Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Drider

Drider are giant centaurs - if you replace their horse half with a spider and their human half with drow monsters.  With 35RP they are squarely a very powerful race, gaining SR, an AC bonus, lots of ability score bonuses, and no ability score penalties. As a result, they can handle quite a variety of classes.

Racial Traits:
Ability Scores: +4 Constitution, +4 Strength, +2 Wisdom (adjusted for size).  This is just about the ideal for a melee character. However, Driders are also happy to play Wisdom casters.  Even classes with virtually no obvious synergy, such as a Sorcerer, will benefit from such high ability scores. 

Type: Drider are aberrations and as such as immune to charm person, enlarge person and other spells that just target humans.

Size: Drider are large.  This gives them bonuses to CMB and CMD, but it also gives them some penalties to AC and attack.  Drider do gain +2 Strength and -2 Dexterity for being large.  Because they are quadrupeds, they use medium sized weapons.  Without reach, a medium sized Drider would probably be better.

Greater Spell Resistance: SR of 11+ Level means that enemies of your level have a 50% chance of their spell failing.  This is absolutely fantastic.

Speed: Drider have a 40 foot move speed, which is great, particularly for melee.

Climb Speed: 20 foot climb speed isn't going to help you too much in combat, but it will prevent you from falling to your death on multiple occasions.

Natural Armor: +2 natural armor is hindered by the AC penalty for being large, but it still great.

Quadruped: +12 against tripping (8 legs)!  But Drider have to use medium weapons as a result.

Darkvision: Darkvision is best vision!

Let's start off by saying this:  Driders are a Very Powerful race. As such they are going to be better than most other races.  As a result, you are going to see more sky-blue and less Red than with most races.  For the Drider, this is going to be pretty extreme.
Drider are melee fighters, and any class that can be a melee fighter will benefit. The FighterBarbarianRoguePaladin, and Ninja are all good choices. Even better are those melee guys who have a bit to gain from Wisdom: The MonkInquisitor, and Ranger.  Even the melee Cleric and Druid are going to have a great time.
Next come those who can't quite take full advantage of everything, but will still appreciate the crazy bonuses. The Bard and Magus will love the buffs, but don't get bonuses to their casting ability score. The Empyreal Sorcerer does, but can't appreciate the crazy bonuses as much.  The Gunslinger similarly doesn't get a Dex bonus, does get a Wisdom bonus, and still appreciates being a beast.
The Cavalier is an interesting one, and fraught with GM fiat.  You probably can't ride an animal, but I can't find anything in the rules that says that quadrupeds can't.  You can also see if you can get your GM to agree to considering the Drider mounted at all times.  Probably not any more game breaking then allowing the Drider in your game at all, and definitely flavorful.  There should really be a racial archetype for this.  Still, the Cavalier is a martial and will benefit from the big buffs all the same.  Maybe choose a mount-less Samurai instead?
A melee Oracle will rock melee with bonuses that overcome a lack of Charisma buff.
Next comes the Alchemist and the true casters: everybody else.  Even classes such as the Sorcerer and Wizard are going to appreciate the bonuses at least a few times in their careers, and it will certainly improve their CMDs and survivability.  The Witch will have some bite to her attacks, and the Summoner might be able to get in there and mix things up with his summons.
In short, anybody can be a Drider because they are generally just good, but melee classes will benefit exponentially more.

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