Weekly Design Blog #22: A Goblin By Any Other Name, But Our DO Smell Sweeter

Hello All,

For the past few weeks' worth of design blogs, I've been trying to review our many new races for the Steampunk Musha setting. Thus far I've made it through the turtle-like kappa, the mechanical clockwork ronin, the native Rosuto-shima human, and last week the oni-descended jinteki-oni. Today I want to cover the master tinkers of the steamworks revolution going on in the Steampunk Musha setting -- the Keshou.

The following bit of text is "sales copy" but I think sums up them up for your average player of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game than anything as short that the Design Team and I have come up...

Though most closely related to goblins, keshou barely resemble their foreign relatives; they stand upright to a height of around four feet and are built extremely broadly across the chest and face. Their thick limbs and stocky build make them heavier than a human of their height would be. The keshou are my (The Fattest Goblin's) favorite race. Visually, they look like a cross between goblin and dwarf, but their personalities are relatively pleasant. This former slave race excelled beyond anyone’s expectations, becoming both skilled craftsman, machinists, merchants, and warriors.

Some of the real "fun" the keshou will come out as we finalize plans on the Works system for how the creation and use of clockwork, steamwork, and alchemical gear functions, so for now I'll need to just share the "base" version of the keshou as currently designed. As you can see, it deviates quite a bit from any other goblinoid, but we do intend to connect it back a bit to its more... primitive brethren.

Keshou Racial Traits

+2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: Keshou are both hearty creatures with strong, powerful, and agile bodies and they are very intelligent, but extremely gruff and difficult to deal with.

Type: Keshou are humanoids with the goblinoid subtype.

Medium: Keshou are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Slow Speed: Keshou have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.

Enhanced Vision:  Keshou can see in the dark up to 60 feet and possess low-light vision.

Eternal Hope: Keshou gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects. Also, once per day, after a natural roll of 1 on a d20 roll, Keshou may reroll and use the second result.

Craftsman: Keshou gain a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks to create objects from metal or stone, including steamwork or clockwork devices.

True Value: Keshou gain a +2 bonus on Appraise checks to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.

Master Tinker: Keshou gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) checks. Keshou are also treated as proficient with any weapon they have personally crafted.

Language: Keshou begin play speaking Common and Goblin. Keshou with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Imperial, Kochi-kochi, Sylvan, (+3 languages).

Lucus Palosaari, Editor & Project Manager at Fat Goblin Games (Like us on Facebook!)

Comment on this post (2 comments)

  • Lucus Palosaari says...

    Hello David, Lucus here…
    The final designs for all of our races are “built” using the Race Builder from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Advanced Race Guide ( http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedRaceGuide/raceBuilder.html) with the idea that they will all have roughly an 11-15 RP, depending on particulars. This puts them in line with the powers of races like the aasimar , drow, tengus, tieflings, etc.

    The Keshou use the Advanced ability score modifier, which has a 4 RP cost. Slow speed is their only “penalty,” at 1 RP, but their other racial traits are all minor RP costs - basically: 2 RP for darkvision, 1 RP for low-light vision, 2 RP for Eternal Hope, 1 RP for Craftsman, 1 RP for True Value (essentially Dwarf Greed), 2 RP for Master Tinker ==> for a total cost of 12 RP. This is roughly where our Kappa , Jinteki-oni, and Clockwork Ronin end up.

    The ARG and Race Builder are far from perfect, but it does offer some guidance. They are then NOT trying to be balanced against specifically the Core races of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game like Dwarves (which they get a lot of abilities from), but against the other races.

    Also, and this part wont be as clear till you get the full book - there are strong rationales for why the other, non-human races, are stacked the way they are and some of the “penalties” for playing them have much more to do with social norms and how our planned “philosophy” system works. A big component of SpM is going to be the pro-technology vs. anti-technology crowd, and keshou are racially connected to being pro-tech, meaning anti-technology philosophies will be opposed to them -- and often gain benefits against them.

    Mix in good old fashion racism and the fact that they were slaves in-world until about a generation ago and you get a race that is powerful in many ways, but also heavily disadvantaged in play.

    Or at least, that’s the design!

    June 01, 2016

  • David Starner says...

    Are these meant to be balanced as a PC race? +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, -2 Charisma with darkvision and no drawbacks besides Dwarven slow speed?

    May 31, 2016

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