Do You Know What A Kit Is?


 IN several threads myself and others have mentioned kits. One can easily forget that not everyone has played 2nd ediiton. AFAIK kits were intorduced i 1989 in the Complete FIghters Handbook and they appeared in most of the 2nd ed class based books and later in Skills and Powers.

  A kit was kind of like a back ground you chose at level 1 or on character creation. They usually had some sort of mechanical benefit and often had required proficiencies and bonus proficiencies as well.

  Sometimes the disadvanatage was purely a mechanical one or was not readily apparent. Example

Swashbuckler. 
+2 AC when not wearing armor or light armor.
+2 on reaction rolls vs members of the opposite sex.

Disadvantage
The DM gets to make the characters life "interesting". Your one true love that you seduced? Well they may be the BBEGs child/sibling, or may even be the BBEG. Purely DM arbitration there. The hidden downside was also the opportunity cost putting the high scores into the kit to qualify and the AC bonus is only in light armors or nothing. In 2nd ed if you wore full plate and 18 dexterity you got to add your full dex bonus to AC. At higher levels your AC would probably be about the same as a fighter in full plate as you would probably have magical bracers and a ring of protection which in 2nd ed did not stack with the AC bonus from armor.

 Anyway that is just one kit. Others ike the noble warrior give you extra starting money and a reaction bonus vs members of the upper classes, but everything you buy costs more. They were not really balanced from a 4th ed PoV but I do not recall any of them being blatantly overpowered either, but I do not remember the Complete Book of Elves (Book of Munchkins) and I remember the bladesinger being mentioned as OP.

 Anyway when one considers out of combat options for the fighters in various threads and kits get mentioned that is what they are and the context in which they used. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

The post was intended to help other in regards to D&DN as other people are talking about kits as well in relation to D&DN.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I never played 2E (I tried to take a look but couldn't get past THAC0) and have little idea of what kits are, but if that example is what they were like, then they were absolutely terrible and have no place in D&D Next without some serious revamping. It makes far too many assumptions about characters' sexual orientations, and that's just the most glaringly obvious problem.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Kits would be a great addition to DDN.
You know what kits are...?

4e themes. Think about it.
Possibly. With some alterations and additions.
I found 2E kits to be far superior for broad-range class options and RP potential than anything before or since. They thoroughly beat feats, skills, backgrounds, themes...really anything since then. Why they were abandoned is beyond me.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Can somebody please give me a better example of one? Because if people are speaking so highly of them, then what the OP posted had better be the bottom of the barrel.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I never played 2E (I tried to take a look but couldn't get past THAC0) and have little idea of what kits are, but if that example is what they were like, then they were absolutely terrible and have no place in D&D Next without some serious revamping. It makes far too many assumptions about characters' sexual orientations, and that's just the most glaringly obvious problem.


Actually, they made very few assumptions about the character's sexual preferences.  It doesn't matter whether or not a swashbuckler is gay; women are going to swoon over a male swashbuckler, just because of his style and grace.  Have you ever seen the movie "Zorro, the Gay Blade"?
Actually, they made very few assumptions about the character's sexual preferences. It doesn't matter whether or not a swashbuckler is gay; women are going to swoon over a male swashbuckler, just because of his style and grace.

I was talking about the NPCs supposedly being swooned.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Can somebody please give me a better example of one? Because if people are speaking so highly of them, then what the OP posted had better be the bottom of the barrel.


OK, the Myrmidon.  This kit gives a free weapon specialization to the character, as well as the Fire-Building proficiency, iirc.  I don't remember if there were any required skills, but the recommended ones fit a character with a military background.  The disadvantage was that to most people, it was obvious that the character had a military background (which could be a benefit at times, depending on the DM).
Sample Ranger kit from the Complete Ranger's Handbook:
Forest Runner

Description:
Wherever a corrupt or oppressive regime holds power, there's bound to be a Forest Runner. Forest Runners rise in opposition to such regimes, living on the fringes of society, usually one step ahead of the law. They're criminals only in a technical sense, as they adhere to a personal code that compels them to wage war against greedy aristocrats and unjust rulers. While the powers-that-be view the Forest Runner as a lawless troublemaker, commoners see him as hero, perhaps their best hope against a tyrannical government.

Constantly on the move, Forest Runners live by their wits and have learned to make do with minimal resources. They excel in combat and make formidable opponents. Ever active and brimming with self-confidence, Forest Runners delight in harassing authority figures, particularly the pompous and well-to-do. Many a hapless aristocrat has been left bound, gagged, and penniless after a humiliating roadside encounter with a Forest Runner.

Any time after reaching 4th level, the Forest Runner will acquire a personal nemesis. This is an NPC of near equal level whose campaign goal is to capture or kill the Forest Runner.

Requirements:
A Forest Runner must have a Charisma score of at least 12.


Primary Terrain:
Most Forest Runners hail from civilized regions in Forest, Hill, Plains, Mountain, or Jungle. However, no terrain type is excluded, providing it contains a reasonably sized and sufficiently corrupt settlement. (A Forest Runner from a primary terrain other than Forest, modifies the name accordingly, such as Mountain Runner, Swamp Runner, and so on.)


Role:
The Forest Runner is usually selfless, resourceful, and roguishly charming. A loner by circumstance and not by choice, a Forest Runner readily allies with adventuring parties who share his outlook. As a champion of underdogs everywhere, the Forest Runner doesn't necessarily feel bound to his homeland, and may journey anywhere in the world to promote justice. Occasionally, he may join a party to acquire treasure for distribution to the needy. If the local authorities are putting the heat on, he may accompany a party simply to disappear for a while.


Secondary Skills:
Bowyer/Fletcher, Forester, Farmer, Hunter, Leather worker, Teamster, Weaponsmith.


Weapon Proficiencies:
The Forest Runner receives a bonus weapon proficiency slot, above and beyond those he's normally allowed. The bonus slot must be filled with one of the following weapons: long bow, quarterstaff, long sword, or dagger. He must then fill three of his first six slots with the remaining weapons on this list. Once he's met this requirement, he may fill subsequent slots with any weapons of his choice.


Nonweapon Proficiencies:
Required: Bowyer/Fletcher. Recommended: Alertness, Blacksmithing, Camouflage, Disguise, Endurance, Leatherworking, Persuasion, Riding (Land-based), Rope Use, Weaponsmithing.


Armor/Equipment:
Standard.


Species Enemy:
A Forest Runner's species enemy should have some association with the corrupt regime he opposes. It may be the king's pet (such as a wolf or tiger), an evil race with which the monarchy has aligned itself (goblins or ogres), a symbol of the government (a snake or a hydra) or a creature the opposed officials have used in war (a dragon or a giant).


Followers:
Any.


Special Benefits:
Stealth: The Forest Runner has a +5% chance to hide in natural surroundings and a +5% chance to move silently.


Inspire: Once per day, prior to making an attack, a Forest Runner may spend 2-5 (1d4+1) rounds boosting the morale of his companions with flattering words and expressions of confidence. He can influence a number of companions equal to his level. If the Forest Runner makes a successful Charisma check afterwards, the companions enjoy a +2 bonus to their morale for the next 3-12 (3d4) rounds. Each companion also receives a +1 bonus to his first attack roll. The inspiring speech doesn't affect animals, other Forest Runners, or himself. The Forest Runner can't attempt to inspire his companions in the midst of battle or while they're occupied in any other activity.


Disguise: The Forest Runner can take the Disguise proficiency for one proficiency slot.


Reaction Bonus: In his homeland or any region where his reputation precedes him, a Forest Runner can count on food and shelter at no charge for himself and his companions from supportive commoners. A Forest Runner also receives a +1 reaction modifier from peasants of good or neutral alignment of all cultures.


Special Hindrances:
Forest Runners will rarely develop a close relationship with any NPC with political power. Additionally, a Forest Runner runs a constant risk of arrest by authorities of his homeland, as well as from other regimes with which his homeland has extradition agreements. Law-enforcement authorities may plague a Forest Runner through his entire career.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Something to remember with 2nd Edition is that it was released in 1989.  Gender and sexual orientation inclusivity was not where it is today and thus a lot of the material was still being written from a straight male perspective.

Personal opinion...

Kits have a lot in common with Pathfinder's archtypes in that they tweak a class and its features in small ways, sometimes replacing other class features.  Another, perhaps better example would be...

The Peasant Hero, a Fighter kit which allows the character to be something of a local celebrity.  The Peasant Hero could find shelter and aid from anyone who knew his reputation while at the same time being the primary "go-to" person for the problems of the local community.  Many kits didn't carry much in the way of mechanical changes to a class, while others provided possibly imbalancing benefits. 

Kits were a way to add some campaign specific flavor to characters but come from an era of the game when balance was primarily dictated by DM and player preference.       

All around helpful simian

Actually, they made very few assumptions about the character's sexual preferences. It doesn't matter whether or not a swashbuckler is gay; women are going to swoon over a male swashbuckler, just because of his style and grace.

I was talking about the NPCs supposedly being swooned.


I don't see the problem there, either.  The majority of people are either heterosexual or bisexual, therefore the reaction bonus would easily apply to them.
IIRC 2nd Edition also had Kits that one took after gaining a few levels, much like the Prestige Classes of 3rd Edition.  I seem to recall the Bladesinger from the Complete Book of Elves was that way, although it has been forever since I played a 2nd Edition Bladesinger.
For people familiar with PF's archetypes, 2E kits are mostly less-transformative and lower-impact versions of those, but with lots of little requirements built in. PF archetypes are primarily concerned with swapping class features out for a set of thematically related class features (though they sometimes heavily reinvent the class) in as minimalistic a fashion as possible.

Kits are actually mostly just lists of requirements and suggestions that then come with some little bonuses and drawbacks at the end. For example, the 2e "barbarian" kit just gives you a big list of restrictions on what choices you can make during character creation, and then gives you a bonus proficiency and amplifies good and bad reaction rolls. (Boiling kits down to just their mechanical effects does not typically flatter them.)

You could actually combine the two into a package that meaningfully redefines a character mechanically while also providing some setting description
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
For example, the 2e "barbarian" kit just gives you a big list of restrictions on what choices you can make during character creation, and then gives you a bonus proficiency and amplifies good and bad reaction rolls. (Boiling kits down to just their mechanical effects does not typically flatter them.)



Looking at the Barbarian kit right now (in the Complete Fighter's Handbook), and I'm just not seeing this "big list of restrictions".

- Must have STR of 15 or more (since he's a fighter, this is almost a given to begin with).
- Weapon Profs: Battle Axe, Bastard Sword (or DMs choice), can specialize in any weapons
- NWPs: Bonus - Endurance; Recommended (but not necessary): General-Animal Handling, Animal Taining, Direction Sense, Fire-Building, Riding (Land-Based), Weather Sense, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Hunting, Mountaineering, Running, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking
- Equipment: Can't start with anything heavier than splint mail, banded mail, or bronze plate mail. Once away from his tribe, he can wear whatever armor he wants. He must start with whatever weapons the DM says are appropriate for his tribe - battle axe, bows (any), club, dagger or dirk,
footman’s flail, mace, or pick, hand or throwing axe, sling, spear, or sword (any). Again, once away from his tribe, those rules don't apply anymore.
- Special Benefits: +3 Reaction Adjustment in certain situations. Whenever the barbarian character achieves a reaction roll of 8 or less (including Charisma and racial bonuses), you subtract the modifier. That is, if the reaction is positive at all, it will be even more positive than it otherwise would have been.
- Special Hindrances: Whenever the barbarian character achieves a reaction roll of 14 or more, he takes an additional - 3 modifier. That is, if the reaction is negative at all, it will be even more negative than it otherwise would have been - the barbarian is scary, and the other person overreacts.
- Starting Wealth: Same as any other Warrior, except he must spend all of it except 3 GP or less.
- Races: Any

Keep in mind that the barbarian in the Fighter's Handbook is not the raging barbarian folks are used to now. For that one, they would pick the Berserker kit. They could also pick the Ravager kit from the Complete Barbarian's Handbook to get a more familiar barbarian to what is now seen as the norm.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I never played 2E (I tried to take a look but couldn't get past THAC0) and have little idea of what kits are, but if that example is what they were like, then they were absolutely terrible and have no place in D&D Next without some serious revamping. It makes far too many assumptions about characters' sexual orientations, and that's just the most glaringly obvious problem.




Nah, you're just reading too much into it.  All it said was that there was a + involved when dealing with members of the oppisite sex.

Kits are no better/worse that 3xs PRCs, PF backgrounds/traits/whatever, whatever 4e called 'em, & Nexts backgrounds.   
For example, the 2e "barbarian" kit just gives you a big list of restrictions on what choices you can make during character creation, and then gives you a bonus proficiency and amplifies good and bad reaction rolls. (Boiling kits down to just their mechanical effects does not typically flatter them.)



Looking at the Barbarian kit right now (in the Complete Fighter's Handbook), and I'm just not seeing this "big list of restrictions".

I didn't mean to imply that the restrictions are overbearing or don't eventually get lifted, just that the mechanics of the kit are little more than a bunch of recommendations for a starting character attached to a reaction roll tradeoff. It's primarily a guide to making choices that already exist to get at an evocative archetype, rather than something that does anything meaningful mechanically.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
My absolute favorite kit was the Halfling Whistler. Of note, Halflings could not normally become arcane spellcasters in AD&D - they were restricted to fighter/thief/cleric, and could only reach level 8 as a cleric or level 9 as a fighter.

The Halfling Whistler was a bard kit, with druidic powers, which only Halflings could take. The Complete Book of Bards included four other bard kits that were open to Halflings - Herald, Jester, Jongleur, Riddlemaster - but Whistler was the only one they could take all the way up to level 15 (as high as they could reach in thief).

Qaulifications:
Wisdom 13+ and Intelligence 10+

Benefits:


  • Special Weapon Proficiency in rock pitching, which allows a specially-kept river-worn rock to be thrown as a dart with a +1 bonus to damage.

  • Influence Reaction (as the True Bard).

  • Counter Tune: Can counter any spell with a verbal component, just by whistling.

  • Chattering: Can communicate with any natural animal that can squeak, chirp, or whistle.

  • Stormwhistle: Gains spell-like abilities once per day, depending on level (level 1 pass without trace, level 3 obscurement, level 5 plant growth, and so on, all the way up to level 13 control weather and level 15 entangle).



Restrictions:


  • Cannot cast spells (which is a running theme among bard kits for demi-humans).

  • Cannot use any written magical item (which is another standard bard power).

  • May only wear padded armor, because heavy armor chafes and leather armor came from some poor defenseless animal. 

The metagame is not the game.

Can somebody please give me a better example of one? Because if people are speaking so highly of them, then what the OP posted had better be the bottom of the barrel.



 There were at least 3 versions of the swashbuckler kit- Complete Fighter/Thief handbook, and the Skills and Powers Book.

 Most of them had a very minor mechanical benefits and often not combat related. Some of the them provided generous amounts of non weapon proficiencies.

 A few of the disadvantages are purely RPG ones. The Swashbuckler kit in D&DN would actually be broken. +2 AC in a game where I wear lt armor anyway? Sign me up.

 The Swashbuckler disadvantage for example is very open ended. Just loot a dungeon and heading back to townand the NPC just walking around the corner is the kings tax man and he just saw you with all that loot.

 Anything in particular you would like examples of? +2 AC in 2nd ed was a bigger deal that in 3rd ed and probably 4th ed as well. I'm not sure if you would be familiar with 2nd eds WP/NWP system which is what these kits often used.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Personal opinion...

Kits have a lot in common with Pathfinder's archtypes in that they tweak a class and its features in small ways, sometimes replacing other class features.

I would love to see archetypes used in DDN. The 2e kits were a great starting point, but were very rough and mostly all of them were imbalanced. Kits didn't have any progression, so they are very much like backgrounds from that perspective. While PF's archetypes could still use another round of refinements, IMO, but they are a vast improvement over kits. I played a 2e fighter with the beast rider kit (Dire Wolf), and while I loved that character and ported him to 3e once the Animal Lord PrC came out, having a dire wolf "pet/mount" is completely broken at level 1.

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Other than the disadvantage, what do kits add that isn't already achieved through Background, Specialty, and class options?

For example, when you make a fighter you pick a fighting style (or just make your own), select a background (which gives you skills and a cool benefit), and select a specialty (or just make your own).
Other than the disadvantage, what do kits add that isn't already achieved through Background, Specialty, and class options?

For example, when you make a fighter you pick a fighting style (or just make your own), select a background (which gives you skills and a cool benefit), and select a specialty (or just make your own).



Many kits impart special abilities not achievable through other means.

Examples:

Beastmaster (Ranger kit): +5% chance to hide in natural surroundings; gains animal henchmen; gains animal telepathy; gains animal bonding; gains an animal horde

Feralan (Ranger kit): +10% to hide and move silently in natural surroundings; gains Feral Rage (not unlike a barbarian's rage); can climb trees at normal movement rate; can call animals to his aid

Hivemaster (Druid kit): gains +4 to saving throws against stings or bites from poisonous insects or spiders; +4 bonus to rolls pertaining to animal training on giant insects and spiders; may pass through webs with no hindrance (including Web spell); at level 7 can shapechange into giant insect or arachnid once per day (in addition to their other shapechanging abilities)


"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
My favorite was the Witch kit for Complete Wizard's Handbook. That's a good example of one that just couldn't reasonable be covered by Backgrounds and Specialties the way they are now - you might be able to get close with a bundled combination of a background, Speciality, and Wizard Tradition, but I'm not sure how that would work.

Basically (from memory) it gave the ability to create special potions/ointment, a "free" familiar (in 2E getting a familiar was expensive), and some free magical items right from level 1. And at high level you could even curse people.

In exchange, you gave up the ability to ever be proficient in any weapon, and you had to convert any spells you found from normal wizards into spells that a witch could use, since the two types of magic were different. That could get really expensive and time consuming. And there were roleplaying hindrances, too, in that witches were generally shunned at best and downright persecuted and killed at worst. You had to be careful about hiding your witchiness from people.

I think something like this would be its own class now (Warlock) but it's a good example of how radically kits could alter the base class.
I don't see the problem there, either.  [a] The majority of people are either heterosexual or bisexual, [b] therefore the reaction bonus would easily apply to them.

The reason that you don't see the problem seems to be faulty logical reasoning. B does not logically follow from A at all, and A isn't even a viable premise to begin with when discussing fictional fantasy settings.

Nah, you're just reading too much into it. All it said was that there was a + involved when dealing with members of the oppisite sex.

Then please, give me your interpretation and explanation of the feature.

Something to remember with 2nd Edition is that it was released in 1989. Gender and sexual orientation inclusivity was not where it is today and thus a lot of the material was still being written from a straight male perspective.

Yes, of course, but that doens't mean that it's immune to modern critique. Exactly what I'm saying is that such a thing wouldn't fly today.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Other than the disadvantage, what do kits add that isn't already achieved through Background, Specialty, and class options?

For example, when you make a fighter you pick a fighting style (or just make your own), select a background (which gives you skills and a cool benefit), and select a specialty (or just make your own).



Many kits impart special abilities not achievable through other means.

Examples:

Beastmaster (Ranger kit): +5% chance to hide in natural surroundings; gains animal henchmen; gains animal telepathy; gains animal bonding; gains an animal horde

Feralan (Ranger kit): +10% to hide and move silently in natural surroundings; gains Feral Rage (not unlike a barbarian's rage); can climb trees at normal movement rate; can call animals to his aid

Hivemaster (Druid kit): gains +4 to saving throws against stings or bites from poisonous insects or spiders; +4 bonus to rolls pertaining to animal training on giant insects and spiders; may pass through webs with no hindrance (including Web spell); at level 7 can shapechange into giant insect or arachnid once per day (in addition to their other shapechanging abilities)

Thanks for the answer.  However, most of these benefits are no different from what you can gain through backgrounds, specialties, and class options.

Hiding and moving silently are both part of the stealth skill, rage is a barbarian class feature (as you said), animal handling is a skill, +4 on saves vs poison could be a feat.  Things like climbing at normal speed would either be a feat or a class feature (like a rogue skill trick).  Other features (animal telepathy, shapechanging) would be class traits (we still haven't seen the ranger or druid).

Animal henchmen would fall into the companion character category, and it sounds like they plan on separating that from class.  It would be handled by the DM on a case by case basis.   Similarly, gaining an animal horde sounds like a Legacy feature.

Kits are nice for the same reason as backgrounds, specialties, and class packages: they help players organize the many options into a character that makes sense.  The only difference is scale: kits seem to encompass the design space of backgrounds, specialties, and the class package all in one.

So it might be cool for the PHB to list a few combinations with each class.  They already have the default choice, so it would just mean putting in a few more lines. 
Yes, of course, but that doens't mean that it's immune to modern critique. Exactly what I'm saying is that such a thing wouldn't fly today.



On the other hand, with ten seconds of rewriting for modern audiences, your entire critique would be proven to be a total waste of time.


"Swashbuckler's rakish looks gives them a +2 reaction bonus from people who would reasonably be attracted to them."


Which is what the book already says, it just says it in the 1989 fashion, from an edition that expected DMs to situationally consider every single rule.  A 2E swashbuckler, for example, would reasonably not get their reaction bonus against an intelligent golem, and no player or DM from the era would expect them to.
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Something to remember with 2nd Edition is that it was released in 1989. Gender and sexual orientation inclusivity was not where it is today and thus a lot of the material was still being written from a straight male perspective.

Yes, of course, but that doens't mean that it's immune to modern critique. Exactly what I'm saying is that such a thing wouldn't fly today.



Of course not. But focusing on that one thing - a thing that would probably not find its way into print today - as somethng that makes the concept of kits in general a terrible thing? That's just silly.
I don't see the problem there, either.  [a] The majority of people are either heterosexual or bisexual, [b] therefore the reaction bonus would easily apply to them.

The reason that you don't see the problem seems to be faulty logical reasoning. B does not logically follow from A at all, and A isn't even a viable premise to begin with when discussing fictional fantasy settings.

Nah, you're just reading too much into it. All it said was that there was a + involved when dealing with members of the oppisite sex.

Then please, give me your interpretation and explanation of the feature.

Something to remember with 2nd Edition is that it was released in 1989. Gender and sexual orientation inclusivity was not where it is today and thus a lot of the material was still being written from a straight male perspective.

Yes, of course, but that doens't mean that it's immune to modern critique. Exactly what I'm saying is that such a thing wouldn't fly today.



as a gay player i dont care about wording changes, its all symantics and is meaningless in a game that is about a distraction and for fun. if you want a power to be altered for each sexual orientation thats fine change it at your table. it isnt needed in the game and of all the complaints about what is being put in the packets that is the last thing on a long long list of things needed to be changed
I loved kits from 2e. Probably my favourites were the off the wall wizard kits from The Complete Sha'ir's Handbook.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/10.jpg)

On the other hand, with ten seconds of rewriting for modern audiences, your entire critique would be proven to be a total waste of time.

Of course not. But focusing on that one thing - a thing that would probably not find its way into print today - as somethng that makes the concept of kits in general a terrible thing? That's just silly.

as a gay player i dont care about wording changes, its all symantics and is meaningless in a game that is about a distraction and for fun. if you want a power to be altered for each sexual orientation thats fine change it at your table. it isnt needed in the game and of all the complaints about what is being put in the packets that is the last thing on a long long list of things needed to be changed

I think y'all are kind of missing the larger point of my objection (though that may be my fault for not explaining it in very much detail), and that was that the example was one that inherently assumed a lot about characters and campaign worlds. I focused on the question of sexual orientation because it was the most glaringly obvious flaw. These kinds of RP-dependent requirements and features are ones that fall apart completely when a campaign doesn't take the approach of automatically following the expected, default, stereotypical assumptions of a D&D game. And because it's a mechanic practically based entirely on flavor to begin with, reflavoring is difficult if not impossible to do without resulting in mechanical change as well, actually getting to a point that requires house-ruling and hand-waiving. In other words, this is something that is too game-specific and requires too much DM adjudication to be considered a good mechanic.

Most of the other examples that have since been given of Kits aren't as bad, but I still fail to see how they're specifically remarkable when compared to backgrounds, themes, archetypes, and so on. I still don't see why people are making a big deal out of them. Though, maybe it's just because I got a really bad first impression.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
On the other hand, with ten seconds of rewriting for modern audiences, your entire critique would be proven to be a total waste of time.

Of course not. But focusing on that one thing - a thing that would probably not find its way into print today - as somethng that makes the concept of kits in general a terrible thing? That's just silly.

as a gay player i dont care about wording changes, its all symantics and is meaningless in a game that is about a distraction and for fun. if you want a power to be altered for each sexual orientation thats fine change it at your table. it isnt needed in the game and of all the complaints about what is being put in the packets that is the last thing on a long long list of things needed to be changed

I think y'all are kind of missing the larger point of my objection (though that may be my fault for not explaining it in very much detail), and that was that the example was one that inherently assumed a lot about characters and campaign worlds. I focused on the question of sexual orientation because it was the most glaringly obvious flaw. These kinds of RP-dependent requirements and features are ones that fall apart completely when a campaign doesn't take the approach of automatically following the expected, default, stereotypical assumptions of a D&D game. And because it's a mechanic practically based entirely on flavor to begin with, reflavoring is difficult if not impossible to do without resulting in mechanical change as well, actually getting to a point that requires house-ruling and hand-waiving. In other words, this is something that is too game-specific and requires too much DM adjudication to be considered a good mechanic.

Most of the other examples that have since been given of Kits aren't as bad, but I still fail to see how they're specifically remarkable when compared to backgrounds, themes, archetypes, and so on. I still don't see why people are making a big deal out of them.



The whole point of kits was that they ARE specific. Classes are broad and accomodate lots of different concepts. Kits are narrow, and provide a bundle of both roleplaying and mechanical features. Many campaign settings had kits for specific organization, or regional types of characters (the Wizards and Rogues of the Realms, Warriors and Priests of the Realms, and Demihumans of the Realms series is the best example of this, as well as the previously mentiioned Complete Sha'ir's Handbook and Complete Gladiator's Handbook).

The reason they are remarkable when compared to backgrounds and specialties is that they could do what both backgrounds and specialties do, and more, in a single stroke. That doesn't mean they are necessarily better - of course that is subjective - but they are certainly different.
Most of the other examples that have since been given of Kits aren't as bad, but I still fail to see how they're specifically remarkable when compared to backgrounds, themes, archetypes, and so on. I still don't see why people are making a big deal out of them.

There is a lot of overlap between Kits and Backgrounds/Themes, because Kits existed at a time when there weren't really those kinds of options (or any sort of real character options).

In some ways, saying that you're in favor of Kits is like saying that you want Backgrounds and Themes to be combined into one thing, because it gives the designers a little bit more room to be creative with their special abilities when you don't have to worry about them being combined in unusual ways.

The metagame is not the game.

I don't see the problem there, either.  [a] The majority of people are either heterosexual or bisexual, [b] therefore the reaction bonus would easily apply to them.

The reason that you don't see the problem seems to be faulty logical reasoning. B does not logically follow from A at all, and A isn't even a viable premise to begin with when discussing fictional fantasy settings.

Nah, you're just reading too much into it. All it said was that there was a + involved when dealing with members of the oppisite sex.

Then please, give me your interpretation and explanation of the feature.

Something to remember with 2nd Edition is that it was released in 1989. Gender and sexual orientation inclusivity was not where it is today and thus a lot of the material was still being written from a straight male perspective.

Yes, of course, but that doens't mean that it's immune to modern critique. Exactly what I'm saying is that such a thing wouldn't fly today.


I just don't get how such a small detail discredits kits as a whole concept. People are bright enough to figure out that if an NPC is a lesbian, then she is excluded from the bonus granted to a male swashbuckler. And a male NPC would get affected if he is gay even if he is not of the opposite gender.
And if the PC is homosexual, well the ability functions just as written: NPC cannot tell at a glance that the PC is gay, so the complaint is irrelevant.
The intent of the rule is pretty clear and easy to extrapolate on. 

Please, try and concentrate your (and our collective) efforts on the NATURE of kits, and what they can bring to the table, instead of nitpicking the very specific 
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In some ways, saying that you're in favor of Kits is like saying that you want Backgrounds and Themes to be combined into one thing, because it gives the designers a little bit more room to be creative with their special abilities when you don't have to worry about them being combined in unusual ways.



+1 a thousand times over
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In some ways, saying that you're in favor of Kits is like saying that you want Backgrounds and Themes to be combined into one thing, because it gives the designers a little bit more room to be creative with their special abilities when you don't have to worry about them being combined in unusual ways.



Actualy, when I think about it, there are several treads where making backgrounds better was mentionned (I think it was in one of the multiple "fighters get no love" treads.....please don't bring that here)
some mentionned backgrounds giving feats, or new backgrounds traits accumulating over levels

Can you see the link with what Saelorn said ?
Maybe we're on to something interresting here 
what do you think ? 
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
The whole point of kits was that they ARE specific... Kits are narrow, and provide a bundle of both roleplaying and mechanical features.

The unnecessary and even detrimental conflation of mechanical features with role-playing features, though, is an issue that itself is... I'll just say "controversial". What's come since then, things like archetypes and themes, have been able to provide the same sort of narrow scope without needing to try to hard-code flavor into the mechanics.

Please, try and concentrate your (and our collective) efforts on the NATURE of kits, and what they can bring to the table, instead of nitpicking the very specific

I don't know the nature of kits, though. That's why the OP made this topic, because not everybody has any real idea of what they were or what they did, because not everybody played 2E. What my response was to was the only example of them that I knew. If that was going to be the stand out example, with such glaringly obvious role-playing flaws, then their nature seemed pretty undesirable.
Also, what to you may seem a "nitpick" may to others be quite a big deal, so it's not going to help anybody to be so dismissive of criticism.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
The whole point of kits was that they ARE specific... Kits are narrow, and provide a bundle of both roleplaying and mechanical features.

The unnecessary and even detrimental conflation of mechanical features with role-playing features, though, is an issue that itself is... I'll just say "controversial". What's come since then, things like archetypes and themes, have been able to provide the same sort of narrow scope without needing to try to hard-code flavor into the mechanics.

Please, try and concentrate your (and our collective) efforts on the NATURE of kits, and what they can bring to the table, instead of nitpicking the very specific

I don't know the nature of kits, though. That's why the OP made this topic, because not everybody has any real idea of what they were or what they did, because not everybody played 2E. What my response was to was the only example of them that I knew. If that was going to be the stand out example, with such glaringly obvious role-playing flaws, then their nature seemed pretty undesirable.
Also, what to you may seem a "nitpick" may to others be quite a big deal, so it's not going to help anybody to be so dismissive of criticism.




The kit was form 1989 and there is no suggestion of sex or sexual orientation involved in the +2 bonus to members of the opposite gender. Myabe a lebian would like a male swashbucklers panache or attitude, doesn't mean she wants to sleep with him. It is dleiberately a bit tongue in cheek just like the source material its based on (3 musketeers).

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 I don't know the nature of kits, though. That's why the OP made this topic, because not everybody has any real idea of what they were or what they did, because not everybody played 2E. What my response was to was the only example of them that I knew. If that was going to be the stand out example, with such glaringly obvious role-playing flaws, then their nature seemed pretty undesirable.
Also, what to you may seem a "nitpick" may to others be quite a big deal, so it's not going to help anybody to be so dismissive of criticism.


I am not trying to be dismissive, I can see that your general attitude about kits seem to have changed the more you have seen posted about them, which is great IMO

Maybe the first example put forward had flaws (pretty much everything has, one way or another anyways) but that specific flaw is in no way tied to the overall concept that kits represent.

Anyways, I didn't want to come off as a bully, sorry if it looked like it. 
please carry on
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