Sunday, July 14, 2013

How I Plan On Replacing Fantasy Races

A lot has been written about the roles of races in roleplaying games.  The classic D&D layout of Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, and Human often comes under a lot of fire for being cookie cutter or too diverse or not diverse enough.  I tend to not use it, because I just don't care for half of the races.  I've read my Tolkien (many times), dislike Tolkien-esque elves used outside of Middle Earth, and, honestly, think it's just over done.  Fantasy worlds already are overwhelmed with "kewl stuff," and your character's race doesn't have to be one of the neat things.

This picture sums up why I hate elves.  Hugo Weaving is just manly enough for me to have conflicting emotions about it though.

Basically, unless you're a really special roleplayer who gets really into the alien mindsets of the Githyawhateverthey'recalled or Baali or whatever, you pretty much just end up playing a human.  The races just end up being excuses to tack personalities onto character or get neat abilities or min max.  Why do you need to have pointy ears and an immunity to magic sleep to play a blonde, anorexic dick in a RPG.  Viserys (Daenerys's brother in Game of Thrones) is a human that acts like pretty much every fantasy elf.  Just play a human like him and take out an unnecessary layer of trying to make a special elf homeland fit in your game.  

Elf substitue!  Now comes in mega dick

What usually ends up happening in Dungeons & Dragons (and similar games) is that the GM eventually feels the need to set aside homelands for all the individual races.  This island is for the elves, the dwarves get these mountains, and this...I don't effing know...gem cavern or something is where gnomes come from or some shit.  Then your world becomes not your world and just an amalgam of trying to do the same thing everyone else does so that your one player can play a Kender* and annoy and rob the party blind.

Give it up.  Take back control of your game.  It took me years to figure that out.  My last Pathfinder game started out with all the standard races (plus Goblin) available for play.  I was annoyed, realized all my NPCs were just humans anyways, and now that I am trying to reforge that world, I completely axed all the races.  You read me right.  All of them.  There are humans.  Period.  Goblinoids exist, but nobody is allowed to play one if I can help it (hint: I can, because I'm the goddamn GM).  Because I like a little variety, however, I am implementing an option for "near human" as well though.  

Near Humans are basically humans that have slight not-human quirks, ticks, and abilities.  Basically, these neat other things are from magic, alternate genetics, and other shit manipulating the bloodline.  Think of it like mutations.  None of the things change the appearance of the character unless the player wants, and the character can pass as human.  Humans in Castles and Crusades (which is the core system I'm going to run my DIY D&D off of) get three primary abilities.  Near Humans get two and then a +2 on rolls with one secondary attribute of their choice plus a randomly rolled ability off of the following table.

Roll 2d12
2: Low-Light Vision
3: Enhanced sense of smell
4: +3 on saves vs Poison, Disease, Sickness, and Nausea
5: +2 on Spot rolls
6: +2 on Listen rolls
7: Rage (+2 on STR for one round once per day per level as a free action)
8: Bite attack for 1D4+ STR damage
9: Cast Influence 1+Cha modifier times a day
10: You are constantly under the effects of the Endure Elements spell.
11: Leave no tracks in one environment of your choice
12: +2 on saves vs. Illusions and Charms
13: Can light small, flammable objects on fire with a touch
14: +1 to attack rolls with thrown weapons
15: +4 on saves vs. Fear
16: Climb speed of 10 feet and +8 to climbing checks
17: +10 feet to base speed
18: Speak with animals once per day per two levels
19: +2 to hiding and move silently rolls
20: Automatically stabilize when you go to negative hit points
21: +1 natural armor bonus to AC
22: +2 on CHA checks for social interactions
23: Know Direction once per day per level
24: Roll twice more

I'm excited to see how this goes.  


*For those of you who don't know what a Kender is, consider yourselves lucky.  They are Halflings/Hobbits who basically are an excuse to be annoying preteen girl random, titter, rob you blind just 'cause, get into trouble, and basically just disrupt the game for no apparent reason other than "it's their culture."  Fuck Kender.  

No comments:

Post a Comment