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From an entirely number-faff point of view:

Kender starting position:

 * Cannot be Priest
 * Cannot be Mage
 * Built-in Frailty (System effect)
 * Can't use long swords
 * Can never call above doubles naturally due to above.


 * DAC
 * Resistant to ingestive poison.

So why is this the most expensive racial package in the system? DAC is neat, yes, although with the ever-more-common "Though" and "Poison" exceptions it's not as wonderful as it used to be; and I'm not sure the poison thing is worth it either.

Kender are fun to play (well, mostly. There's a reason I've retired Satrah for the time being), but I'm not sure that on a purely system level they're worth the XP you spend on them.

I'm possibly going to submit an OGM motion to change stuff with this if I'm not completely disagreed with, but this is just to sound it out a bit.

The problem is Kender have to be balanced as if they were a subterfuger. Kender subterfugers are insane. If you could find some way to make them less good as subterfugers whilst keeping them as alright everything else, feel free to go ahead. As is 20 points is a very nice buy in for two points of DAC. --Taxellor

Um. "Built in frailty" is.. misleading at best. All you lose is a round of hits. Anyway, I believe that the kender package is balanced relative to the other racial packages. On the other hand, I'd happily see the different flavours of elf cost 0xp and kender cost 15 or even 10- gaining a point of DAC for a round of hits is IMO a roughly even bargain. --Pufferfish

I believe that kender are actually one of the more balanced races around. Not being able to be priests or mages is a flavour thing rather than a disadvantage, and I'm fairly sure that, given the right circumstances, these might be at least potential long term goals for a kender character (though given the whole kender priest thing has been done and then OBLITERATED, maybe less so for priests). Losing one round of hits (-24xp) and gaining two points of DAC (40xp) claims to be worth around 16xp. Two observations (which are entirely my opinion): hits get worse the more you have of them while DAC, if anything, gets better. Going from 8/4 to 10/5 (say) isn't really a huge deal in most cases - it just means you need one or two less healing potions with you potentially over the course of a linear as you have greater staying power. Going from 2 points of DAC to 3 pays off when you take 3 hits in an encounter (well, underestimate because of armour, but you get the picture). Add to this the fact that it is much easier to gain hits than it is to gain DAC, and imo the kender hits/DAC tradeoff is well worth it. Once you get that initial round of hits. I hate being on 2/1. It sucks. On the other hand, warrior and wilderness can start on 4/2 no worries, whilst alchemists and subterfugers can join them when they pass the 180xp barrier with no double buying penalty (something I personally would strongly encourage for most people starting on 2/1). I have no problems with through getting past DAC either. Given how good venoms are in any case, I worry that letting them get past DAC is overkill. However, given that pretty much everyone wants to use venoms on an opening strike and we ARE NEVER BRINGING BACK THE BLOCKED CALL... Though I would certainly be more open to looking at getting rid of the DAC stopping ability of venoms than the DAC stopping ability of through. Last but nor least - weapons. Kender can't use two handed weapons, but I don't see that as a problem. The cap at 36" weapons does mean that they're capped at DOUBLES (not singles as Aquarion says) if they go up the melee tree. This means they still get benefit up to melee 5, but don't get anything out of it from 6 upwards. However, from an IC perspective, I'd suggest that some magically forged etc swords may be light enough to be able to wield as a 36" sword, whilst being capable of breaking the DOUBLE damage cap. I certainly know that Alan has a 42" sword that he is allowed to wield as a 36" weapon due to the fact that it is all magical and everything. Admittedly this isn't something that can necessarily be counted on, but it might well be a decent long term IC aim.

So, in conclusion, I don't see any of the disadvantages as being particularly disadvantageous (other than starting on 2/1). Starting on 2/1 with 2 points of DAC is something I would easily price as 20xp, whilst throwing in taking half damage from ingestive bonus as a nice racial bonus that'll probably never turn up. In short, kender rock (provided you don't mind doing a quest if you're a warrior gunning for melee 6 onwards) -- Flying_O

It's one degree less from ingestive these days, in line with all resistances. Or it should be, in any case. --ChessyPig

Oh yes, sorry - the less a degree of ingestive damage isn't great, but the reducing inflict to 5 minutes can be damn handy. In terms of a crappy ability worth not much xp. -- Flying_O

Oh, in terms of race/class restrictions, I think the only one potentially needed from a balance point of view is dwarves (though dwarves are just awesome full stop). And going back to the old chestnut, elves and elemental elves are probably slightly overpriced. (though not in a hugely game breaking sense) -- Yet more Flying_O

I am much happier with any racial package being slightly overpriced than slightly underpriced. But yes: Two points of DAC, minimum 40XP over four levels (and that's if you're dual-classed and buying two sets of DAC skills, otherwise it's eight levels). One round of hits, minimum 24XP over two levels (for a warrior, or four levels for everyone else). Being able to start out with two points of DAC is very good indeed. And as Colin says, we have to balance racial packages against the BEST possible class combination. Kender work very nicely as pure subterfugers or as warrior hybrids with subterfuge, wilderness or alchemy. Yes, kender pure warriors kind of suck due to not being able to wield 42" weapons. Incidentally, I'd have no problems with Kender priests or Kender mages but it would have to be something happening due to Plot. I would like to think that "become a mage" or "become a priest" is a viable long-term goal for a Kender PC.

Note that I'm no more averse to changing the Kender racial package than I am to any other rules change, but the change needed is NOT "lower the cost". --Valtiel

Given how effective shield and 36" sword is, and how good DAC is when the shield is meaning you only take a couple of hits per encounter, kender hardly strikes me as weak... they are, however, rather scarily vulnerable to ranged blue magic and backstabs, the latter of which at least we see quite a lot of. I preferred DAC stopping venoms entirely, from a mechanics point of view, by the way. But yeah, kender warrior or subterfuger is very powerful. Kender alchemist is also decent.

From a balance point of view "cannot be mage or priest" is not entirely a disadvantage, merely a restriction. It doesn't make a kender warrior worse, it just means you don't get a kender mage.

Also, I note that as the added damage from Melee VI and VII is unnatural, I think you can go over the double limit on a 36" weapon with it. I may be wrong. -TheKremlin

I fully agree that the pricing on the kender racial package needs looking at - 20 points is probably too cheap. 2 points of DAC for 2/1 hits is very cheap indeed at 20 points, especially for character concepts designed to take advantage of it - TT tends to undervalue renewable resources (DAC, armour, mage regen), I think. We certainly don't want to *lower* the already-probably-too-low cost any further. --Jacob

Okay, giving up now. Apparently "All Kender Must Take Sub. To Be Effective" is a viable balance, and DAC is the holy grail item that will save us from all. Also, because TheKremlin is effective with a short sword and shield (How many shields do we have?) the long weapons thing is also fine. Plus, different refs have different answers on career restrictions to Kender! So yay! I'm giving up, --Aquarion

If we change the cost of the racial package, it goes from "Kender without subterfuge are kind of weak" to "Kender with Subterfuge are broken". I don't think that the cost should be reduced at all. Other changes to the Kender racial package are fine by me. Does anyone have any ideas? As said before, I think Kender mages or priests would be kind of cool, but would have to involve both an IC plot-based explanation (because there's important history based around most of the gods refusing to awaken Kender) and a GM motion because of the rules change. --Valtiel minus ref hat
Ditto for dwarfs. Given the relative numbers of kender and dwarves we have, I suggest that if any racial package really needs some love, it's the dwarfs. --Jacob
I note that the explanation for there being no kender mages or priests certainly used to be 'they don't have the attention span', which can be debunked with 'oh, some of them do, after all'. Dwarves, I reckon, lack interesting roleplay or costume characteristics, and lose out for that reason, when being considered for one of the relatively few characters with no caster levels. --I
I actually think the Dwarf racial package is really rather good. There is interesting roleplay lurking there, I've strongly considered playing a dwarf (and mainly being put off by the physrepping issue, as I already have a beard). Magic resistance is very shiny indeed. Access to fitness and fortitude as a subterfuger or alchemist is extremely powerful. -TheKremlin
I note that kender warriors are arguably more of an issue than kender subterfugers. If I were trying to munch a warrior build with no reference to roleplay, I'd probably go with a kender. I don't think that the system should be balanced so that that is the case. --Jacob
Kender warriors do lose out a little on the 'no big weapons' restriction. On the other hand they have the armour and hits to get over the start on 2/1 restriction. Wilderness is fantastic however, and 2 points of DAC for a linearing alchemist is also amazing. imo, kender works well with any class once you get over the 2/1 hurdle. -- Flying_O
I suppose it must be pointed out that ambidex 36" swords, and 36" sword and shield, are both relatively skill-intensive modes of combat (unless you just rush, and these days people have worked out how to fight off that one). You can't do the "longsword and huge shield" or "polearm and lots of damage" styles of warrior, which are typically easier to pick up (although are perfectly valid, I mean no implication on the people who use such here) -TheKremlin

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