Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: Strix

Strix are onyx-skinned humanoids with giant black wings.  Their defining ability is their capacity for flight at a whopping 60ft (average) speed.

Racial Traits:
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity and -2 Charisma isn't great.  The good news is that Dexterity is good for everybody, and Charisma is often a dump ability. 

Size: Medium - nothing special here. 

Speed: Strix move at 30 feet on land, and 60 feet in the air.  They have average flight.  This is the best feature of this race, and probably the best way to fly in the early levels.  Obviously at higher levels you'll be able to get the spell, but for a long time you'll be a flier!

Nocturnal: +2 to Perception and Stealth is great, but it only takes effect in dim light or darkness.  Good thing you have dark vision

Suspicious: +2 against illusions is nice, but I'd far prefer something broader.  Illusions aren't terribly common.

Hatred: As far as these minor +1 to attack roll bonuses go, humans are likely the best target.

Darkvision & Low Light Vision: Darkvision is great, and it allows you to use your Nocturnal bonus better.  Low-Light vision is just icing.

Alternate Racial Traits: 
Dayguard [Nocturnal]: You are trading in your +2 to stealth in the dark for making the +2 to perception at all times (and a class skill).  This is most certainly worth it if Perception is not already a class skill, and probably worth it even if you sneak around a lot.

Frightening [Nocturnal]: Dayguard is almost certainly a better choice than +2 Intimidate, but if you are built around intimidate then grab it.

Nimble [Suspicious]: A +1 bonus on Reflex is most certainly better than a situational +1 to against illusions.  Get it.

Tough [Suspicious]: A +1 bonus on Fortitude is most certainly better than a situational +1 to against illusions.  Get it.

Wing-Clipped [Fly Speed]: Normally I'd say that any fly speed is a good fly speed, but this penalty is just a bit too steep.  It reduces your speed to 20 feet, reduces your maneuverability down to poor, and makes you pass a DC 30 Fly check to climb up.  You do get a +2 bonus on Bluff, Climb, and Diplomacy, but, given that your lowered Cha suggests you won't be the face of the group, you'll almost certainly make better use of the extra speed.  Note that the Stretched Wings Feat essentially brings this back to normal, but it requires Skill Focus (fly), and at that point you are better off sticking with the original and getting skill focus in any of those skills that you use.

The Strix's bonus are pretty broad, and so are his class choices.  Anybody can benefit from Dexterity, Flight, and Darkvision.
Gunslinger and Alchemist can particularly benefit from both Dexterity and Flight.  Ranged or two-weapon fighting are good here, but melee is nearly as good, so simple martials such as the Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue. are obvious choices. The Zen Archer Monk, Ranger, and Samurai are just as good a choice. 
Magus, MonkDruid are very passable, as are the Wizard and Witch.  Grab extra Ki to offset the Charisma hit and Ninja is just as good. Cavalier is fine, but you are probably wasting that fly speed.
Paladins, Clerics, and Bards all suffer from the Charisma hit, but are passable as long as you focus on other things.  Only the Oracle, Sorcerer, and Summoner, are really hit by the Charisma Penalty, but still, who doesn't like a Dexterity bonus and Fly speed?

Favored Class Options 
Barbarian: +1 to rage rounds.  More rage is good rage.

Fighter: If you are fighting a ton of humans, then +1/4 to attack against them could stack up.  Otherwise, stick with hp.

Monk: +1/4 to ki.  More ki is good ki.

Ranger: +1/2 to duration of bonus granted to companion from hunter's bond.  Given that this bonus only lasts for Wisdom modifier turns, these bonus rounds can really help and make it a pre-combat buff.

Racial Archetypes: 
Airborne Ambusher (Fighter): In addition to some bonuses to flight, Airborne Ambusher essentially trades out weapon training for some weapon bonuses while flying.  I would prefer weapon training, any day.

Racial Feats: 
Stretched Wing: This undoes the damage from Wing-Clipped.  Get it if you took Wing-Clipped.  Or, better yet, don't take Wing-Clipped.

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