Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Races: an overview.

So, I've been thinking of the Races that i would like to use in this setting. Some of the core races are in, some are out, and some variants will be added to the core roster. I'll go through each race, and show where my current thoughts are on each. I will later expand on each of the included races in subsequent posts.

Human: Obviously in. Humans are the base race in most settings, and i see no reason to exclude them. Whilst the idea of a world without any humans does come across as intriguing, it's not intriguing enough for me to take it seriously.

Elves: In. I LIKE elves, but I have some ideas for a different take on them. What i want to avoid is elven subraces. There is one elven species, but i do have an idea to seperate them culturally so they aren't the mono-culture that exists in many settings.

Half-elves: Out. I don't think half breeds really suit my feelings for the setting. If humans and Elves can interbreed, they must share a very recent common ancestor, and that just doesn't make sense considering the vast biological differences.

Dwarves: In. I don't see the dwarves in this setting living underground or in mountains, but i still see a place for them in this world as traders and craftsmen.

Gnomes: Out. Gnomes.... just don't work most of the time. The race often feels like a tacked on joke at best, and an annoying nuisance at worst. In some settings, changes or tweaks make them better, but I don't have the emotional attachment necessary to work to include them.

Halflings: Out. Halflings are a holdover from Tolkien that i have grown bored with. Whether Kender from Dragonlance, or the new lithe and agile halflings, I just don't see the need to what amounts to a race of shorter humans with some elven traits tacked on.

Half orcs: Out. See half elves for reasoning.

So that is the core races... with 4 being eliminated, that leaves 3. Let's face it, for many players, that just isn't enough options. Since i have decided on a setting with psionics, some of the psionic core races make some sense.

Dromite: since i removed halflings and gnomes, the Dromites fit neatly into the "Small" slot for races perfectly. They are insectile and genderless, and have castes and hives. I may tweak the race a bit, but there is definitely potential here.

Maenad: With the removal of Half-Orcs, Maened may have a shot here. They are controlled, but hide an emotional tempest that has echoes of Orc barbarians. But unlike Half-orcs, they fill more than one narrow option of raging warrior. I will have to tweak them considerably so that they aren't just "Wild humans" though.

Elan: I will be honest, at first i was going to dismiss Elan entirely. But then when i considered them as a secret, hidden race that few people even know exist, even as they live amongst them, i warmed to them. I will put some roleplay seeds in for them, making an Elan not only a race, but a de facto secret society. Definitely strong potential here.

Xeph: I like the racial abilities of the Xeph, but i don't like the "feel" of them. I have an idea on how to change them by changing a few abilities and radically changing the culture, but i have to spend some time here. This is the weakest of the "maaaaaaaybe" options.

Ophiduan: Lizard/serpent psionic peoples obsessed with perfection? That actually sounds pretty awesome in a setting with no gods, and only the one life to live. They are striving for perfection in their one lifetime, and with their nature make a good historical conflict race as well if needed. i might slow their fecundity and increase lifespan to a mid-range between elf and human.

Well that's it for now, but i will start work on expanding the races in the next post.