Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Ghoran

Ghorans are sentient, ambulatory plants with a shell and face of flowers.  Their defining characteristic, obviously, is their plant type.

Racial Traits:
Ability Scores: Ghorans gain +2 to Constitution and Charisma, but -2 to Intelligence.  Though skill points are great for everybody, only a few classes actually use Intelligence so the Ghoran isn't too limited by this.

Size: Medium - nothing special here. 

Speed: 30 ft. - again, average.

Delicious: Ghoran take a penalty to escape grappling because they are delicious.  The fact that this is hilarious compensates for the fairly minor penalty.

Natural Armor: Not one, but +2 to Natural Armor?  This is an absolutely fantastic trait that will help you from level 1 to 20. Great for melee characters.

Type: Plant: Ghorans are plants, which is a mixed bag.  I'll explain more on that below.

Past-Life Knowledge: The -2 to Intelligence somewhat stymies this good ability, and it is harder to take advantage of.  Still, it opens up some nice roleplaying opportunities.

Natural Magic: Not one, not two, but three 1/day spell like abilities.  Detect poison and purify food and drink are only 0th level spells (and probably more useful cast infinitely), but goodberry will provide a nice little bonus to HP in the very early levels.  Ultimately, though, these spells are just too weak to be useful.

Ghorus Sprout: Huh.  You can create a duplicate of yourself which takes 2d6 days to grow.  You have a negative level while it is growing, but you die when it pops.  You also get to reallocate all of your skill ranks.  Now, this has a range of uses.  Know you are going on a suicide mission?  Make a back-up character for when you inevitably die.  Going to infiltrate a base?  Make a duplicate, redistribute your skills to stealth and disable device, plant another duplicate, go into the base, kill yourself if you are caught.  Going to spend a few weeks playing politics in the capital?  Make a duplicate who maxes out his social skills.  There are a ton of fun options for this ability.  This also works well with Past-Life Knowledge, as you can essentially switch around your knowledge skills (if you are going to know what you need a week in advance).

Light Dependent: Ghoran take 1d4 Constitution damage for each day they go without exposure to sunlight, a fairly common thing for adventurers.. This can be brutal if you don't have any way of healing the Constitution damage or mimicking sunlight.  The spell sunlight should do it, and lesser restoration isn't so bad.  Just be ready to use a lot of both if you go dungeon delving.

On Being a Plant: 
Low-Light Vision: Sure, we can always take low-light vision.  Why plants get this is beyond me though.

Immunity to all Mind-Affecting Effects: This is the big bonus for playing a plant.  You can make the most of it if you use it to shore up a poor will save character.  However, you are immune to morale bonuses as well, so no barbarian.

Immunity to Paralysis, Poison, Polymorph, Sleep, and Stun: More Immunities, and all of them good.  Poison will come up a lot, as will sleep.

No Need for Sleep: Want guard duty?  Now you always have guard duty.  Still, you'll never be fatigued from a lack of sleep.

Immunities, AC buffs, and a Constitution buff prepare Ghorans to be tanks.  As such, the are great melee characters.  They are also totally competent Charisma based spellcasters with a bit of extra survivability.  Still, everybody likes immunities, AC, and HP.
The divine dabblers, the Paladin and Cleric, can make excellent use of all of the Ghorans abilities to get in there and tank.  The Bard and Ninja can also use the ability distribution, as well as many Cavaliers.
Summoners, Sorcerers, and Oracles (particularly melee oracles), will also do well.
Although Fighters, Monks, and Rogues can't really take advantage of the Charisma buff, they will love the immunities, AC buff, and Constitution buff.
A melee Ranger and Druid will appreciate the survivability buffs, but their ranged versions won't make as good use.  A Mysterious Stranger Gunslinger can take advantage of  the Charisma boost. The Magus and Alchemist suffer from the Intelligence penalty, but, like everybody else, like the extra chance at life.
Barbarian Ghorans are unable to gain benefits from morale bonuses, so no good there.
I'd only stay away from the Wizard and Witch.  These classes are so dependent on Intelligence that even the Ghoran's nice abilities aren't enough to overcome the Intelligence penalty.


  1. Would a ghoran druid be able to use wild shape, since as a plant it's immune to polymorph?

    1. Yes, immunity to polymorph shouldn't affect it at all. It's immune to the spell polymorph, not beast shape, which is how wild shape operates.

    2. That seems like an oddly specific immunity. I took it to mean that plant creatures were immune to spells and spell-like abilities of the polymorph subschool, which would include beast-shape and the like.

    3. It does, but "polymorph" in the text is italicized, implying just the spell.

    4. you are wrong. it works AS polymorph then it counts as a source of that spell.

    5. What are you basing that off of?

    6. check bestiary 1 or any bestiary, polymorph is not italicized meaning any polymorph effect

    7. Cool, so are you saying that the plant type doesn't have "polymorph" italicized? If so, then you are right.

    8. You could also fudge the rules a little bit, Ghoran bodies are mutable in a distinctive way (they take on humanoid bodies by choice in order to make people less willing to eat them) so you could flavor wild shape as them being able to reform their body into animal forms at will.

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Ghorans don't make good barbarians. They are immune to morale effects, and rage is a morale effect.

    1. Shucks, you are right. Thanks, and adjusted!

    2. Though with Unchained Barbarian, that becomes untyped and thus usable again.

  3. I feel like I should make a correction here; Ghoran, despite being the plant type, do NOT have the laundry list of immunities. According to the PFSRD:

    "Type: Ghorans have the plant type but lack the immunities to mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, and stunning effects that type usually has. The plant type features immunities that, when granted to a player character race, can be disruptive and overpowered. "

    1. Mind you this seems to have been a fairly recent change, it wasn't there when I was building a character some time ago but it was when i checked in to make sure everything was kosher. Although my GM had already ruled to allow barbarian rage, treating it not as a morale bonus but as falling back on his survival instincts.