Thursday, 9 December 2010

Transhuman Fantasy Setting - Races

So, I mentioned before - I was thinking about what races to include in this setting.

I already established something like Elves and Dwarves (you need something to allow newer players to jump in, eh?), and Humans. In a fantasy setting, Savage Races are a given. But I wanted to add a few more options, for players and me alike - so I'll look at the "niches" these races inhabit, and see what I can think of.

One of my big problems is racial "overlap" - in D&D, GMs are presented with a wide variety of monsters who differ only in stats or the tiniest amounts of background, leading to the moment you realise that having three or four of them in the same setting is... weird, at best, ridiculous at worst. So I want to trim down the influences here, and see what I can realistically reduce the baggage to.

Small and Sneaky - Kobolds, Kenku, and Goblins from D&D, Skaven from Warhammer - the underfoot, the vermin, the downtrodden. If available, always thought of as a "challenging" player race, due to the rest of the world's xenophobia (or, for Kobolds, terrible stats!). Personally, I like the Skaven - they look horrible, their background fluff is actually pretty awesome, and they fit the tech level about right... but I think with a few tweaks, the Kenku can do all that, and maybe a wee bitty more, while also adding a new angle to things.

Big and Angry and Raidy - Orcs, Gnolls, Ogres, Beastmen - living on the fringes of society, ruled by tyrants and despots, mainly evil for the sake of being evil, often following some evil religion or creed. Again, not the most common of player races, but can provide some good adventure and XP fodder. Also, it's sometimes (sadly) handy as a DM to have a fallback when adventures go awry - "Umm... uhhh... you are attacked by wandering orcs!"

"Evil" - Mindflayers, the Githyanki, maybe some of the smarter Chromatic Dragons, some of the forces of Chaos in Warhammer - the planners, schemers, the bigwigs on a grand scale. A more refined race of always evil creatures. Make good Big Bad Evil Guys, horrible traders and slavers, powerful informants and unlikely allies. Less player-oriented, more plot-device, but their effects can be felt throughout the Cities.

Anyone think of any other bases I should cover?

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