Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Twisting Racial Profiles...

Note: This post was revised on the 29 June 09.

One thing I've always had a love/hate relationship with regarding fantasy rpg's is the whole Racial profile thing. Especially the half-whatevers. The idea of being this perfect split between Elf/Orc/Werewolf and (because an Orc and an Elf would never screw!) human just seems silly. Perhaps its because I'm an Austrialian and we're all pretty much a mixed brood here (I'm Prussian, Welsh, English and God knows what else!), the idea of someone being 100% Elf and having a set of features that make them Elven seems stupid. So, for my Savage Worlds (great system- check it out at Fantasy setting- THE TWIST -I stripped some standard (and a couple of non-standard) fantasy rpg races down to some key attributes in a point-purchase system. Now, instead of being merely an Elf or Half-Elf (or whatever race or half-race), you can be a Dwarf whoose Grandpa was half Elven and mother was one-quarter Orc! Rules-wise, heres how things panned out (not- the Chakubah are this setting's equivalent of Half-folk. They're short, hair-footed flesh-eaters);

Racial Heritage for Savage Worlds.
Rather than purchasing a single Race, players gain 2 points with which to construct their characters Racial identity from the three lists of common racial traits listed below. To be a ‘pure’ breed of any race, one must take all three types of Heritage (though by most social standards, two points is a ‘pure’ heritage these days). Most folks are, however, just different degrees of mongrel.

Note, though, that racial abilities that begin a particular Ability at D6 mean that and only that Ability may be raised to a maximum of D12+1. No more than four Racial Traits may be purchased per character.

2 Points

  • Agile (Elf); Start with a D6 in Agility instead of a D4.
  • Burrowing (Chakubah); Burrow Power with 5 Power Points. If an Arcane Background is purchased, these Power Points do not stack.
  • Survivor (Human); Draw a bonus Beanie per game session. May be combined with Luck Edges.
  • Stout (Dwarf); Start with D6 Vigour instead of D4.
  • Strong (Orc); Start with D6 Strength instead of D4.
  • Wings (Gargoyle); Fly and Climb at Pace.

1 Point

  • Claws and Fangs (Chakubah); Chakubah have retractable claws and prominent (non-retractable) fangs. Unarmed bite and hand attacks do Strength +1 damage.
  • Diverse (Human); Free D4 in any two Skills.
  • Hardy (Dwarf); +2 to resist the affects of Heat and Cold.
  • Low Light Vision (Elf); Ignore Dim or dark Lighting attack penalties.
  • Stone-skin (Gargoyle); +1 Armour.
  • Warrior (Orc); Free D6 in the Fighting Skill.

-1 Point

  • Lazy (Elf); Elves dislike manual labour, gaining the All Thumbs Hindrance.
  • Nocturnal (Orc); For combat during daylight hours, draw two Action cards, acting on the lowest.
  • Only Human (Human); Human’s are renown for not being particularly good at any one thing. -2 Charisma.
  • Rock Faced (Gargoyle); Lack of facial expression. -2 to Persuasion rolls.
  • Slow (Dwarf); -1 Pace.

-2 Points

  • Short (Chakubah); -1 Size.

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