3/2/2/1/3 = -10

WT = +15

Skills = -5 (the first is included in the starting allotment)

Hover = -10

Tiny = +5

That brings the total to 95 rather than 80.

Edited by Richardbuxton

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1 hour ago, Richardbuxton said:

The xp seems a little low for the abilities they have, their restrictions will be a huge hindrance and the Wound Threshold essentially makes them a one hit to be unconscious.

They probably should have Hover instead of Flying too, since most fairies are depicted as being able to do that, they don’t require motion to remain in the air.

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A friend and i made this just this morning.

 

Faeries

Brawn

Agility

Intellect

Cunning

Willpower

Presence

1

2

3

2

2

2

Wound Threshold - 6 + Arcana

Strain threshold - 12 + Willpower

Starting XP - 90

Special Abilities - Starts with 1 rank in Arcana, cannot be trained above 3 during character creation.

Wound threshold is determined by their preferred magic type.

Increase the difficulty of all non-spell combat checks against them by anything silhouette 1 or larger and increase the difficulty of their non-spell combat checks on anything silhouette 1 or larger.

Remove all setback die when when casting spells.

 

It needs better wording and formatting, but you get it.

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1 hour ago, Richardbuxton said:

I think I would calculate the Wounds differently. Here is how I would do it

10 to 8 = +5

8 to 6 = + 5

6 to 5 = +2.5

Low Brawn and Wounds = +2.5

Total: +15

Then with Tiny and all the restrictions to Weapons and Encumbrance I would make this particular Silhouette 0 a +5xp Ability. If being Silhouette zero has no effect on mechanics, such as for Gnomes in Realms of Terrinoth, then it’s a 0xp Ability.

 

Ultimately it would look like this:

Characteristics 1/3/2/2/1/3 = -10

WT = +15

Skills = -5 (the first is included in the starting allotment)

Hover = -10

Tiny = +5

That brings the total to 95 rather than 80.

Looking back at the rulebook, I agree with you on the WT = +15 and the Skills = -5 XP.  I missed both those on the first read through.

On the Tiny, I did try to balance it out with as many positives as there are negatives.  I felt the Sil difference during combat (which increases difficulty for incoming from Sil 1 characters and decreases difficulty for out going), the boost to Defense, and the boost to Stealth helped balance out the Encumbrance and Cumbersome penalties.  Any recommendations to alter the Tiny ability so that it is balanced to a +0 XP difference to Starting XP?

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Honestly I missed the Defence part, I would probably just give them Defence 1 as a species ability and that’s going to drop the xp. Remember that a Defence of 1 won’t stack with any armour that provides Defence, so its not as powerful as it seems, and it means they can wear some Leather or Padded Armour for a bit of extra Soak 

Edited by Richardbuxton

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For the whole Weapons thing I would say instead:

“Any Equipment of the Fairy Craftsmanship can be used normally. If an item is of any other Craftsmanship then it can only be used with two hands and the items Encumbrance is increased by 5.”

 

This would also remove the entire restriction on Encumbrance. Then I would create a Craftsmanship:

Fairy

Designed for tiny creatures, this equipment is effectively useless to anyone bigger than silhouette 0.

Weapon: Reduce Damage by 2, Increase Crit by 1

Armour: Reduce Encumbrance by 1, add 1 Setback to any skill check involving flight.

Rarity: +1

Price: no change

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For the cover and the potential situation where the Fairy PC uses normal sized equipment, any Defense I feel should be increased, which is why I added that part in.  I considered just adding 1 to their Defense, but like you said it wouldn't stack with the armor.  Plus the size difference is accounted for by increasing opponents Sil by 1.  But the Sil 1 increase doesn't address that normal cover and normal equipment should provide more defense.  

I considered making the Encumbrance increase much greater, but didn't want to make it a hard +"some big number".  Also wanted to leave it up to interpretation if the GM feels something should be higher or stay relatively the same.  A pebble is Enc 0 and for a Fairy may still be Enc 0, but a short sword would probably go from Enc 1 to Enc 3 or 4 depending on how the GM feels.  Would +2 or +3 Enc be more appropriate with the caveat of "at GM's discretion"?  I know everything is "at GM's discretion", but feel the emphasis is good to point out here.  It would be easy to say Fairies can't use any normal sized equipment, but I feel like that's a bit too severe.

I was planning on making equipment specific for Fairies, but I like the Fairy Craftsmanship route WAY better.  Thank you for that recommendation, I had completely forgotten that would be an option.  For Weapon, would Reduce Damage by 2 be to a minimum of +0, right?  Also, is the Setback necessary for flight?  

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For Encumbrance my idea was that if all their equipment is fairy gear then they can carry as much as anyone else. But by adding +5 to any non fairy item it means they can carry exactly their Brawn in Encumbrance before becoming encumbered. If they have base Brawn and carry nothing else then they are able to use a regular sword. But an axe or staff is taking them over their Encumbrance Threshold, taking away their free manoeuvre, and adding 1 Setback to all Brawn and Agility checks.

A Brawn 3 Fairy could use a Greatsword... if they are carrying nothing else at all. Every additional point of Encumbrance they have will add a Setback to every Brawn and Agility check.

Basicly it makes some cool things possible, but they are really really difficult to do, and Setback will become a really common thing for them when interacting with the rest of the world.

If you want to lower the +5 then it’s going to slowly increase the possible weapons. My intention was to remove the completely of the “can’t use 2 handed weapons” since there’s a big difference between a staff and a Warhammer.

 

 

The reduced Damage for Fairy Craftsmanship is a good question, minimum zero is probably the right thing to say.

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My opinion:

Stats: ok to be 112233 but you guys are doing a wrong math here. A regular 122223 make a 10 xp points difference, cause you start the game with one stat lower (10 XP to upgrade to a regular 2) and one stat higher (3 needs 30 XP to upgrade), resulting in +30 -20 = +10 advantage in the initial XP. With this, starting with 112233 is worth 20 XP, not 10 XP.


Secondary stats: I really don't think -5 WT is worth 10 or 15 XP. I don't know where do you pick these values, but is higher for sure. I'd go with something around -40 XP.

Charm/Connection: I always count the "free" point as well, and here we have 1 skill that have sinergy with Presence and another one. This should be, in my opinion 12,5 XP or 15 XP.

Tiny: I really don't think it's necessary in Genesys, so I'd avoid any comment here (but i'll assume it's -10XP just to be clear).

Flyer/Hover: I don't know how much this value, 10 or 15 XP?

Anyway, the initial 90 XP sounds ok to me, but I'd really avoid the Tiny rules and -5 in the initial WT. WT7 is ok, 5 is very problematic. I'd offer the option to choose between Charm or Connection as well.

This should be... 90 XP + 20 (stats) + 7,5 (skill) + 15 (hover) - 20 (7 WT) = 110 XP, which I assume the balanced level, instead of 100 XP.

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@Richardbuxton  You completely convinced me to change my mind about the +5 Encumbrance to normal-sized equipment.  I fully agree now after that explanation.  It makes sense and is very simple and straight forward.  I did want to avoid the possibility of Fairies using two-handed weapons, like Greatswords etc., so I am still leaving that stipulation in there, but other GMs may find it unnecessary.  I tweaked your take on the Fairy Craftsmanship a little, but think you were spot on with the Weapon adjustments.  I reduced the cost purely based on less materials being needed (still needs a Fairy blacksmith to craft them though, probably).  I added your recommendations to the stats and description above.  Thanks for all your input, I think this race is way more accurate now than it was before.

@Bellyon  Nothing you said made any sense, so I went back and re-read the section on creating races in the Genesys book.  After that it made even less sense as it contradicts the rules and the math you put literally doesn't add up.  Thank you for trying though.

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Sorry if I was not clear enough, sometimes I think in a lot of things and sometimes it's hard for me to explain very well what I'm thinking about. I was just trying to share some thoughts, cause I really enjoy the design aspect of this game (and every game to be honest). I understand that my thougths went to a different way than yours, but I'll try to be clear here anyway, just to provide a second view for who want to think about it.

Let's talk about the tiny size - or silhouette 0 in Genesys. I think is good to create some special rules to make smaller or greater creatures a bit different, but Genesys works in a different way than a system like D20. It's more abstract and less precise in a lot of things. It's why I always try to avoid any literal attempt to convert one system to another. For my taste, that rules you showed up to us, seems very complex, eventhough I understand the essence. I can see something more simple, like: +1 boost dice due the size in some checks (Stealth, Coordination), -1 or -2 in any melee damage and -2 to the encumbrance value. Nothing more than this, in my opinion, to my taste. Being to heavy over this should impact the specie and be in game more problematic than you can think.

Now, let's check the maths and my maths. This is the hard part of this work, but vital to find something balanced and cool to play.

I'd not write here every page, I'd do some notes just to clarify my thoughts. It doesn't mean I'm wrong, just that I understand the things in a different way to be clear. Let's start with the base sats for a specie: stats 122223, WT10+Brawn, ST10+Willpower, starting experience is set to 100 XP. Plus one free rank in one skill.

Check the second paragraph in Modifying the Basic Species Profile to see where I got the 10XP difference when we have one stat 1 and one stat 3 in the beginning. It's why humans (222222) start with 110XP and the special races (122223) start with 100XP. It's why I've said that the math would result in a difference of -20XP and used the values of 90 (adjusted with the two 3's) and 110 (human base). 110 -10 (one 1, one 3) -10 (another one 1, and another one 3) = 90 XP. People usually have difficult to understand that starting the game with one stat 3 and another one 1 give a small XP advantage of 10XP, due the raise costs. So a specie with 112233 should start with 90XP and the other mechanical aspects should be balanced, wich means, the good things less the bad things should be 0.

About the Wounds Threshold, my math aren't thaaaaaat wrong. Let's check the third paragraph of the same topic (Modifying the Basic Species Profile), it's said that "if you increase a wound threshold by four or more, or a strain threshold by two or more, it's worth about 15 XP instead. We say "about" because these modifications don't have to be an exact science". Here's my point: it's not four or more in the WT, it's five LESS in the WT, which is something huge, so it's not "just" 15 XP, it's more in my opinion. A very weak specie should have something like 8 or 7 in WT, not 6 or 5, in my opinion. Think that this specie already have just 1 in Brawn. This specie will be very very weak in game, and this is problematic. But to be clear, it's possible to do that, I just think the real value of doing this is more than 15 XP, and it's not an exact science. The topic Wound and Strain Threshoulds (p.193) recomends that the average value between Wounds and Strain be something like 12 or 13. Let's check your specie as I remember: Brawn 1 + 5 Wounds Thresh. = 6; Willpower 2 + 12 Strain Thresh. = 14; 6 + 14 = 20. 20 / 2 = 10. 2 or 3 less than the recommended average. See that it's not a must have value, but is good to see some problems. If you give 7 to the starting WT, this would be more 'ok', in my opinion.

The Strain Tresh is worthing -15 XP.

The skill is something tricky, which one is the free and which one is a gift? Cause Charm worth -10XP while Connection worth -5XP. I'll assume that Connection is the free one, so we have here a -10XP from Charm being in synergy with Presence 3.

The fly ability, how much that cost? 0XP? 5XP? 20XP? I haven't found in the Core any information about this, but I don't think it's just for free. In the p. 193 we can see some examples of unique abilites, like Amphibious or Regeneration. all the examples cost something between -15 and 10 XP. I'd say that this ability worth -10XP, like you said.

I did some wrong calcs in the first time, I assume that, but let's see now:

110XP human base -20XP due the stats = 90 XP is the starting value
-15XP strain -10XP skills -10XP flyer +20XP wounds +??XP tiny

So... in my new calcs, the starting XP should be 75 or less to be balanced, but they would stay weak. 90 -15 -10 -10 -? +20 = 75 (or less)

My suggestions:

Brawn 1 | Agility 3 | Intellect | 2 Cunning  2 | Willpower 1 | Presence 3 | WT: 8 | ST: 11 | starting XP: 90.
Starting skills: Connection. Silhouette: 0. Flyer. Start with one rank in Charm. 90 +10 (WT) -10 (ST) -10 (fly) +10 (Charm)

But I would cut this skill in Charm and think in something more cool and unique, like...

Faeric Charm: spending a Story Point, a Fairie can made a Charm check using their ranks in Connection instead of the ranks in Charm. The faerie also adds 1 boost to his Charm check against faerie creatures or twice this value (2 boost) if using Faeric Charm.

Edited by Bellyon

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@Bellyon  Not a problem, thanks for trying to clear things up.

1.  Tiny – I agree, my first draft was too complicated, but I think the updated version posted in the OP (after Richardbuxton’s recommendations) is much simpler.  It addresses pretty much everything the Player and GM need to know about the Tiny size of the race.  I could see some GMs changing some of those rules, but at least it gives them a baseline for Tiny sized PCs (which is something I couldn’t find anywhere).

2.  Characteristics – For the 132213 starting stats, we are both saying the base starting is 90 XP, so we came out the same on that one.

3.  Wound Threshold – I agree with Richardbuxton’s calculation that having WT 5 should count as +15 XP to Starting XP.  There is precedent for having this low a WT and low Brawn starting off.  See the Gnome species in Realms of Terrinoth, which starts with 1 Brawn and only has 6 Wound Threshold.  It looks like they gave it about +15 XP Starting based off the other species attributes that FFG included for Gnomes.  With Fairies being even smaller and more fragile than Gnomes, I figured I would give them at least 1 less in their WT.

4.  Strain Threshold – For this, I left ST at 10.  You may have my stat block confused with the one that GreenTyr posted 5 posts down from the top.  So there’s no XP adjustment on my stats based on Strain Threshold.

5.  Skills – This part I agree with you on.  The Charm should be the one that counts for a -10 XP instead of -5 XP.

6.  Math – Again, you were close, but ended up making an error again.  You said start at 110 – 20 = 90.  Then you said it should be 90 – 15 – 10 – 10 + 20.  In the next line you summed up the calculations as 90 – 15 – 15 – 10 + 20 = 70.  You replaced a -10 with a -15 on accident, so your math should have added up to 75 XP, not 70.  Still closer than last time though.

7.  Faeric Charm – I disagree with replacing the rank in Charm with this ability.  It’s more complicated than it needs to be when it is easy to translate their natural charming ability into a rank in that skill rather than using a Cunning based magic skill that is unrelated to any social skills.  Also, removing the Tiny quality and hand waving it away with just the Sil 0 quality somewhat defeats the purpose of making the unique Tiny sized race in the first place.

Thank you for taking the time to explain your recommendations though.  I will change my Original Posts stats based on your recommendation from #5.  Thanks.

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Oh, about the Faeric Charm, i said to use Connection not to do a Connection check ? the player would do the test using Presence + Connection instead of Cunning + Connection, to represent a magical charm, you got? It's possible and singular.

Edited by Bellyon

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