Talk:Borderlands/New and Adjusted racial templates

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Idea: Coleopteran Mutations

Given Coleopterans' underground habitat, it makes sense in the setting to offer a 'Coleopteran Mutations' perk similar to the 'Divine Gifts' perk Celestial characters get.

Sample Coleopteran Mutations:

  • Burrowing (perk) [1]
  • Tunneling (Slow, 1y/2min) [6] - See GURPS Powers p.85 for details
  • Flight (Large Wings) [30]
  • Up to 3 more points of Touch-Transmissive DR [4, 9, or 13 pts]
  • Replace Teeth (Sharp) [1] with Teeth (Fangs) [2]
  • Add Striking Surface [1], Blunt Claws [3], or Sharp Claws [5]
  • 2 more Extra Arms [20] OR 2 Extra Legs [5]
  • Spinnerets (Binding ST 15) (Reduced Range 1/10, Costs 2 FP) [18] and the Climbing Line perk from GURPS Supers [1]
  • Chemical Spit (Irritating Affliction 1; 1/2D 5, Max 10; costs 2 FP) Victim must roll HT or suffer Moderate Pain [9] or Terrible Pain [11] for 1 minute per margin of failure).
  • Reduced Consumption (Cast-Iron Stomach) 2 [2]
  • Nictitating Membrane 1 or 2 [1 or 2 points]
  • Glow Worm - may spend 1 FP to shed light that removes darkness penalties in a 2-yard radius for up to 12 hours. You may turn this off at will, but must spend 1 FP to turn it back on. [1 point]

While mutations are not exactly rare in Coleopteran societies (particularly those deeper underground), the more esoteric mutations are uncommon, and views regarding mutants differ wildly from individual to individual or from group to group. Some view these mutations as gifts from the Cthonic gods (Ennosigaios in particular), and others regard them as dangerous aberrations that should be stamped out before the taint spreads. A character with 5 points or more in visible Coleopteran Mutations may suffer a reaction modifier anywhere from -2 to +2 from individual Coleopterans or entire communities of them (this is, in essence, a 0-point Reputation).

--Harald387 17:06, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Replacing racial appearance

I've discussed this before in person and online with various folks but I might as well throw it down here. I'll probably also post this to the forums once I have a clearer concept hammered out.

Be It Resolved That racial appearance modifiers are a gigantic headache as written. The price of Appearance works fine enough in a all-humans-all-the-time (or near enough to humans to make no never mind - all the mutants in the X Universe seem to share human standards). It's basically Visual Only (-20%) applied to a generic reaction modifier that "affects everyone". The question of animals not being covered by "everyone" is silently overlooked - but Animal Empathy seems to make your Appearance modifiers work on animals too, FWIW.

Once you add nonhuman characters as serious possibilities as NPCs (including just plain old talking animals!) 4 points per average +1 just isn't appropriate for what suddenly becomes Visual Only (-20%) and Your race and races with similar aesthetic only (-??%) Same with negative appearance - paying -24 points to be a human with horrible, warty, drooling, snaggle toothed, with greasy lanky matted hair becomes a non-issue when you're among trolls, who think you look kind of cute for a Human. The alternate problem is just as bad (the troll who's racial template has -24 points on it for much the same features plus moss green skin, but who hangs out with other trolls and only talks to trolls, all of whom think he's perfectly average).

It also tends to lead to PCs with only the racial level of appearance, and only human PCs show up with variable appearance.

The alternate way to interpret it is that trolls think average humans are average looking, and think other trolls look disgusting. This is funny, and can be an interesting idea to work with for a game setting (it explains why trolls keep kidnapping human women for example, and keep working for human sorcerers/evil warlords/whatever), but often isn't what people intended when they charged those trolls -24 points for being so very ugly (to the human designing the template).

Some templates it's pretty obvious that they should have a universal reaction bonus - Nymphs especially are supposed to be awe inducing to everyone.

Possible solution

Replace most racial appearances (positive and negative) with a Social Regard or Social Stigma as appropriate. Both of these traits have built in mechanics covering interactions with members of your own social class. Racial templates that already have Social Stigma might upgrade it to a more expensive version to represent how people hate Orcs more than the average human Savage, or might just lose the appearance disadvantage, resulting in a net cost increase and Orcs being treated roughly the same as human Savages.

I would allow PCs to stack Social Regard (Feared) with most Social Stigmas - it seems appropriate that in situations where you don't feel safe (ie not behind a wall of foot-soldiers or not safely atop the parapets) you'd treat the big minotaur carefully just in case he goes nuts, but the minute you get up on that wall and he seems locked out of town, you feel like you can make rude comments safely.

--Jerril 16:57, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. It isn't an issue that really bothers me, personally, but this seems like a good fix. I'd like to see how you implement it, though.

--mlangsdorf 14:16, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Your average DF game probably doesn't really care much, and as I sort of mentioned in the Wall O Text, removing the unvalued limitation "race-specific" and reading appearance as applying within the race as well as to humans, and Universal extending it to Animals and Elder Things and whatever, does lead to amusingly sort-of-tropy things like all those Ugly Orcs being reluctant to help each other even without mental disadvantages. Minotaur farmers obviously don't have co-operative barn-raising parties with not being able to stand their neighbors ugly mugs.

It's probably more relevant to a traditional fantasy game, but it DOES have the desirable (for DF) effect of not giving away so many points for Ugly-but-combat-ready races.

--Jerril 17:13, 2 September 2010 (UTC)