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Demihuman level restrictions


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Demihumans have no level restrictions in BG1 or 2 right? In 2nd edition, their levels are limited "to preserve internal consistency... and to enforce game balance." I guess the argument is with longer lifespans, they would soon overrun humans with crazy levels. Any support for or against this?

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I think that it's also to kind of force the numbers of PCs to be mostly human, to stop there being hundreds and hundreds of elves and dwarves around.


It's probably not worth putting in game though, since it was very often ignored for NPCs in official game materials anyway and anyone that wanted to play a demi-human PC would simply not install it.

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Yeh... I wasn't suggesting limiting PC or joinable levels. The DMG does say "The world would be dominated by these extremely powerful beings, to the exclusion of humans. Human heroes would be feeble compared to the heroes of elves and dwarves."


The other reason that occurred to me is that maybe some demihumans just aren't that good at certain classes. I mean, they are restricted altogether from some of them anyway, and maybe they just can't advance as far in others. That's the only logical reason I can see anyway. Otherwise it seems kind of a stupid rule to me.


I vaguely recall (either in 1st ed. or earlier DnD) demihuman thieves had no level cap, but in 2nd edition they all do, and it's rather low (12th level for half-elves). And I'm not sure, but I think these were enforced in earlier FR games (like those in the Silver Edition).


The main reason I was wondering is that in BG1 at least, most of the demihumans conform to the restrictions. There are a few right on the edge in some cases. But no real reason to nerf them if PCs and joinables (and BG2 creatures) don't abide by the restrictions. The bottom line in the DMG seems to be "A DM, however, can change or eliminate these limits as he sees fit."

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I've always played it along the lines that all races suffer substancial dimenisioning returns at high levels for experinece for all races. Thus even the longer lived races can never really surpass humans by more than a level or so. Where demi-humans tended to be most strong were elven/gnome wizards/illusionists (similar levels to humans sue to returns on experience tailing off, but a lot more time to collect spells, so better spell books). In my mind this balances things out far better than arbitrary level caps and reminds me a bit more of how real life works.



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I don't like the idea of demihuman level restriction - to me it's a sucky way to make humans dominate higher races.
"Higher races" = half-orcs? 'Cause all the rest of 'em are pretty much lower in my view :(.
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The idea of talking about "higher races" makes my skin crawl. I don't care if it is a fantasy world, I just don't want to think like that.


Hey, it's all well and good to have a favorite race/class to play, and I have no problem with NPCs displaying cultural preferences, prejudices, and/or distinctions, but it's a game, and part of the game is to balance racial abilities with drawbacks. OK, I will be the first to admit that a level cap is far too harsh a penalty to offset the bonus of infravision, but I don't see why humans, who have absolutely no racial advantages or immunities, shouldn't have something unique to them.


Having said all that, I am not in favor of demihuman level restrictions, because I can't really think of any bonus they get that would merit such a penalty. Instead, I might be inclined to offer humans a substantial, but not outrageous level advancement acceleration, like 10-15%.

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Otherwise it seems kind of a stupid rule to me.


Doesn't it, though?


D&D has a long history of assuming most players will pick human characters, and offering lots of stick with little carrot to encourage that choice.

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I'm not sure about a level restriction for balancing the races, because a lot of people are only interested in the leveling part. I do think that some kind of penalties/drawbacks are definitely needed. Being another race in a racist human world should have some problems. Maybe a charisma or popularity check to get people to talk/join/sell would be appropriate. Maybe limiting spells to a certain culture. An example would be for dwarfs. They mostly hate and distrust spells, so why should they all have tomes with Wish and Time stop. But if there were a drawback system, I think that these "other" races should be rewarded better. Maybe lore or wisdom bonuses for long-lived races. Charisma for the beautiful elves and half-elves. You get the idea. It'd be interesting and a time consuming affair.

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