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Old 05-24-2019, 10:42 AM   #1
Spartan506
 
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Is the Tough Skin max for a Dwarf or Half-Ogre Barbarian 4 or 6?

Background
  • The Barbarian template on p. 15 indicates that during character creation (or later during play), players can select Tough Skin 1-3 (3/level); the description of Tough Skin is located on page 16.
  • The racial template descriptions for Dwarf and Half-Ogre in Chapter Three: Races both have Tough Skin 1. Additionally, both describe Tough Skin as "Identical to the barbarian ability of the same name; see p. 16."
  • There are several examples in the racial templates allowing players to buy additional levels of a racial trait in play, e.g., Pickaxe Penchant, p. 44, where it specifically states that a Dwarf, which starts with Pickaxe Penchant 1, "may buy up to three more levels in play, for 5 points/level." The same is true with Forest Guardian for Elves, Widget-Worker for Gnomes, Halfling Marksmanship for Halflings.
  • Nothing under either the Dwarf or Half-Ogre description expressly indicates that one can buy additional levels of Tough Skin in play.
  • In Delvers to Go, Aruga (Half-Ogre, Barbarian) has Tough Skin 4.

Analysis

Judges, when interpreting laws, will often reason that if: (a) the law's drafters used specific language in one part of a statutory scheme, and (b) did not use that same language in another part of the statute, then (c) that language does not apply in the latter scenario, since they interpret that to be a knowing (and not inadvertent) exclusion.

Using that same rationale here, I believe that neither Dwarves nor Half-Ogres have the ability to increase Tough Skin in play to Tough Skin 3 (or any other number). I think that is also evident insofar as the text in both racial template descriptions refers to the description of Tough Skin on p. 16 but not p. 15 (which indicates that barbarians can purchase Tough Skin 1-3).

This would mean--which I think is intended--that:
  • Dwarves and Half-Ogres who are not barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 1;
  • Other races who are barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 3; and
  • Dwarf and Half-Ogre barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 4.

Question

Does anyone feel differently? Or, perhaps more appropriately, since Dr. Kromm authored this--might we get a confirmation or clarification?

P.S.: While Tough Skin 6 would be awesome for a Dwarf barbarian, especially since there's no limitation to layering armor on top and getting additional DR, that would probably be viewed as overpowered (much to my chagrin, as that would be a fun tank!). Also fun: having a Dwarf wizard wearing heavy leather armor running around with DR 5 as a 250-point character. Not such a squishy wizard in that case! Alas, I don't think that is the case for the reasons set forth above.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:09 PM   #2
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Is the Tough Skin max for a Dwarf or Half-Ogre Barbarian 4 or 6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan506 View Post
This would mean--which I think is intended--that:
  • Dwarves and Half-Ogres who are not barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 1;
  • Other races who are barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 3; and
  • Dwarf and Half-Ogre barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 4.
I agree with your erudite analysis on all counts.

Quote:
P.S.: While Tough Skin 6 would be awesome for a Dwarf barbarian, especially since there's no limitation to layering armor on top and getting additional DR, that would probably be viewed as overpowered (much to my chagrin, as that would be a fun tank!). Also fun: having a Dwarf wizard wearing heavy leather armor running around with DR 5 as a 250-point character. Not such a squishy wizard in that case! Alas, I don't think that is the case for the reasons set forth above.
Nothing, however, would prevent the GM from making exceptions for unusual circumstances (your dwarf wizard was raised by barbarians and underwent the same ritual torture conditioning that toughened you up) or as a special quest reward (you drink Treebeard's drought and feel your very skin stiffening like bark!).

As long as you pay the points, I would think the main consideration would be whether you are encroaching on anyone else's niche. We regularly pillage from other templates if they aren't represented at the table.
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Old 05-24-2019, 04:07 PM   #3
evileeyore
 
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Default Re: Is the Tough Skin max for a Dwarf or Half-Ogre Barbarian 4 or 6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartan506 View Post
This would mean--which I think is intended--that:
  • Dwarves and Half-Ogres who are not barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 1;
  • Other races who are barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 3; and
  • Dwarf and Half-Ogre barbarians are limited to Tough Skin 4.
Exactly.

That's how it works in DF, where Barbarians can get to some 'crazy' numbers on Tough Skin. Especially if they are full Ogres.
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