April: In the Works

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April: In the Works
by Bart Carroll

A closer look at the Underdark, with trapsmiths, deep gnomes, and tiles to build out your encounters!

Talk about this preview here.

astralArchivist.com - 4e D&D house rules, homebrew, and story hours - now featuring ENWorld's Zeitgeist adventure path! Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.
I'm really disappointed that the trap smith only uses Int.  It makes it far too class-specific, and I liked how themes started off ability score neutral.  Besides, it ironically means that most rogues want to stay away from this theme.  Even if there is one rogue build that's Int secondary, the overlap for NAD makes it unappealing.  If they have time, change it.  If not, errata it ASAP.  And I find it personally disappointing because I've had a concept for a seeker who's also a hunter/trapper, and I would've liked to use this theme.  But having enough Int to pull this off?  Just not possible.  Fail, Wizards, fail.
So it appears svirfneblin will have Int as one of their racial ability bonuses, but maybe not.

I wonder what others think there racial bumps will be.

Same for gobbos as well.
Even if there is one rogue build that's Int secondary


Even they won't have an Int score high enough to be making attack rolls with it.

So it appears svirfneblin will have Int as one of their racial ability bonuses, but maybe not.
I wonder what others think there racial bumps will be.
Same for gobbos as well.


Svirfneblin will probably have the same ability score bonuses as regular gnomes (Int+Cha/Dex), though I could see Cha being switched out for Con or Wis*. Goblins I'd guess will be Dex+Cha/Con. The MM version is already Dex+Cha, so that has to remain a legal option, and Str, Int and Wis are all grossly inappropriate flavourwise.

*EDIT: Now I've actually read the description, it sounds like the svirfs definitely swap out Cha for Wis.
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
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You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Storyteller 92% Tactician 83% Method Actor 75% Butt-Kicker 67% Power Gamer 67% Specialist 58% Casual Gamer 8%
I just picked up the book at my FLGS. Svirfneblin are Wis + Str/Con.
http://thecordsthatbind.wordpress.com/ "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy

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I just picked up the book at my FLGS. Svirfneblin are Wis + Str/Con.



DUDE YOU HAVE JUST MADE ME SO FREAKING HAPPY!

I apologize for the shoutiness. Any interesting feats?
I just picked up the book at my FLGS. Svirfneblin are Wis + Str/Con.


LOL, seriously? A Str bonus? God, they're just not trying any more, are they?
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
Show
You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Storyteller 92% Tactician 83% Method Actor 75% Butt-Kicker 67% Power Gamer 67% Specialist 58% Casual Gamer 8%
I just picked up the book at my FLGS. Svirfneblin are Wis + Str/Con.



what about the goblin? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!!!!
Goblins have Dex + Wis/Cha.

Their feats are mostly "when you use Goblin Tactics" (so modifying a 1/encounter ability) and their racial utilities are mostly linked to having an adjacent ally or enemy (either to improve their own skill check/etc or to cause Bad Things to happen to the ally/enemy instead of to the goblin).
Goblins have ... + Wis


Do they even try to justify this in the racial fluff? Because that sounds just plain stupid to me. Might as well have elves with a Con bonus and orcs with an Int bonus. Why even bother with racial ability score bonuses if they're going to be totally disconnected from the race's background?

Super-strong gnomes and wise-and-enlightened goblins. How does this make any sense at all?

Wait, perhaps all PC goblins to be played like Yoda are intended?
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
Show
You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Storyteller 92% Tactician 83% Method Actor 75% Butt-Kicker 67% Power Gamer 67% Specialist 58% Casual Gamer 8%
More svirniflblin feats, please?
Goblins have ... + Wis


Do they even try to justify this in the racial fluff? Because that sounds just plain stupid to me. Might as well have elves with a Con bonus and orcs with an Int bonus. Why even bother with racial ability score bonuses if they're going to be totally disconnected from the race's background?

Super-strong gnomes and wise-and-enlightened goblins. How does this make any sense at all?

Wait, perhaps all PC goblins to be played like Yoda are intended?



I'm ok with goblins getting wisdom, so long as the fluff states that this is rare. Fluff-wise goblin tribes useually have one shaman as a leader/advisor so i'm ok with having the rare wise goblin. A strong Svifneblin makes no sense to me. I was expecting Int; +con/dex, the fact that Svifs and minotaurs can have idenitical str/wis bonus is laughable. 
Goblins have ... + Wis


Do they even try to justify this in the racial fluff? Because that sounds just plain stupid to me. Might as well have elves with a Con bonus and orcs with an Int bonus. Why even bother with racial ability score bonuses if they're going to be totally disconnected from the race's background?

Super-strong gnomes and wise-and-enlightened goblins. How does this make any sense at all?

Wait, perhaps all PC goblins to be played like Yoda are intended?



I'm ok with goblins getting wisdom, so long as the fluff states that this is rare. Fluff-wise goblin tribes useually have one shaman as a leader/advisor so i'm ok with having the rare wise goblin. A strong Svifneblin makes no sense to me. I was expecting Int; +con/dex, the fact that Svifs and minotaurs can have idenitical str/wis bonus is laughable. 



I only cared about the Wis / Con part of it ... unless they decided they are not small, then I don't care what they have anymore.

My horrible idea for a Sentinel | Warlock lives!
I'm ok with goblins getting wisdom, so long as the fluff states that this is rare. Fluff-wise goblin tribes useually have one shaman as a leader/advisor so i'm ok with having the rare wise goblin.


By that logic, virtually every race should have the option of a Wis bonus, because virtually every race has either clerics or shamans as an important part of their social system. Racial ability score bonuses are not supposed to represent the odd rare individual, but to give a flavour of the race as a whole as compared to other races. Giving goblins a Wis bonus implies that, as a race, they are possessed of greater "common sense, perception, self-discipline and empathy" than the human average. Does that really sound like any description you've ever heard/read of D&D goblins? No, it's the complete opposite of what goblins are supposed to be like.
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
Show
You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Storyteller 92% Tactician 83% Method Actor 75% Butt-Kicker 67% Power Gamer 67% Specialist 58% Casual Gamer 8%
Judging from the fluff, it isn't that goblins are 'wise' per se, but that their means of relating to many things is intuitive and/or instinctive; while they're often considered cunning, it isn't really of the Int-cerebral variety.
More svirniflblin feats, please?



Sure Smile 

There aren't too many Svirf feats, but there's one Svirf feat that let's them turn invisible until the end of their next turn if struck (interacts with their racial power). 
http://thecordsthatbind.wordpress.com/ "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy

Wizard.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium


D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? -

Goblins have Dex + Wis/Cha. Their feats are mostly "when you use Goblin Tactics" (so modifying a 1/encounter ability) and their racial utilities are mostly linked to having an adjacent ally or enemy (either to improve their own skill check/etc or to cause Bad Things to happen to the ally/enemy instead of to the goblin).



thanks :D
I always thought Apes were pretty wise myself.

This is fine for me, since I reflavor Goblins as Vanara…

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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DEX+WIS/CHA makes goblins good at:
Rogue (makes sense)
Assassin (makes sense)
Shaman (makes sense)
Ranger (makes sense)

Works perfectly for me.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I'm ok with goblins getting wisdom, so long as the fluff states that this is rare. Fluff-wise goblin tribes useually have one shaman as a leader/advisor so i'm ok with having the rare wise goblin.


By that logic, virtually every race should have the option of a Wis bonus, because virtually every race has either clerics or shamans as an important part of their social system. Racial ability score bonuses are not supposed to represent the odd rare individual, but to give a flavour of the race as a whole as compared to other races. Giving goblins a Wis bonus implies that, as a race, they are possessed of greater "common sense, perception, self-discipline and empathy" than the human average. Does that really sound like any description you've ever heard/read of D&D goblins? No, it's the complete opposite of what goblins are supposed to be like.



Of course, this only applies to PCs, who are unusual and rare examples of their species anyway, so it really doesn't matter.  If you want the garden variety NPC goblin to be dumb as a brick full of bricks, go for it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Of course, this only applies to PCs, who are unusual and rare examples of their species anyway, so it really doesn't matter.  If you want the garden variety NPC goblin to be dumb as a brick full of bricks, go for it.


If you really believe it "doesn't matter", then I can assume you allow your players to just pick any two ability scores they like to get bonuses to when you DM, right?

All PCs are "unusual and rare examples of their species". But they should still be "examples of their species". If svirfneblin have exactly the same potential for exceptional strength as goliaths, and goblins have exactly the same potential for great "common sense, perception, self-discipline and empathy" as elves, then racial ability score bonuses are just arbitrary mechanical traits with no connection to fluff, and that's not a design direction I can support. I'd much rather see racial ability score bonuses dropped altogether.

EDIT: You know what? I'm going to shut up about this until I get to see the book, because there is a chance that these racial ability score bonuses are justified in the fluff in a way that makes some kind of sense. I doubt it, but I'm going to try and keep a somewhat open mind. Anyway, I suppose they're not any more stupid than giving revenants (who are stated to appear "distant and uncaring", with mask-like faces) a Cha bonus, or shadar-kai (for whom introspection can actually be fatal) a Wis bonus.
"There's an old saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is that good people do nothing. I've always had a problem with that. If you do nothing to oppose evil, then how are you 'good'? To turn aside and allow evil to flourish is to collaborate with it. You ask for mercy. You claim you have done nothing. That 'nothing' is why you deserve no mercy." - Lorian Karthfaerr, drow paladin of Avandra Robin Laws says I'm a Storyteller:
Show
You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director. Storyteller 92% Tactician 83% Method Actor 75% Butt-Kicker 67% Power Gamer 67% Specialist 58% Casual Gamer 8%
Goblins are described as sneaky and cunning. Dexterity=sneaky, wisdom=cunning. In fact, I cannot think of two MORE appropriate bonusus to give goblins. I would argue that charisma is the less supported bonus, as goblins are rarely portrayed as gregarious or charming. Wisdom does not have to mean introspective or enlightened, otherwise wild animals would have very low scores. The svirfneblins' bonus to strength is harder to justify, but if you think about it, it's still not much of a stretch. Considering they live deep underground and spend most of their lives performing strenuous manual labor. One of their principle traits is how sullen and hard-working they are. So it follows they get similar physical bonuses as dwarves, who follow the same lifestyle. Yes, they are small, but in 4th edition that doesn't mean they have less strength. Given the same stat array, an elf and a halfling will have the same strength after racial modifiers. So if svirfneblin are significantly stronger than halflings, it is logical to give them a strength bonus, just as half-orcs get a strength bonus because they are significantly stronger than elves. It's fine if you have beef with the idea of strong small races, but that's an issue with 4th edition, not the race itself.
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I like the idea that deep gnomes are strong as stone, almost the ant of the small races.
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Yeah, I'm definitely liking what I hear about the svirfneblin (even if I still don't like the name).