Talk:Goron (5e Race)

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Designer's notes: racial trait balance[edit]

Primary race: goron[edit]

My problem with emulating canonical gorons is that they are comically sturdy, physically powerful, and do things like eat rocks. The only way to accurately represent them as a playable race in 5e is to downplay their abilities immensely.

The main reason the "goron warrior" class exists is to try to emulate things seemingly all gorons can do in canon, like weather lightning attacks easily, shrug off sword attacks made against their bare skin, and punch boulders in half.

Subraces

Mountain gorons are primarily based off gorons appearing in Twilight Princess, and are so named because this variety spends a lot of time outside. Cave gorons are based primarily on those appearing in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, so named because—in OoT at least—they are found almost exclusively in caves.

Gorons appearing in the numerous handheld games didn't to me seem to be noteworthy enough to immediately have their own subrace, but it was something I considered making in the future if I could think of good or interesting racial traits.

At the time I contributed this race, Breath of the Wild had not been released. Arguably a subrace could be made dedicated to that variety.

Strength & Constitution Increases

In canon, members of the goron race:

  • Can punch boulders apart with their bare hands
  • Hold their breath indefinitely
  • Literally eat rocks for sustenance
  • Live comfortably in regions so hot that materials like cotton spontaneously combust and the ground can be used in a frying pan
  • Take sword attacks to the face without taking damage
  • Seem to believe their bare, naked skin is better for combat purposes than armor

One of them even curled up inside a piece of molten rock that was shot out of a mountain, and remained in there for days, before waking up from what was apparently a comfortable nap.

You can't exactly give a 5e race +10 to two ability scores, but I did think at least a +2/+2 instead of a +2/+1 would be acceptable if I gave them several other nerfs. Of course, though, some people have a problem with this. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Natural Armor & Dexterity Penalty

In canon, gorons never wear armor. They take sword attacks to the face. Their backs are as hard as iron shields. Etc. Not having a trait like this would feel like a lie.

In canon, members of the goron race have been knocked prone by sword attacks before taking damage (most notably the gorons in Twilight Princess which Link fights). This, combined with a low footspeed in Majora's Mask, made me think a -2 Dexterity would work as a compromise. It also helped nerf Natural Armor.

Apparently, some people think natural armor of 13+Dex is good? For who? Rogues, maybe low-level monks, and maybe absurd-Dexterity rangers, which are all Dexterity-based classes? It literally emulates a 1st-level spell that can be cast on anyone and lasts for 8 hours without concentration. If that wasn't enough, a natural-armor-using goron has a vulerability on top of that. All this combined should make Natural Armor on gorons a mechanically useless trait which is there for flavor. But no, Musicus—God himself, apparently—scored it as a 2 on his arbitrary list, so clearly this must be a powerful and useful trait that almost everyone who plays a goron won't just throw away, right?

At this point I've had three different people play gorons, and the only one who used natural armor did so because he "didn't want to waste a spell slot at early levels" but still considered it "risky."

Fire Resistance

In Majora's Mask, Link can transform between four different races. Three of those get blasted away upon touching magma, but one—goron, of course—can wade through it if it's shallow enough, albeit while takign damage.

In Twilight Princess, a goron lives inside molten rock in apparent comfort for days.

In Breath of the Wild, virtually all gorons live in a climate so hot that virtually any combustible material will combust within seconds.

And almost all goron tribes live near active volcanoes. In 5e, fire resistance automatically makes you tolerate hot climates easily, which is convenient in this case.

There's no doubt that fire resistance is a powerful trait (unless your Musicious who scores it as a mere 0.5 ½), but clearly gorons warrant it. Personally, I'd score it as at least 1, maybe or 10.5 ½. Fire is one of the more dangerous damage types; I think it's considered the 5th most common after BPS and poison, but unlike poison it is usually dealt in large doses and you frequently only get a Dex save to mitigate it.

Stone Fists

Naturally, if several members of your race punch boulders in half, and (prior to BotW) all of them use punches as their primary weapons, it seems like you should have something like this. I kept the damage low to not compete with monks and the like, and because I've always been worried about this race being considered overpowered, but of course ramped it up immensely in the goron warrior class.

The club is the most humble weapon in the game: lowest damage, literally everyone is proficient with it, and the cheapest by far. Even it is better than this attack because it's light, but at least with Stone Fists you could arguably make an attack even when your hand is occupied.

This is mostly for flavor and not exactly useful, but I had a poe scion actually use it—but only because something was unaffected by the necrotic damage of his cantrip. Otherwise it's not exactly useful.

But apparently our lord Musicious scores it as a 0.5 ½, the same as fire resistance, so clearly it must be good. I'd give it more like a 0.5 ¼.

Speed of 20 Feet & Goron Roll

In every game that features gorons, they can roll at high speeds—a pace of at least 40 feet, though in some cases what I would guess to be well beyond 80. I thought I could make that work by lowering their normal speed. In most games gorons really need to do more leg day, after all, so having a slower speed seems reasonable.

Seemingly every goron can do that weird roll they do, and they seem to do it as easily as other humanoids jog. It seems like some of them roll pretty much every time they have to move more than a few feet. Naturally this would be a racial trait.

It's worth noting that at this point, goron roll gives a goron a Dash action on-par with every other Medium race. That's it. It partially removes one of their nerfs, but only if you waste your entire turn moving.

Some gorons—mainly those in Twilight Princes— also use this roll as an attack. The bonus unarmed strike (especially combined with Stone Fists) seemed like a fitting addition, and would make this trait almost useful sometimes in very specific situations. I think most munchkins would rather just have the 30 feet, though.

Musicus gives a whopping "-1" for -10 feet to movement speed.

Dense Weight

In all canonical moments when a goron entered water, he sunk like a rock. In Twilight Princess, gorons fall over really easily. I guess I can combine those into one. Considering this is mostly a nerf (which—*gasp*—goes against the Player's Handbook precedents!), I don't think anyone would score it above a 0.

Apparently, someone thought gorons were still to powerful, and traded out the nerf which has canonical precedent for an unrelated but even more severe nerf which doesn't have canonical precedent. Disadvantage on the most common save type in the game. Sure, why not. That seems balanced. (Hint: That was sarcasm and I frankly think that change is dumb. Dexterity saves are usually about taking cover, and when you're made of rock—with your backside basically being granite—it's pretty easy to take cover.)

Primary race in summary[edit]

Alright, so let's just sum these scores together because clearly that will give us an idea of how balanced this race is. Oh, no, be sure not to actually consider how well or poorly the traits go together.

Our lord and savior would give it...

3: +2/+1/-2 ASI. Yup, even though it's to the God stat that should never be dumped, that -2 doesn't matter.
2: 13 + Dex natural armor. Yup, even though it is nerfed by the thing we just ignored, this amazing mage armor equivalent is worth 2 whole points.
0.5 ½: Fire resistance. Yes, because a yawn-inducing AC is four times more useful than halving the fire breath of red dragons and fireballs.
0.5 ½: Stone fists. Gotta love that free use of the worst weapon in the SRD.
0: Dense weight. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
-1: Speed -10 feet. Honestly, I'd not even subtract that much. I'd take -10 feet over -2 Dex every day for pretty much any SRD class except paladin.
0.5 ½: Goron roll. Just a guess.
=50.5 ½: Okay, that's not too bad, but there's some subraces.

Subrace: cave goron[edit]

Darkvision

One would imagine it would be nice to see beyond a range of 60 feet and in monochrome, which would explain why cave gorons usually have torches around. The fact they really don't need torches would also explain why they're almost never lit until Link comes around to set them on fire. It's a bit of a stretch, but the Hyrule setting only has a couple races with darkvision, and it's a trait I find fun to have in 1-2 members of the party.

Goron Grit

Here it is. The most powerful trait of the race. A whole +1 hit point per level, pulled straight from dwarves. It's a bit loose, but does make up for not having a +4 Con score.

Our lord and savior would give it...

0.5 ½: Darkvision. Wow, it constantly emulates a 2nd-level spell in the same way natural armor emulates 1st-level spell, but is worth only a quarter as much. Sage.
10.5 ½: +1 hp per level. One of the most powerful racial features in the game still gets less than mediocre AC, huh? That's generous.
=2: Clearly this is underpowered. We can squeeze out WAY MORE power and still claim it's balanced! (/sarcasm)

Subrace: mountain goron[edit]

Natural Athlete

This variety, and only this variety, canonically practices sumo—but almost all of them do. It's a bit loose, but does make up for not having a +4 Str score.

Goron Fortitude

"If you do not have disadvantage on a Constitution saving throw, you can roll it with advantage." That's super useful. Almost as good as increasing your hit points by like 10-20%. Maybe it should recharge after a short rest or something, though. Yeah, let's add that.

0.5 ½: Natural Athlete. An entire skill proficiency is so useless, huh?
2: Goron Fortitude. Musicious only gives a 2 for "advantage on all Int, Wis, and Cha saving throws against magic" (aka advantage on all Int, Wis, and Cha saving throws because let's be real). Just for giggles I'll say this is somehow even more overpowered than that and give it a three.
=20.5 ½

Summary of summaries[edit]

So the arbitrary metric forged by our god and master says we have a 70.5 ½ and an 8. Even with me hamming it up, this still falls into "absolute maximum of 8," which by this meter is on-par with elves and less overpowered than some WotC races that were published in actual books. Amazing.

Let's stop for a moment and realize that you're a human, and that this meter is ridiculous. Consider that it scores one of the most useless traits as the strongest, that it ignores the biggest debuff, and that it barely minds the traits we all know to be by far the most powerful here—so powerful they define each subrace. Maybe, if you're feeling particularly generous or empathetic, imagine that this is for a campaign on the wiki—or that it was actively being playtested.

Clearly, this race is overpowered and needs to be nerfed into the ground. Slap a Template:Needsbalance on it without giving any specific reasons. Or better yet, let's arbitrarily change and remove traits to be less like canonical precedent because it just "sits better" with you, too.

Make sure you shove a Template:Wording up there as well, specifically for using "AC" instead of "Armor Class." Clearly, we need to follow WotC as closely as possible, and it's not as though they ever would use abbreviations for a trait exactly like this. Except they did. Feel free to visit page 113 of Volo's Guide to Monsters.

Tl;dr - It was fine. All the traits have canonical reasons for their existence, and they aren't excessively overpowered or underpowered. If you want to make arbitrary changes or slap templates on things, there are literally hundreds of races alone, let alone other pages, which need more help. You can even make your own, better version of gorons. If you still want to "fix" this page specifically, at least give specific reasons on the talk page. Otherwise I'm just going to undo your edit and/or make a joke of things. - Guy (talk) 05:38, 17 May 2018 (MDT)

Unarmored defense[edit]

I think it should not be +dex for your unarmored defense, since you get a -2 to dex that can be VERY bad —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.240.128.221 (talk). Please sign your posts.

It's an intentional trade-off for being able to achieve the highest possible AC with a mere racial trait. It's already 13 + Dex, which is better than any light armor.
If it's that bad, a goron can just use its Stone Armor racial feature. (Someone changed that to base it off Con instead of Dex, which went unnoticed by me until now.) - Guy (talk) 22:58, 22 September 2017 (MDT)

Marasmusine's Meter[edit]

See 5e Race Design Guide#Marasmusine's Meter.

0: A very low speed (20 feet) + Goron Roll
1: Fire Resistance
1: Natural Armor
0.5 ½: Stone Fists
0: Breathless + Dense Weight
Cave Goron
1: Darkvision
1: Goron Grit
Mountain Goron
1: Natural Athlete
1: Goron Fortitude
= 40.5 ½ (an ideal score)

- Guy (talk)

Ability Score Increases[edit]

I changed the base scores to +2 str and con. I made the cave gorons get +1 wisdom because it reflects the traits seen by the cave gorons in ocarina of time. I also made the mountain gorons get +1 charisma, because, and this will be said in one word, Daruk. any questions?

Well, should the pages be marked {{Design Disclaimer}}? Lot of times seems like Hyrule campaign peeps wanna buff things to be stronger than 5e precedent... BigShotFancyMan (talk) 21:22, 9 August 2018 (MDT)

Natural Armor[edit]

I’m no genius, but I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the natural armor, and since Gorons don’t really have a dexterity bonus, it doesn’t really make any sense. It might be better to have a damage reduction equal to your constitution modifier or something like that. PickleJarPete

They aren't denied having a dex bonus though. I can't say DR wouldn't be better but the primary contributor seems to be amiss :( ~ BigShotFancyMan (talk) 16:33, 30 December 2018 (MST)

Good point[edit]

But the ability scores that they do get increased would make people want to make them a strength based class, like fighter or barbarian. Having something reliant on Dexterity just doesn’t seem right. PickleJarPete

not everyone design has to be synergetic though. It pays to play to strengths but maybe you wanna branch out. ~ BigShotFancyMan (talk) 15:26, 1 January 2019 (MST)
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