Original SA post
Races of Consequence: Introduction
Hey I know this out of nowhere this is my first (and possibly only) Fatal and Friends review and I’m gonna review an obscure ass third party splat book for 3.5 D&D called Races of Consequence.
It’s made a publishing company which made a small collections of d20 supplements, but a book like this which is mainly just races seems unique for them. (The rest of the stuff is like “Converting a real world religion into D&D” or “We took the balance from the player's handbook classes and used those to a make a formula of how to create your classes which will probably result in less accurate balance then just eye balling since player handbooks classes are balanced incredibly poorly”.)
It’s an interesting splatbook in that it adds something I’ve always been curious to see someone takes a stab at: Hybrids of the Player's Handbook Races, and this books make the hybrids of ALL of the possible combinations (The only exceptions are Human/Half-Elf, Elf/Half-Elf and Human/Half-Orc because that’s dumb and would probably just create a slightly elfier human, a slightly humanier elf, and slightly orcer human), yes that means it covers hybrids for like Half Half-Elf and Half Gnome or even Half Half-Elf and Half Half-Orc (More accurately, quarter elf, quarter orc, half human). I’ll get into my thoughts of that when we get into the specific combinations.
Before I begin I wanna say I don’t mind a book like this on principle by any means, I don’t have an issue with the concept that’s like say a Dwarf and a Halfling or something could fall in love (or lust) have kids and those kids would have unique traits from both parents. And I would argue that most first party stuff ignoring the concept completely (or in the case of 5e half-orcs handling it incredibly poorly and lazily, I’m sorry something that is half-orc half-dwarf should have different traits then like half-orc half-human) kind of gets annoying at some point. While the answer “they can’t breed” is a valid answer, it’s a boring one, so creating a book to stat out these hybrids to exist isn’t bad.
Hell I made a homebrew 4e Elf-Orc race the dandwiki a long time ago (that i'm sure nobody in existence has ever actually played), it’s probably a little powerful but it’s playable
I am gonna say it, this book isn’t awful, it promises one thing and it (mostly) delivers, of course they are flaws with this book, mainly that in my opinion it tries to sell these hybrids being created in very specific ways as the norms, also it balances the races based on the Player’s Handbook balances the races not based on actually being balanced. Also they are a few times were the wording is confusing, and some of the custom racial traits are weird (One of which is so debilitating crippling if I’m reading it right), unclear and unbalanced (but not in the overpowered direction). And also most of the feats, prestige classes and gods it introduces are a bit too narrow of concepts and not useful enough to really be put in most actual campaigns.
The book starts (after the already shown cover, credits, table of contents, and a brief format explanation) with a short story of a gnomeling (Half-gnome, half-halfling if you couldn’t tell), signing up for an adventuring company, not sure what to put for “Race”, at first I was gonna say “I honestly don’t think that a Gnome/Halfling would be discriminated that much”, then I realized it was more about her being concerned about the “questions”, and having her decide to basically put on a mask and pretend to be a halfling
1. Looking at the picture of the gnomeling (which I will show it you later when I get to that section) in this book, the ears would be more a give away than anything else, a mask doesn’t help with that
2. While I know it’s a story clique, misrepresenting yourself when the consequence of just being upfront of who you are from the start is “annoying questions”, and the consequence is of getting caught is “Why the fuck did you lie to me” is dumb
3. If I saw a masked person want to join my adventuring caravan i would you were an outlaw who didn't want to show your face, not an insecure mixed race
It then goes to talk about the general reason this book was created, to explore the options of hybrids other than half-elf and half-orc in a slightly more official format than house rules.
Then goes on to have a bunch of tables, not sure how much I should share since this book is technically still available on drive through rpg right now (but I seriously doubt they are getting much in the way of new purchases and "Dog Soul" probably no longer exists as their website is now defunct). It gives the quick reference chart for the names of each race combination, which I will show.
And first off I already see a mild issues, in that their something missing here, even though it’s not a players handbook race officially i feel like Including full orc would have been good here, hell replace the “Half-Orc” on the table and just include the regular orc
Also I’m not a fan that (aside from just the fusion names: Like Dwelf, which make perfect sense to me) obscure hybrids have their weird name, like are these really common enough to have unique names regularly accepted names like I could go up to a random person in “Generic fantasy land” and say that “Earthtouched” and they’d instantly know I’m talking about a half-dwarf and quarter elf, quarter human person?
It also gives aging height and weight tables for all the races, but who really cares about that? Nothing seems incredibly wrong at a glance
The funniest thing for me is that it covers freakings rules for how big the babies but who freaking cares the size categories for Babies (things that are 100% NPCs and are basically gonna be 1 hit killed by any of attack by an enemy)
Medium sized parents are often dismayed and concerned with their delicate, undersized babies, A Medium-sized mother may have been unaware of her pregnancy until after her Diminutive child is born!
So um, I’m not an expert but it would be quite unlikely for me to believe it’s a regular thing, pregnancy no matter how small the baby would be (Yes i know their have been real life women who didn't know they were pregnant but those are wierd exceptions not the rule)
Though random side note: I don’t buy that a small sized creature would be born at Diminutive size: that’s less than a pound, though I’m not an expert and I was having a really hard time finding data on what height actual people with dwarfism (the closest actual parrell) are born at, so IDK.
on Dragon Ball Z, the first write up on an actual race: The Dwelf (and I'll probably cover other races in the same write up.)
Original SA post
Races of Consequence: The Dwelf
Before we begin with the entry proper, I would like to do an art critic, every Hybrid has a picture of it in the book and I’ll like to show you the picture and give my thoughts on it.
This picture is actually pretty decent it accurately shows the traits of an Elf and a Dwarf in a picture, which not all of the art succeeds to do. It looks a LITTLE ugly, and a little heavy on the dwarven side (namely it looks a little shorter than i think it would but with no reference point that’s hard to say), but I figured the ugliness is supposed to be their to show that the traits kind of clash.
This entry (like all the other races), starts with a story, this story about Dwelf going to a Dwarven stew place and noticing that she being fed worse (insects in her food) then others normally are. She assumes in purposeful because of how prideful this guy is of his stew shop and stuff. She isn’t happy but thinks to herself that other dwarves won’t even give her the time of day possibly to the point of abuse (referring to scars). It’s an okay story but it repeats the same point the main section states which is that: Both dwarves and elves freaking hate Dwelf. I find it interesting the book doesn’t even go why these exists at all (It gives a reasons, sometimes even a forced tortured one, for virtually every other race in this), even ruling out the possibility of rape (Yeah this book discusses rape as a possibility for some the hybrids in this book mostly the ones based on Half-Orcs)
This section can be summed up “Dwelf are solidarity people”.
It basically describes the picture, dwarven structure with delicate features. Ihe interesting part is that it describes that male Dwelves as having beards that are “soft and sparse, like a human woman’s arm hair”, which is a weird comparison I never thought I’d see (It also references the fact men shave it or use tonics to thicken it). Apparently the females don’t have beards, but do have mutton chops which they say shave.
Again this section is just “Dwelfs are solidarity people”
Weirdly for the child of two good aligned races they are described as having “goodness eludes dwelfs”. I guess all the abuse that’s assumed to be sucking the goodness out of them. But otherwise it mainly says “Some are chaotic by rejecting society” and “Some are lawful by making their own rules”.
I’m gonna give book a pass here in that the book doesn’t go “Dwelf worship no gods”. It mainly refers to some concept of “purifying rituals” that some churches may do in order to remove the other races blood (symbolically not actually, unless you take the prestige class later in this book, or just use polymorph any object which the fast better solution), and that some Dwelves preffer neutral dieties who don’t give a fuck about their heritiage
It says that Dwelfs speak both Elven and Dwarven but mix them together, but how would a Dwelf raised in Elf lands know Dwarven (except academically), or vise versa? I guess they wanted some excuses for Dwelves to learn both languages because making it a choice would be weird
It basically says “Dwelf rarely stay in their homelands”, which they either go into wilderness or large cities to hide (Though I imagine humans wouldn’t give that much of a fuck other than being mildly humorous i guess)
Okay this part legit bugs me: It says that both races will give a Dwelf an insulting name. But what asshole parent is gonna give their own damn child a name that’s deliberately insulting. If that was just a nickname thing I think I could understand, but what parent is gonna name their child “Round, Hairy Beast”
For some reason I can’t figure out they decided Rogue would be a good fit here for a Dwelf ideal class, personally I’d find ranger be more thematically fitting but the concept of a Ranger Dwelf isn’t even addressed.
So I’m gonna adbridge this shit because the racial traits in this book are LONG and filled with minor shit that’s like half the bonuses that don’t matter. I’ll point out the shit that’s interesting in the book.
+2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma: While this is technically “overpowered” by the DMG the DMG has bullshit advice for balance anyways so it’s fine, it just means you'd be a shit Bard or Sorcerer, also it’s worth noting that’s literally what you get when you add the two racial attributes together but it makes enough since to me so w/e. (They are times later in the book where they screw that up)
Base Land Speed 30 feet: This isn’t bad at all and I would have skipped over it if not for a problem with the very next race
Darkvision and Improved
Low-Light Vision: Weirdly while the Dwelf gets Darkvision it’s only out to 30 feet, and gets a better low light vision than regular elves get, not like this matters too much, it basically just means “Screw the GM’s attempt to get light to matter.”
Lesser Stonecunning: They get a worse version of stonecunning that translates “A +1 bonus instead of a +2” and they can’t intuit depth which might have been cut for space and that fact that it’s mostly a flavor trait. This also on every dwarf hybrid in the book so I am only talking about that here
+2 on Hide Checks: This is the ONLY unique racial trait they have (which is fine, they are a hybrid so w/e), but I guess it kind of makes sense
Dwarven Blood and Elven Blood: Basically translate to the Elf and Dwarf subtype which is fine and stuff.
Automatic Languages: Common, Dwarven, and Elven: Why would one raised in only one culture necessarily know both?
Favored Class, Rogue: I mentioned my thoughts of this earlier so w/e.
My main issue here is the Dwelf flavor is just "they are stigmatized" which makes sense but doesn't lead too much interesting in a two page write up. I'd almost want to see some bullshit like "They are expert Bow makers and get a +2 on Craft (Bow)", but we don't get anything of the sort.
Next time on Races of Consequence, “the Dweoven” the Half-Human, Half-Dwarf.