Building up a Wolfman (Not Werewolf or Halfling) and need some advice

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Hello everyone, first post here, I'll try not to screw up too bad with my understandings of things. If there's already information like this available, please feel free to direct me elsewhere or call me an idiot for not digging deep enough.

My current problem stems from my character's race. He's a Beast Man and I have no idea what I should do in terms of race given traits, he's a massive character (Weighs around three hundred pounds at 8' 11") and is a simple Fighter type in combat ability. Any suggestions?


Name: Tarlok (The Feared)
Race: Wolven (Goliath)(+2 STR +2 CON)
Age: Presumably twenty two human years, actual age unknown
Size: Medium (Medium-Large, at 8' 11" and 300lbs)
Alignment: True Neutral
Deity: None Specified
Class: Fighter (Paragon, Pit Fighter)
Weapon Proficiency: Heavy Blades
Current Level: 2

STR: 19 (+2 Strength) +4 (+1)
CON: 15 (+2 Constitution) +3 (+1)
DEX: 14 +2 (+1)
INT: 10 (+1)
WIS: 11 (+1)
CHA: 11 (+1)
(I also hope I did these stats right)

Many speak of him as a creature undeserving of love or pity, others claim that his mere existence is grounds for slaying. Still more find Tarlok to be a beast not to be trifled with. Standing as an imposing figure and weilding a massive blade, Tarlok carves his own path through life, and hopes that when death comes for him, he'll be ready to accept it.

Although he doesn't look like it, Tarlok is a sophisticated wolf man. The only thing that leads others to believe otherwise is his mannerisms and his poor common speech. If one were to speak his language, one would hear such wonderful phrasings such as 'I find myself distraught over these circumstances but do not cower away from the challenges they present.' Unfortunately, with his poor grasp of the Common language, he only speaks such phrases as 'Tarlok not like this. Tarlok not scared though.' This leads many to believe that Tarlok is easily deceived, when alas he possesses an intellect he cannot properly convey. This leads to difficulties in communication, as well as misunderstandings when trying to convey his thoughts and feelings.

Finally, being a beast man, Tarlok does not convey to social norms. Constantly he can be seen devouring deceased enemies or otherwise making lewd remarks at the expense of another species. That and when you smell like a wet dog for a long enough period of time, people find themselves repulsed at the scent of you. That and occasionally crashing through the front door of the bar in order to get some food doesn't always sit well with local town folks. There are a few benefits though, such as being able to track targets much easier through scent alone, and his incredible size does grant him an abnormally high strength. This benefits most who don't wind up on the opposite end of his teeth and fangs, nor the greatswords he swings around like toys.
One, no PC race is Large.  Ever.  And nothing's going to let you mechanically use a two-handed weapon in each hand until at least 24th level, assuming your DM is intelligent and won't let you play a bugbear.

Two, I suggest Gnoll (Dragon article) or Shifter (PH2) for this concept.  The latter is most along the lines of the movie wolfman, racial power can be used to represent a frenzy at being bled.  I have a similar character (a barbarian) using a Gnoll to represent the "dire wolf" variety.
Please, tell me more Eisen. And also, why can the PC Races never be Large? (assuming Large is about seven-nine feet tall)
It messes with a bit of the game's map reliance.  Close bursts target more enemies, it's easier for enemies to flank you, you have longer reach, and so forth.  Don't ask me to quote all the issues exactly, all I know is it's a Bad Idea.

And for the record, there are a few player races that default to that size range.  They're all Medium.  It's all fluff, really; Caramon Majere, notably, was human, but consistently described as being as large as three other men. 
I see. So it's mostly an aesthetic thing. Being extra huge makes gives too many advantages and disadvantages, versus a medium build which is a bit more natural and useable.

So going by what you said, about it being 'all fluff', the character itself can still be big (Cosmetically)  yet still only conform to rules of being a Medium Build? Since being Large is something I want not as an advantageous/disadvantageous character tool, but moreso just for the sake of the character.

Ex: Being eight feet tall, but still going by the rules of being six feet or so tall like an average human. 
If you don't want a gnoll, there is homebrewed content that fits the bill and it somewhat balanced.  Mystara's Lupins are wolf-people and there are a few conversions to 4th edition.  There is also Wolfkin from the D&D Wiki, which includes a racial paragon path.

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Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

Exactly.  And, for future reference, the "Average Height" and "Average Weight" lines in the race blocks are meant to help new players, but they're not related to crunch (that is, mechanics) at all.  So for the sake of bringing your character to life, feel free to toss those lines out, because all that really matters is the rest of the block, which is the mechanics.

My group's had a thri-kreen (four-armed freaky bug thing) played as a mutant four-armed elf, for instance.  Cosmetic changes are fine, and even encouraged, but be ready to explain things to the DM if needed.

In this case, he's on the big end of Medium.  Like a Gnoll or Goliath. 
Hrm. More things to think about. I'm gonna go to bed, and then I'll post some more Qs tomorrow. Thanks for your help so far guys/gals.

My group's had a thri-kreen (four-armed freaky bug thing) played as a mutant four-armed elf, for instance.  Cosmetic changes are fine, and even encouraged, but be ready to explain things to the DM if needed.

So by this statement alone, even though the race of the creature is different, it follows its growth patterns and personal statistics? Like, say someone plays a Fire Breathing Half-Human Half-Fire Elemental, but they use Dragonborn as a base so that they have access to an actual 'Fire-Breath' attack, even though the creature itself isn't a Dragonborn?

Exactly. You use the stats of something that already exists in the system, but you can describe it as whatever you like. After all, descriptions and aesthetics dont effect anything besides your roleplaying, so the two can be seperate.
Heya everyone, here are my homebrew threads: (yes there is only one right now, but there are more to come!) And Let There Be Fish-Men: KUO-TOA
Welcome to the forums!

Don't forget themes. They are incredibly useful for rounding out any character concept.

And others have pointed this out already, but it's so important it's worth repeating. Always, always remember that reflavoring is your best friend. With reflavoring, you can literally create anything you want.

In fact, I would consider a Shifter with a heavily reflavored Demon Spawn theme if I was going for a more savage kind of wolfman. You got the damage, the Intimidate bonuses, spiffy rage utilities, etc. Helps accentuate the wildness. However, I'm not sure what to pick for a more sophisticated wolfman like you have here.

I suggest you look at themes and play around with theme/race combos a lot. Look for the mechanics you want to represent your wolfman, reflavor like crazy, and you are golden.

Hope I helped! And make sure to have fun!! 

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Huh. That's actually very interesting.

I did think about Homebrewing the species itself, but it's not too.... Out there, enough so to warrant its own class.  

 Most of the points that make your character who he is are almost entirely role-playing choices rather than mechanical rules choices. The "fluff" (flavor) and the "crunch" (rules) are two completely different things, and backing up a narrative choice with a mechanical element like a power or a feat is simply a choice rather than a necessity.

 One of my characters is a 1.5-ft-tall shapeshifting fey crow spirit named Jack Daw. (Who, coincidentally, also happens to have a nasty habit of snacking on recently deceased opponents.) He fights shaped as a crow, wheeling and diving at opponents to confuse and distract them before slashing them to ribbons with his claws. He's loud, rude, raucous, insatiably curious and greedy. Born in the Feywild, he ended up in this world after seeing the Raven Queen flying through the Feywild in the shape of a crow, fell completely in lust with her, and chased after her trying to get laid.

Does any of that sound like either a pixie or a druid? Even being 1.5 feet tall, Jack is still one-and-a-half-times the size of a regular pixie according to the pixie's racial write-up.

"Shapeshifting fey crow spirit" is not a race or class available in the 4E D&D rules, but a pixie druid certainly is, and does pretty much all the things I wanted my character to do mechanically. Pixies can fly, and druids can shapeshift into creatures of their own size (but don't gain any extra abilities from it, such as flying). A pixie druid, therefore, can turn into a crow and fly around. Charging in combat is a well-supported tactic with a lot of items, powers and feats to enhance it, and druids can be built as very effective chargers - many of their beast-form powers are meant to be used when charging and there are several druid-only feats that provides benefits on a charge. A flying pixie can charge vertically as well as horizontally, and they also have a feat that benefits charging.
 Jack follows all the mechanical rules of being a pixe and a druid, but according to the in-game narrative, he's neither. As long as I continue to follow the rules of the mechanical choices I've made for my character, I can flavor it however the hell I want (subject to the DM's approval, of course).

 Now, pertaining to your "beastman" character...

  Since you're going for a more "civilized" beastman archetype, you don't really need to take a lot of mechanical choices that play up your bestial nature. I'd personally just pick either Goliath or Longtooth Shifter for your race and leave the rest of it up to your in-game fluff and roleplaying choices.
Goliaths, for example, are supposed to be about eight feet tall, but are still considered a Medium race. The "Medium" size description is simply a shorthand for the mechanical expression of the size-related rules that Goliaths follow - every Medium creature, from a 4-foot-tall dwarf to a 6-ft-tall human to an 8-ft-tall goliath occupies a 5ft x 5ft x 5ft square according to the mechanical rules of the game.
 You could, if you wanted, play a goliath and simply have most of the fur/fangs/claws stuff be pure fluff. Their ability score bonuses and racial power are suited to a large, powerful creature, and are excellent for a fighter. They also get a bonus to their Nature skill, which could be refluffed as the character's bestial nature.

 Shifters are essentially the "beastman" race in the game, and the longtooth shifter race's ability score bonuses of Strength and Wisdom line up perfectly with the fighter class. They have bonuses to Athletics and Endurance, which line up with a beastman character. They're not necessarily exceptionally large by the height/weight notations in their racial write-up, but it's fairly  easy to imagine that they could be the same size as the goliath.

So, either race works.

 As a fighter who wants to use big weapons, neither taking the werewolf theme nor multiclassing druid to pick up wild shape to gain a beast form will do you much good - you can't use weapon powers that lack the beastform keyword while in beastform.
 If you want to wield two one-handed weapons rather than a single two-handed weapon, you could take the ranger multiclass feat Two Blade Warrior and get free training in one ranger skill (Nature, Survival or Perception would be best) as well as the ability to wield one-handed weapons as if they were offhand weapons. Then you could take a superior weapon proficiency feat to get either a bastard sword or waraxe.
Note, however, that holding two weapons won't allow you to attack with both at once unless you take fighter or ranger powers that allow you to do so.


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Thank you for the VERY insightful post Jack, I've been looking to get all things Clarified and you nailed it all on the head for me. Okay! So knowing this, I just need to look up the details for the Goliath Class, add my own personal twists to it to get it up off the ground, and I should be just fine. Thank all of you for your help so far, I'll update it in the near future with the appropriate changes.