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Adding Warhammer Lizardmen to D&D - help!

Discussion in 'General Hobby/Tabletop Chat' started by repKyle95, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. repKyle95
    Jungle Swarm

    repKyle95 New Member

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    Hello all!

    I'm posting this because I have recently really gotten into watching various podcasts and shows of D&D campaigns (as well as a few other RPGs such as Dark Heresy, Deathwatch, Wrath of Glory, and Call of Cthulhu), and it has made me REALLY interested in playing. However, the only character idea that I could come up with that appeals to me would be a Saurus character heavily inspired by Kroq-Gar (unfortunately I couldn't figure out a way to have a Grymloq-like mount that would be loyal to the original without breaking balance of the game unless at level 20). I looked at the existing races, and none of them really appealed to me in the same way - I've found this to be true of pretty much every franchise that has lizard-people aside from Warhammer... they just feel like less-cool versions of the Lizardmen.

    This is where I really need help. I managed to find a set of homebrew rules for Lizardmen designed for 5e, that I think are a decent starting point for a Saurus character (seen here: the only modification I would make is to change the "Headbutt" to be named "Predatory Fighter" to have a bit more narrative leeway):
    https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Lizardmen,_Warhammer_(5e_Race)

    However, there are still a few major issues that come up that I need some help figuring out a way to navigate. Since this entire forum is dedicated to Lizardmen as a faction, and I imagine some of you at least have played D&D, I figured this would be a good place to get some ideas to work off of.

    Specifically, I would be worried that a Saurus character would be boring for the rest of the party to deal with - only concerned with working to further the Great Plan, not really having much of a personality, that sort of thing. I would want to make sure my character has some level of depth and individuality, personal goals and ambitions, the types of things expected from non-murderhobo PCs. So obviously certain things would have to be adjusted about the culture of the Lizardmen, as if they are completely refraining from interacting with outsiders the PC has no reason to leave their home and join the party. I'm just not sure how to do this in a way that still has the "feel" of the classic Lizardmen.

    Any ideas are very much appreciated!
     
  2. LizardWizard
    Skink Priest

    LizardWizard Grand Skink Handler Staff Member

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    Welcome to Lustria!

    Were I DM'ing your campaign I would have no issue with the homebrewed rules you linked.

    Backstory seems like the best way to play a Saurus inspired by old Lustria while still adding some agency to the character. As a good example of typical characters who follow their predestination, but still have a load of character, consider Wall-E and Eve from Pixar's Wall-E. Wall-E continues to follow his programming and carry on a task that all other models of his make have long since failed at. Eve also follows her directive to return the plant to her mother ship's captain. Both characters are non-human robots who follow their various directives, but still manage to show a shocking amount of agency.

    Perhaps your temple city meet ruin, and now you are doing your best to enact the will of the old ones in a world where the olds are long distant. You could even be a villain turned ally. Setting up a joint background with a fellow party member can go a long ways. If you have a friend who is playing an explorer then they could have found you in the ruins of your ancient city and now you are not letting them out of your sight due to the relic they posses.

    Being low emotive doesn't mean you have to be passive though. You could play a typical saurus and still manage to make a memorable and contributive character. IG-11 is a great example of this.
     
  3. repKyle95
    Jungle Swarm

    repKyle95 New Member

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    I definitely agree that backstory will be very important here, and I am just trying to come up with some of the general details that would help to explain why my Saurus character is a bit more personable (not charismatic, but just able to work functionally with the party), having at least some level of empathy/care for the struggles of others so he isn't that one annoying party member whom everyone has to beg to follow along on plot hooks.

    I like the idea of being tied to another party member, but would also like to have a backup in case whenever I find a group, the players already have back stories of their own. One thought I had was that the character was of a special spawning (ie like Kroq-Gar, Gor-Rok, etc.) consisting of only himself and maybe one other, and as such was believed to be destined for something great. For whatever reason, it was decided that he would travel the world outside the city to further the Great Plan beyond the reach of their civilization. Perhaps at some point he receives some sort of vision from one of the Old Ones, showing him that there is some relationship between the Great Plan and helping others (and destroying evil).

    Part of why I want to keep the Temple City or whenever he hails from intact is because I would want to return after leveling up a decent amount to get equivalents to the Spear of Tlanxla and the Hand of the Gods for my character, which would kinda be difficult (albeit not impossible) if the Temple-City was destroyed.
     
  4. repKyle95
    Jungle Swarm

    repKyle95 New Member

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    Having thought about it some more, there are still a few issues I want to iron out and make sure I am clear upon both for mechanics purposes and for character purposes.

    I decided I definitely need to keep the savagery the Saurus are known for, while still having SOME sort of general motivation to want to help people. While my thought was that perhaps he had a vision from one of the Old Ones where he was told that helping/protecting the innocent of all of the good[or neutral]-aligned races was a key part of the Great Plan, but I don't know if that feels a little too contrived. Some help with deciding upon the details would be greatly appreciated!

    Also, from a mechanics standpoint, one thing that concerns me is armor. Saurus really don't wear it - the most they generally wear is perhaps a shoulder plate, or a few small pieces of leather that really don't provide protection beyond their scales. I want my character to not wear armor, like the original Saurus. Problem is that unless I take my first class in Barbarian (or another class with the Unarmored Defense skill) I will be very squishy in combat despite narratively being an incredibly tough, combat-trained warrior. I am trying to figure out a fair way to give Saurus natural armor (that can improve with level), that doesn't REQUIRE taking one of those classes. I am hoping a DM would allow me to say that my character COUNTS as wearing a chain shirt or breastplate, to account for the natural armor. But any suggestions would be welcomed! Also, one thing I thought about this afternoon was how Saurus are highly resistant to fear, represented by their Cold-Blooded rule in Fantasy where they could roll 3D6 and drop the highest for Ld/Morale checks. Given all the abilities I have already given to the Saurus (proficiencies in survival and athletics, proficiency in an unarmed attack, resistance to poison/adv on saving throws against poison, etc.), adding fear resistance on top would be ridiculous. I wanted suggestions on how to handle their fear resistance in a narrative context to give to the DM, or perhaps think about a racial "upgrade" that unlocks when the character reaches a certain level, making him resistant to fear.

    Last thing is I want to figure out a bit about my character's mannerisms and behaviors. I am thinking that, as part of a group, at least at first, he would generally stay quiet, giving input when asked, but would not be overly talkative. I am thinking that perhaps he could have a penchant for taking trophies from any notable evildoers he vanquished in combat, especially heads, which he make into shrunken heads that would dangle from his waist. I remember reading on here about the idea of Lizardmen liberally using spices on food due to not tasting capsaicin, which I think would be cool to add in as a narrative bit, with the character (Xiuhcoatl - Aztec name that translates to "weapon of destruction" or "Fire serpent" - perfect name for a character who should be a mighty warrior) carrying a series of small bags full of crushed dried spices to use on anything he consumed to remind him of home. As a funny narrative opportunity, if another player tried anything with the spice on it in such amounts, they would have to take a DC 15 CON check to avoid screaming as their mouth burns from the intense heat. Would have to decide whether or not my character is aware of the effect the spice would have on other races though.

    The last thing I wanted to think about was my character's religiousness. Lizardmen are religious to their core, so I would probably want that to be part of my character. Not being preachy or trying to "convert" others to his faith, but merely letting his belief in the Old Ones guide his actions. I was thinking perhaps he could sacrifice enemies to some of the Old Ones, or get particularly angry when an NPC does something that would disrespect one of them, that sort of thing. Would love some advice on things my character should react strongly to, what they might do to show devotion, etc.

    Edit: Also, what would the little golden piece of "armor" on the tip of Saurus tails be called? I am trying to describe my character's appearance and I am struggling to figure out the right word for that piece.


    Thanks again for the help!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  5. repKyle95
    Jungle Swarm

    repKyle95 New Member

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    Bump - still looking for suggestions on mannerisms and behaviors! I also realized that Lizardfolk from D&D have a natural AC of 13 + Dex modifier, so I figured that would be a perfect way to fix the issue of Saurus not wearing armor!
     
  6. Erta Wanderer
    Skar-Veteran

    Erta Wanderer Well-Known Member

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    if the party is fighting chaos then he should be fine working with them naki tend to show up where fights happen your guy could work the same way no vision needed.

    they actually do kro gar has a full gold breast plate and paldrons. it's just not common as most iron would rust in the swamps they live in. when not in lustria it is not uncommon to see lizard men in armor and GW has rules for them using it in several TTRPGs

    many DnD editions have rules for custom race creation if you need it i can spin something up for you. what edition are you playing 5th?

    this works just remember the saurus have a limited vocabulary
    this is a common trait with old bloods

    it the skinks that do the sacrificing and only to sotek most other lizard men worship threw service they have a job to do given to them by the old ones and they do it to the best of their abilities. this is why a lot of people think that saurus are automatons they aren't they are just single minded zealots. the things he might react strongly to would be races acting out of character like a dwarf gardener. the great plan has roles for ever one not just lizard men and espeshaly among mazdamundies sect the races should be just as singe minded in their persute of their roll. also anything chaos no matter how small should be destroyed on sight despite any problems it might cause.

    tail spike they use it to stab people
     
  7. repKyle95
    Jungle Swarm

    repKyle95 New Member

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    Well, unfortunately I can't guarantee that we'd be fighting Chaos or daemons, as I am still trying to find a group and want to be as flexible as possible with the character.

    As for armor, I know that they wear the occasional shoulder plate or breastplate made of gold, but I think that having gold armor would introduce problems both for economic reasons, and for tempting rogues/thieves to steal from my character (which would just lead to infighting in a party). I don't want my Saurus character wearing silly chainmail or some such nonsense. It just doesn't look cool.

    As for rules, I did find some online, made a few minor adjustments. EDIT: Had posted the actual link here but got this post hidden until mods could approve it so I decided to just remove the link and say that if you search "Warhammer Lizardmen D&D 5e" it is basically the first thing that comes up.

    I don't mind having a limited vocabulary, though it will probably be a bit more extensive than one might expect in actual Warhammer simply to ensure communication is efficient. I want my character to have legitimate RP potential, rather than just being a beatstick who is only good for combat. For this reason I am going to need to change up a few key things about the Lizardmen used in a D&D setting, because any character needs to be able to mesh well with a party.

    My thought is changing up the way the Lizardmen view the other races just a bit - there is still the belief in the Prodigal Races that are a part of the Great Plan, but I don't want the Lizardmen or my character to be enforcing stereotypes simply because of the trouble that would potentially cause with a party (justifying traveling with say, an Elf barbarian). Also, there are many races in D&D that aren't in Warhammer, such as Dragonborn, Tieflings (one could argue that Lizardmen should hate them due to their fiend ancestry, but I would need to be able to justify traveling with one in case I wound up in a party with a Tieflings character), Gnomes (well, they technically exist in Warhammer but I've never heard anything in the lore about where they fit in in Lizardmen worldviews), etc., not to mention that Orcs are quite a bit different. Having a character that is generally ready to fight in the battles to quell the evils of Fiends/Daemons, Undead, etc., while still having some reason to care about hunting more ordinary types of baddies (again, I want to to be flexible so my character can mesh into a campaign regardless of what the main antagonist/villain looks like).

    Suggestions on what specific motivations might work for that would be great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020 at 4:43 PM

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